YouTube sparked widespread speculation about its moderation policies this week after it admitted to accidentally deleting comments that contained phrases critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Today, the company told The Verge that the issue was not the result of outside interference — an explanation for the error floated by many. The phrases that triggered automatic deletion included “communist bandit” and “50-cent party,” a slang term for internet users paid to defend the CCP. Some speculated that an outside group, perhaps connected to the CCP, manipulated YouTube’s automated filters by repeatedly reporting these phrases, causing the algorithm to tag them as offensive. Speaking to The Verge, YouTube spokesperson Alex Joseph denied that this happened and said that, contrary to popular belief, YouTube never removes comments only on the basis of user reports. “This was not the result of outside interference, and we only remove content when our enforcement system determines it violates our Community Guidelines, not solely because it’s flagged by users,” said Joseph. “This was an error with our enforcement systems and we have rolled out a fix.” The incident is yet another example of how big tech companies have found themselves unwilling participants in a global debate… Read full this story
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