YouTube bans several Pokémon Go channels over mistaken child abuse fears

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

The BBC reports that Mystic7, Trainer Tips, and ImMarksman, who have over 3.5 million combined subscribers, were some of the YouTube channels that found themselves deleted. This happened after they posted videos of them playing Pokémon Go, which they were told violated the site’s community guidelines as "YouTube prohibits uploading [...] any type of activity that sexualizes minors."

While this sounds like someone has the wrong idea about Pokémon, the actual reason behind the strikes is thought to be the term ‘CP.’ In the Pokémon Go world, it refers to ‘Combat Points,’ but it’s used as an acronym for ‘Child Pornography’ across much of the internet.

YouTuber Billiam Thies found that his YouTube channel had been removed and his entire Google account deleted after posting a video about former online game Club Penguin, which was called ‘CP’ in the title.

Google says a large percentage of the videos YouTube removes—6.3 million during Q3 last year—are initially flagged by machines before being forwarded to human moderators for deletion. What’s unusual here is that even after many of the videos were reviewed, they were still deemed to have violated YouTube’s guidelines. The company didn’t say whether a human or machine performed these reviews.

When Thinknoodles, a channel with over 4 million subscribers, questioned this process on Twitter, YouTube said it had passed the case on to its Policy team for review (again?), which led to the video being reinstated. YouTube never revealed why the initial review concluded that the video contained sexual content involving minors.

“With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call,” a YouTube rep told Polygon. “When it’s brought to our attention that a video or channel has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it. We give uploaders the ability to appeal these decisions and we will re-review the videos.”

While all the videos have now been restored, this has been another PR black eye for YouTube, especially with the site facing criticism for not doing enough to tackle actual sexually exploitative content featuring children.

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stewi0001

TS Evangelist
Platinum
Gasp! This article has CP in it 3 times! 4 times if you include my comment!!! Better flag it! ;P

No system is perfect and there will always be the need to make adjustments and fine tuning as time goes on. Personally, I would say that it is better that YouTube errors on the side of caution than not. They would get more flak if there was stuff getting through.
 
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Capaill

TS Evangelist
With the amount of different meanings each acronym can have, it's amazing that they blanket ban all of them. Let's ban any references to ISIS so that all knowledge of the Egyptian god is wiped from YouTube. Or let's ban those IRA terrorists so that any instructional videos on Individual Retirement Accounts or Initial Risk Assessments are wiped from YouTube like the plague they are.
Come on Google. Hire some humans to do these reviews while you work on improving your AI. Do both in parallel until the AI surpasses the humans' quality and then fire those useless humans!
 

sushi board

TS Rookie
Hilarious. I've dealt with Google's ad folks when I used to run a few sites. Zero customer service and they know they hold all the power so they couldn't care less if they screw you over.
 

Palladium1987

TS Member
With the amount of different meanings each acronym can have, it's amazing that they blanket ban all of them. Let's ban any references to ISIS so that all knowledge of the Egyptian god is wiped from YouTube. Or let's ban those IRA terrorists so that any instructional videos on Individual Retirement Accounts or Initial Risk Assessments are wiped from YouTube like the plague they are.
Come on Google. Hire some humans to do these reviews while you work on improving your AI. Do both in parallel until the AI surpasses the humans' quality and then fire those useless humans!
Google: Sorry, too hard and unprofitable versus allowing and encouraging a few zillion clickbait for ad money
 

James00007

TS Booster
It boils down to it being easier/cheaper for them to ban everything using its botched AI and deal with the aftermath rather than review everything individually before deletion.