Epic Games has pulled pre-roll adverts from YouTube after evidence of child exploitation was discovered on the video sharing platform.
Epic Games has made the decision to pause all YouTube pre-roll advertisements after a recent video has exposed a “softcore pedophilia ring” operating on YouTube’s platform.
The other night I was running news on how Trainer Tips, a popular Pokemon GO YouTuber had his account banned. The ban came after the YouTube AI moderation flagged his video for containing “nudity or sexually provocative content” despite there being none. It turns out that the abbreviation used for Combat Power “CP” was possibly being mistaken for Child Pornography.
In Trainer Tips’ video, he makes reference to a video that went live on February 18 and features a creator called MattsWhatItIs who explains that he has discovered not only a wormhole with YouTube’s algorithm but also pedophiles operating in plain sight. He demonstrates how this wormhole can be accessed from a fresh Google account and uses a VPN.
The video itself is available to watch here and runs for 20 minutes with Matt showing evidence of child exploitation with comments linking to explicit sites, timestamps for the video showing underage girls in suggestive positions while performing dances and…well it’s downright creepy and disgusting. As the video goes on these videos start to include advertisements such as pre-roll adverts for McDonald’s, Disney, and more.
According to The Verge, a spokesperson for Epic Games has stated that “We have paused all pre-roll advertising.” They also tell The Verge, “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.”
Epic Games aren’t the only company to do this after others learned of Matt’s video a Grammarly spokesperson told Wired “We’re absolutely horrified and have reached out to YouTube to rectify this immediately”. A Peloton spokesperson also told Wired “it was working with its media buying agency to investigate why its adverts were being displayed against such videos”.
A YouTube spokesperson did talk to The Verge and said,
“We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting 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, There’s more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly.”
While there didn’t seem to be any adverts shown during the video related to Epic Games, it looks like the company is taking action regardless which makes sense considering Fortnite has a large player base who are young children.
The Verge details that it is unclear if Epic Games will bring pre-roll adverts back to YouTube when something has been done.