Google-owned YouTube is claiming that staffing shortages caused by the coronavirus epidemic will force the platform to censor much more content than usual – which is remarkable considering the massive volume of innocuous content censored by the platform on a daily basis.
YouTube typically uses its Community Guidelines to remove videos and ban channels, citing infractions of “hate speech” or copyright claims.
Under the alleged coronavirus staffing shortage, however, YouTube says it will now start removing content that is completely acceptable according to its own guidelines.
“With fewer people to review content, our automated systems will be stepping in to keep YouTube safe,” the official Team YouTube account tweeted out Monday. “More videos will be removed than normal during this time, including content that does not violate our Community Guidelines.”
YouTube also stated, “Many of us here & in our extended workforce are unable to work as usual, so we’re reducing staffing in certain offices, causing some disruptions.”
With fewer people to review content, our automated systems will be stepping in to keep YouTube safe. More videos will be removed than normal during this time, including content that does not violate our Community Guidelines.
We know this will be hard for all of you.
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) March 16, 2020
The reasoning behind YouTube’s new policy is especially concerning to many users who have said that YouTube, as an internet-based company, should be amongst the workplaces least affected by coronavirus-induced staffing shortages.
Employees can't review videos at home? Seems like that would be more then possible
— Nathaniel Bandy (@NathanielBandy1) March 16, 2020
YouTube has already come under heavy consumer criticism for its aggressive demonetization and censorship policies, and Monday’s announcement was met with universal contempt.
Perhaps you need to improve the automated system then. You are straight up acknowledging that it does not work and will flag content that breaches no rules
— RTGame Daniel (@RTGameCrowd) March 16, 2020
HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA WHAT THE FUCKSHIT LOL
— Styxhexenhammer666 (@Styx666Official) March 16, 2020
2020 has already been one of the most damaging years yet for creators deplatformed by YouTube’s content police, as livestreamer Nick Fuentes was completely banned from the platform in February.