Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Nestle, McDonald's and other major companies have yanked their ads from YouTube over concerns that pedophiles allegedly used certain videos on the platform to trade information and bring attention to young girls in the comments section.
The issue came to a head when blogger Matt Watson posted a 20-minute video Sunday as to how he believed members of a "soft-core pedophile ring" are making suggestive comments on videos featuring young girls taking part in innocent events like gymnastics, yoga and other activities.
Watson claimed that those suspected of being part of the ring have even left links to actual child pornography in the comments sections while YouTube's algorithms have allowed for the monetization of those efforts by suggesting similar videos.
The Walt Disney Company Wednesday joined Nestle SA, Epic Games Inc., the creator of the smash hit Fortnite, German food packager Dr. August Oetker KG in postponing spending on YouTube, which is owned by Google, because of the controversy, Bloomberg reported.
McDonald's, which Watson identified as one of the companies that had ads running alongside the videos and questionable comments, said it has postponed advertising as well, the Wall Street Journal reported.
A YouTube representative said it swiftly took action to remove those comments and cancel those channels that appeared to harbor such content.
"[YouTube] took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling comments on tens of millions of videos that include minors," the representative said.
"There's more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly," the representative added.
A Nestle representative said that it will work with YouTube and determine when to start advertising with the platform again.
"We have received reassuring information from Google on temporary actions being taken and will revise our decision upon confirmation of those actions and our investigation being completed," the representative said.