YouTube’s content recommendation algorithm has created an “open gate for pedophiles” by pushing videos featuring children, according to a New York Times report.
The Times reported that the video sharing site’s algorithm system curated and recommended videos of children, helping spread the content among predators.
“YouTube had curated the videos from across its archives, at times plucking out the otherwise innocuous home movies of unwitting families,” the report said. “In many cases, its algorithm referred users to the videos after they watched sexually themed content.”
In a blog post Monday, YouTube said that it was reducing recommendations. “We expanded our efforts from earlier this year around limiting recommendations of borderline content to include videos featuring minors in risky situations,” it said. “While the content itself does not violate our policies, we recognize the minors could be at risk of online or offline exploitation.”
YouTube, which is owned by Google, said it already has applied the changes to tens of millions of videos across its platform.
In the blog post, YouTube also said it updated enforcement of its live-streaming policy to prevent younger minors from live-streaming unless they clearly are accompanied by an adult.
YouTube also announced it's disabling comments on videos featuring minors, noting that it already has disabled comments on tens of millions of videos featuring minors across the platform. This, the company explained, aimed to reduce the risk of child exploitation. “Additionally, we implemented a classifier that helped us remove 2x the number of violative comments,” it said.
Earlier this year YouTube faced an advertiser backlash following claims that pedophiles were infiltrating the comments sections of videos featuring children.
This past March, YouTube banned comments on most videos featuring minors.
Fox News’ Alex Diaz, Christopher Carbone and Fox Business Network's Daniel Hillsdon contributed to this report.
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