YouTube set to ban comments on videos of children
YouTube is to ban comments from videos featuring children.
The move was announced as part of an effort to crack down on "predatory behaviour" targeting children on the world's most-used video site.
It comes after persistent reports of paedophile comments being openly left within comments sections of videos featuring children.
"Over the past week, we disabled comments from tens of millions of videos that could be subject to predatory behaviour," a post on YouTube's administrator site said.
"These efforts are focused on videos featuring young minors and we will continue to identify videos at risk over the next few months."
The online platform, which has billions of video views on a weekly basis, will roll the measure out more fully to all videos "featuring young minors and videos featuring older minors that could be at risk of attracting predatory behaviour".
The subsidiary of Google is also to incorporate a more advanced algorithm that will let it automatically "identify and remove predatory comments" and will be "more sweeping in scope".
The tech giant believes that this will result in up to twice as many predatory comments from individuals being caught.
"No form of content that endangers minors is acceptable on YouTube, which is why we have terminated certain channels that attempt to endanger children in any way," said the post. "Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges targeting any audience are also clearly against our policies."
YouTube's move comes as Irish authorities look likely to scale back their warnings about the 'Momo' meme that was alleged to be scaring children.
While schools and police forces issued warnings about the internet-based meme over the past week, there has been little evidence of its existence, leading many commentators to decry it as a hoax.
"Nothing is more important to us than ensuring the safety of young people on the platform," said Susan Wojcicki, YouTube's chief executive.