A number of Youtube videos have reportedly been removed due to content containing animal abuse. However, the videos in question were completely absent of any animals, instead featuring BattleBots in combat. Several YouTubers have spoken out.
Maker's Muse, a popular design channel, discussed the issue and examined a YouTube notice shared on social media regarding the false flagging of just one of many videos. The notice reminded uploaders, "content that displays the deliberate infliction of animal suffering or the forcing of animals to fight is not allowed on YouTube," despite the fact that the content of the removed video was well within the established community guidelines.
The video-sharing website has a long history of wrongfully removing videos. While YouTube claims that the cases are manually reviewed, it has become abundantly clear among users that a flawed algorithm is responsible for the removal of a majority of videos, many of which do not conflict with the content guidelines.
As explained by Maker's Muse, there are potentially thousands of videos featuring robots created by enthusiasts, battling it out in organized BattleBot matches. The vast majority of these matches take precautions to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Anyone viewing these videos will see that it is far from being animal abuse. YouTube has not yet responded to the complaints.