Internet pirates are reportedly exploiting a "loophole" in YouTube to host pornography and adult content, bypassing the usually-strict policies of the website by uploading video as "private" before selectively sharing it elsewhere.

Using the trick, the videos are never actually published to the public-facing section of Google's YouTube. Instead, uploaders are using it as a hosting provider, with videos stored directly on Google's servers and the private links later given out, TorrentFreak reported.

YouTube uploads can be public, private or unlisted. Each has different levels of permissions when it comes to embedding and sharing. Private videos, for example, cannot be embedded to another website directly, but unlisted ones can – meaning the scope of the technique may be limited.

Yet according to TorrentFreak, the method is increasingly favoured by pirates looking to host movies, music and porn because it means uploads can circumvent YouTube's notorious scanning technology, called Content-ID – at least on a temporary basis.

Multiple media outlets are reporting YouTube allows videos containing pornography to be embedded on other websites, which is explicitly not the case.

"There is a big loophole on YouTube," a representative of a California-based adult production firm called Dreamroom Productions told TorrentFreak while complaining about piracy.

"Copyright infringers take advantage of a private-video-share setting. They upload and store videos, and freely use them on third-party websites to earn profits. YouTube should be aware of this. They are allowing the situation to continue by not plugging this hole, which could be done by disabling the sharing function of videos under those special settings."

The content, of course, is eventually located and removed by YouTube. However, the Dreamroom source claimed the removal process can take up to three weeks.

A YouTube spokesperson told IBTimes UK: "YouTube has clear policies that prohibit sexually explicit content like pornography. We have teams around the world that review flagged content, regardless of whether it is private, public or unlisted. Content that violates our policies is quickly removed."

Based on Google's Transparency Report, the firm regularly receives complaints about Googlevideo.com, the firm's video search engine. Many content takedown requests come from TV and streaming services such as Netflix, Paramount and Miramax.

Additionally, looking at the "reporting organisations making requests" for content takedown shows that "BangBros" – a popular pornography website – has made hundreds of submissions. Yet as YouTube told IBTimes UK, Googlevideo.com does not only apply to YouTube.

In any case, YouTube policies remain as strict as ever: "Sexually explicit content like pornography is not allowed," it states. "Videos containing fetish content will be removed or age-restricted depending on the severity of the act in question.

"In most cases, violent, graphic or humiliating fetishes are not allowed."

It's not the first time YouTube has been criticised for its porn filtering technology. In February 2015, YouTube was forced to remove 20 porn videos that were hidden on the website for months, escaping detection as they were uploaded with random Irish language titles.