YouTube is using machine learning to ban all mentions of impeachment whistleblower’s name


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YouTube has announced that it’s following in the footsteps of Facebook and banning all mentions of the alleged Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) impeachment whistleblower’s name whose complaint triggered the impeachment probe against President Trump.

A YouTube spokesperson said that mentioning the whistleblower’s name in a video, using the name in a video title, or using the name in a video description will lead to its removal. The spokesperson added that YouTube is going to scrub mentions of the name from its site by using a combination of machine learning and human review.

YouTube’s announcement follows Facebook also confirming that it’s removing “any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower’s name.”

Several Twitter users have also reported that they’re being silenced for publishing the name of the impeachment whistleblower. However, Twitter has since said tweeting the name of the whistleblower does not violate its rules.

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While mentions of the name are being scrubbed from YouTube and Facebook, there is no law prohibiting the whistleblower from being named. Additionally, the name has been shared by public figures, media outlets, and even government officials.

The name of the whistleblower has been widely available on the internet since October so it’s unclear why YouTube is banning mentions of it now and why the decision to ban the name was made within minutes of Facebook rolling out an identical ban.

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Tom Parker

Tom Parker is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net and provides news and analysis on how we can promote free speech, stop censorship, and protect our personal data online. [email protected]