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YouTube urged to do more to protect children from pornography

Online Safety
25 April 2022
You Tube

Video giant YouTube has been urged to do more to protect younger users from exposure to pornography after it emerged big channels on the website contain links to explicit content.

An investigation by The i revealed that some users are flooding the comments sections of popular YouTube channels with links containing suspected scams and pornographic content. This is despite YouTube claiming that it had addressed this problem back in 2019.

Child safety charity the NSPCC expressed concern that the situation is still unresolved. Spokesman Andy Burrows told The newspaper:

“It is concerning that young YouTube users are being increasingly targeted and directed to potentially harmful pornographic sites and encouraged to click on links that falsely promise free online currency for games. YouTube should be taking steps to make sure children aren’t being unwittingly directed to pornographic material, or lured into clicking such links."

Last week, measures to stop children accessing pornography on the internet in the government's Online Safety Bill were welcomed by MPs across the political spectrum.

In key respects, the new proposals are better than a previous age verification scheme that was abandoned by the government in 2019. This time, the scheme will cover social media, user-to-user generated content and all pornographic websites.

The Online Safety Bill passed second reading and will move to committee stage where amendments are expected to be tabled, debated and voted on. After committee, the legislation will be considered by all MPs before moving the Lords.

Learn more about age verification and why it is important in this video resource.

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