YouTube has "expanded its enforcement guidelines" concerning the removal of content featuring minors "that may be endangering a child, even if that was not the uploader's intent", Johanna Wright, vice president of product management said in a statement. "If they see something I cant make them unsee it, that image is stuck in their head".
YouTube said it has deleted at least 50 channels and removed thousands of videos in the past couple of weeks in support of the new tougher guidelines.
Video-sharing website YouTube steps up its stance against child exploitation as reports surface that pedophiles are able to work around its protective mechanisms.
The move comes after the video streaming site was warned it was in danger of becoming a "sweet shop for paedophiles" that profits off advertisements on sick videos of kids.
The presence of those infringing videos, which are aimed at kids, created to excel in YouTube's recommendation algorithm, and populated with popular family characters like Elsa and Spiderman, has triggered a controversy called ElsaGate. YouTube also chose to crack down on "inappropriate sexual or predatory comments on videos featuring minors", by announcing that it would further disable the entire comment section for any videos of minors where these types of comments would be found.
Concerns about children's videos gained new force in the last two weeks after reports in BuzzFeed and the New York Times and an online essay by British writer James Bridle pointed out questionable clips. The channel had more than 8 million subscribers when YouTube shut it down last week. "When you block a video or channel, you will no longer see that video on the YouTube Kids apps when you are signed in".
Comments from hundreds of pedophiles were posted alongside the videos, which appeared to have been uploaded by the children themselves, according to a Times investigation.
MARS and Lidl have announced they will pull adverts from YouTube following chilling claims that paedophiles use the site to target kids.
A blog post earlier this month titled 'Something is wrong on the internet' brought the issue to wider attention, detailing many of worst Elsagate trends such as characters - and occasionally even real children - being forced to consume faeces and urine, enduring injections, suicides, drownings, being buried alive, murders, rapes, swapping heads, cannibalism, babies crying and extreme violence. "There shouldn't be any ads running on this content and we are working urgently to fix this".