Youtube Backtracks after False Child Abuse Ban on ‘Pokemon Go’ Content

Google has retracted on terminating the accounts of several popular YouTubers’ over false child abuse concerns, relating to misjudging content in the past 48 hours. YouTubers’ Mystic 7, Trainer Tips and Marksman, who have over 3.5 million subscribers between them, found their Youtube accounts deleted merely for posting videos of themselves playing and talking about Pokemon GO and other games.

Sounds perfectly innocent and kid-friendly, don’t you think? But apparently, their videos breached Youtube’s community guidelines as “Youtube prohibits uploading any type of activity that sexualises minors”.

Yes, you read that right and we really don’t understand it either. But, it looks like YouTube have made a very big mistake and therefore, Google have now reinstated the channels once the mistakes were discovered.

Another YouTuber who was among those to have their account unjustifiably terminated is Billiam Thies, who told the BBC that not only was his channel removed, but his entire Google account was deleted as well.

However, Google, who owns the YouTube, has admitted that this move was a mistake on its part.

Billiam Thies said, “People on Twitter were letting me know my Youtube account was down.”

“But because my Google account was terminated as well, I didn’t have access to my email so I couldn’t see what happened.”

It is not known exactly how many channels were effected by this error in removing content, but it appears that all of them have been restored, especially within regard to the channels covering predominately games such as Pokemon Go.

Pokemon Go still remains very popular and there’s a lot of content about the game on YouTube. Credit: Polygon

According to YouTube’s policy, if a user feels as though their video has been mistakenly or unfairly removed, a different reviewer will re-review it, which is what happened in this case, resulting in the accounts being reinstated.

Upon hearing of his account being deleted for this absurd strike, Mystic 7 took to Twitter to criticise Youtube. The platform is often chastised for a “total lack of communication”, something that has been an issue for a long time now, in that there is no way to get into contact with YouTube, let alone speaking to a person to help explain any situation.

So, the main question on everyone’s mind, which has been asked repeatedly on social media, is just how YouTube confused footage from a kid’s mobile game with illegal child abuse?

It’s been theorised that the problem seems to focus around the acronym “CP”, which refers to “combat points” in the Pokemon GO game, or the measure of a Pokemon’s strength in battle. However, outside of the game, the acronym can also stand for “child pornography”, a term that describes child abuse imagery.

It’s plausible, but not known for definite, as Google chose not to comment on whether this was the source of the problem, though it would explain why other communities outside of Pokemon were also affected.

Backing up this theory, Billiam also explained that he had been banned because of a video he had posted about the former online game Club Pengiun, which was shortened to “CP” in the title.

“My Club Penguin video had been flagged for sexual content,” he said. “That’s a serious allegation. Though my account is back, I have to appeal the claim on that video.”

“I have no ill will towards the platform because of it, but there could have been better communication.”

Many other channels reported receiving a notice stating that the violations were for “sexual content involving minors”.

YouTube’s lack of communication is mostly criticised due to the process of reviewing videos is carried out by a computer, rather than an actual person, and many feel they cannot contact staff of the platform properly. Google, however, did not clarify this, only resulting in more criticism from the public.

Whether YouTube will better their obviously dire communications service, which have been plaguing the site for many years, is yet to be seen, but we know that users are not happy with it. Since you cannot even contact anybody at Google or YouTube, when there’s a problem that arises, which is frustrating to say the least.

However, it doesn’t seem all that likely that they will change this, given Google’s evasiveness on the issue of communication, so it looks like these mistakes might keep on happening, until a human reviewer actually monitors your channel.

 

Story by Emily Clark

Featured Photo Credit: Newsweek

 

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