YouTube to ban comments on videos featuring kids

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YouTube on Thursday announced plans to suspend commenting on any videos ‘featuring young minors and videos featuring older minors that could be at risk of attracting predatory behavior’ over the next few months.

A select group of content creators will not have their comments disabled, but they will be required to ‘actively moderate’ the comments themselves, YouTube wrote in a blog post.

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YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki acknowledged the concerns, tweeting, ‘Nothing is more important to us than ensuring the safety of young people on the platform.’

It will take YouTube several months to disable comments on all videos featuring minors, the company said. It already started the process last week when it turned off comments from tens of millions of videos.

It has also prioritised the launch of an AI moderator that is ‘more sweeping in scope and will detect and remove two times more individual comments’ than its predecessor, in an attempt to identify and remove predatory comments before they can cause harm.

Advertisers including Nestle, AT&T and Fortnite-maker Epic Games pulled ads from YouTube last week after the inappropriate comments about children were unearthed by a popular YouTuber and media reports.

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