Thursday, October 04, 2012

Painkiller Already #110 Ended After WoodysGamertag was Banned by Google

The now-weekly broadcast of Painkiller Already, shortened to PKA, was ended prematurely when WoodysGamertag was blocked from Google Hangouts. It is through their interface that this livestreamed broadcast is brought to YouTube viewers.

The PKA broadcast is a well known gathering of YouTube Call of Duty commentators and friends who gather to speak their minds on Thursday evenings and has become a central nexus of thought for that corner of the YouTube community.

Host WingsOfRedemption from YouTube was quick to put up a video explaining why the video was suddenly cut off, including a comment that Woody had received a message noting that it had been done due to “Reason Code 39.”

To this moment, the actual meaning of “Reason Code 39” is unknown.

Speculation mounts that it is potentially Code 3.9 which means that it’s a subsection of the Google Policies & Principles document outlining no use of hate speech:

3. Hate Speech

Do not distribute content that promotes hatred or violence towards groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity.

Although it does seem somewhat premature or strange that this has happened to PKA. The speech and conversation ran into places considered offensive to some; but none of it crossed into hate speech territory. The discussion certainly angled through racism as well as transgender topics (and not artfully handled)—but not in any sense not previously covered on previous PKA broadcasts. The PKA hosts are well known for a vulgar attitude; but nothing that has ever exceeded even the feverish expectation of “hate speech.”


Google themselves do not speak to how they determine when a Hangout has infracted their policies & principles guidelines document.

Someone could have flagged the Hangout or a bot “listening” to the broadcast could have procedurally decided to terminate the broadcast and throw the error.

The strike occurred during a story told by another host retelling a story involving a transgender prostitute in Japan that included “colorful” terms (read: actually offensive epithets related to transgendered individuals) and a trigger-worthy narrative that included violence against a transgendered individual. The violence itself was not the point of the story nor was it central to the post discussion.

We may never know as YouTube and Google are not known for good customer service in this department.

There is already a question up for Google (potentially staff) asking what “Reason Code 39” is and ideas are being posted tonight. Although we may not know until WoodysGamertag posts on his YouTube channel to explain.

UPDATE: From WoodysGamertag,

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