YouTube allegedly confused Pokemon GO videos with child abuse

YouTube has allegedly confused Pokemon GO and Club Penguin videos with footage of child abuse, as the site has seemingly banned several accounts focused on the two games for using an acronym associated with illegal underage pornography. While many of the affected channels have now been reinstated, those whose accounts were banned have called for improvements to YouTube’s algorithms as a result of the incident.

The issue was flagged by Nick, creator of the YouTube channel Trainer Tips which boasts over 800,000 subscribers. Nick posted a message he received from YouTube regarding the removal of his video ‘HOW TO GET STRONGER POKEMON WITH HIGH IVs/CP IN POKEMON GO,’ which was flagged for “sexually provocative content.”

“Sexual content involving minors is particularly sensitive,” the message from YouTube reads. “YouTube prohibits uploading, commenting, or engaging in any type of activity that sexualizes minor.”

Nick pointed out that the removal of the video was likely due to his video including the acronym ‘CP,’ which stands for Combat Power in the Pokemon series, though is also used to refer to child pornography. This would also explain why videos featuring the now-defunct MMO Club Penguin, which also goes by the acronym CP, were removed from the site.

The videos being removed also led to several channels receiving strikes on their accounts, which can result in these channels being suspended or permanently removed from YouTube. One such channel was MYSTIC7, a popular Pokemon Go YouTuber with over 1.7 million subscribers, who received strikes after YouTube mistakenly believed he had published “sexual content.”

YouTube hasn’t officially responded to the reasons behind these channels being erroneously punished, with the site typically remaining silent when it comes issues with its algorithms. However, considering that these videos were each flagged for “sexual content,” it seems likely that the Combat Power acronym is to blame for their removal. YouTube responded to MYSTIC7 that it was looking into the issue, with the removed videos having since been republished on the site.