Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Subverse (Tim Pool's) invites investors in a crowdfunding drive; could I fold myself into it?



Subverse, an independent media company founded (at least in large part) by Tim Pool is doing a crowdfunding campaign today, which you can participate at this link
  
It appeared to need a bank draft escrow, which will draw later.  The minimum share is $100 (making total purchase $108).  You can post a public message to other investors when you purchase at least one share.  I did the $100 today.


I wanted to take a moment to note that most of my online content (outside social media sites) is in three segments:  Blogger (16 blogs, since 2006), Wordpress (4 blogs, since 2016), and the legacy flat site doaskdotell.com, to which no new content is normally added, but which houses many older movie, book, and drama/music reviews as well as some older essays, and the text of my books.  (There is also Minds.)  I do get criticism for the lack of obvious “transparency” and the amateurishness of not being able to put everything in one format. I could say that is what fundraising for new sites is about.  I stay out there, and don’t “play ball” with others in the community.  But I keep on playing my own game.  Right now, there is no other game.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Instagram removes some more meme accounts, but this may be due to genuinely inauthentic commercial behavior by users



About thirty Instagram users running “meme” accounts had their work deactivated and removed this weekend, following a similar purge last December.  Fox5 in San Diego offers a typical story
  
Some critics say that the incident is related to a FB-driven crackdown on conservative or even libertarian ideology, and is motivated by the 2020 elections, and more observers are noting the enormous power social media companies have on American elections, possibly with Russian influence (as with Mueller’s testimony last week).
  
  
A narrower reading of the incident suggests that some users were violating terms of service, including offering verification services or restoration available only to members of the established media (although why that would be so is disturbing). Several users were making large incomes, one as a college fund.

Memes normally comprise graphics or brief video or audio that metaphorically illustrate a political concept, but sometimes even wordmarks (like my “do ask do tell”) are viewed as memes.  Pewdiepie, a entertainer and a grown man getting rich by acting out online the role of a little boy playing with Christmas toys (like Minecraft) brags about his memes in gest with no real political message.  Unfortunately, people read into memes what they want to see already. 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Federal judge dismisses Covingron kid's lawsuit against the Washington Post based on opinion rule of First Amendment



A federal judge has dismissed with prejudice the lawsuit by the Sandmann family against the Washington Post.

The Hill has a detailed story.  The opinion stressed the distinction between facts and opinions in the First Amendment.

  
The Post’s own version of the story is here
  
The Cincinnati Enquirer has an op-ed that is well worth reading.  On this one, the parents and school expected the kids to be the adults in the room while the grownups dropped the ball. 



Update:  Aug. 1, 2019

The Wall Street Journal, in an op-ed by David Rivkin and Donald Grossman, points out that the judge consider's Phillips's claim that Sandmann was blocking him a purported opinion, not a purported fact. (French as a language would come in handy with subjunctive mood conjugations -- I noticed this reading French signs in Canada, the language is inherently careful not to claim suppositions as facts.)  The article goes on to make an "orginalist libel defense" going back to the 1964 NYT Sullivan case, but it is hard to follow. 

Friday, July 26, 2019

Facebook's $5 billion fine seems like a non-event, as more talk about CDA230 stirs



Facebook is paying a record $5 billion fine for its sins, and somehow I’m underwhelmed.     Facebook still doesn’t have to tell people about new tricks up its sleeve.

Charlie Kirk of the WPost writes that “it is time to treat platforms like Facebook as publishers” and take away Section 230, but that means they just will be choosy about who gets to speak, like regular publishers.   Maybe they’ll put in a formal social creditworthiness test.  It would be a much bigger deal if this applied to hosting platforms, too.


Tim Pool reports on another “stop Internet censorship act” coming out of Congress that may target 230.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Ted Cruz introduces a resolution to label Antifa as a terrorist-organization, and this is a dangerous step; the asymmetry of activism on left v right



Truthout is running one of its panic campaigns to see donations, and they do this all the time, so it’s hard to believe.  (Well, that’s what activists do, isn’t it – beg and demand; am I an activist, or a journalist?)

I do support a few video channels (mostly “libertarian” and centrist – like Pakman’s, Pool’s, etc).  
  
I’ve also suggested before that industry needs to set up a way to bundle paywalls so you can conveniently pay for multiple newspapers or video channels at much lower costs (they used to sell magazines this way).

Some of their articles seem to urge socialism and the end of capitalism, which I won’t support, but some of their articles have a lot of substance and need an answer.  Here is one op-ed by Spencer Sunshine, “Ted Cruz’s ‘Antifa Are Terrorists’ Resolution Seeks to Stifle the Left”, with Senate Resolution S 279 link.

Okay, it is dangerous for the government to label organizations as “terrorist”, I agree, it is possible to jump to all kinds of conclusions.

But private tech companies want to “libel” organizations as “dangerous” (on the right) and even individuals, in a few cases without solid evidence. Facebook, for example.  And Truthout wants to start a “Make a racist cry” campaign.  What if someone is labeled a "racist" on flimsy claims merely by distant "association".  (It was that way for homosexuals before Stonewall a half century ago.)

No, I don’t believe in going around labeling people “racist” simply because they have sometimes associated socially with other people thought of that way, or because they seem indifferent to demands for group solidarity and activism from the left.

Yet, I sometimes wonder, when do citizens have an obligation to stop writing and filming (claiming “Swedish” neutrality) and join in protesting, even at risk to themselves. “Extinction Rebellion” has been making that claim at the Capitol this week.


(Oh, superglue can make an embarrassing sacrificial depilatory for men.)

I got an angry tweet that pretty much explains why the far Left has a right to make demands of people even like me, and that I should take my “both sides bullshit” elsewhere (Trump’s “fine people on both sides”). There’s a typo in the tweet;  the last “and” should be an “if”.  A lot of visitors liked her tweet.

Monday, July 22, 2019

I email my Senators on the CASE Act




I’ve sent brief messages today by email to Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine about the CASE Act, S1273 (see July 18).


I generally use the email forms supplied by members of Congress or other politicians first.  In the past I have sometimes called.  But repeated calls on so many issues would not be effective and would dilute "influence", from someone who is not on one specific activist "team". 
  
“I wanted to express my concern over the quick passage of S1273, the CASE Act, from the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 18.
  
“The legislation would need to make sure that it does not invite copyright trolls (like “Righthaven” a few years back) to file frivolous lawsuits against ordinary Internet users in the “small claims court”.  The Copyright Office would need to be instructed to have anti-spam policies, and lay down some rules about how it will apply Fair Use, as with respect to newsworthy images or music passages (you can’t copyright a chord or a rhythm, for example) or even work titles (you can’t copyright a book or film title, you can trademark a series).  It would be well to compare the proposed small claims court with how the patent office is stumbling now with patent trolls (especially in software).”

Saturday, July 20, 2019

House has major anti-trust hearing regarding big Tech companies July 16; Subverse channel reports






Subverse has a major video explaining the Antitrust scrutiny hearings before the House of Representatives on Tuesday July 16.

  
CNBC Television has the full 3+ hour video here

A major idea is that even the subsidiaries of Facebook (like WhatsApp and Instagram) would be powerful on their own.

Another idea is that breaking up the companies would not solve all the privacy problems, which more related from the business models themselves.

Lior Leser (YouTuberLaw) has a complaint before the Federal Trade Commission regarding possible collusion among payment processors and platforms last winter in conjunction with Patreon.

The idea of network neutrality was mentioned in the meetings, along with the idea that telecom companies might soon start to feel emboldened to charge more for premium services affordable only to really big companies already.
  
There has not been another social media startup since 2011 with SnapChat, which I don’t use.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

CASE Act passes Senate Judiciary Committee with little discussion, raising questions of a trolling risk (maybe as soon as 2021)


The Senate Judiciary Committee today passed the CASE (Copyright Enforcement in Small-Claims Enforcement) Act out of committee.  It would presumably create a small claims court within the Copyright Office, with statutory limits on damages.  The basic problem is that it is much cheaper for a plaintiff to file a claim, and a defendant would be stuck with the responsibility of asking for an expensive jury trial, so the system could invite copyright trolls, unless there were more safeguards.


Marc Schneider of Billboard has a summary story

 Generally, artists’ groups have favored the legislation, but there has been criticism of Judiciary Committee’s blindness to the risk of trolling.

Katherine Trendacosta reports on the passage of the bill out of committee today with the trolling warnings, on Electronic Frontier Foundation, here

The bill would remind me of the history of a particular copyright troll, Righthaven, about a dozen years ago, which sued bloggers for excerpting stories and sometimes images from small town newspapers. I last discussed Righthave here Feb. 28, 2013. 
  
The bill was introduced by Senator John Kennedy of Mississippi as S 1273 (govtrack

The identical bill was introduced in the House as HR 2426.    Thomas gives no indication on when the House will hear it.

The bill would apparently allow a 120 comment period after passage, and then the Copyright Office would have one calendar year to set up operations. It would sound likely that such a mechanism could go into effect by early 2021.

It seems purely speculative at this point as to how the Copyright Office would handle frivolous or minor claims (about blog images, etc) or whether it would have mechanisms to discourage intentional trolling.  But by way of comparison, the Patent office does not have a good handle on preventing patent trolls.

Here is the video for today’s hearing, at 33:11.  There was no mention of the trolling risk. 

It would be valuable to know if a copyright troll problem pops up in the EU given the passage of its Copyright Directive and controversial Article 17.  

I have also covered this issue on a Wordpress blog here


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

"Create and Go": a little company says that niche blogging is still a viable way to make a living



In the past year or so, I’ve certainly heard a lot about the explosion of independent YouTube channels and how they have made money (starting about 2013) and how they are seriously challenged now by changes in YouTube policy.

Video channels seemed to replace blogging, and I’ve noted that Ramsay sold Blogtyrant in June 2018 and it doesn’t seem to have done much since.

There is a company called Create and Go run by a husband-wife team, and the husband (“cute”) gives a half-hour pitch in April 2019, “Make Money Blogging and Design your Days”.


Although a few controversial mommy blogs (like Dooce) were spectacularly successful without a lot of topic focus, most blogs that work financially center around a relatively narrow niche or commercial focus. The blog’s being successful comports with the larger business being successful. 
Many of CG’s advice is similar to Blogtyrant’s, and he talks about sponsored content, subscription lists, and particularly affiliate marketing (Amazon Associates is the simplest).

He also talked about the products he sells, which happen to include some lifestyle or nutrition products, and “printables”.

I react to this aware of the churning in the background over the future of free speech online and the of the threats to independent media in general.  The loss of “net neutrality” was the least of these;  more serious are FOSTA, the EU Copyright Directive, a new copyright bill in the US called CASE, and the behavior of big social media with respect to political polarization, especially YouTube’s recent pulling income from political content creators.

Of course, you say, this should not affect websites that support “legitimate” commercial business activity and you may be right;  in the future, websites may have to pay their own way.

I’ve said that I don’t think I can support my current multiple blog “free content” operation past the end of 2021. I actually have started thinking about how I might work in a much narrower niche.
Based on his advice in this video, for example, I could imagine a blog centered around my own classical music composition projects, including the two big sonatas.  I could talk about (or request assistance) with techniques in using composition software, like Avid Sibelius. Maybe I could work with Skillshare (which David Pakman promotes).

Or, possibly I could work on the idea of getting screenplays pitched or table-read (since I have one now based on my three DADT books as background), or something on how to check a novel manuscript for loose ends (there are software and database tools that can be tried).  But again, in some way, after 2021, this activity would have to pay for itself.

Then there gets to be a question about selling my three books so far, and the novel I plan to finish.  What about selling books in general?  That needs more focus.  What about independent bookstores v. chains and Amazon?

I’ve heard about multi-level marketing my whole life (Amway, etc), and for socially adept people it makes some sense.  Amway may have predicted the modern social network.  During the years I was looking after mother (until 2010), there was a family a few doors down that did multi-level successfully, although I never knew much about it.
  
I don’t like selling things for their own sake.  I’m not someone who claims to fix people’s motivational or lifestyle or nutritional or financial issues.  But I can see some more specific niches along the lines CG is talking about.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

PragerU podcaster explains how she became "Dangerous": a "conflict of interest" tale in my past terminology


Nancy Rommelmann tells a story for PragerU, “How to Become a Dangerous Person”.  The title of the video seems to refer to Facebook’s recent tagging of “dangerous individuals and organizations”, sometimes without solid evidence. Or the word might refer to Milo Yiannopoulos’s book and publishing company (in Miami, I think).


This particular story reflects my concerns over “workplace speech conflict of interest” that I had taken up in 2000 (copy of my essay here).

She started a podcast near the end of 2018 called “#MeNeither”.  She questioned the idea that men accused of sexual crimes should always be presumed guilty, and said that every case has to be looked at its own merits (as with Kavanaugh in 2017).
  
Her husband’s coffee business in Portland OR was targeted and advertisers and suppliers ran way from him, terrorized by the heckler mob on the far Left.  Of course, as we know, Portland has had real problems controlling "Antifa" and recently had the serious injury to journalist Andy Ngo -- after she had her own run-in.  Call this heckling behavior tribalism and anti-individualism on steroids. 



Monday, July 15, 2019

YouTube tech channel explains why Google is not really a social media company





Today, TechAltar explains Google’s social media app failures.


We all remember that Google+ was deprecated and removed much sooner than expected, in the spring of this year.

The speaker believes that Google is very good with scaling up basic utilities, but not with building social networks where there is business or possibly political value in the digital map of user’s social circles.  The way they handled their internal workplace values and fired James Damore leads to the impression that they have a superficial understanding of progressive and modern liberal values. 

Facebook had been doing this big time for at least four years when Google+ started and had naïve ideas about concentric or overlapping social circles.

Facebook has been prodding its users to interact, even to the point of begging them to run fundraisers for non-profits on their own accounts.

YouTube is a social network inasmuch as it uses subscription and likes and comments, but it does not prod users to interact.  Blogger originally had some of the attributes of a social network with the follower concept but now that is rather unimportant.

A true social network now is more like Snapchat, which is predicated on quick moving ephemeral communications, which Facebook says it wants to move to.

Being much older, I don’t like to conduct some kinds of personal relationships on responsive social media (like dating).  I am not in a position to ask people go “give money” to a cause because I said so. I don’t like for people to test me to see how far I will go with certain problematic situations that many people will face.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Why social media companies (especially Facebook) prod introverts to change



Bostwiki has another controversial video, “The Collapse of Digital Media … Is Coming”.
  
  
He talks about the experiences of a company called “Now This”. 

He says that Facebook right now carries more weight in the digital advertising revenue world than does YouTube (despite the attention to YouTube’s recent demonetizations).

He also says that three years ago, view counts were king and the industry notion was typically a 3-second view.  Now for FB at least it is a ten-second view, with some attention to videos watched to completion.

But more important, especially for Facebook, is sharing of videos with others and secondary engagement.

That’s the business reason, he says, that social media companies try to get users to build concentric or overlapping social circles, and it is even the reason some investment in the ideology of “intersectionality” (as odious at is to liberarians and individualists) makes business sense for them. 

That may be another reason we see users being prodded to take action, ask for likes, or even run fund-raisers for non-profits or causes under their own names. Activity brings revenue, so sociability matters. That’s why Facebook, especially, seems to be waging war on Introverts and trying to change social norms and expectations when people should involve themselves personally with the needs of others.
  
I wonder what Pakman would think of this. Of maybe John Fish -- this certainly matters to the "attention economy". 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Article focusing on Hong Kong protests explains YouTube demonetization of political content on independent channels


Will Ormeus has a valuable article on Medium explaining “Why YouTube Keeps Demonetizing Videos of the Hong Kong Protests”.

The article explains that YouTube started pulling back from allowing ads on edgy videos in 2017.  The recent demonetizations on June 5 were the latest step.  It seems as though YouTube doesn’t care a lot that a violent video of a protest is offered to show its news value;  advertisers presume most visitors are dumb and don’t care about context.  The Maza-Crowder mess seems to matter less all the time.


But the article also notes that YouTube seems to allow ads on news content from large companies, following the model of broadcast and cable television. This puts independent creators at a serious disadvantage.

The article notes that indie creators can SuperChat, selling memberships, finding their own sponsors, selling merchandise, or patronage sites (like Patreon and Subscribestar, which have run into issues with “conservatives”).

The article plays down the political bias aspect, but it is true that independent channels are more likely to be conservative, or at least be hostile to some aspects of progressive politics like indentarianism and intersectionality. 
  
Independent speakers can try offering more less political content like science videos (as long as it is not discredited material like antivax).  Climate change will probably be monetized (although the denial stuff is problematic), and power grid resilience may be a good issue. Or try basic science – the mathematics of elementary particles in physics and quantum theory. Sometimes medical material may work.  Harvard undergrad John Fish keeps most of his channel non-political with material on how to succeed in college, especially in reading large volumes of material and in technology problem solving, and yet he never seems to have to go even near the speech codes. It would be possible for independent creators to merge and form smaller LLC-like companies to have content that is varied enough to pay for political content. Subverse seems to be doing this.
       
It remains to be seen if the “free speech” channels like Minds (and gab) will attract a large and varied enough base to be viable in the long run (and not simply concentrate the extremists). 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

White House social media summit overplayed by "both sides" as a right-wing-troll event; it is not


OK, here is the best that I can find on the White House “alternative” social media summit, link

Trump called the attendees “journalists and influencers” and challengers of the establishment.
  
Most media reports claim that only far-right persons were invited.  That does not seem to be true.  First, the “dangerous individuals” banned by Facebook were not included. Major media platforms were not invited, but that could be because they have all met with Trump recently already (Jack Dorsey of Twitter has). Later Trump said he will have another meeting that invites "everybody". 

Tim Pool, whose positions are moderate, even mainstream Democratic (as of three years ago) but makes a point of attacking identarianism (on both sides).  David Pakman is not there but would have made a good invite.

Pool’s twitter feed shows some posters from the meeting (demonetization, etc). 

Vox has articles by Emily Stewart and Peter Kafka, who (for Recode) called it a “big troll”. 

Ben Makuch of Vice called Tim Pool a right-winger (Pool used to work for Vice) and said that Minds is favored by neo-Nazis, which is a great exaggeration to say the least.  It is a “free speech” site with a jury system to deal with complaints.

Tim Pool discusses the attempts to “smear” him:


A female speaker talked about James Damore’s firing and what she called blackballing by Silicon Valley.

Another speaker said that her group was banned from Twitter and Pinterest, and Twitter would not allow them back on if they did not stop calling for defunding of Planned Parenthood.

I wanted to mention another trend.  I am getting more and more “direct” requests to become involved in causes or situations where I don’t think I have anything of my own to offer – mainly on Facebook.
   
    I think Facebook is heading in a direction where it wants to discourage people who just want to use the platform to disseminate news, however critical, and want people to break barriers (across class, race, religion, gender or sexuality) and interact more than they would have thought appropriate according to the mores of the past. I actually don’t like to be asked to intervene in personal situations that are unfamiliar and that was a problem when I worked as a substitute teacher.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Facebook, in a policy wording gaffe, seems to make targets of its "dangerous individuals" but then recants



Facebook created controversy with a policy change that was clumsily worded and seemed to accept making violent threats against some categories of persons that Facebook itself or other media reports had declared as “dangerous”.  There was some quibbling in the language as to whether this referred to rhetorical threats only.

But Lifestylenews reported that Facebook removed the language seeming to accept vigilantism against some “conservatives” today. 

Laura Loomer and others had written pieces saying that the original language seemed to target them and that Facebook as acting like a totalitarian left-wing government.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Tim Pool invited to White House social media summit; big Tech favors presenting mainstream media to viewers because independent media is more conservative



Tim Pool reports that he has been invited to a social media summit at the White House on Thursday, July 11, 2019.


Pool, toward the end of this video, refers to the Pakman video presented yesterday. Pool reasons that big Tech thinks that since independent media is more likely to be conservative than legacy mainstream media, social media companies can help steer the 2020 elections toward Democrats by reducing the visibility of independent media, even though there are exceptions (Pakman himself steers center-Left).

Furthermore, right wing voices don’t like to work together, protest, show “solidarity” and work with established non-profits.  They generally don’t organize as well as the left (Trump in a way was an unusual exception in 2016 with the help of foreign interference). So silencing them individually tends to silence them collectively.

Pool gives some analysis of the removal of his video about Pinterest, as motivated by favoritism at YouTube, when other similar videos discussing “identities” of people involved in payment processor bans were not banned for privacy reasons.

Pool and Pakman are very principled. The point out that some of the executives at big Tech do not understand how far Left they are, and don’t get that normal conservatism is not fascism.
In the meantime , Carlos Maza is now attacking capitalism itself – which has served him well.

Monday, July 08, 2019

David Pakman produces analysis showing YouTube is trying to drive out independent media, at least on political topics



David Pakman made a major video today “Shock: YouTube Is Now Corporate Media”, for Alphabet.


The moniker on the YouTube splash page says “YouTube Destroying Political Channels”.

Pakman says that this is not about Left v Right.  It is about Corporate v Independent.

Pakman says it is within their legal right, but against the original spirit of YouTube. As Lior Leser has discussed before on YouTuberLaw, there are good questions as to whether some tech companies and even payment processors are behaving in a collusive manner to stifle competition, which would be illegal. Leser has a complaint before the Federal Trade Commission on this.

This particular video of Pakman’s is running ads (his videos showing Trump acting like a baby get demonetized instantly).

In general, ratings and profits at legacy media have been hurting, and jobs have been lost.  Even medium sized companies (Buzzfeed) have been affected. Some independent channels (like Tim Pool’s) have done very well covering politics, with little overhead.  There isn’t much doubt that some people in legacy companies see indie “scabs” as a threat to their jobs.
  
But there are many interesting channels, mostly about life issues, that are only occasionally political (they tend toward libertarianism when they are).  Undergraduate Harvard student John Fish does phenomenally.  Even these independent channels could displace revenue from legacy television, cable, and theatrical films.  It's not clear, however, that these kinds of channels have been affected (yet). 

Update: July 10, 2019

Bostwiki sheds some light on this, as he works for mainstream media.  He says that mainstream media companies have the power to define the "Overton Window".

Pakman followed up with another alarming video here

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Section 1201 of the DMCA gradually comes under litigation


Electronic Frontier Foundation and Kit Walsh report on litigation on whether Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, when it disallows the normal concept of “fair use” in prohibiting users from decrypting certain software features.  This has been called the prohibition against fixing your own car or your own computer, which people ought to be good at in a practical world. 
   
The Library of Congress has some discretion in overriding Section 1201 when there is a likelihood that a plaintiff will prevail in certain kinds of fair use claims within two or three years. It’s pretty complicated.

  
The legislation is thought to be important in preventing misappropriation of American technology by foreign interest, especially China, and it may be pertinent to recent “national security bans” of some Chinese products, and to the tariff issue.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Facebook and YouTube appear to be doubling down even more on independent journalism


Tim Pool has posted some tweets recently indicating that he believes both Facebook and YouTube are doubling down on attempts to remove independent political content from their platforms, as posing too much risk of radicalization of ordinary users and too problematic for advertisers, even now with many non-monetized videos.  YouTube has already demonetized most "political" posts and even entire channels. 
  
Today he posted a twitter comment that suggests Facebook will no longer allow “embedded” hate speech that is posted to call it out.  However Facebook’s current community standards still suggest that this is acceptable. However the standards seem to indicate that Facebook (and YouTube) are troubled by the real world fact that most visitors are not literate enough to understand the difference between news, which embeds troubling content, and actual propaganda, and that these large platforms don't think they can safely remain suitable for independent journalism. The risk of foreign misuse is also very problematic. 


What I find troubling is Facebook’s prodding users (like me) into unwanted social activity or into supporting existing non-profits with donate buttons.  I do this only in limited circumstances, where the non-profit or cause (it might be something funding an independent documentary film) is something I have something to do with already.

Pool also notes, on the deletion of one of his videos over the Pinterest-Gravitas controversy, that YouTube claims that any reference to anyone without their permission for news gathering might be considered a privacy violation, which is generally not what the law says.  This idea might be related to "the right to be forgotten" in Europe. 
   
Photography would become an issue.  It’s normally lawful to photograph anyone in a publicly owned space (as long as the photo is not lewd). It generally is not inside a business.  In practice, people have become more sensitive about appearing in other’s photographs than they were ten years ago because of all the problems.
   
In general, the major tech platforms (not the smaller ones associated with cryptocurrency or with a specific commitment to free speech) are becoming sensitive to the idea of “citizen journalism” which, true, keeps politicians and major media honest (look at Covington) but poses some uncontrollable risks.  Facebook says it is trying to create more social capital, not simply become a platform for writers who don’t get published the old fashioned way. 
  
It's also reasonable to wonder if YouTube's issues will affect Blogger (this platform), even though the latter does not have nearly the reach into radicalization. 

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Andy Ngo's attack: tribal combativeness threatens rule of law and complicates individual morality with "blame the victim" mentality


The Sinclair Broadcast Group, on its owned sites including WJLA-7 in Washington DC (Arlington VA) has offered an explanation as to why journalist Andy Ngo as attacked by an Antifa group in Portland, here

Sinclair (with some deliberation) points out that Ngo is an established journalist who has written for the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, National Review, and Spectator (the last name is ironic). What would happen if a journalist or commentator is "self-appointed" and walks into a fray like this remains a troubling question ("skin in the game" or "no spectators" or "Burning Man" moral logic).  But even self-created journalists sell footage to major outlets (I've had footage run after a terror attack in NYC in 2016 but not been paid or sold it).  So what this would mean for me is a good question -- another post. I could not just claim victimhood if something happened. 
    
It is particularly significant that Ngo came from a reasonably prosperous South Vietnamese family which was expropriated and forced into a labor camp by the Viet Cong during the latter part of the Vietnam war, in the early 1970s.

Ngo is a gay journalist whose outlook seems “conservative” because most of his life has had to deal with communism. You wouldn’t think it unusual for a gay person who came here from Communist China and took to our freedoms to become “conservative” in the good (not identarian-right) sense.


Carlos Maza might be right in maintaining that as a whole the press is preoccupied with fringe groups, but this incident is truly harrowing.  Furthermore, at least in Portland in some other cities, the group is extremely combative and determined to “make things right” by revolutionary force.  This sounds like Russia in 1917.

He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, which could lead to complications later although it seems to be resolving.

He left his helmet at home. Ford Fischer often has worn a helmet and has experienced tear gas.

I am perplexed at the police indifference.

There has been controversy over whether the milkshake had the cement compound.

What happened to the rule of law?

Here is a Washington Examiner op-ed that talks about opinion journalism. 

Ali Breland, however, questions the facts about the milkshaking in a Mother Jones piece

Wikipedia attribution link for PSU picture, CCSA 3.0



Monday, July 01, 2019

Rundown of how people make money on YouTube: the 5 ways, and none are easy money



With all these questions about YouTube business models, I thought I would share a late 2017 article from the BBC’s Evan Edinger on five ways YouTubers make money. This will be like a college physics recitation. 
   
There’s probably room in the economy for maybe a hundred or so people to make a good living off YouTune alone, for all the complaints about censorship and YouTube’s recent collaring of independent channels (June 28) and all the recent purges of polarizing political content.

It’s really hard to make a lot of money as an ad partner; the ad space is auctioned automatically every time a viewer looks.


Patronage works for a lot of people – until the Patreon scandals erupted in late 2018. I personally don’t like the idea of giving money to a speaker with the idea that “they” speak for me because I cannot speak for myself (which I can).
  
I like the idea of bundled subscriptions and even bundled patronage.