The Latest YouTube Ads Safety Controversy: What You Need to Know


There has been a lot of controversy surrounding YouTube recently, which has affected its advertising business. There have been some safety issues which have been raised by major brands. These safety issues have led to some major brands pulling their YouTube ads from the platform. This post is going to run you through the whole YouTube ads safety controversy, its origin and the resultant effect on the platform.

The Latest YouTube Ads Safety Controversy: What You Need to Know

How the YouTube Ads Safety Controversy Began

A video blogger Matt Watson recently posted a 20 a minute clip showing how YouTube comments were being used to identify certain videos where young girls were doing certain activities which could be viewed as sexually suggestive by paedophiles. Such videos included young girls doing gymnastic or posing in front of a mirror. In the video, Matt Watson showed how if users clicked on the videos, the YouTube algorithm will recommend similar videos. He also revealed how paedophiles were able to communicate with each other via the YouTube comment section. Watson showed us how the shared links to soft-core and occasionally hardcore child pornography. Watson’s video spread like wide fire and 3 days after the video was shared, it already had 1.7 million views.

Brands Pull Their YouTube Ads, due to the Safety Controversy

As a result of the whole controversy, many brands decided to pull or holds its spending on YouTube advertising. Walt Disney was one of such brands, seeing as one of the videos showed ran next to ads placed by Disney. All Nestle companies in the U.S also paused all their YouTube advertising, seeing as their YouTube ads were also running next to the videos. Other brands who pulled their YouTube ads include Video game maker Epic Games and German packaged food giant Dr August Oetker KG. Some other major brands were reported to have withdrawn their digital advertising accounts with the Video platform.

YouTube Responds to the YouTube Ads Safety Controversy

The video platform responded quickly to the controversy by closing down over 400 channels which hosted such inappropriate comments. They also disabled comments of millions of more videos showing minors in the aforementioned activities. YouTube also referred to all illegal content to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

A spokesperson for the platform spoke on the scandal, stating that any content even comments that endanger minors are abhorrent. The spokesperson stated that the platform has clear policies prohibiting such content on its platform. In response to the scandal, YouTube also allegedly held a conference call with reps from all the major ad agency holding companies and some advertisers. According to sources, the call was made to address concerns of their clients and their agency partners. A memo was also allegedly sent detailing recent and forthcoming efforts on that front.


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