YouTube yanks ads from anti-vaccination conspiracy channels

YouTube yanks ads from anti-vaccination conspiracy channels

Totaling to 473,000 subscribers, these video channels earn from using anti-vaxx content to gain followers and monetizing views.

The old adage that it takes years to build a reputation but just moments to lose one seems particularly apt with regards to the increasingly-tense situation between YouTube and its advertisers.

Seven different advertisers said they were not aware their ads were being served alongside anti-vaccination content that was found on channels such as VAXXED TV, LarryCook333, and iHealthTube, all of which have since been demonized by YouTube.

Social media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, have been used aggressively by anti-vaccination proponents.

"We have strict policies that govern what videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content are a violation of those policies", YouTube said in a statement on Friday.

As Watson noted in his video, this is a problem that YouTube has been battling for years.

The approach came after just one month, AT&T, the U.S. wireless carrier had announced that they would soon be purchasing advertisements on YouTube after almost a two-year long boycott of the platform.

The company also disabled comments on millions of videos featuring minors.

YouTube said it had taken "immediate action" by deleting offending accounts and reporting the illegal activity to authorities.

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"Comments beneath scores of videos appear to show pedophiles sharing timestamps for parts of the videos where exposed genitals can be seen, or when a child does the splits or lifts up their top to show their nipples", Wired explained, adding, "Some of the children in the videos, most of whom are girls, appear to be as young as five".

Numerous advertisers identified in Watson's video and in Wired's subsequent report - among them Epic Games and GNC - said they've suspended advertising on YouTube.

"Any content - including comments - that endangers minors is abhorrent, and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube", the spokesperson said.

YouTube derives most of its revenue from advertising, and it has been one of Google's fastest-growing units as consumers spend an increasing amount of time watching videos online.

In 2017, AT&T, Verizon and Johnson & Johnson stopped YouTube ad spending after some ads ran over videos allegedly supporting ISIS.

"There's more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly", it said.

LOS ANGELES - YouTube, under fire for facilitating the spread of conspiracy theories and other misinformation, said it will no longer serve ads on channels that espouse anti-vaccination rhetoric.

Readers, your thoughts: is it time for YouTube to turn off comments?

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