'They Should Be Ashamed': YouTuber Charlie White Calls Out Platform For Animal Abuse Videos

YouTuber Charlie White, who posts videos under the handle "penguinz0," recently shared a video criticizing YouTube for a lack of action against channels that feature content with animal abuse, saying that it inspires other YouTubers to hurt their pets.

In a video uploaded on Tuesday titled "I'm Mad," White said that he was speaking out after releasing a video on Monday that explores the impact of the Chilean account Peluchin Entertainment, which allegedly made videos in which the teenage YouTuber tortured and murdered his cats.

In his Monday video, White took issue with the fact that Peluchin Entertainment's account has never been deleted by YouTube. Though the videos were eventually deleted and Peluchin did their best to rebrand, White alleges that they weren't deleted by YouTube; it was the by the account holder themselves.

YouTube declined our invitation to comment.

According to a Daily Dot article about Peluchin, YouTube claims they did address the content and removed the videos in question. The company tweeted twice (once in December 2018 and January 2019) that the videos were flagged. It also provided people with a form to report the channel if further abusive videos were uploaded.

Appreciate the report. It looks like the flagged content where the user was inflicting pain to their cats has been taken down by our team. Also, you can always report a channel if you believe it violates our Community Guidelines. Here's how: https://t.co/3VlMekV8aM

— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) December 21, 2018

Sorry for the confusion. The video in which the user abused an animal has already been taken down by our Policy team. If you feel that the channel is still violating our Community Guidelines, you can report it here: https://t.co/TXbCTM0NPP. Our team will take a look.

— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) January 3, 2019

Though the videos are gone from the site now, White said that Peluchin hurting and killing cats set a trend and made him "some hero to animal abusers" on YouTube.

In his video, White cited a user named Angela Alvarez as an example of one such a copycat. After his comments launched on Monday, Alvarez's account was removed, a fact for which White commended the platform.

But that ban didn't stop her for very long. Alvarez has seemingly re-launched her YouTube channel, beginning with a message daring people to report it. Of the four videos uploaded, two are suggestive of animal abuse, although not explicitly showing acts of abuse.

In Monday's video White also pointed out that Peluchin's animal abuse was covered by major media outlets (The Daily Dot covered the YouTuber in 2019) and other YouTubers, yet their account is still allowed to remain active. "The fact that this revolting hemorrhoid even still has a YouTube channel is sickening, and YouTube should be ashamed of themselves," he said.

While not gentle in his critique, White also said that he's worked closely with YouTube through his company Human Media Group, which helps YouTubers with the business side of their content, and that he's mostly had a positive relationship with the teams with whom he's been involved.

He said that when he brought up these issues to the teams at YouTube he learned that inquiries about removing channels with alleged animal abuse were directed to a separate manual review team. "I'd argue the majority of YouTube genuinely does care from behind the scenes. I think a lot of departments are really on the side of creators and want to make it better, but there are a few groups like this one in particular that just completely ruin it and ruin YouTube's reputation and image as a result of it," White said.

White proceeded to criticize the manual review team for censoring some content, but not the alleged violent animal abuse videos. To show an example of the manual review team's incompetence, White compared his content that was removed from YouTube with the alleged animal abuse videos. He cited a staged video imitating a Russian dashcam, where cartoon characters fight, as a video that was flagged and taken off YouTube, but said that the staged violence was less graphic than the videos where people hurt their animals.

He continued: "I don't understand why they're hesitant to delete it. It's like they're endorsing the animal abuse. They're allowing this kid to continue to be this lightning rod to inspire other cat killers on YouTube."

Content intentionally harming animals is not allowed on the platform. YouTube's policies against violent content don't allow videos that feature animals fighting for human onlookers, like dogfighting or cockfighting. It also does not allow content that "shows unnecessary suffering."

White concluded his Tuesday video calling for answers as to what gets flagged by the manual review team and why channels that have featured animal abuse haven't been flagged.

He posted the "AnswerUsYouTube" hashtag to seek a response.

In an update posted on Wednesday titled "We Won a Battle," White said that the video he posted that had been flagged had been unflagged by YouTube and a strike against his channel was removed. After continuing to ask YouTube to reconsider the strike against the channel, pointing to another video with similar content, YouTube eventually relented, allowing the video to return to the site.

Update: we’re not going to die on this hill. You were right – after (even further) review, your video & others are back up and these strikes have been removed. This was an over-enforcement of our policies, especially w/ the added context/commentary as you originally pointed out.

— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) September 2, 2020

At the end of Wednesday's update, White said that he didn't have more information about channels that have animal abuse.

White did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time for publication. Newsweek reached out to Peluchin Entertainment via direct message on Twitter, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Vets examine kittens after they were rescued during an animal rescue mission led by the Rio de Janeiro City Hall Animal Protection Department that saved several cats and dogs found in really bad conditions inside a house at the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro on August 26, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic. A YouTuber recently released a video criticizing YouTube for not deleting channels that showed animal abuse. Getty/MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP