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YouTube's Moderation Questioned After Banning Accounts For Too Many Emojis

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"YouTube has a huge problem right now," argues videogame streamer Markiplier. "People's accounts are being suspended without reason, without provocation, and their appeals to get it back are being denied without explanation." Engadget revisits "YouTube's occasionally questionable moderation" -- in this case, people being banned simply for using too many emojis (or "emotes") in their comments to videogame-streamer Markiplier during a YouTube-produced choose-your-own-adventure special. The service says it has reinstated legions of Markiplier fans' accounts after they were banned simply for spamming emotes (and not even to a great degree) while voting during a live playthrough of the interactive movie A Heist with Markiplier. Not all of the accounts have been restored, Markiplier said, but YouTube added that it was "looking into" both why human moderators denied appeals and how it might "prevent this in the future." The change of heart came after Markiplier (aka Mark Fischbach) posted a video illustrating both how trivial the bans were, examples of denied appeals and the consequences for some users. As he explained, this didn't just kick people out of chat. It affected entire Google accounts -- people lost videos, channel memberships or access to important services they needed, all because they spammed several emotes in one line. He also blasted YouTube for claiming that appeals were carefully reviewed, noting that there was at least one instance where someone succeeded with an appeal, and was almost immediately banned again for seemingly no reason... The incident highlights the complications and limitations of YouTube's approach to moderation. While the sheer size of YouTube virtually mandates some form of automated policing, it's not guaranteed to correctly interpret everything (especially if it's asked to be particularly strict).

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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