Platforms like YouTube are home to millions of videos, which means that it would be a near-impossible task for humans to moderate all of its content. This is why the company uses algorithms and tools that are designed to help it identify certain types of content automatically and flag it for removal.
This can include things like videos containing graphic scenes, copyrighted music, and so on. However, it’s not a perfect system and more recently, it seems that YouTube’s tools have mistaken glorious robot-on-robot battles for animal cruelty videos. A report from Motherboard revealed that several channels run by BattleBots contenders were discovering that their videos were taken down.
Some creators were also sent emails explaining the takedown, in which it claims that after “reviewing” it, they determined it violated YouTube’s policies on animal cruelty, even though none of the videos contained any content that comes even close, unless one were to classify a robot as an animal.
YouTube has since restored those videos and in a statement made to Motherboard, they admitted they messed up. “With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it. We also offer uploaders the ability to appeal removals and we will re-review the content.”