Yesterday afternoon, Google removed the accounts of various prominent YouTubers after it mistakenly believed that they broke its guidelines on posting child abuse videos.
Yesterday evening, Youtubers Trainer Tips, Marksman, and Mystic7 who have more than 3.5 million subscribers between them, had their accounts banned after posting some videos of themselves playing a popular online video game that is called Pokemon Go.
They were informed that their videos had broken the guidelines of Youtube by supposedly uploading “any type of activity that sexualises minors.”
The users took to social media to express their complaints about the removal of their accounts and the total lack of communication from Youtube. Many questioned how the firm could manage to confuse footage from a video game with illegal content.
The confusion appears to stem from the acronym “CP,” which in Pokemon Go, refers to “combat points.” It was supposedly used in the titles of various videos of users. However, the acronym was also used to stand for “child pornography.”
Youtube said that when the videos were reviewed by another reviewer, the said mistake was discovered and the videos were immediately reinstated.
Several of the users whose accounts were taken down have accused Youtube of making use of algorithms to determine sensitive content instead of actual humans. User Trainer Tips said that without access to his account, Google had “destroyed [his] livelihood.”
According to Youtube, it has various escalation paths for reviewers to raise issues with any decisions. It also said that it gives creators the right to appeal if they believe that a video has been mistakenly removed, for a different reviewer to re-review.