YouTube has reportedly removed hundreds of videos showing robots righting other robots for going against the popular website's policies against animal cruelty

The strange phenomenon was brought to light by a YouTuber called Maker's Muse. In a video published on Monday, Aug. 19, he blamed the algorithm for the removals and asked the video-sharing platform to rectify the situation.

"There is a new algorithm that's trying to take down robot combat videos," he told his audience.

YouTube Mistakes Robot Combat Videos For Animal Cruelty

Jamison Go, a contestant of the show BattleBots, on Facebook posted an e-mail he received from YouTube after the website took down one of his videos. YouTube said that the video titled "MassDestruction 9: Speed Wedge 1 vs Ubersaw" was flagged and, upon review, was taken down for violating the website's guidelines.

YouTube's guideline states that content that shows "deliberate infliction of animal suffering or the forcing of animals to fight" is not allowed to be published by the platform. This includes dogfighting and cockfighting.

Now, no animals were harmed in the video published by Go, but it still was taken down for animal cruelty.

The robot builder said that nine robot combat videos were removed from his channel. Many others have lost hundreds or more.

Sarah Pohorecky, who also appeared on BattleBots, told Vice that one of her videos was also taken down from YouTube. She added that 10 to 15 robot builders also lost several robot combat videos.

YouTube Admits Mistake

A spokesperson for YouTube reassured that after the company has been alerted of the mistake, they immediately reinstated videos that were accidentally removed.

"With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call," explained the spokesperson. "We also offer uploaders the ability to appeal removals and we will re-review the content."

As of this writing, several videos, including Go's, were back online. However, Pohorecky said that there were no clear options to protest the removals. The new YouTube Studio has removed the "appeal" button beside the offending video, a feature that was present in the old interface.

YouTube also clarified that there currently are no rules against publishing robot combat videos on the platform.

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