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Tech
News18 » Tech
1-min read

Google Moves to Fix YouTube Glitch Exploited For Child Porn

Google-owned YouTube said Thursday it was taking action to close a loophole that enabled users to share comments and links on child pornography over the video-sharing service.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:February 22, 2019, 10:35 AM IST
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Google Moves to Fix YouTube Glitch Exploited For Child Porn
Google Moves to Fix YouTube Glitch Exploited For Child Porn (Reuters)
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The response came after a YouTube creator this week revealed what he called a "wormhole" that allowed comments and connections on child porn alongside innocuous videos. "Any content -- including comments -- that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube," a YouTube spokesman said in an email response to an AFP query.

"We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling comments on tens of millions of videos that include minors. There's more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly." The move came after Matt Watson, a YouTube creator with some 26,000 subscribers, revealed the workings of what he termed a "wormhole" into a pedophile ring that allowed users to trade social media contacts and links to child porn in YouTube comments.

Watson, who uses the name MattsWhatItIs, added that YouTube's recommendation algorithm "due to some kind of glitch is actually facilitating this." Because ads automatically appear with many YouTube videos, Watson said the actions of the company amounted to "monetizing" the exploitation. The post by Watson sparked a series of news reports, and according to some media, boycotts of YouTube ads from major firms including Nestle and Disney.

The glitch appeared to allow some users to circumvent bans on child porn by Google and other internet platforms. YouTube said it was taking "an aggressive approach, beyond our normal protections" by disabling comments on tens of millions of videos that include minors, and by removing "inappropriate comments" alongside videos. The company said it was also reporting any illegal comments to authorities.

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