Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

YouTube bans comments on all videos featuring children

Google has announced it is removing the ability to comment on all YouTube videos featuring children. The company said almost all uploaded clips featuring under 18s will have the comments section disabled.

YouTube’s decision comes following recent reports revealing the scale of an issue with paedophiles leaving explicit and obscene comments on the channels of popular young YouTubers.

Changes will be made to the service over the coming months. In a post on its creator blog, Team YouTube said the new steps were critical for keeping young people safe online.

The company says it has also accelerated the launch of a more effective comment classifier, which will be able to identify and remove predatory comments. That system is now detecting and removing twice as many comments. Google is also assuring content creators, the changes will not affect the monetisation of videos.

Related: Best video editing apps

The company says: “Over the past week, we disabled comments from tens of millions of videos that could be subject to predatory behaviour. These efforts are focused on videos featuring young minors and we will continue to identify videos at risk over the next few months. Over the next few months, we will be broadening this action to suspend comments on videos featuring young minors and videos featuring older minors that could be at risk of attracting predatory behaviour.

“A small number of creators will be able to keep comments enabled on these types of videos. These channels will be required to actively moderate their comments, beyond just using our moderation tools, and demonstrate a low risk of predatory behaviour. We will work with them directly and our goal is to grow this number over time as our ability to catch violative comments continues to improve.”

Is this scorched earth policy the only way to tackle the online predators? Should YouTube have done this years ago anyway? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.