YouTube Censors Comments that Insult China’s Communist Party

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

YouTube Censors Comments that Insult China’s Communist Party

By Allyson Vannatta, Senior Writer

YouTube reportedly removed multiple comments that insult China’s communist party from videos.

The popular streaming site confirmed to The Verge that this error is an issue they’re presently trying to fix.

A YouTube spokesperson said, “Upon review by our teams, we have confirmed this was an error in our enforcement systems and we are working to fix it as quickly as possible.”

There was no explanation of how this issue arose, but the company said it wasn’t a result of any change in its “moderation policy.”

The comments have been deleted for the last six months.

YouTube’s official help page reports someone raising the question with other users saying they were having the same issue.

The two comments that are being deleted are ““共匪” (“communist bandit”) and “五毛” (“50-cent party”).

The comments are only deleted if they are posted in the Chinese language. The English translations and Romanized Pinyin equivalents remain.

The Verge reports these phrases “accidentally” wound up on YouTube’s comment filters, which automatically removes “spam and offensive text.”

YouTube posted a notice informing users that the company was using more automated filters since the pandemic started in March.

YouTube is currently blocked in China. Because of this, YouTube’s parent company, Google, has no official reason to censor comments.

However, this isn’t the first time Google has come under fire for cooperating with China’s communist party.

Google initially created a prototype called Project Dragonfly that would enter the Chinese market and obey Chinese censorship. The project was ultimately terminated and Google said it had “no plans to launch Search in China.”