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Just a week after some of its major advertising partners pulled ads from the platform, YouTube has just announced that it will be disabling comments on all videos featuring minors. This comes as a response to the discovery that some users were using the comments section of videos featuring children as a sort of “soft-core pedophilia ring.”

If you’ll recall earlier this month, a video posted revealed that some users were taking advantage of YouTube’s comments system to identify certain videos and timestamps within a video that showed minors in suggestive positions and situations.

Over the past week, YouTube says that it has disabled the comments on millions of videos which could be subject to predatory behavior. YouTube announced today in a blog post that, over the coming months, it will be expanding that action to suspend comments on videos which feature minors, both young and old, that could be at risk.

YouTube explains that this action won’t affect all creators, but that a chosen few will be able to retain comments. Apparently, those channels will need to closely moderate their comments and ensure that their content is at low risk of attracting such predatory behavior in the first place.

Over the past week, we disabled comments from tens of millions of videos that could be subject to predatory behavior. These efforts are focused on videos featuring young minors and we will continue to identify videos at risk over the next few months. Over the next few months, we will be broadening this action to suspend comments on videos featuring young minors and videos featuring older minors that could be at risk of attracting predatory behavior.

A small number of creators will be able to keep comments enabled on these types of videos. These channels will be required to actively moderate their comments, beyond just using our moderation tools, and demonstrate a low risk of predatory behavior. We will work with them directly and our goal is to grow this number over time as our ability to catch violative comments continues to improve.

Further, YouTube says that the platform is adopting a new, more effective comments classifier. This classifier doesn’t affect the monetization of a video and is meant to identify and remove predatory comments. Apparently, the launch has been “accelerated” and with the classifier in place, 2x the individual comments can be detected and removed.

While we have been removing hundreds of millions of comments for violating our policies, we had been working on an even more effective classifier, that will identify and remove predatory comments. This classifier does not affect the monetization of your video. We accelerated its launch and now have a new comments classifier in place that is more sweeping in scope, and will detect and remove 2X more individual comments.

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Ben Schoon

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