A number of users have reported that clicking on links found in the description field under videos now redirects them to a warning page, cautioning users against opening certain websites. But it appears that, in addition to malicious pages, the video sharing service is wrongly flagging tons of legitimate websites for “malware, phishing or disturbing content.” Among others are popular destinations like Facebook, Twitter, Patreon and – on at least one occasion – the White House.
It appears that Google is running a trial with this sort of warnings on YouTube – and has been for a couple of months now.
Interestingly, the warnings seem to appear selectively. While some people are greeted with a warning message when clicking on links under certain videos, others are able to open links under the same videos without seeing any warning at all. Also, while links under a little-known channel (with less than 10,000 subscribers) prompted the malware warning, URLs posted under videos from YouTube personality Philip DeFranco seem to open just fine.
Indeed, a slew of miffed users took to Twitter to complain the video sharing service seems to be blocking lots of credible websites with these warnings, including the White House and IBM.
Google hasn’t come out yet with any official statement regarding the matter.