Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The demonetization of independent journalists (over embedded toxic content) on YouTube is rapidly coming to a head, and could spread to other areas if not "contained"


Today, I just sent three tweets to YouTube executives as a formal reply to the “conflation” or “meta-content” problem posed  by Ford Fischer (News2Share) and other independent journalists when they report on protests and demonstrations and some people they film articulate “unacceptable content”, which would be embedded in the “meta-content” (that is, the reporting with embedding of toxic content from speakers or protesters at a public event).
  
Here is the Twitter link. I've also documented this in Minds ("'/jboushka"). 

We’re waiting to see how YouTube will answer.

Again, there are several elements.  The main problem is with demonetization; independent journalists can’t make a living at this, or the content can’t pay for itself, which in turn causes other problems we have already talked about. YouTube fears that advertisers will object to content that contains livestream of violent extremism even if posted for journalism.

And YouTube could reasonably be concerned that some viewers will not understand the idea of journalism and will be radicalized by the embedded speech anyway.  Imagine if the Internet had been available in 1933.

But YouTube especially seems caught off guard with not having thought through a problem like this. Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google) called it a "hard computer science problem".  Ironically, John Fish, a Harvard undergraduate with a video channel on undergraduate life with a tech major (computer science), while usually non-political, has dropped hints on his channel that these kinds of problems are coming for the whole industry. It's as if Ford had created a "final exam" problem for a university journalism course. 
  
The problem could conceivably become a concern on Blogger, and in general on hosted platforms. But generally text (as opposed to video) is not viewed as so enticing (although remember how the Christchurch “manifesto” was feared and quarantined in New Zealand).  The notion that certain “ideas” must be quarantined as “viruses” seems novel but maybe the point of some “stochastic terrorist” activity.

    
I am beginning to believe that the demonetization of many journalistic or political commentary-oriented YouTube channels (otherwise not supporting commerce) on June 5 is somewhat coincidental to the Maza-Crowder problem and may even go back to 2018 when Susan Wojcicki made an alarming statement about the EU Article 13.

There are important stories today on Twitter, too, about embedding other people's tweets in direct messages, and about little known ways to troll with empty honeypot accounts;  Twitter will address these but I did not get around to reporting about them as issues in detail today. 

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