Wednesday November 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

India Becomes Top-Priority Gaming Creator on YouTube

To promote Indian content creators, YouTube is set to kick off its "NextUp for Gamers" initiative in Chennai

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YouTube
More than 200 million gamers come to YouTube every single day globally to watch gaming videos and streams. In 2018, they watched over 50 billion hours of gaming content on the platform. Pixabay

Unrepresented in the global online gaming community till couple of years back, India today is churning out next-generation of gaming creators on YouTube and the momentum is picking up fast not only in English and Hindi but also in vernacular languages, a top company executive said on Monday.

Games like PUBG have created a sizable livestreaming community in India which is the third largest gaming market for the Google-owned video-sharing website, which last reported over 265 million monthly active users in the country.

“India is the top-priority gaming market for us in the APAC region. We are excited to see a growing livestreaming community on YouTube from here and will extend all our support to help them gain further ground,” Ines Cha, Head of Creator Ecosystem and Gaming Partnerships, APAC, YouTube, told IANS.

“The Indian gaming creators were waiting for so long. They were so hungry to showcase their gaming skills to the world. Seeing their passion and engagement, we will double down on our efforts to help them create more useful content like in the field of education,” Cha added.

More than 200 million gamers come to YouTube every single day globally to watch gaming videos and streams. In 2018, they watched over 50 billion hours of gaming content on the platform.

In India, PUBG Mobile videos are over 15 times more frequently uploaded while “Garena Free Fire” (mobile game) videos are fine times more frequently uploaded in India compared to the rest of the world.

“Gaming content in India used to be mostly in Hindi and English. Now we’re seeing the rise of gaming content in other Indic languages such as Marathi, Tamil, Bengali, Telugu and Malayalam. Non-Hindi creators with less than 5,000 subscribers in 2018 are hitting six-figure subscriber numbers today,” informed Cha.

YouTube
The time is ripe to see the Indian gaming ecosystem explode and YouTube will make sure it is right there for the gaming enthusiasts. Pixabay

Livestreaming continues to be an area of growth for creators, with watch-time increasing by 10 times over the last three years.

Among the most-viewed genres in India are Battle Royale, Action Adventure, and Sandbox games such as PUBG Mobile, GTA5 and Minecraft.

In Chennai, the most popular game is “Garena Free Fire” while PUBG Mobile is very popular in Mumbai.

Back in 2017, there was only one channel in the gaming genre over one million subscribers — CarryMinati — which was also an entertainment first channel doing commentary on gameplay.

Over the last two years, there has been a shift from entertainment-led gaming content to core gaming, including live streaming, e-sports and tutorials in local and regional languages, says YouTube.

YouTube
India today is churning out next-generation of gaming creators on YouTube and the momentum is picking up fast not only in English and Hindi but also in vernacular languages. Pixabay

The growth of online gaming in India has exploded over the past few years.

Some of the leading creators include Dynamo Gaming with over 5.61 subscribers, Mortal with over 3.39 million subscribers and CarryisLive with 2.97 million subscribers.

To promote Indian content creators, YouTube is set to kick off its “NextUp for Gamers” initiative in Chennai on November 21.

Launched in India last year, the initiative provides creators with an opportunity to be mentored by production and channel development experts in new production techniques to further enhance their content.

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“The time is ripe to see the Indian gaming ecosystem explode and YouTube will make sure it is right there for the gaming enthusiasts. The momentum is all across the country and is not just limited to few cities,” said Cha. (IANS)