Children's show's YouTube channel restored after porn hack
On Sunday, users found sexual content instead of educational fare
Two user names were listed as the hackers; at least one has denied it
Channel was restored about 11 a.m. on Monday
“Sesame Street’s” YouTube channel was back online and spreading wholesome, child-friendly messages Monday, a day after hackers appeared to have reprogrammed the venerable children’s show pages with porn.
The show’s channel was taken offline Sunday afternoon, and visitors were greeted with a message from the video website informing them it had been shut down “due to repeated or severe violations of our community guidelines.” Users who accessed the account earlier had found explicit sex videos instead of Muppets.
“We apologize for any inconvenience our audience may have experienced yesterday on our Sesame Street YouTube channel,” read a message on the channel’s home page, which appeared to have been restored around 11 a.m. ET.
“Our channel was temporarily compromised, but we have since restored our original line-up of the best classic Sesame Street video clips featuring Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, and the rest of the fuzzy, feathered, and googly-eyed friends you remember from childhood.”
YouTube, which routinely declines to comment on individual user accounts, issued a brief statement Sunday noting that the Google-owned video site prohibits graphic content and removes inappropriate posts as soon as they become aware of them. A spokeswoman referred to the same statement on Monday.
A message posted on the page before the content was removed claimed responsibility in the names of two YouTube users, one of whom denied involvement in a statement on his own page.
“I did not hack Sesame Street. I am an honest YouTuber,” the user, identified as “MrEdxwx,” posted on his account. “I work hard to make quality gameplay videos, and most important I respect the community guidelines.”
The message on “Sesame Street’s” page also noted that parents who want to watch videos with their children “in a safe, child-friendly environment” can also do so on the show’s website.
The CNN Wire staff contributed to this report.