Major companies pull YouTube ads following report of ‘a soft-core pedophile ring’


Several major companies have reportedly pulled advertisements on YouTube following a report that the comment sections on the site have been used to facilitate “a soft-core pedophile ring.”

Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Walt Disney Co. has joined Nestle and video game maker Epic Games in pulling advertising from YouTube, days after a YouTube user named Matt Watson uploaded a video explaining how YouTube comment sections are used to identify and share exploitative videos of young girls.

{mosads}Watson said in his video that YouTube’s algorithm has helped facilitate the ability of pedophiles to trade social media contacts, provide links to “actual child porn” and trade “unlisted videos in secret.”

Bloomberg News cited “people with knowledge of the matter” in reporting that Disney has since withheld its advertising spending from YouTube.

A spokesperson for Nestle told CNBC that “all Nestle companies in the U.S. have paused advertising on YouTube.”

A spokesperson for Epic Games told CNBC that the company has “paused all pre-roll advertising.”

“Through our advertising agency, we have reached out to Google/YouTube to determine actions they’ll take to eliminate this type of content from their service,” the spokesperson added. 

In a statement to Bloomberg News, a YouTube spokesperson said the company has taken “immediate action” by deleting accounts, referring illegal activity to authorities and “disabling violative comments.”

“Any content — including comments — that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments,” the spokesperson said.


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