YouTube has removed the channel of Austin Jones after he pleaded guilty earlier this week to persuading underage girls into sending sexually explicit videos. A 26-year-old YouTuber is famous for a cappella cover videos of pop songs.
According to a criminal complaint filed against Jones back in 2017, he coerced underage girls between the age group of 14 and 15 years into sending him videos of "dancing in a sexual manner and performing sexual acts." He was also arrested on charges of child pornography in 2017.
In spite of pleading guilty, YouTube initially refused to terminate the channel of Austin Jones. According to a report, YouTube refused to terminate Jones' channel because they take action against a YouTuber's channel only when the channel's content is linked to a crime he/she is convicted of.
On February 6, YouTube has terminated Jones' channel for violating YouTube's Community Guidelines. In 2017, YouTube removed Jones' channel from YouTube monetisation partner program.
"We take safety on YouTube and allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously, When we’re made aware of serious allegations of this nature we take action, which may include terminating business relationships, suspending monetization, or, in some cases upon conclusion of an investigation, terminating channels,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Verge.
It is not the first time YouTube has removed the channel of a YouTuber even though his channel's content was not closely related to a crime he was convicted of. Last year, YouTube banned Michael and Heather Martin whose videos were focused on pranking their kids, after they were convicted of child neglect.
Recently, YouTube revised its community guidelines following which it can take action against videos that encourage dangerous challenges and pranks.
Although YouTube acknowledges it has become home to many viral challenges and pranks over the last few years, YouTube wants to ensure these acts don't turn out to be harmful or dangerous.
"We’ve updated our external guidelines to make it clear that we prohibit challenges presenting a risk of serious danger or death, and pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger, or cause children to experience severe emotional distress," reads YouTube's updated support page.