Epic Games Pulls 'Fortnite' YouTube Ads Following Pedophile Sex Ring Discovery

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"In April 2018 YouTube was criticized for allowing a pornographic ad to appear on a trending YouTube video, and in November 2017 it was revealed that YouTube's flagging system to prevent child victimization on its platform was reportedly malfunctioning for a year".

YouTube was forced to act after major advertisers, such as Epic Games and Disney, began pulling advertisements from videos after evidence surfaced of malicious comments and videos being tied to a coordinated effort to exploit children.

The videos, some of which generate millions of views, are often accompanied by predatory comments from people sharing the timestamps of when genitals are exposed or when a child does the splits.

YouTube has removed over 400 channels for comments they left on videos.

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A YouTube user called Matt Watson had posted a video highlighting a "wormhole into a softcore paedophile ring" on the site.

"Paedophiles are trading social media contacts; they're trading links to actual child porn in YouTube comments; they're trading unlisted videos in secret, and YouTube's algorithm through some glitch in its programming is facilitating their ability to do this", he said in the video.

"We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling comments on tens of millions of videos that include minors".

Videos of children showing their exposed buttocks, underwear and genitals are racking up millions of views on YouTube - with the site displaying advertising from major cosmetics and vehicle brands alongside the content. He added that even if the videos are flagged and comments have been turned off, they are still being monetised and available for users to watch.

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Despite pointing out the videos themselves were not sexual in nature, Mr Watson claimed a "glitch" in YouTube's algorithm meant it was possible to find the videos "in about five clicks", and recommended content would quickly show dozens of clips of young girls, many of which featured similar comments. YouTube admits there is more it can do to catch abuse, and in a more timely manner.

As CNN reported, the company wants YouTube to "immediately remove from its site any contributions that threaten the integrity and protection of minors".

It's clear that there's more to be done by YouTube.

"All Nestle companies in the USA have paused advertising on YouTube, a spokeswoman for the company said Wednesday in an email", Bloomberg reports.

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