YouTube deletes 150,000 videos as it cleans up kids' content

The Google-owned video site faces controversy over inappropriate videos and comments aimed at children -- and major brands have reportedly pulled ads.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read

YouTube is facing another advertiser boycott. 


YouTube is trying to clean up its site as it deals with controversies concerning minors on the service.  

The Google-owned video site has drawn ire because some videos with children were the target of sexually inappropriate comments. In response, YouTube killed hundreds of accounts and removed more than 150,000 videos from the platform this week, a spokeswoman said in a statement. The site also turned off comments on more than 625,000 videos targeted by alleged child predators.

The purge comes as several advertisers reportedly pulled ads from YouTube over the controversy, including Adidas and Deutsche Bank. Representatives for those brands didn't respond to requests for comment.

YouTube has also been under fire after the filters for YouTube Kids, the version of the site designed for younger audiences, failed to recognize or pull down some videos that feature disturbing imagery but are aimed at children -- like Mickey Mouse lying in a pool of blood, or a claymation version of Spider-Man urinating on Elsa, the Disney princess from "Frozen."

Watch this: YouTube deletes 150,000 videos after controversy

In addition, YouTube said Tuesday that it removed ads from nearly 2 million videos and more than 50,000 channels that tried to pass off as family-friendly but that featured inappropriate content.

Last week, the company outlined new rules to make YouTube safer for kids. They included using machine learning and automated tools to identify inappropriate videos, as well as doubling the number of human reviewers to police the content.

This isn't the first time YouTube has faced an advertiser boycott. Earlier this year, advertisers fled YouTube after their ads appeared next to extremist and hate content because of YouTube's automated advertising technology.

Major brands, including AT&T and Johnson & Johnson, ditched advertising on the platform. But Ruth Porat, Google's CFO, said on an earnings conference call last month that most of the advertisers that boycotted have returned to the platform. 

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