Friday 22 February 2019 4:18 pm

Brands pull adverts from Youtube following allegations of child abuse content

Nestle, Disney, AT&T, Hasbro and the creator of Fortnite have all reportedly pulled advertisements from Youtube following allegations of child abuse content being on the platform.

A spokesperson for Nestle said that the food and drink conglomerate has decided to “pause advertising on Youtube globally” following the discovery that “an extremely low volume” of their ads were shown on the videos in question.

Read more: A year in YouTube – the marketing lessons to learn from 2018

"We will revise our decision upon completion of current measures being taken by Google to ensure Nestle advertising standards are met," the spokesperson said.

AT&T has also pulled ads and will not advertise on Youtube until "Google can protect our brand from offensive content of any kind", the company said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Epic Games confirmed that the company behind Fortnite has suspended "pre-roll advertising" and "reached out to Google/YouTube to determine actions they’ll take to eliminate this type of content from their service".

Disney, and Hasbro have also responded to the allegations by suspending their campaigns with Youtube, according to reports.

The decision comes after a user on Youtube accused the video-hoster's algorithm of facilitating communication between paedophiles on the site.

“Youtube’s recommended algorithm is facilitating paedophiles’ ability to connect with each-other, trade contact info, and link to actual CP in the comments,” Matt Watson wrote in the drop-down box of his video posted last Sunday.

Some of the videos with explicit comments are monetised, meaning they feature advertisements that both Youtube and the content creator get money for showing before or during the video.

Watson alleged in his video that Youtube's monetisation scheme means that the platform profits off of the traffic the “pedophile ring” generates.

A Youtube spokesperson said that strict action was taken following the allegation, disabling the comments and removing comments on videos with minors in them as part of a larger ongoing effort to coordinate with the appropriate authorities and promote child safety.

Read more: Google mistakenly bans Youtubers over non-existent child abuse

The spokesperson said: "Any content – including comments – that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on Youtube."

"There's more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly,” the spokesperson added.

News of the scandal comes amid growing pressure on social media sites to do more to protect children using their services, with Labour considering a fine for internet firms that fail to ensure the safety of users.