YouTube was thrust in front of the spotlight of public scrutiny after a number of users discovered that the website’s autocompleting search function provides pedophilia-related suggestions in response to otherwise harmless queries.
According to the users’ reports cited by BuzzFeed, typing ‘how to have’ in YouTube’s search bar resulted in options like “how to have s * x with your kids” and “how to have s*x kids”.
This development might’ve been caused by a coordinated campaign by some third party seeking to fill the website with indecent search results, a source familiar with YouTube’s algorithms told the media outlet.
Many people were understandably shocked and confused by this situation, expressing their concern via social media.
WTH, @YouTube? Why are you endangering children by permitting this suggestion in your search results? Please remove it ASAP. Thank you.
PSA: YouTube Search Results Show “how to have s*x with your kids” etc. (… https://t.co/jQIR4a9q2v
— Conriocht ? (@Conriocht) 27 ноября 2017 г.
One person also pointed out that the media hype prompted by this development may actually cause search results like ‘how to have s*x with kids’ become more popular on YouTube as people flock to the website to check if the story is true.
Okay but if EVERYBODY sees this on Twitter and then flock to YouTube to try it themselves to see if it’s true (which is exactly what has happened) then “how to have s*x with kids” BECOMES a search term due to popularity even if it wasn’t one before. Correct????
— Victoria (@nn_ly41) 27 ноября 2017 г.
Some Twitter users have also observed that YouTube has apparently removed some of the more obscene search suggestions, although others, like “how to have s * x in school”, still remain.
Im on the GB youtube so what I say might be wrong but the only one that comes up for me is how to have s*x in school
— ファッゴトー (@NaanNigger) 27 ноября 2017 г.