YouTube Removes Ads from Anti-Vaccine Channels


YouTube responded by saying, "For reference, over the past few days, we've taken a number of actions to better protect the YouTube community from content that endangers minors", - in a statement, YouTube also say they are "working incredibly hard to root out the terrible behaviour on our platform... we've disabled comments on tens of millions of videos".

YouTube has responded by stating that they're working hard to solve the problem. For example, many anti-vaccination videos on YouTube now point viewers to Wikipedia's "Vaccine hesitancy" article.

This isnt the first time that YouTube has encountered advertiser pullback in response to public backlash and brand safety concerns related to bad ad placements or extremist content: YouTubes so-called Adpocalypse of 2017 resulted in hundreds of companies puling spend from the platform.

On Sunday, Matt Watson, a video blogger, posted a 20-minute clip detailing how comments on YouTube were used to identify certain videos in which young girls were in activities that could be construed as sexually suggestive, such as posing in front of a mirror and doing gymnastics. "We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them, we immediately take action and remove ads", a YouTube spokesperson said in an email statement to BuzzFeed News.

But the comments get much worse than suggestions, Watson said in his video, noting that some people use the section to exchange social contacts or WhatsApp numbers or even links to child porn. And it doesn't just recommend more of these videos with kids just being kids, they're recommending the videos that are popular with pedophiles. Now the company tells the New York Times today, "Until Google can protect our brand from offensive content of any kind, we are removing all advertising from YouTube".

When Free Hess found the video on YouTube last week, she posted it on her blog - warning other parents to take control over what their kids may be watching.

Concerned YouTuber and mother Jessica Ballinger reached out to the site for comment on February 21, after noticing that a number of videos featuring her five-year-old son had been demonetized.

Nestle, Disney, AT&T, Hasbro and the creator of Fortnite have all reportedly pulled advertisements from Youtube following allegations of child abuse content being on the platform.

This cycle of back-and-forth between advertisers and YouTube is likely to keep repeating on open platforms because of the volume of uploaded content on the platform.

YouTube has banned videos on channels promoting anti-vaccination conspiracy theories and pseudo-science from running adverts monetizing the content.

Despite being criticized by the majority of the creators, some came out in the defense of YouTube.