YouTube has cracked down on the comment sections of videos featuring minors in them — sort of. Many videos that have young children in them still have comment sections and are still being used to exploit children.
But something far more sinister is skating by YouTube’s algorithms: advertisements for child pornography.
After vlogger Matt Watson released a video that showed how the comment section of videos with minors in them was being used to exploit children, YouTube was forced to take a stance. In March, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said, “We are no longer going to allow comments on videos that are featuring young minors and older minors that are engaged in risky behavior.”
YouTube later clarified that “A small number of creators will be able to keep comments enabled on these types of videos. These channels will be required to actively moderate their comments, beyond just using our moderation tools, and demonstrate a low risk of predatory behavior.”
YouTube said that measures are being taken to eliminate comments from videos featuring minors, but this is an effort that will take several months. There is not a hard deadline for when this will be completed at this point. (RELATED: YouTube’s New Content Guideline Would Likely Have Banned People From Criticizing Smollett’s Accusations)
But the problem is far beyond the comment sections. In a research effort to follow up on how YouTube was tracking these comments, The Daily Caller not only found comments on videos with children in them but videos that had been watermarked with young, prepubescent girls wearing what can only be described as lingerie.
The images, disturbing enough on their own, were then coupled with users leaving comments where they were requesting the girls by name. This fact altered The Daily Caller’s investigation into a search that was directed towards how child pornography was being propagated through a public social media website, and neither YouTube algorithms nor human monitors were catching it.
In the video above, Caitlin McFall takes you through her research that led to an FBI investigation.
Andrew Kerr contributed to this report.