YouTube Suspends Chess Channel for Mistaking It to Be Racist

This may sound hilarious, but recently YouTube suspended a Croatian chess player’s channel on the basis of terms like “black”, “white”, “attack” and “threat” used frequently. Of course, these terms were only meant to explain chess strategies. However, the AI algorithm of YouTube mistook it to be hate speech – to be precise, strategies against racism.

Which Chess Channel did YouTube Block?

The famous chess player whose channel was suspended is Antonio Radic. He is one of the most popular YouTubers and chess players with more than 1 million subscribers on 7th February 2021. He has received more than 393 million views on all his videos so far.

Popularly known as “Agadmator”, he mostly creates tutorial videos where he provides many chess strategies. On 28th June 2020, he uploaded a video where he’s playing chess with Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, the youngest American chess champion. This video led to a ban of his channel, which was lifted within 24 hours.

How Did this Happen?

Apparently, YouTube uses AI and machine learning in its algorithm for detecting content being uploaded there. Even though YouTube has not provided any explanation from its end, experts say that AI can lead to such errors.

The term “black vs white” was used in the video several times along with other words like “threat” and “attack”. Of course, they were used for explaining the game only. However, since chess language is not included in AI algorithms, it led to the suspension of the player’s channel.

Computer scientist KhubaBuksh and his team have gone through 680,000 responses and rarely do they seem “hateful” or “racist”. He suggests that it’s time to add chess language in AI algorithms to avoid such mistakes in future.

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