'Shocked and appalled': Brands remove YouTube ads over sexualized images of children

YouTube says it will block predatory comment sections on videos of minors

Google finally fighting faux family-friendly YouTube videos

It includes sexual, extremist and unhealthy videos shown on the platform.

Common Sense Media, an organization that monitors children's content online, did not immediately respond to a request to comment about YouTube's announcement. Google has actively removed a number of channels which post material that contributes to child endangerment, removed ads from videos which target families and children with content that is not audience appropriate and blocked inappropriate comments on videos featuring minors. According to investigations by BBC News and The Times, there are still estimated to be tens of thousands of predatory accounts leaving indecent comments on videos of children.

An investigation reported Friday by U.K.'s The Times found comments from hundreds of pedophiles posted on YouTube videos of scantily-clad children.

A blog post earlier this month titled 'Something is wrong on the internet' brought the issue to wider attention, detailing many of worst Elsagate trends such as characters - and occasionally even real children - being forced to consume faeces and urine, enduring injections, suicides, drownings, being buried alive, murders, rapes, swapping heads, cannibalism, babies crying and extreme violence.

The presence of those infringing videos, which are aimed at kids, created to excel in YouTube's recommendation algorithm, and populated with popular family characters like Elsa and Spiderman, has triggered a controversy called ElsaGate.

"In recent months, we've noticed a growing trend around content on YouTube that attempts to pass as family-friendly, but is clearly not", wrote Johanna Wright, YouTube's vice president of product management, in a blog post dated November 22.

Despite that, it hasn't been enough to convince advertisers and concerned watchers. "We have stringent guidelines and processes in place and are working with Google and our media buying agencies to understand what went wrong".

Another for the supermarket Lidl stated: "It is completely unacceptable that this content is available to view and it is, therefore, clear that the strict policies which Google has assured us were in place to tackle offensive content are ineffective". This has seen ads removed from 3.5m videos. "We have suspended all of our YouTube advertising with immediate effect". The firm has often shirked responsibility for this, in a manner similar to Facebook and Twitter, claiming that it can not police the content posted on their platforms.

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