Nestle, Disney & Epic Games pull YouTube ads amid paedophile infiltration fears

Yolanda Curtis
February 21, 2019

Epic Games joined several other YouTube advertisement partners in pulling and pausing their pre-roll advertisements on Google's video service.

Epic Games is joined by Disney and Nestle is their decision to pause ads on YouTube. A spokeswoman for Nestle SA also disclosed yesterday that it will be cutting ties with YouTube which is owned by Google.

"I can confirm that all Nestlé companies in the U.S. have paused advertising on YouTube", a Nestlé spokesperson told Gizmodo in a statement by email.

Earlier this week, YouTuber Matt Watson spotlighted how YouTube's algorithm was enabling a "wormhole" of videos featuring children which were being targeted by predators in the comment sections. A YouTube rep said the videos he highlighted have since been removed, and illegal activity reported where it was found. "There's more to be done, and we continue to work on improve and catch abuse more quickly".

In a sign of the complicated media ecosystem that now exists on YouTube, where individual video creators can earn a share of the site's advertising revenue, the reaction to the story from the wider YouTube community has not been entirely positive.

In the wake of all of these advertisers leaving YouTube, some content creators are anxious that there could be another "Adpocalypse" happening on the platform. He showed how in a matter of clicks with a new YouTube account, users could find videos filled with provocative comments about children.

"When we learned of this issue, we were - and still are - absolutely horrified and reached out to YouTube to rectify this immediately", Senka Hadzimuratovic, a spokeswoman for the online grammar tool Grammarly, said in an email. She said YouTube had also terminated over 400 YouTube channels for comments that they left on videos and reported illegal comments to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

This is a reference to previous occasions when large advertisers pulled money from the site over concerns about YouTube's ability to ensure their adverts did not appear alongside disturbing or inappropriate content, such as videos published by terrorist organisations or hate preachers.

The above-mentioned companies are deciding to pull their ads from YouTube because the controversial videos involving young girls, ran right next to ads placed by them. In a statement to Marketing, a YouTube spokesperson said, "Any content - including comments - that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube".

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