Thursday, 25 March 2021

How YouTube banned my thumbnail: How NOT to appeal Community Guidelines strike!



THIS IS THE THUMBNAIL THAT CAUSED ALL THE TROUBLE!



How YouTube banned my thumbnail: How NOT to appeal Community Guidelines strike!



0:00 How YouTube banned my thumbnail: How NOT to appeal Community Guidelines strike!
2:00 How to report a YouTube thumbnail.
4:00 How does Google and YouTube assess my thumbnails for content violations? Google Cloud Vision API
7:07 Here's what happened next... with my appeal? Can you appeal against a YouTube Community Guidelines strike? Will your channel be shut down or deleted?


TRANSCRIPT: (CLICK PLAY ON THE VIDEO ABOVE)

THIS IS THE TRANSCRIPT - CLICK PLAY ON THE VIDEO ABOVE!

I am really embarrassed about making this video because completely out of the blue I got this email directly from YouTube 
Hi Neil Mossey. The following-- 
It's a bit formal!
The following video has been flagged for their thumbnails the thumbnails have been reviewed and removed.
Removed! 

This has never happened to me before ever so I went straight to the video because there must have been some massive mistake and then I went there and I knew exactly exactly which video it was.
I'm going to show you the full thumbnail and the actual video footage that it came from.
There are obviously things that cannot be unseen.
This has to be your decision if you want to see it and I'm going to show you exactly how YouTube and Google automatically assess thumbnails for everything: emotions, headgear, logos and in my case a bit of raciness! 

Get ready to cover your eyes: you're going to see things that in YouTube's opinion violates YouTube's Community Guidelines! 
Hello I'm Neil Mossey and I'm a development producer helping high achieving creators and performers just like you to get... a double one there... to get ideas out of your head and out onto here on YouTube to make the world happier. 
I do lots of experiments on my own channel so that you don't have to and also so you don't get into trouble for things like this.

Hello this is me while I'm editing this video.
Something bad happened: there's a twist at the end of this story and it's... it's not a good twist.
I've had to blur out the thumbnail all the way through the video just so that I don't get another Community Guidelines strike.
Bit of a spoiler there. 

There's a link to the picture in the description so you get to see the the actual thumbnail and stick to the end of this video because it doesn't have a very happy ending! 
Now luckily this is the clean version of the thumbnail and this would give me a chance to demonstrate something.
If you click on the three dots which is a menu, one of the options at the bottom as you can see here is "report".
And if I click on this, these are the things that you can report a thumbnail for: an image or title.
So now I'm wondering was my thumbnail reported by someone? 

I mean the email said it was flagged but it doesn't make clear whether or not it's something that the YouTube algorithm has spotted or if someone has actually reported this.
And now I'm wondering, is now the time?

Do you want to see the thumbnail? 
It was from a video from 20 years ago, it's a video that I actually produced when I worked at the BBC about the life of the dancer and choreographer Peter Gordeno.
He was big on British TV in the 1970s.
He had his own shows and I produced this video for this show because of this piece of archive which was absolutely jaw-dropping.
Now this is very important can you please ask the children to leave the room and be ready to cover your own eyes.

[VIDEO AUDIO:] young Peter grew up vowing to follow dance heroes like Fred Astaire and the rest is history...
[MUSIC]
And that was where the thumbnail came from.
So this is the thumbnail, this is the thing that has prompted this action from YouTube, so I don't know what's going on here.
Maybe somebody did report it, you know these videos go out all over the world and maybe some cultures are not ready or not quite ready for this, or maybe YouTube's own artificial intelligence is... I don't know becoming more sensitive to this kind of footage.
I don't even know if you're going to get to see this video.
Maybe this video will be banned.

It might be a really good experiment if you were to hit the thumbs up now just to help this video not be buried or shadow banned.
Looking at this picture I think the font is probably more offensive than anything else.
Look at the kerning, it's terrible!
But what if we were to actually put this thumbnail into Google?
What if I were to show... good catch! 
What if I share with you the actual AI software - Google's artificial intelligence - this is the software that Google uses to assess all of our thumbnails and this is something you can do yourself right now.
I've put the full link in the description, by the way if you're enjoying this experiment it would really help me out if you were to hit the subscribe button.
I just... I'm convinced that YouTube are gonna completely remove this video.
This is Google cloud vision and all I need to do is to drag my thumbnail into the web page.
This is Google's assessment of this thumbnail.
It has spotted five faces, so it's individually assessed each and every face in the picture.
Interestingly it's chosen Peter Gordeno in the middle - it's chosen him as face one, "possible joy".
Seeing the the behinds, I don't know.
You can see it measures the tilt of his head and it has assessed Peter Gordeno in this picture as having confidence of 82 percent.

It has done that for each of the dancers either side of him but I nearly missed this.
There are tabs all along the top here because it assesses even more.
So objects... a percentage of person... so it can tell there are five persons there.
It has detected swimwear so it didn't quite know whether the underwear is underwear or swimwear, so those are the objects let's go to labels.
Oh interesting okay so it's detecting sports uniforms, shorts... 
I'll let you see the list here, I won't read it out, so these are the labels that it is suggesting for this for this thumbnail.
Sports venue is an interesting guess there.
Right, maybe it thinks it's some kind of martial arts or something.
The dominant colors... this is a percentage of colour in the thumbnail.
Now this is the crucial tab right here: safe search.
Okay so luckily it hasn't assessed this as adult - which it isn't.
There's a high percentage possibility of spoof so this is really good stuff the... the algorithm knows that it isn't a serious piece of skin footage! 
It's unlikely that it's medical - that's good - but very likely to be racy! 
So these are the values that it has assessed but you and I now have some work to do which is this: "if you think this removal was an error please appeal using the form below" 
I think there is no question that I now have to appeal this.
Let's see what happens.

"Please explain the reason for your appeal" 
Here goes.
I literally can't see anything wrong with this image.
Am I so immersed in filth that my sense of decency is wrong? 
This went out at 8:25pm on British national television.
I'm appealing against this so that YouTube doesn't come off as more prudish than BBC One. 
I'm doing this for all of us YouTube, including you.
Come on let's not buttshame Peter Gordeno's colleagues! 
Thank you for your consideration.
Here's what happened next: I got two emails from YouTube.
Here's the first email and it says my appeal is completely 100 percent successful! 
We can confirm that your content does not violate our Community Guidelines! 
Yes! Yes! 
I did it! I did-- yes sound effects of stadium applause! 
I did it and it felt great so I opened up the second email from YouTube.
Your content has been removed.

It violates our policy and then... and then it says you can appeal this decision!
It says I haven't got a Community Guidelines strike but I have had two warnings which you're not allowed to have.
So here's my advice based only on this experience, I don't think it's a good idea to appeal against these decisions because from here it looks like the algorithm will just strike it down again.
I don't know if YouTube is even showing you this video so if you make it this far thanks for any thumbs up or comments that you leave, it really does help other people to find this video, and right here is what YouTube thinks you should be watching next!

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