Disney and Others Pull Ads From YouTube Over Questionable Content

Disney and other companies have pulled their advertising from YouTube following a report that their ads were being played before questionable material.

What’s happening:

  • According to Bloomberg The Walt Disney company is said to have pulled its advertising spending from YouTube.
  • This decision comes following a blogger’s report that, comments on the Google-owned site “were being used to facilitate a ‘soft-core pedophilia ring.’”
  • Reports say that some of the inappropriate videos in question ran next to ads placed by Disney and Nestle.
  • According to a Nestle spokeswoman, all of the company’s U.S. divisions have paused advertising on YouTube.
  • Other companies including Epic Games Inc. and Dr. August Oetker KG are saying they have postponed spending on YouTube as their ads were shown before the videos.
  • Disney also withheld its spending, according to Bloomberg sources, who have asked not to be identified.
  • Over the weekend, vlogger, Matt Watson, posted video explaining that comments on YouTube were used to “identify certain videos in which young girls were in activities that could be construed as sexually suggestive.”
  • Some videos even included normal activities, such as posing in front of a mirror and doing gymnastics.
  • Watson demonstrated that if users were to click on one of the suggestive videos, YouTube’s algorithms would recommended similar ones.

What they’re saying:

  • Spokeswoman for YouTube to Bloomberg: “Any content—including comments—that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments,”
  • YouTube has also released their updated policy regarding how they will handle content that “crosses the line” of appropriateness.