Several advertisers have pulled digital advertising spending from YouTube over growing concerns that the video site has been facilitating paedophile networks.
Nestlé, the world’s biggest food manufacturer, said on Wednesday that it had decided to halt advertising on YouTube globally “while investigations are ongoing directly with YouTube and our partners”.
Epic Games, the US developer of the game Fortnite, also paused its spending on YouTube and Disney has reportedly taken similar measures.
The decisions come after an online blogger made a video showing that “soft-core paedophiles” were connecting with each other in the comments section of YouTube videos of young children, and sometimes even sharing links to hardcore child pornography. The videos were often innocuous but sometimes included child nudity.
In many cases, the algorithms on YouTube, which is owned by Google’s Alphabet, actively recommended this content to users. Some of the videos also ran adverts from big companies.