Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Washington Post reports Youtube as a "vortex of hate" on day Google CEO testifies to House Judiciary Committee

In a long front page article in the Washington Post by Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin, Tony Room, and Andrew Ba Tran, four major tech reporters claim “Despite YouTube’s efforts, it’s still a vortex of hate”.  Online the title is “Two years after #Pizzagate showed the dangers of hateful conspiracies, they’re stillrampant on YouTube”.  The story caught my eye in a 7-11 this morning on a routine coffee run.
The story appears on the day that Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified for over three hours before the House Judiciary Committee, on CSPAN-3.  I’ll have a more detailed post on that tomorrow on Wordpress.  Toward the end of the session, two Republican congressmen (from Texas and Iowa) threatened to pull Section 230 protections on Google completely over the supposed bias against conservatism.

The article, however, notes the plentiful content from users of 4Chan and Gab.

It also documents a case of the spreading of a particular conspiracy theory in France (applicable today, given the protests against Macron) with repeated videos, simply because the algorithms show people videos similar to what they have watched before, which YouTube does for me.  (It does not include sexually explicit videos in this preview, in my case.)  

You get out of a platform like this what you want. 
YouTube could face more pressures regarding sexually explicit content following the examples of Tumblr and Facebook, given even newer concerns over the possible downstream risks from FOSTA.

And I wonder if a lot of classical music content could disappear next year if EU's "Article 13" goes into effect.  

I wanted to note that I sometimes get inquiries on publishing particularly leftist (“intersectional”) material, and then get quizzed in followup emails on why I won’t pay attention to their groups and some how play fair with victims of oppression (according to “them”).  True, I often write about things that have not directly affected me (although they could in the future, indirectly) with a detached, aloof, neutral tone, with no special consideration for the idea of (group) victimization (the group aspect makes it sound less personal at the get-go).  Am I being goaded to stumble and be set up for a complaint based on “manifest observable behavior”?   Something reported to a platform by a troll is hardly “manifest”.

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