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YouTube tightens rules to keep sexual predators away from minors

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In the face of allegations that YouTube is being used by paedophiles to target minors, the Google-owned video streaming platform said it is now disabling comments on videos featuring minors that could be at risk of attracting predatory behaviour.

Due to the on-going paedophilia content controversy on YouTube, several international companies including Disney, Nestle and Fortnite maker Epic Games pulled out their advertisements from the platform this week.

Many users also alleged that YouTube was being careless with monitoring content on its app.

YouTube, however, claimed that it has been terminating accounts and channels over the past few weeks that have violated the platform’s policies.

“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,” YouTube said in a blog post on Thursday.

“Over the past week, we disabled comments from tens of millions of videos that could be subject to predatory behaviour,” YouTube said, adding that over the next few months, it will be broadening this action to suspend comments on videos featuring young minors.

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But the platform is not introducing a blanket ban on comments for all videos featuring minors.

“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,” the company wrote.

YouTube said it has a new comments classifier in place that is more sweeping in scope, and will detect and remove two times more individual comments.

A study by the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute of the University of Toledo in Ohio, US recently showed that human traffickers are exploiting social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or SnapChat, as well as dating apps such as Tinder, Blendr and Yellow to hunt for potential underage victims.

Traffickers educate themselves by studying what the victim posts on these sites to build trust.

The study, which was requested by the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission, revealed how traffickers quickly target and connect with vulnerable children on the Internet through social media.

Grooming children for sex trafficking consists of convincing someone to send a risky picture and then using it to extort them.

The traffickers use fear of repercussions as a way to compel the youth to move from a monitored page to a less monitored page by saying, “You don’t want your parents to find out what we’re talking about”, the study suggested.

With a global user-base of over 1.3 billion people, every eight out of ten 18-49 years old people watch YouTube. With the penetration of Internet and smartphones, users below 18 years of age today are also heavily exposed to the platform.

Gadgets

LG launches world’s 1st rollable TV for whopping Rs 64 lakh

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LG Electronics on Tuesday released the world’s first rollable TV in South Korea at a jaw-dropping price of $87,000 (about Rs 63.9 lakh) as the tech giant aims to target high-end consumers amid the pandemic.

The company said overseas launch schedules of LG Signature OLED R have not been fixed yet due to the Covid-19 situation in each country, reports Yonhap news agency.

LG said the product, which uses flexible OLED display that leverages self-lighting pixel technology, is designed to deliver a differentiated user experience to high-end consumers and strengthen its position in the premium TV market.

Its name “R” contains the meaning of “revolutionary,” “rollable” and “redefine the space,” according to the home appliance maker.

The 65-inch TV model named RX is highlighted by its screen that rises from a box and can be rolled up inside.

Depending on how much the screen has rolled up inside the base, it provides three different viewing options for users to design interior space.

While the full view option is for watching TV, the line view option exposes only a part of the screen and offers five different stylish modes: music, clock, frame, mood and ThinQ home dashboard to check conditions of other smart devices inside the house.

The ‘Zero view’ completely hides the screen and allows it to be used as a Bluetooth speaker.

LG said it has adopted a differentiated system for its rollable TV from production to customer care service.

LG said production and quality inspection of the rollable TV will be processed by artisans and craftspeople at LG’s TV assembly line in Gumi, some 260 kilometers southeast of Seoul, a similar system used in making luxury cars and watches.

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