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YouTube thought my Steam Deck video was 'harmful and dangerous'

By - | Views: 26,832

Here is your daily dose of what the heck? YouTube and the mighty algorithm decided for no apparent reason, that my Steam Deck video was "harmful and dangerous".

Over the last few months the GamingOnLinux YouTube channel has managed to gain around triple the amount of followers it once had. This is mainly due to the Steam Deck, and my decision to cover updates to it both in articles and in short concise videos (and people seem to really like the format).

According to YouTube though, this video was just a step too far:

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An email lands in my inbox from YouTube, noting it was removed for violations against their "harmful and dangerous policy". That's right, the Steam Deck is a dangerous weapon and we should all need to carry around a license or something? Perhaps having two of them and dual-wielding is just too much for YouTube.

Thankfully, after going through the appeals process, the video was restored.

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It's another reminder that moderation bots are stupid and having all your eggs in one basket is not a great idea either.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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54 comments
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Klaas 19 Aug
Quoting: randylFor channel authors YouTube may suck, but for consumption YouTube is pretty good.
It depends. The next video recommendations have a tendency to point towards conspiracy theories, dangerous crafts hacks and other weird stuff.

Some of the age gate flags are very weird. A few years ago people started abusing the system to soft ban some music videos by a German TV station that made fun of Putin although there wasn't anything age sensitive at all.

Quoting: lectrodeIt would be interesting to know exactly what in the video caused it to do that.
Maybe the discussing changelog. Too much text on the screen. It seems that many of the videos that instruct the viewers in questionable methods of software acquisition write URLs in a text editor.
randyl 19 Aug
Quoting: Klaas
Quoting: randylFor channel authors YouTube may suck, but for consumption YouTube is pretty good.
It depends. The next video recommendations have a tendency to point towards conspiracy theories, dangerous crafts hacks and other weird stuff.

Some of the age gate flags are very weird. A few years ago people started abusing the system to soft ban some music videos by a German TV station that made fun of Putin although there wasn't anything age sensitive at all.

Quoting: lectrodeIt would be interesting to know exactly what in the video caused it to do that.
Maybe the discussing changelog. Too much text on the screen. It seems that many of the videos that instruct the viewers in questionable methods of software acquisition write URLs in a text editor.
I get what you're saying, but like I mention in the post you quoted, I typically don't look at their content recommendations, just my channel subscriptions. The recommendations on my page personally aren't filled with conspiracy theory stuff so much as content I'm just not interested in. Also, the top section of recommendations are all channels I follow so I see tech and music stuff mostly, except for the one comedian I follow (Eleanor Morton). Down below that are all the stuff they think I'll like or want to push at me. Gamers Nexus is probably the most socially provocative channel I have so most of my recommendations are "boring" anyway.

The big takeaway I got from watching Liam's video post about the issue is that having a dialog with a real person about the specifics is nearly impossible. That is true for issues with other Google services as well and one of the big reasons I avoid using their services when at all possible. I'm not sure there is much that can be done about it.


Last edited by randyl on 19 August 2022 at 6:33 pm UTC
1xok 19 Aug
I'll bet you a pancake it had something to do with MASSIVE and Deck. Because some people attribute divine abilities to AI, it is often hard to underestimate it in practice. And the team is probably not really a team.
setzer22 19 Aug
I still don't understand how they hooked a machine learning algorithm into an automated system that could ruin some creator's livelihood and called it a day...

Next up, our taxes are going to be decided by some black box deep neural model based on how good of a citizen we are...
Quoting: setzer22I still don't understand how they hooked a machine learning algorithm into an automated system that could ruin some creator's livelihood and called it a day...

Next up, our taxes are going to be decided by some black box deep neural model based on how good of a citizen we are...
Isn't that what China is calling "Social Credit"?
Pengling 19 Aug
Quoting: KlaasIt depends. The next video recommendations have a tendency to point towards conspiracy theories, dangerous crafts hacks and other weird stuff.
Quoting: randylThe recommendations on my page personally aren't filled with conspiracy theory stuff so much as content I'm just not interested in.
I get what Klaas describes, and the weird "Up Next/Related" content that gets chucked at me has zero to do with what I actually watch - that mainly being video game playthroughs either to seek out what I might like or to watch someone else's views on stuff that I wouldn't enjoy playing myself, food-science videos, and generally-humourous scambaiting streams and documentaries, plus listening to video game music and 1970s/1980s/1990s tunes.

I have personalised recommendations turned off, but until recently the non-personalised "Up Next/Related" stuff was still fairly relevant (i.e., other scambaiting content, different people's playthroughs of similar games/genres, funny reviews and taste-tests of expired food) - then a few months ago it suddenly started suggesting weird conspiracy-theories, dangerous "crafts", random people's/organisations' rants/vlogs/streams on subjects of no interest and relation to what I watch, and other stuff that generally appears to be trying to funnel me towards clickbait. If I want to look through it, I have to scroll down to see more relevant stuff at the side of a playing video, and the weird things get higher billing than the relevant ones.


Last edited by Pengling on 19 August 2022 at 8:07 pm UTC
elmapul 19 Aug
Quoting: Pendragon
Quoting: nPHYN1T3Cue the post obligatory post on Odysee comment with all the other Open Source / FOSS people. ;p

Youtube really does suck though ... case in point: look up "Totally Not Mark" on Youtube

i dont get it, whats up with this channel? its a plagiarism or something?
Quoting: Pengling
Quoting: KlaasIt depends. The next video recommendations have a tendency to point towards conspiracy theories, dangerous crafts hacks and other weird stuff.
Quoting: randylThe recommendations on my page personally aren't filled with conspiracy theory stuff so much as content I'm just not interested in.
I get what Klaas describes, and the weird "Up Next/Related" content that gets chucked at me has zero to do with what I actually watch - that mainly being video game playthroughs either to seek out what I might like or to watch someone else's views on stuff that I wouldn't enjoy playing myself, food-science videos, and generally-humourous scambaiting streams and documentaries, plus listening to video game music and 1970s/1980s/1990s tunes.

I have personalised recommendations turned off, but until recently the non-personalised "Up Next/Related" stuff was still fairly relevant (i.e., other scambaiting content, different people's playthroughs of similar games/genres, funny reviews and taste-tests of expired food) - then a few months ago it suddenly started suggesting weird conspiracy-theories, dangerous "crafts", random people's/organisations' rants/vlogs/streams on subjects of no interest and relation to what I watch, and other stuff that generally appears to be trying to funnel me towards clickbait. If I want to look through it, I have to scroll down to see more relevant stuff at the side of a playing video, and the weird things get higher billing than the relevant ones.
I've seen a bit of stuff from the content creator end of this. Saw a couple of youtube videos from people involved in stuff around medieval weaponry and culture, saying that the policy changed recently-ish and seems less interested in users' personal preferences and more in more global ideas of popularity, to the point where even their subscribers are often not notified of their stuff, and their views are plummeting because people interested in their kind of content are no longer being shown their videos as viewing options.
It doesn't help that Google owns some content creation now, and of course has relationships with big advertisers who are also big content creators . . . there's no reason to trust Youtube to be a level playing field.
Pengling 19 Aug
Quoting: Purple Library GuySaw a couple of youtube videos from people involved in stuff around medieval weaponry and culture, saying that the policy changed recently-ish and seems less interested in users' personal preferences and more in more global ideas of popularity, to the point where even their subscribers are often not notified of their stuff, and their views are plummeting because people interested in their kind of content are no longer being shown their videos as viewing options.
I'm not at all surprised - I suspected that it'd be something like that, as it's fair to say that the stuff I consider weird (keeping in mind that I definitely don't fall into "average" viewing-habits) is also stuff that I know generates a lot of profits out in the wider world.
Pendragon 19 Aug
Quoting: elmapuli dont get it, whats up with this channel? its a plagiarism or something?

it's a long story -- cliffnotes: Youtube fail-whaled hard on their communication and incompetence in navigating a simple problem involving international differences in copyright and fair use


Last edited by Pendragon on 19 August 2022 at 9:04 pm UTC
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