YouTube pulled 150,000 videos of children over predatory comments

It also disabled comments on 625,000 clips and closed accounts.

Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

YouTube is taking extensive action after word broke that pedophiles were targeting videos of children with vile comments. The streaming service reported that it had taken down over 150,000 videos that had fallen prey to comment abuse, and had disabled comments for more than 625,000 clips. It also terminated the accounts of several hundred users behind those comments. You can read its full statement on the subject below.

The move comes just days after YouTube cracked down on child-exploiting videos, and just as it had to pull disturbing autocomplete results. It has been promising stricter enforcement of its policies on both the content of videos and their comments.

As with YouTube's reaction to hate videos, the takedowns and policy enforcement measures are welcome, but also relatively late -- they're coming as advertisers are pulling out and the damage has already been done. The tougher enforcement should reduce the chances of a situation like this going forward, but the rash of discoveries suggests that there may need to be more proactive campaigns that catch abuse before it makes headlines.

"In the past week, we've tightened up and strengthened the enforcement of our policies to terminate the accounts of users making predatory comments on videos featuring minors. As a result, we terminated hundreds of accounts and removed over 150,000 videos from our platform. We also turned off comments on over 625,000 videos targeted by child predators. Finally, we removed ads from nearly 2 million videos and over 50,000 channels masquerading as family-friendly content."