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Epic Games pulls Fortnite YouTube ads over child predator concerns

Epic Games pulls Fortnite YouTube ads over child predator concerns

'While investigations are ongoing directly with YouTube and our partners, we have chose to pause advertising on YouTube globally, already effective in North America and several other markets.

Epic Games and Nestle have pulled their pre-roll advertising on YouTube after ads for its videogame Fortnite appeared next to disturbing videos of children online.

Watson claimed that those suspected of being part of the ring have even left links to actual child pornography in the comments sections while YouTube's algorithms have allowed for the monetization of those efforts by suggesting similar videos.

The videos, which reportedly include "children showing their exposed buttocks, underwear and genitals", and "little girls playing Twister, doing gymnastics, playing in the pool and eating ice lollies" are receiving millions of views, with YouTube making money from advertisements on them.

For example, those videos featured comments from child predators that share time stamps meant to sexualize a child featured in a video that, taken at face value, isn't deemed inappropriate content on its own.

"We have paused all pre-roll advertising", an Epic rep told The Verge.

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YouTube said it had removed some of the content, which violated its policies against child endangerment, nudity and other behavior it considers inappropriate. YouTube admits there is more it can do to catch abuse, and in a more timely manner. The spokeswoman also went on to mention, in reference to Watson's video, that total ad spending on the videos mentioned was less than $8,000 within the last 60 days, which YouTube plans to refund.

The scandal poses a challenge for YouTube because the videos themselves are not necessarily problematic.

"Videos of children showing their exposed buttocks, underwear and genitals are racking up millions of views on YouTube-with the site displaying advertising from major cosmetics and auto brands alongside the content", Wired UK wrote.

The move comes just one month after the US wireless carrier announced it would resume buying advertising on YouTube, after a almost two-year boycott of the platform. McDonald's also has pulled YouTube ad spending, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The blogger's clip comes two years after several large brands boycotted YouTube after ads cropped up alongside extremist content. YouTube said it has also reported illegal content to authorities, but the company admitted it has more to do.