Numerous major companies suspended campaigns on YouTube early this week after ads began popping up on videos depicting children in threatening situations, according to Fox News.
Mars Inc., Adidas, and the parent company of spirits Tanquerey and Captain Morgan have all suspended their accounts with YouTube until the issue is addressed.
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The videos were highlighted in a BuzzFeed report that described a “vast, disturbing, and wildly popular universe of videos” that included live-action footage of children depicted in compromising situations. YouTube took down some videos and responded by saying it would do a better job of enforcing its community guidelines.
Dozens of users have also claimed that YouTube’s autofill results include phrases that promote pedophilia—for example, typing “how to have” into the search box brought up “how to have s*x with your kids.”
Some reports speculated that a troll campaign might have set out to hijack the website’s algorithm. A spokesperson for Youtube said that “our teams were alerted to this profoundly disturbing autocomplete result and we worked to quickly remove it as soon as we were made aware.”
The Google-owned site has been under heavy scrutiny in recent months as it’s seemingly failed to address videos promoting terrorism and extremism, while simultaneously demonetizing videos belonging to vloggers such as the popular conservative duo, Diamond And Silk.