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Aha, so big US companies are our police now.

I share your fear. The "kosher" content would be now defined by some faceless person in NY/SF.




Now? Give me a fucking break.

Big US companies, and all US companies, big and small, have always choosen, and very carefully, what sorts of content they want to distribute, what sorts of image they want to portray, what sorts of causes they want to publicly support, and what their public imagine will be. You were never able to find atheist content in a Christian bookstore, you could only buy the censored version of CDs from Walmart, you couldn't find pornography at K-Mart, The Disney Channel never broadcasted any politically incorrect material, and you couldn't buy t-shirts with "inflammatory religious or supremacist content" in Old Navy. Even the original Geocities had strong content restrictions​.

Are you loudly complaining Old Navy doesn't sell a "Hitler was right" shirt? Are you complaining about the "censorship" going on at the Museum of Fine Arts since they don't have a white supremacist exhibit?

In fact, pornography is legal and YouTube does not allow pornography. Why aren't you already up in arms about that "censorship."


>Are you loudly complaining Old Navy doesn't sell a "Hitler was right" shirt? Are you complaining about the "censorship" going on at the Museum of Fine Arts since they don't have a white supremacist exhibit?

Facebook is not Old Navy (one of thousands of competing clothing stores), it's a ubiquitous service with over a billion people in it, almost everybody on the internet.

Like Google, it's more of a basic internet service than a mere website. And its content (and content policies) are a factor in political discourse, both in the US and outside of it.

Secondly, to restrict the discussion to examples that your audience will clearly dislike ("Hitler was right", "white supremacist exhibit") is misleading, because the problem is with items that are not that clear cut but will be censored anyway.

E.g. "Iraq doesn't have WMDs", "CIA is involved in drug trafficking", "US supports death squads in Latin America", "Dodge the Vietnam draft" and so on -- to limit the examples to such items from the past. What would a mainstream company who "censors" stuff allow from those back in the day when they were hot issues?

Or let's take it to today, how about pro/anti-Trump, or pro-anti Assad, or pro-anti Black Lives Matter, pro-anti Manning, pro-anti Assange, etc?

Even stuff that the majority in the US might disagree with, the majority in another culture/country might legitimately agree (and not want it censored) -- but they'd have no say. A single country (and one from which many countries have scars from) will control a large part of the internet discussions (through Facebook, and similar policies in Google, etc) of other countries.


>"Iraq doesn't have WMDs"

Why it's censored? And, btw, Iraq _did_ had WMDs.


No, they didn't.

Except in a huge stretch of the notion, that doesn't justify invasion, war, hundreds of thousands dying, and trillion spent -- some degraded barrels of mustard gas and the like from 30+ years ago, the era of Iran-Iraq war...


They aren't installing a filter into the browser they're OPENLY addressing a problematic issue on YouTube, one of many, many video hosting websites. Nothing stops a terrorist from getting a computer, an internet connection, and hosting his own damn video calling for the murder of women and children.

When you call for violence against non-combatants you're breaking the law in every single western country. If there were only one web browser and the company behind it were implementing universal blocking measures maybe I'd agree with you, but honestly I'd have to think long and hard first. Radicalisation is impossible to survive in the long run as the average power an average individual keeps going up.


They didn't say they were going to start removing videos with illegal content, they already do that. They said that they were going to start removing videos that don't break any rules, yet the company deems them unsavory. Which is incredibly frustrating since 1) YT has become the center of our changing culture, and 2) not everyone lines up with the PC Californian culture that dominates large multinational corporations.


They didn't say they would remove the videos, instead they will display an "interstitial warning and they will not be monetised, recommended or eligible for comments or user endorsements." Which is not even on the level of a shadow ban, as practiced e.g. on HN.


I wonder what effect Google's wagging finger and implied scolding from an interstitial will have on people who stumble across a video they like but is branded as naughty.

I find it an interesting question because:

A) Not every video branded as culturally unacceptable will be. Not every video is as bad as the worst-case hypothetical used to justify the content classification.

The landscape of cultural attitudes differ from California-based content minders. The categorization can be flat out wrong, there will undoubtedly be a small percentage of videos that even the minders see as mis-classified.

B) Social interventionist policies can - and often do - backfire.

e.g.: Teens that deliberately seek out taboo. The allure of R movies, M games, Explicit Lyrics, and underage binge drinking can cause them to live a period of their life less well-adjusted than if that content wasn't aggressively filtered from their lives in the first place.


If they do that, they might as well remove the videos, since they have the same goal in mind. Look at the quarantined subreddits on Reddit. While the company gets to say it allows free speech, it basically removed those subreddits from existence, thus successfully​ controlling the narrative. Do we really want large corporations to intentionally guide the direction of our culture? Personally, I don't. In the end, a corporation would guide it in a direction that favors itself and its donors.


Where does that say they're removing them?


Murder sure; however, it said this:

>videos that contain inflammatory religious or supremacist content

It's very easy to claim content is inflammatory or supremacist . This will be highly subjective, which is the problem.

I personally know people here in the bay area that would have no problem labelling lots of campaign talk by Trump with those tags.


> This will be highly subjective, which is the problem

also they have to determine these norms for the whole planet (without North Korea), now every attempt so far that tried to set cultural norms for the whole world has failed, lets see if they do better.


i think that once upon a time facebook and google wouldn't do such things for fear of loosing customers to the competition, now its different: they got us hooked and now they are behaving as if they were a real government. This consolidation around 'platforms' and lack of competition is not good for the internet.


OMG a multinational doesn't share my precise political bias


>When you call for violence against non-combatants you're breaking the law in every single western country.

That's not entirely true. Abstract advocacy of illegal violence is protected speech under Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969). Only when the incited violence is imminent (as opposed to at some indefinite future time) does the speech fall outside the bounds of the First Amendment.


Or more likely a minimum wage drone in a third world country


Don't worry, once their opinion is enshrined in a neural net somewhere, they'll no longer be in charge. Then it will just be a cold metallic box that will silently, and efficiently judge you.


The definitions won't be outsourced, but the psychological trauma involved in doing the actual moderation certainly will be.


For example BPO for Google in Makati, Philippines through Skykes is an 25-30,000 PESO/month job for content moderator. $500-600.

And that's considered a good job if you're a filipino.

It's about half that in India.


By 'our police', do you mean 'actively curating their own content'? Do you call your local librarian a cop as well?


Do you call the local censor a "curator" too?

Besides, my local librarian doesn't decide what books the library will have (what's this, USSR?). They do the initial ordering management, but library members can request any book and have it ordered.

There's a mechanism for us curating our own content: we decide to which pages/friends we subscribe. How about that?


"Besides, my local librarian doesn't decide what books the library will have"

Um, of course they do.


Well, most libraries where I live/know have central boards / panels that decide those things -- not necessarily staffed by professional librarians (e.g. the state appoints members there from the academic community, etc., some are voted, etc.). There are also deals to get copy(ies) from each published work (by specific or all publishers).

Librarians do handle the organization and everyday operation, archiving projects, curated collections open to the public, etc.


> Besides, my local librarian doesn't decide what books the library will have

vs

> curated collections open to the public

What's the difference between Google removing a terrorist video from public view (they never delete anything), and a library having a book but the librarian not making it available to the public?

I mean, you rebut me when I say Google curates its own content, then turn around and say librarians are different, their duties include curating content.

Edit: How come people don't call Google some sort of evil censoring overlord when it comes to child pornography? You'll get the good ol' "I defend to the death your right to speak" when it comes to terrorist videos, but not child exploitation ones. Where are the people angrily demanding that google put child pornography back into their search results, out of a demand for freedom of speech for all? Why is that topic treated differently to terrorist recruitment videos?


>Where are the people angrily demanding that google put child pornography back into their search results, out of a demand for freedom of speech for all? Why is that topic treated differently to terrorist recruitment videos?

Because most people act irrationally when it comes to related issues, and because other people (still a minority) don't want to be branded negatively by hysterical public/pundits.

One might as well ask where were the vocal proponents of black rights in 1920 Alabama?


Responding to your edit, some people might disagree with child pornography laws&policies but recognize that any protest will be branded as supporting pedophiles/hurting children and decide that they'd rather die on a hill upon which they have a chance of winning.


Local librarian doesn't dictate culture and content to the whole world.


Give them a big enough Library and they would.




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