Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Digital Citizen's Alliance criticizes major service platforms like YouTube for permitting dangerous content

The Digital Citizen’s Alliance has become vocal in criticizing major Internet companies for tolerating dangerous content on their servers, such as videos that would show people how to make weapons or buy illegal drugs.  It is also critical of “content theft” sites, as in this blog entry here

I sometimes see some of my own blog postings recopied and packaged into other sites, and even my books.  I haven’t been concerned about it because I don’t depend on the revenue from my content, but what about people who do have to depend on the income?
  
The Washington Post has a detailed story on P A15 by Hayle Tsukayama on Tuesday March 11, 2014 about the DCA’s criticism of YouTube, Facebook and other platforms of not being vigorous enough to stop dangerous content.  Most providers say that, beyond some automated tools, they cannot stop dangerous content but regard it as a TOS violation and will remove it when made aware of it.  It’s not immediately clear how closely related this issue is to Section 230 immunities.   Facebook is reported to be taking steps to stop weapons ads from being seen by known minors, and the screening of ads would seem to be part of the issue.  (I do not screen ads that appear on my own sites, but I’ve wondered if I should more recently.)  The story on the Post Switch Blog (despite the departure of one of it’s main writers for Vox) is here
  
There is a similar story on Broadway World here

DCA has a YouTube video, “No prescription, no problem”:
For some reason, Digital Citizens is rated Yellow by Webroot Secure Anywhere and is given incorrectly as “shopping” in search results.  This seems to be incorrectly scored and marked. 




The possibility of posting content that gives amateurs instructions on how to engage in destructive behaviors, like acquiring weapons illegally or making them, has always been around.  It was mentioned after the Boston Marathon attack in April 2013.  Some of the content that deals with WMD’s, like nuclear or radio EMP devices, is probably not very reliable technically,  thankfully.  It’s easy to imagine legal issues coming up in conjunction with Section 230, or even with hyperlinks to such content.  Book self-publishing platforms from legitimate companies supposedly do “content evaluation” to make sure that they are not publishing hate literature, child pornography, obviously copyrighted material, or possibly material intended to assist terrorists.     

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