In an attempt to sort a controversial issue, YouTube is now disabling comments on a majority of channels featuring kids over predatory comments being posted on videos of children.
YouTube will temporarily remove comments from videos that feature minors in the coming months. Only a select few channels with children will be allowed to include a comment section, but even that comes with a caveat: they’ll be required to monitor their comments for safety.
“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 wrote in a blog post.
YouTube also says it’s launched a better algorithm to let it automatically “identify and remove predatory comments.” The classifier is “more sweeping in scope,” according to the blog post, and will catch up to twice as many predatory comments from individuals.
As part of an initial response, YouTube said last week that it had deleted tens of millions of comments and removed more than 400 channels associated with writing predatory comments on videos staring minors.
YouTube also sought to clear up the confusion around how these changes will impact creators’ ability to run ads. In its blog post, YouTube says none of this will affect creators’ monetization.
A YouTube spokesperson told The Verge that although the company understands comment sections are important to creators as a way of measuring engagement, “we also know that this is the right thing to do to protect the YouTube community.”
Videos of older children and teenagers will typically not have the comments disabled unless a specific video is likely to attract predatory attention. That could include, for example, a video of a teenager doing gymnastics.
In addition to updating its comments policy, YouTube said it had terminated several channels that were “endangering” children. The ban included several channels that were adding shocking content in the middle of children’s cartoons.
One of the channels that have now been terminated is FilthyFrankClips, which released a video instructing children how to cut themselves. “Nothing is more important to us than ensuring the safety of young people on the platform,” said YouTube Chief Executive Susan Wojcicki on Twitter.
Keeping the internet safe and harmless for children is one of the major concerns of online platforms and applications, and YouTube is now already making amend to ensure the same.