A raft of popular Pokémon GO YouTubers – including Marksman, Mystic7 and Trainer Tips – received accidental bans yesterday and were locked out of their Google accounts after being informed that their family-friendly content contained prohibited material.
Account owners were informed via a stock response that their videos contravened YouTube's guidelines and were given no further information. Speaking to the BBC, YouTuber Billiam Thies said that his Google account was also deleted, leaving him unable to rectify the problem or find out the exact cause.
After some general confusion and an outcry on social media, Google reinstated the blocked accounts and admitted they had been banned mistakenly. The company hasn't divulged the exact reason for the flagging error, although there's speculation that it's to do with an overzealous algorithm hunting elicit content and mistaking harmless, common abbreviations in Pokémon GO and other clips (including archived Club Penguin videos) for very serious material.
Owners were swiftly reunited with their accounts once Google realised the error, and it's good to know the company is taking active measures to protect users of all ages from the very unsavoury, darker parts of the internet. However, in a world where more than ever judgements are made after reading only a sensationalist headline, accusations like this can cause serious damage online, regardless of intent.
We'd imagine the above-mentioned YouTubers will get on just fine now this has blown over, and we'd hope that any smaller content creators affected don't suffer any long term consequences thanks to this error.
What are your thoughts? Better to be safe than sorry and let the bots flag every tiny thing? Do you think any YouTubers will suffer from this obvious mistake in the long term? Let us know what you think below.