Child Exploitation on YouTube

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Warzel in his article “YouTube Is Addressing Its Massive Child Exploitation Problem” looks at how YouTube was made to act after they were contacted by BuzzFeed.

The author notes that it has become a common trend for people to post videos of children in compromising situations to get views. Some of the critical things Warzel talks about in the article include:

The first outstanding point that the author talks about is the unnerving trend across YouTube that has seen many people publish disturbing videos of children in compromising situations. The channels rake up millions of views which in a way will benefit the owner since they will get paid by YouTube.

The second outstanding point is on how BuzzFeed news found compromising videos that were being shared and reported them to YouTube. What followed was the removal of the videos. The author also reports that several the accounts that were having these videos were suspended despite them having millions of people who had subscribed to them. The suspension was due to the violation of YouTube rules.

The third outstanding point is how YouTube had guaranteed its users that the exercise of deleting accounts and explicit content was part of its more significant efforts to make the platform better. The company was also focusing their attention on ways they can crack down advertisements that were displaying violence despite the use of family-friendly characters.

The fourth outstanding point is the author indicating the need for YouTube to review its policies and technology. One example is how some of the explicit content is not captured by the YouTube Kids’ filter.

The last key outstanding point is how the author indicates that YouTube faces the challenge of moderating explicit content since there are millions of videos shared online every day. Through the efforts of BuzzFeed news, the company promised to review most of the content in the platform through working with more stakeholders. In conclusion, the author indicates that YouTube stated that the fight against such content would be ongoing and by using technologies such as machine learning, they will better address the issue.

The article has a significant impact on the contents that will be shared online in the coming years. The criticism on YouTube and the actions they took is a good indicator and a lesson for other platforms that allow such content to be shared among its users. The article is one of the many that have been written about the issue of child exploitation; it shows the need for policies to be formulated. The policies will ensure that children will be secure as what they can watch online will be safe. For other people, when actions such as suspension of their account are done, it will prevent people from sharing exploit content. It will also help to address issues such as pornography which has been a bottleneck for most companies such as YouTube and social media channels. The importance that can have is ensuring explicit content such as children being in compromising situations will not be shared anymore. It will also be important since when the content especially advertisements are verified, children will not be affected. It is a right way of maintaining morality in society. The article also shows us the role we can play in ensuring YouTube and other channels will be safe for everybody. When we report some of the explicit content to YouTube, we will be playing a significant role rather than complain and wait for YouTube to discover and remove the content.

Critical questions:

1. What role can people play in ensuring content shared on YouTube upholds the moral standards of society?

2. How can companies like YouTube be held accountable for content that is shared online?

3. Is there a need to take legal action against people who allow explicit content to be shared on their YouTube accounts?


Warzel Charlie. (2017). “YouTube Is Addressing Its Massive Child Exploitation Problem.”

Retrieved from:

September 11, 2023
Subject area:

Child Abuse Children Youtube

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