YouTube is disabling the comments section on millions of videos featuring children following reports of pedophiles abusing the platform.
A recent report from YouTuber Matt Watson detailed a "soft-core pedophile ring" operating on the site, with pedophiles posting abusive comments on videos of kids and sharing links to child pornography, per NPR. This prompted numerous companies, including Disney, to pull advertising from YouTube.
Now, after previously deleting hundreds of accounts, YouTube said on Thursday it had disabled the comments on "tens of millions of videos that could be subject to predatory behavior." YouTube also said that "over the next few months, we will be broadening this action to suspend comments on videos featuring young minors and videos featuring older minors that could be at risk of attracting predatory behavior."
All videos with children 13 and younger will have their comments disabled, BuzzFeed News reports, while videos featuring minors older than 13 will have their comments turned off if they could attract predatory behavior.
Going forward, YouTube says a "small number" of channels that have children in their videos can keep the comments on, but they will be "required to actively moderate" the comments and "demonstrate a low risk of predatory behavior." YouTube says it is additionally launching a new comments classifier that will help better "identify and remove predatory comments."