Man on Man’s (Faith No More) Video Unbanned by YouTube After Homophobic AI Removed It
Man on Man, the new side project Faith No More keyboardist Roddy Bottum started with his partner, Joey Holman, while on quarantine, released their very first song, “Daddy,” last month, but its release came with an upsetting development: the song’s video, which depicted the two gay men affectionately touching each other, was banned from YouTube. Even without knowing the specifics or having seen the video, the band’s fans were quick to surmise that YouTube’s algorithm had accidentally singled out the video for its gay content: in other words, the AI is homophobic.
The video has finally been unbanned by YouTube after the service manually reviewed it and now, having seen the video, we can confirm: yup, that’s exactly what happened. The video depicts two men in their underwear lovingly touching each other, while hundreds of videos of straight couples with way less clothing on performing more provocative acts get the pass every week. Perhaps it was simply the phrase “man on man” that tripped the algorithm; who knows, but either way it’s lame.
What’s more, Rolling Stone actually got YouTube to comment on the issue. Even though the streaming platform’s comment essentially amounts to “Whoops, mistakes happen,” at least it’s something:
“With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it. We also offer uploaders the ability to appeal removals and we will re-review the content.”
The band was way more direct in their own statement, calling out YouTube for their bias:
“It’s clear tech companies are lacking in representation and therefore discriminate against skin color, age, sex, and sexuality. Even if YouTube does value and promote diversity, the truth is, the industry is still playing by straight men’s rules. It’s devaluing when we see Google monopolize on our Pride but do so little to actually enhance and protect the LGBTQIA+ digital experience. We’re asking for an equitable playing field.”
You can watch the clip for “Daddy” below. Bottum says that an entire album’s worth of material has already been recorded, with more singles and videos on the way soon and eventual LP release tentative for later this year.