YouTube has been accused of automatically deleting comments criticizing the Chinese government, explaining that apparent censorship is in fact a flaw in its automated surveillance systems.
Comments on the YouTube platform that used Chinese phrases, such as "共匪" ("communist robber") or "五毛" ("party of 50 cents") And which are two terms associated with the Chinese Communist Party's criticism, were removed almost immediately, even if those comments were positive.
The last term “五毛” refers to censorship efforts of China, especially the idea that online commentators are paid to divert criticism against the government.
The automatic deletion of these phrases was pointed out on Tuesday by the American technologist and former founder of Oculus, Mr. Palmer Luke on Twitter. But there are also older reports on the issue, dating back to mid-May, when they were identified by human rights activist Jennifer Zeng.
According to a YouTube spokesman, the automatic deletions were the result of an "enforcement system error" that the company is already considering. The company sees the situation as an accidental side effect of the platform's feedback monitoring system, which is designed to filter out hate speech, harassment and spam. The company did not provide further information on how the terms were signaled by its automated systems.
With the vast majority of its workforce out of the office, the big tech platforms have relied more on artificial intelligence control methods in recent months, even when they recognized that less human oversight would likely lead to mistakes.
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