YouTube Took Down Robot Battle Videos, Citing Animal Cruelty

Harin - Aug 22, 2019, 4:48 pm IST


YouTube, the popular video platform, removed several robots vs. robots videos from “BattleBots”, citing animal abuse as the reason.

YouTube, the popular video platform, removed several robots vs. robots videos from “BattleBots”, citing animal abuse as the reason.

The strange phenomenon was brought to light by “Maker’s Muse” channel. A YouTube spokesperson later confirmed that there was a mistake.

Whether it is a mistake or not, this is a weird example of how the automated algorithms could make errors when doing the dirty deeds for platforms, which is searching for and taking down truly bad content. This includes animal abuse, hate speech, and many more.

The engineers who work on these robots were feeling upset because of the video platform's decision on removing their content.

Youtube-took-down-robot-fighting-videos
YouTube removed several robots vs. robots videos from “BattleBots”, citing animal abuse as the reason.

In a public Facebook post, Jamison Go, an MIT’s graduate research assistant as well as Ph.D. candidate, wrote “today is a sad day. Robot builders across the world cried out in agony as YouTube’s algorithm falsely identified personal videos of robot sport as ‘animal cruelty’ and ‘cock fighting.”

Responding to this, the spokesperson said, admitting that they have made a mistake, “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.”

Also according to this spokesperson, the platform has no policies against robots fighting videos.

But these videos are returning to the platform. Sara Pohorecky who is an MIT graduate and a team member of BattleBots wrote in an email, “The situation seems to be resolving itself. My video and some of my friends’ videos reappeared this morning with no notice or statement from YouTube.”

However, appealing the decision of YouTube was not easy. But after all, YouTube is still a driving force for mass media. Results from a recent poll suggested that YouTube had more trust from teenagers than traditional journalists in terms of daily news.

YouTube has already had a history of wrongfully removing videos and even terminating channels, citing that they violated copyright.

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