On March 16, YouTube released a statement warning its creator community that video removals may increase during the coronavirus pandemic. The popular video-sharing platform said that its system currently relies on a combination of people and technology, noting that machine learning is being leveraged to detect potentially harmful content. Once these algorithms find “harmful content,” human reviewers are called upon for assessment.
The company also stated that new measures are being taken during the COVID-19 crisis to rely more on technology to help with some of the work normally performed by human reviewers. The blog post states:
“Automated systems will start removing some content without human review, so we can continue to act quickly to remove violative content and protect our ecosystem, while we have workplace protections in place.”
That being said, YouTube’s increased use of machine learning algorithms may be to blame for the recent deletion of crypto-related videos.
Popular crypto YouTuber Lark Davis, also known as The Crypto Lark, told Cointelegraph that he has had 11 videos removed from his YouTube channel during the month of April. His most recent video, which features an interview with Andreas Antonopoulos, was suddenly taken down from YouTube on Sunday. He said:
“It took YouTube 3-4 hours to put back the interview I did with Andreas Antonopoulos. Videos usually are removed for violating community guidelines, but content creators are never told why their videos are taken down. I don’t violate the guidelines YouTube has in place, I just talk about crypto-related news. But there is clearly something in my videos that triggers the machine learning algorithms to remove the content.”
Davis further mentioned that while his interview with Antonopoulos took only a matter of hours to be restored, some of his crypto videos have taken a full day to come back. Indeed, this could be due to the new COVID-19-related algorithms that YouTube is currently relying on.
The Verge reporter Casey Newton recently conducted an interview with YouTube’s head of product, Neal Mohan. Mohan revealed that because of the coronavirus pandemic, YouTube has had to rely on machines and machine learning algorithms to judge appropriate content. Yet without human intervention, there have been many more appeals from content creators complaining that content has been removed. Mohan further mentioned:
“Because there’s a lot of action taken by these machines, sometimes those appeals are impacted in terms of our response time. But generally speaking, we’ve been able to manage this.”
Academia Blockchain’s YouTube channel, which has 8.6 thousand subscribers, has also recently been impacted by YouTube’s “crypto ban.” Ricardo Florentino Cruz, the community manager and administrator at Academia Blockchain, told Cointelegraph that the channel promotes blockchain education in Spanish with the goal of providing informative tutorials.
He said Academia…