Google-owned video site , YouTube is trying to clean up its site as it deals with controversies concerning minors on the platform.
YouTube is angry because some videos with children were the target of sexually inappropriate comments. In response, over hundreds of accounts were deactivated and more than 150,000 videos removed 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 move comes as several advertisers reportedly pulled ads from YouTube over the controversy, including HP, Mars, Cadbury, Deutsche Bank and Adidas .
A representative for HP said that they have strict brand safety protocols in place across all online advertising, including YouTube. HP suspended all advertising worldwide on YouTube after learning that one of its ads was placed “in a terrible and inappropriate context.” That instance, the spokesperson said, appears to be the result of a content misclassification by Google. “HP has strict brand safety protocols in place across all online advertising, including YouTube and this appears to be the result of a content misclassification by Google.”
The video sharing service 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.”
The company also said it removed ads from nearly 2 million videos and more than 50,000 channels that tried to pass as family-friendly but featured inappropriate content.
Recently, it outlined new rules to make the platform 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 company has faced an advertiser boycott. Earlier this year, advertisers fled the site after their ads appeared next to extremist and hate content because of YouTube’s automated advertising technology.