×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Epic Pulls ‘Fortnite’ Ads From YouTube After Child Predator Controversy

Epic Games is no longer running “Fortnite” pre-roll ads on YouTube after it was discovered they were playing on videos alleged predators used to exploit children, according to The Verge.

The developer has paused all of its pre-roll advertising, which plays before a video starts on the streaming platform, a spokesperson said. It also reached out to Google to determine what actions, if any, the company will take to remove the exploitative content from its service.

Former YouTube creator Matt Watson raised concerns about the content days ago in a YouTube video and Reddit post. In his video, he demonstrated how a search for something seemingly innocuous like “bikini haul” — videos where women show off various swimsuits they’ve purchased — can lead to disturbing examples of child exploitation. Although the clips aren’t pornographic in nature, the predators allegedly timestamp parts that unintentionally sexualize the children in the scene and share them in the video’s comments section.

“YouTube’s recommended algorithm is facilitating pedophiles’ ability to connect with each-other, trade contact info, and link to actual child pornography in the comments,” Watson wrote on Reddit. “I can consistently get access to it from vanilla, never-before-used YouTube accounts via innocuous videos in less than ten minutes, in sometimes less than five clicks.”

Although Watson doesn’t call out “Fortnite” specifically, he does show various examples of the products and companies being advertised before the videos, including Grammarly, GNC, and Google’s own Chromebook.

A YouTube spokesperson told The Verge it took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels. It also reported illegal activity to the authorities and disabled what it called “violative comments.”

“Any content — including comments — that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube,” the spokesperson said. “There’s more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly.”

Variety contacted Epic Games to find out if it plans to resume advertising on YouTube, but it couldn’t say when, or if, that will happen.

More Gaming

  • Activision Share Details on 'Call of

    Activision Share Details on 'Call of Duty: Mobile' Battle Royale Mode

    Activision just dropped a ton of details about the battle royale mode for its upcoming free-to-play iOS and Android game “Call of Duty: Mobile.”. Like “Black Ops 4’s” Blackout mode, it features iconic locations from the “Call of Duty” universe on one large map, the publisher said in a blog post on Tuesday. Those locations [...]

  • Ubisoft to Discuss 'The Division 2'

    Ubisoft to Discuss 'The Division 2' Plans Wednesday

    Ubisoft will spend some time outlining the current status and the future of its online shooter “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2” during a State of the Game livestream on Wednesday, it announced on Twitter. The stream airs at 3 p.m. GMT/8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST. Ubisoft isn’t giving any details about what it will discuss. [...]

  • Just Cause

    'Just Cause' Video Game Getting Movie Adaptation From 'John Wick' Writer

    “Just Cause” is the latest video game getting the movie treatment. Germany’s Constantin Film has acquired movie rights to the “Just Cause” video game franchise and hired “John Wick” creator Derek Kolstad to write the script. Constantin Film’s Robert Kulzer and Prime Universe Films’ Adrian Askarieh will produce the pic with Kolstad, who has written [...]

  • Saint Louis, MO - April 13:

    State Farm Extends its 'League of Legends' Esports Sponsorship Through 2021

    Insurance company State Farm has opted to extend its sponsorship of multiple “League of Legends” esports properties through 2021, according to a press release. State Farm started its sponsorship in 2018, and will continue to support the North America League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), as well as three “League of Legends” esports events: the [...]

  • 'Dauntless' Full Launch Supports PS4, Xbox

    'Dauntless' Full Launch Supports PS4, Xbox One, PC 'True Cross-Play'

    Co-op RPG “Dauntless” gets its full release Tuesday and will support complete cross-play across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, according to a press release. The free to play game is coming out of its beta period with improvements based on the feedback of players. “Dauntless” having complete cross-play functionality at launch is a huge [...]

  • Oculus Rift CES 2017

    'Phantom: Covert Ops' Brings VR Stealth to Oculus Quest and Rift

    Stealth-centric virtual reality game “Phantom: Covert Ops” is coming to Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift devices later this year, and developer nDreams has released new in-game footage giving a glimpse of what is to come. In “Phantom: Covert Ops,” players take on the role of an elite covert operative with a single night to prevent [...]

  • Sony Compares Next Gen PlayStation Load

    Sony Compares Next Gen PlayStation Load Times to PS4 Pro

    A video comparison between the performance of a PlayStation 4 Pro and Sony’s next-generation PlayStation shows off the speed of the latter, as shared by Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki via Twitter on Tuesday. The main focus seems to be the rendering times in the side-by-side comparison, as a countdown appears just above the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content