Youtube created its comment section with a goal to connect people from around the globe. This is also one way for the video sharing platform to collect opinions and views from the audience to identify what other key areas need improvement to reach maximum satisfaction from viewers.
However, Youtube has seen the negative implications of the comment section to its viewers, especially with young people. It announced on Thursday that it will turn off its comment boxes on most videos which feature minors. The decision was made final after some advertisers suspended their ads from the site.
Recently, there have been some allegations spreading around social media concerning child safety. Youtube, as a video platform is becoming a breeder of pedophiles preying around the site waiting for their next victim. In addition, Youtube-hosted videos of young children were also found to attract comments from these people.
As a result, Youtube faced criticism from its major advertisers including AT&T, Nestle, and Epic Games.
AT&T spokesperson said in an email sent to NBC News on February 21; the company will continue to remove all advertising from Youtube until Google can protect its brand from offensive content of any kind.
In response to the allegations thrown towards them, the company issued a statement indicating that in the past week it has taken “a number of serious steps to better protect children and families” including suspension of comments that violate its policies on child protection and deletion of millions of videos that feature young people. Now, the video platform takes its efforts one step further and begins to pull out its comment sections on videos with minors.
To tighten the grip against Pedophiles, Youtube said that there will be a number of creators that will be able to keep their comments enabled on their videos. Meaning to say, it is upon the management to choose who will be these creators are, as long as, their accounts will have to actively monitor the comment feeds and demonstrate low predatory behavior.
With this new rule, the responsibility to guard children against Pedophiles is not only in the hands of Youtube but also in their video creators. If the said video platform cannot quickly determine comments from these people, the so-called content creators can immediately report them to the management.
In addition to suspending comments, Youtube also announced that it would be launching a comments “classifier” that is designed to identify predatory comments much quicker.
The company aims to provide a harmless and child-friendly platform where people of any ages can share or view videos without risking their safety. That is the main reason why Youtube is now planning to add another classifier that will remove immediately any “predatory” comments once the management
However, these safety measures contradict the efforts of Youtube to maximize democracy on social media. The said platform is known for being one of the front liners in supporting free speech and the right to express one’s opinions publicly. By implementing these rules, people are beginning to prompt their concerns about suspending its right to comment on cute little kids’ videos. Some believed that Youtube is only making an excuse to get away with the
On a blog post written by the company, they recognized that the comments are a core part of the Youtube experience and how people reconnect and grow thru this section. At the same time, the important steps that the video platform is sharing today are deemed critical for keeping young people safe.
Youtube’s announcement was made a day after the Federal Trade Commission penalized the popular music platform ‘Tiktok’ for 5.7 million dollars due to some allegations indicating that the said app violates policies regarding child protection. It is said that Tiktok illegally collects images, voice records, and geolocations of children, some younger than 13.
The public still hopes to see their views or reactions on most of Youtube’s videos even after its announcement that aside from suspending the comments section, it will strictly impose ‘filters’ to avoid further allegations regarding child pornography and other sensitive issues.