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YouTube Volunteers Claim Child Predators Still Go Largely Unchecked

YouTube's Trusted Flaggers are meant to help the website keep kids safe against dangerous adults, but the Flaggers say the website doesn't take their complaints seriously.


The Internet can be a dangerous place for kids. In order to protect them against harassment and abuse online, YouTube created a special network of volunteers called Trusted Flaggers, who are meant to identify posts and comments on the video site that may indicate child endangerment or possible pedophiles. This is an idea that pretty much everyone can get behind, but several Trusted Flaggers have explained that YouTube is not really listening to their warnings. They’re saying that YouTube only responds to a tiny number of the total complaints, which has left the majority of warnings and reports totally unchecked.

A volunteer who spoke with the BBC claimed he had made more than 9,000 reports to YouTube last December, but not a single one has been processed by the company. He’s not the only one who feels YouTube is all talk and no action. A small group of Trusted Flaggers found that of the 526 reports they filed over a 60-day period, only 15 had received responses.

Another volunteer, who chose to remain anonymous to not risk being kicked out of the Trusted Flaggers, gave a grim diagnosis of YouTube’s current system, saying “there is no reliable way for a concerned parent, child in danger, or anyone else to reliably report and get action on a predatory channel.”

The safety of children has to be a top priority for YouTube, but it looks like the site’s methodology is more about lip service than real results. Hopefully, YouTube recognizes this problem and immediately takes the proper measures to improve the system by listening to the warnings of the Trusted Flaggers.