YouTube says comments critical of Chinese Communist Party were removed in error

YouTube says comments critical of Chinese Communist Party were removed in error

YouTube is investigating the removal of comments critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from its platform, a company spokesperson told The Hill Tuesday.

The Verge reported Tuesday that user comments containing the words “共匪” (“communist bandit”) or “五毛” (“50-cent party”) have been being automatically deleted from videos and livestreams after being up for approximately 15 seconds.

The "communist bandit" insult dates back to China's nationalist government while "50 cent party" is as slang term for internet users paid to shield the CCP from online criticism, according to The Verge.

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“This appears to be an error in our enforcement systems and we are investigating," the YouTube spokesperson said.

"Users can report suspected issues to troubleshoot errors and help us make product improvements.”

YouTube emphasized that the removals were not the result of a policy change and noted that the company has had to rely more on automated moderation as COVID-19 keeps human content moderators home.

The Verge found complaints on YouTube's help pages from October about the phrases also being removed.