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YouTube backtracks ban on YouTuber who assaulted Red Dead suffragette

Controversial clips restored but now age restricted, deletion blamed on misinterpretation of guidelines

YouTube has reversed its decisions to ban a series of clips from Red Dead Redemption 2 in which a player assaults and murders a suffragette in a series of brutal ways.

The first video was originally uploaded by YouTuber Shirrako under the title 'Red Dead Redemption 2 - Beating Up Annoying Femininist', and saw the user viciously beat a women's rights protestor who appears in the game.

This was followed by a series of similar clips, all including the term 'feminist' or 'annoying feminist' in the title, in which the suffragette is dropped down a mineshaft, fed to an alligator, or otherwise harmed or murdered.

YouTube originally deleted several of these clips earlier this week - specifically ones where the character is killed, whereas ones in which she is assaulted remained live. YouTube later closed Shirrako's channel and banned the user from starting another.

But the BBC reports it has now reinstated these videos after complaints from other prominent YouTubers, including Keem and PewDiePie. The videos are now age restricted so no one can see them unless signed into to an over-18 account.

The platform's head of gaming Ryan Wyatt has since said the deletion occurred because of a misinterpretation of YouTube's community guidelines and personally assured Shirrako that all his videos would be restored.

"The videos were reviewed, and we determined they should be age restricted, as they were not Community Guideline violations," he told Shirrako via Twitter. "Your channel will be reinstated. All 8,000 videos will be rolled back to the channel."

Responding to other queries about the situation, Wyatt tweeted: "Sometimes we make mistakes, which is why we have multiple escalation paths for reviewers to raise tough decisions and we give creators the right to appeal.

"The reviewer will be educated on this outcome and on how to avoid repeating this mistake."

However, the BBC claims the original deletion was decided upon by multiple YouTube employees and was only overturned when the gaming team stepped in.

A spokesperson told the broadcaster: "YouTube's community guidelines prohibit among other things, gratuitous violence, nudity, dangerous and illegal activities, and hate speech.

"Creative formats such as video games can be challenging to assess but when content crosses the line and is flagged to our attention, we take action as necessary."

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Latest comments (3)

Jonathan Ridgway CEO & Creative Director. Co-founder, Rebourne Studios10 days ago
I'm baffled that an 18+ rated video game isn't automatically age gated by YouTube. Especially due to the fact content creators can now tag the game they're playing when they upload their videos.
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Hugo Trepanier Game Designer, Behaviour Interactive10 days ago
@Jonathan Not everything related to RDR2 is 18+ though. There are tons of videos with just funny glitches or players marveling at the beautiful vistas that wouldn't automatically warrant such a label.

Then you have these other people doing horrible things with Roblox or other kid-friendly games. Ratings should still be a case by case thing.
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Daniel Trezub QA Analyst, Ludia7 days ago
"The reviewer will be educated on this outcome and on how to avoid repeating this mistake.
What about the youtuber being educated? This has exactly the opposite effect on them.

And how in the world a video like the one described is acceptable to be online, be it 18+ or not? If this is not hate speech, I don't know what is it anymore.
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