It’s no secret that YouTube’s algorithm for automatically flagging videos can be troublesome — recent issues have seen content creators getting their videos demonetized for seemingly no reason — but Google’s latest faux pas might hit the company a little closer to home. Google posted an ad for its new Chromebook Pixel that is getting flagged as spam, according to The Next Web. For its part, Google seems to have already fixed the issue, but screenshots and even a video still remain of the deleted video
It’s particularly telling about whatever is happening with YouTube’s algorithm that even official Google content is getting removed “for violating YouTube’s policy on spam, deceptive practices, and scams.”
And yes, it’s fun to have a bit of a laugh at Google’s expense, and it’s entirely possible that the error was just a simple glitch, but it’s also a potentially unnerving look at how Google is moderating content on YouTube and the dangers of machine learning. It’s great that Google is building tools to automatically flag and remove deceptive videos and weed out spam, but if the end result is a black box that just arbitrarily makes decisions that even Google’s content isn’t safe from, then who is it really helping?