YouTube’s termination glitch shows its focus on censorship

Yesterday, many prolific YouTube accounts were momentarily “terminated” due to violation of “Community Guidelines”:

The accounts have since been reinstated.

While this may be an honest mistake on YouTube’s part, it does reveal one thing: they are certainly devoting a lot more time censoring content than improving user experience.

Algorithms don’t accidentally trip out of the blue unless there are some incremental changes and testing going on.  Perhaps a rogue set of inputs may have triggered the automatic bans (not from the uploaders’ ends, but with bots filing automated reports e.g.) which suggests a weak and exploitable algorithm.  It is also likely that the thought police — that is, the special interest groups working with YouTube wanting to control what people see and think — lowered some thresholds in the algorithm thus triggering many false positives.

Considering YouTube has gotten big primarily because of its users providing unique content, from a business perspective, it is completely destructive to be turning on the content creators by concentrating on censorship algorithms.

From a cultural and societal perspective, it is even worse. No one should want YouTube and their special interest groups to be moral arbiters.

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