Thursday June 20, 2019
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YouTube Disabling Comments on Videos Featuring Minors

Grooming children for sex trafficking consists of convincing someone to send a risky picture and then using it to extort them

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YouTube
YouTube. Pixabay

In the face of allegations that YouTube is being used by paedophiles to target minors, the Google-owned video streaming platform said it is now disabling comments on videos featuring minors that could be at risk of attracting predatory behaviour.

Due to the on-going paedophilia content controversy on YouTube, several international companies including Disney, Nestle and Fortnite maker Epic Games pulled out their advertisements from the platform this week.

Many users also alleged that YouTube was being careless with monitoring content on its app.

YouTube, however, claimed that it has been terminating accounts and channels over the past few weeks that have violated the platform’s policies.

“No form of content that endangers minors is acceptable on YouTube, which is why we have terminated certain channels that attempt to endanger children in any way,” YouTube said in a blog post on Thursday.

“Over the past week, we disabled comments from tens of millions of videos that could be subject to predatory behaviour,” YouTube said, adding that over the next few months, it will be broadening this action to suspend comments on videos featuring young minors.

But the platform is not introducing a blanket ban on comments for all videos featuring minors.

“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 behaviour. We will work with them directly,” the company wrote.

YouTube, Google, google services
The YouTube Music app is displayed on a mobile phone in Los Angeles. VOA

YouTube said it has a new comments classifier in place that is more sweeping in scope, and will detect and remove two times more individual comments.

A study by the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute of the University of Toledo in Ohio, US recently showed that human traffickers are exploiting social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or SnapChat, as well as dating apps such as Tinder, Blendr and Yellow to hunt for potential underage victims.

Traffickers educate themselves by studying what the victim posts on these sites to build trust.

The study, which was requested by the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission, revealed how traffickers quickly target and connect with vulnerable children on the Internet through social media.

Also Read- Tech Giant Google Using AI to Predict Wind Energy Output

Grooming children for sex trafficking consists of convincing someone to send a risky picture and then using it to extort them.

The traffickers use fear of repercussions as a way to compel the youth to move from a monitored page to a less monitored page by saying, “You don’t want your parents to find out what we’re talking about”, the study suggested.

With a global user-base of over 1.3 billion people, every eight out of ten 18-49 years old people watch YouTube. With the penetration of Internet and smartphones, users below 18 years of age today are also heavily exposed to the platform. (IANS)

Next Story

Youtube Now Let Users Try Virtual Make-Up While Watching Tutorial in Real Time

M·A·C Cosmetics is the first brand to partner with FameBit to launch an AR Beauty Try-On campaign

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youtube, virtual makeup
FILE - Silhouettes are seen in front of a Youtube logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica, Oct. 29, 2014. VOA

With a new “Augmented Reality (AR) Beauty Try-On feature”, Google-owned video sharing platform YouTube would now let users try on virtual make-up while watching tutorials in real time.

“Thanks to machine learning and AR technology, it offers realistic, virtual product samples that work on a full range of skin tones. Currently in alpha, AR Beauty Try-On is available through FameBit by YouTube, Google’s in-house branded content platform,” Aaron Luber, Head of Branded Experiences, AR and VR, Google wrote in a blog-post on Tuesday.

The company said it tested this experience earlier this year with several beauty brands and found that 30 per cent of viewers activated the AR experience in the YouTube iOS app, spending over 80 seconds on average trying on lipstick virtually.

virtual make-up, youtube
M·A·C Cosmetics is the first brand to partner with FameBit to launch an AR Beauty Try-On campaign. Wikimedia Commons

The feature splits the screen horizontally and while the top part shows the YouTube tutorial, the other part uses the front facing camera to let users capture themselves and try on AR filters and virtual makeup samples.

ALSO READ: Researchers Develop an App which will Convert your Phone into Robot

M·A·C Cosmetics is the first brand to partner with FameBit to launch an AR Beauty Try-On campaign. “Using this new format, brands like M·A·C will be able to tap into YouTube’s vibrant creator community, deploy influencer campaigns to YouTube’s 2 billion monthly active users, and measure their results in real time,” Luber said.

In addition, Google is also bringing three-dimensional assets to display ads with its first immersive display format called Swirl which is currently only available through Display and Video 360 which is a single, integrated tool that helps creative, data and media teams work together to execute end-to-end campaigns. (IANS)