YouTube Admits to “Accidentally” Deleting Comments That Insult China’s Communist Party
Conservative content creators on YouTube have faced a long history of being censored on the platform for their supposedly “problematic” views. Offering even the slightest “controversial” view (the bar for which on YouTube is so low that it’s on the floor) results in an instant video demonetization for creators, making it impossible to earn money off the platform.
Meanwhile, as a virus that originated from (and was covered up by) China ravages the globe, YouTube is working hard to censor anyone that dare criticize those responsible for it (and in fact, the censorship even takes back before then).
According to The Verge:
YouTube is automatically deleting comments that contain certain Chinese-language phrases related to criticism of the country’s ruling Communist Party (CCP). The company confirmed to The Verge this was happening in error and that it was looking into the issue.
“This appears to be an error in our enforcement systems and we are investigating,” said a YouTube spokesperson. The company did not elaborate on how or why this error came to be, but said it was not the result of any change in its moderation policy.
But if the deletions are the result of a simple mistake, then it’s one that’s gone unnoticed for six months. The Verge found evidence that comments were being deleted as early as October 2019, when the issue was raised on YouTube’s official help pages and multiple users confirmed that they had experienced the same problem.
Comments left under videos or in live streams that contain the words “共匪” (“communist bandit”) or “五毛” (“50-cent party”) are automatically deleted in around 15 seconds, though their English language translations and Romanized Pinyin equivalents are not.
The term “共匪” is an insult that dates back to China’s Nationalist government, while “五毛,” (or “wu mao”) is a derogatory slang term for internet users paid to direct online discussion away from criticism of the CCP. The name comes from claims that such commenters are paid 50 Chinese cents per post.
These phrases seem to have been accidentally added to YouTube’s comment filters, which automatically remove spam and offensive text.
Most bizarre, YouTube isn’t even doing this to protect any business interests. YouTube is banned in China, so they have no incentive to comply with their censorship laws.
They’re just “accidentally” appeasing them anyway.