Welp, if there’s anything that might finally convince Google to overhaul its horrible, awful, no-good YouTube video algorithms that somehow start you with puppy vids and get you to creepy conspiracy vids in five clicks, it’s the loss of that sweet, sweet Fortnite ad revenue.
As The Verge reports, former YouTuber Matt Watson this week exposed how innocuous searches were now leading to “disturbing and exploitative videos of children” with comments overtly sexualizing the young people within them.
Apparently, Epic Games is having none of that, and it’s joining other advertisers – Kotaku mentions McDonalds and Nestle – in yanking its ads from YouTube, presumably until Google cleans up the pool. For its part, YouTube says it “took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments,” though of course the real problem is how Google aims to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Relatedly, this week prominent Pokemon Go vloggers found their own YouTube accounts banned due to supposed “sexual content” that wasn’t actually there. Turns out it was a false positive based on the term “CP” in the title, which stands for combat power in POGO, and “child porn” to people who trawl YouTube looking for these things. Google reinstated those accounts once the mixup blew up, but hey wouldn’t it be great if the second largest search engine on the planet could get it together?