YouTube AI mistakes chess chat for racism

Antonio Radic, also known as Agadmator, found that his YouTube chess channel was blocked due to ‘harmful and dangerous’ content.

Khuda Bukhsh and fellow researcher Rupak Sarkar ran an experiment to determine exactly what led to the suspension of the chess channel. They found that 82% of the comments flagged by AI as offensive in their sample data didn’t include racist language or offensive speech. Words including ‘black,’ ‘white,’ ‘attack’ and ‘threat’ seemed to trigger the filters, Bukhsh and Sarkar found.

YouTube did not explain why it had blocked Croatian chess player Radic.

This follows the recent news that the Terraria YouTube channel was blocked, and the lead developer’s Google Account disabled, for no clear reason. This news raises questions over the appropriateness of relying on AI to enforce platforms’ terms of service.