CommBank continues ad ban despite YouTube disabling comments globally

By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 4 March 2019

YouTube has disabled comments on million of videos featuring minors, following the discovery of a “soft-core paedophile ring” on the platform.

Last week companies including Coles, CommBank, Woolworths and Coca-Cola stopped all advertising on the site after blogger Matt Watson revealed that YouTube’s recommended algorithm facilitates paedophiles’ ability to connect with each-other, trade contact info, and link to exploitive content in the comments.

The Australian government also stopped advertising on the platform and in the US big brands such as Disney, Hasbro and Nestlé also fled the platform.

Now, the Google-owned platform said it’s continuing its work to better protect children and families, which includes suspending comments on tens of millions of videos.

Despite the move to address the issue, CommBank told AdNews its advertising on the platform remains on pause, saying it will wait until the matter is “fully investigated and resolved”.

“Now, we will begin suspending comments on most videos that feature minors, with the exception of a small number of channels that actively moderate their comments and take additional steps to protect children,” a YouTube spokesperson said.

“We understand that comments are an important way creators build and connect with their audiences, we also know that this is the right thing to do to protect the YouTube community.”

YouTube has also launched a new comments classifier to identify and remove predatory comments and has terminated channels that attempt to endanger children in any way as part of its measures.

AdNews has approached other brands for comment.

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