Wednesday, January 27, 2021

YouTube, Facebook making it impossible for independent journalists to livestream conflict


Harpers Ferry wreck Dec. 2019

Matt Taibbi, in his own substack, offers a detailed article examining the unwillingness of YouTube and Facebook to allow livestreams now of controversial events, at least those showing brandishing of firearms, in this article.  

He particularly discusses the problems encountered by Jon Farina and Ford Fischer (see Monday’s post).

In many cases, Fischer has found, for example, that some groups were not supporting either Trump’s extremists or, on the other hand, Antifa, but were more of the libertarian anarchist ilk (as with some of Boogaloo Bois).  Some of the demonstrations, as one in Richmond January 18 (Lobby Day) had little or nothing to do with certification or inauguration.

Algorithms are totally unable to determine the context of speech.

I have never done livestreams.  That’s partly because I haven’t developed the skill to (I started in 2011 or so but backed away back into my established ventures), and a lot of my blogging “career” happened before video really took off like around 2013.  Many of the issues I cover are more legal ones (like the Section 230 debate) or medical ones (coronavirus), and involve conferences and events which don’t allow livestreaming by visitors but already plan their own, so I simply use the videos they make for blog posts. 

More recently, in 2018 through part of 2020, I discovered that once in a while I would come across an event that no other independent journalist (even those that hire contractors) had covered (or even the media) so I would make short clips (but not live) with simple canon Powershots and cell phone and post them, and find them somewhat effective.  That was particularly true of immigration or asylum issues, and later with events like a train wreck in Harpers Ferry.

 Also: Discord has banned the r/WallStreetBets server over extreme levels of hate speech, as Jay Peters reports for The Verge. 

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