The Verge reported on Tuesday that comments left under videos containing specific Chinese phrases critical of the country’s government were being auto-deleted.
Certain phrases, including what are translated to “communist bandit” and “50-cent party,” were being deleted since as early as October of 2019, according to the report. An Ars Technica reporter confirmed the situation by posting comments with those phrases, which were deleted in less than a minute.
The auto-deletion had been noticed by users since last year, with a thread on YouTube’s help page showing several people saying comments with the phrases would “magically disappear” and that their comments were “now gone.”
YouTube told the news outlet the auto-deletion was an “error” in the site’s enforcement system. A spokesperson added that the platform was investigating the issue.
China has blocked YouTube since 2009.
You can read the Verge report here.