- REUTERS/Mike Blake
- A Times investigation found 2 channels on YouTube set up by alleged child predators, which show alarming footage of kids licking their lips and dancing.
- Both predators appeared to be using YouTube as a way of advertising their stash of indecent images to other paedophiles.
- When contacted by The Times, one predator said he had 315GB of indecent images of children.
- YouTube said such content was “abhorrent” and that it was working to delete inappropriate videos.
Paedophiles are using YouTube to showcase indecent images of children to other predators, according to an investigation by The Times.
The newspaper found one channel which had posted several short videos showing alarming footage of children dancing and licking their lips. One video reportedly showed a child aged around ten years old saying: “Hey guys, I got new underwear.”
The Times found that the videos advertised the predator’s email address. When contacted, the person boasted of having 315GB of images of “naked” children.
Another reported abuser called himself Horny Pastor on YouTube had already been flagged to US and Canadian child abuse authorities, but still had a YouTube channel. He had posted five videos including one apparently showing a 12-year-old girl twerking. The user also put a link to the encrypted chat app Telegram to swap explicit content.
Legal experts, researchers, and politicians criticised YouTube’s parent Google after the findings.
Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP currently chairing the Home Affairs Select Committee, told The Times: “I find it beyond belief that this disgusting and illegal material is still being posted on YouTube. It calls into question Google’s fitness for purpose and capability to keep its platform free from illegal material.” Cooper has written to Google for an explanation.
Only last week, Cooper tore into Google, Facebook, and Twitter for effectively “grooming” users by suggesting unsuitable content. “Your algorithms are doing that grooming and radicalising,” she told executives from the three firms.
The Times found that Google had actually recommended the paedophiles’ channels in its “recommended channels” section, and displayed one channel as a “related link.” This, according to one lawyer, is potentially illegal because YouTube is helping abusers find illegal content.
A spokesman for YouTube told The Times: “Content that endangers children is abhorrent and we never want it on YouTube. We have clear policies against videos which endanger children and we enforce them aggressively.”