YouTube’s New Moderators Mistakenly Pull Right-Wing Channels

YouTube’s New Moderators Mistakenly Pull Right-Wing Channels, by Mark Bergen.

YouTube’s new moderators, brought in to spot fake, misleading and extreme videos, stumbled in one of their first major tests, mistakenly removing some clips and channels in the midst of a nationwide debate on gun control.

The Google division said in December it would assign more than 10,000 people to moderate content after a year of scandals over fake and inappropriate content on the world’s largest video site.

In the wake of the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, some YouTube moderators mistakenly removed several videos and some channels from right-wing, pro-gun video producers and outlets. …

Shutting entire channels would have marked a sweeping policy change for YouTube, which typically only removes channels in extreme circumstances and focuses most disciplinary action on specific videos. But YouTube said some content was taken down by mistake. …

The misstep pulls YouTube, Google and parent Alphabet Inc. deeper into a toxic political fights over gun control, fake and extreme content, and whether internet companies should be responsible for what third parties post on their services. The episode also shows how the huge video site continues to struggle with policing the service and how difficult it is to spot troubling content and decide whether the material should be taken down. …

In the wake of the Florida shooting, Google and other internet companies are facing external pressure to remove the National Rifle Association’s NRA TV channel from their video streaming services. To date, YouTube and other services haven’t pulled the NRA’s official channel.

Google and Facebook have appointed themselves as the world’s censors, protecting the PC fantasies. That’s an awful lot of information and argument they have to prevent people from accessing.