Two videos debunking the claim that Tesla’s Full Self-Driving runs over children have been removed by YouTube. The videos were in response to a television ad campaign put forth by Green Hills Software CEO, Dan O’Dowd. O’Dowd aired television ads with the claim that Tesla’s FSD software “repeatedly hits child-sized mannequins,” and thus, the clickbait headlines poured in.
In response to these ads, Tesla FSD Beta tester, @WholeMarsBlog, and Tad Park disproved these ads and uploaded their test to YouTube. Those two videos have now been removed by the platform.
According to CNBC, a YouTube spokesperson said the videos were removed “under the company’s policy over harmful and dangerous content.” after CNBC had reached out.
Elena Hernandez, the YouTube spokesperson mentioned above, told CNBC, “YouTube doesn’t allow content showing a minor participating in dangerous activities or encouraging minors to do dangerous activities. Upon review, we determined that the videos raised to us by CNBC violate our harmful and dangerous policies, and as a result, we removed the content.”
@WholeMarsBlog and Tad Park were the two drivers testing the life-saving software. Tad Park, the CEO of Volt Equity and portfolio manager of VCAR, told CNBC that he believed in his investments and had experienced the product himself. He emphasized that the kids were never in danger and that extensive safety precautions were taken. He also told CNBC that he was prepared to take over at any time. He also said that in the video.
When @WholeMarsBlog initially released the video, he told me in a Twitter message that the tests proved that FSD Beta has no problem detecting pedestrians of all ages. He also emphasized that the driver needs to pay attention and that FSD Beta ensures this.
“Our tests showed that Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta has no problem detecting pedestrians of all ages. As long as the driver is paying attention, which the system ensures, there is no risk to pedestrians even in the event that the software fails to detect them.”
“This is driver assistance and is not expected to be perfect. It sickens me that Dan O’Dowd would push harmful misinformation to benefit himself financially. He should be charged criminally for false advertising, along with any stations that ran his ads. I don’t have millions to spend on ads like Dan, so please share the video on social media so that everyone who saw Dan’s ad can see our test too.”
To be quite honest, I’ve seen videos on YouTube that are more dangerous than testing the software on a vehicle. YouTube allows crypto scammers to not only promote their scams. Many often post deep fake videos of Elon Musk promoting these scams. An example is this one.
Additionally, you can do a simple YouTube search and find incredibly dangerous and unsafe things that people upload themselves doing. Is YouTube going to take any of those down? Probably not and I don’t advocate for this to happen.
This is just my opinion, but Tesla’s FSD Beta software is something that will save lives and unfortunately, there are many industries that profit from the loss of life.
Disclaimer: Johnna is long Tesla.