Last night for about an hour, YouTube went dark. The popular video and streaming site came back up, but a number of users quickly discovered the platform run by Google released a brand new auto-censor for live streams.

During The Gator Gamer’s stream, users discovered just how powerful YouTube’s new censor bot was. Many believe the new censor bot was tied to YouTube’s crash yesterday.

Twitter user @zyntrax posted a screenshot of the chat being censored:

That was followed by a short clip:

It also appears the country Niger has also been banned.

Other users report that if your comments are deleted by the bot too many times a Google moderator is notified.

There were also reports that entire live stream chats were disabled.

One user did indicate he was not experiencing issues in another live stream.

I also tested some of the words users reported that were being censored on different live streams and did not see a censor. It’s possible only certain streams were effected by this censor bot.

Social media platform Gab even commented about YouTube’s outage. They hint that the downtime might have been intentional so they could implement the censorship function.

They even suggested the timing of YouTube’s outage along with Twitter’s notification issues was too coincidental and believed there might be some kind of censorship plan in the works in Silicon Valley.

What makes YouTube’s implementation of this new auto censor bot even more interesting is that a report indicated that the U.S. Supreme Court will actually hear a case that could limit technology companies’ ability to censor their users. The case of Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck (No. 17-702) asks the question if a private operator of a public access television network could be considered a state actor. If they are, then they could be in turn sued for First Amendment violations.

Though it doesn’t seem like much this case could have much broader implications for social media platforms as it could open up the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Google, and YouTube to potential First Amendment lawsuits. It has been no secret that the social media giants are actively trying to curb and manipulate user behavior after the 2016 election that saw President Donald J. Trump elected President of the United States.

What do you make of YouTube’s new auto-censor? Do you think they are only specifically targeting certain streams? Do you think the big tech companies are working together?

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About The Author

Jorge Arenas
Resident Star Trek Specialist/ Writer

Jorge Arenas is a Governmental Affairs Director working in the Southwest. If Starfleet were real his career would be in a much different place. Currently, he specializes in all things Star Trek. He loves DC but has a soft spot for Deadpool. When not writing you can find him on World of Warcraft. Battle.net, ID-PassStage6#1707

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