Whoops: YouTube accidentally removed several alt-right channels
I may have spoken too soon when I pointed out that YouTube’s algorithm is doing a bad job and the company needed to get more human eyes on its videos, because apparently the human moderators are just as easily confused. The Outline compiled a list of the affected channels, which include conspiracy theorists, gun hobbyists, and alt-right voices.
According to YouTube, it was an accident caused by inexperienced new employees. A spokesperson told Bloomberg:
As we work to hire rapidly and ramp up our policy enforcement teams throughout 2018, newer members may misapply some of our policies resulting in mistaken removals. We’re continuing to enforce our existing policies regarding harmful and dangerous content, they have not changed. We’ll reinstate any videos that were removed in error.
It’s not clear whether all the channels removed during the last few days were removed in error. Motherboard reported that YouTube took down a notorious Neo-Nazi channel this week. Links to their videos say, “This account has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy prohibiting hate speech.” That seems fairly straightforward, and in keeping with the above statement about “harmful and dangerous content.”
Several of the channels that were removed are still not on the site at the time of this writing. We’ve contacted YouTube for more information.