Robots: Not Animals?

October 9, 2019

The prevailing belief is that if Google declares something to be true, then it is considered a fact. The same can be said about YouTube, because if someone sees it on YouTube then, of course, it must be real. YouTube already has trouble determining what truly is questionable content. For example, YouTube does not flag white supremacy and related videos taken down. Another curious YouTube incident about flagged content concerns robot abuse, “YouTube Concedes Robot Fight Videos Are Not Actually Animal Cruelty After Removing Them By Mistake” from Gizmodo.

YouTube rules state that videos displaying animals suffering, such as dog and cock fights, cannot be posted on the streaming service. For some reason, videos and channels centered on robot fighting were cited and content was removed.

“…the takedowns were first noted by YouTube channel Maker’s Muse and affected several channels run by Battle Bots contenders, including Jamison Go of Team SawBlaze (who had nine videos taken down) and Sarah Pohorecky of Team Uppercut. Pohorecky told Motherboard she estimated some 10 to 15 builders had been affected, with some having had multiple videos removed. There didn’t appear to be any pattern in the titles of either the videos or the robots themselves, beyond some of the robots being named after animals, she added.”

YouTube’s algorithms make mistakes and robots knocking the gears and circuit boards out of each other was deemed violent, along the lines of “inflicting suffering.” YouTubers can appeal removal citations, so that content can be reviewed again.

Google humans doing human deciding. Interesting.

Whitney Grace, October 9, 2019


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