A trio of popular Pokemon YouTubers were among the accounts wrongly banned by Google over the weekend for being involved in “activity that sexualises minors”.
It’s believed the error occurred thanks to their videos using term “CP”, which in Pokemon GO refers to “Combat Points”, but which YouTube’s algorithm assumed was “Child Pornography”.
So my channel just went down for community guideline strikes for “sexual content”... @TeamYouTube yal into Pokémon or something??
– MYSTIC7 (@MYSTIC7) February 17, 2019
The accounts were quickly restored thanks to external pressure, since the nature of the original bans meant that a user’s entire Google account – including email – was blocked, not just their YouTube page.
In case anyone at @TeamYouTube is taking notes on today's mishap, CP stands for Combat Points. I'm on board with fighting back against inappropriate content, but your algorithm needs a lesson in CONTEXT.
Also, just to reiterate, MANUAL REVIEW BY A HUMAN BEFORE TERMINATION pic.twitter.com/qHLP5GGe9J
– Nick // Trainer Tips (@trnrtips) February 17, 2019
But the issue once again raises concerns over the automated manner in which YouTube judges and delivers these bans. These are absolutely decisions that need to be made by human beings, and the fact Google relies on an algorithm that repeatedly fails in instances like these continues to affect all kinds of YouTubers and streamers.