My wife watches a bunch of 'cleaning' and 'makeup/style' YouTubers. All I see when I view it are advertisements pretending to be personal videos. She loves it. The ones for kids are especially creepy when you really dig into what's going on.
They've convinced people to subscribe to advertisements so they see them as soon as they're posted. That's even better than Facebook convincing everyone to give them all their personal information so it can be 'shared'.
It took some searching to find an amateur YouTuber in the UK giving a review of the boots. He even had 6 months and a year update. It was a low quality production but the content was so much better. This guy even walked in a creek to show they were waterproof while everyone else sat in their bedroom talking.
Any time the financial incentives of a system encourage negative behavior, it is at least a hint that more regulation is needed.
In other media forms, the guy giving the shill would need to say up front "I was paid for this review". On youtube and instagram, I don't think this is the case.
EDIT: I was wrong, they've already charged and settled with two: TmarTn and Syndicate.
1) CSGO Lotto was never a gambling site to begin with because you could play for free simply by emailing support, akin to McDonalds Monopoly 
2) It was public knowledge that the owners of the corporation were TmarTn and Syndicate.
So was the argument here that they expected children and teenagers who were primarily consuming their content to look up the public ownership records of CSGO Lotto? Since they weren't particularly open about their ownership in the videos that they advertised the site in.
Regarding the platforms, how are they supposed to know if the uploader got paid to do a video? If it was obvious, we wouldn't need these disclosures in the first place!
The models didn’t even ask for payment. I can’t imagine what the Instagram models and YouTube superstars demand.
It's speculated the biggest Youtubers pushing this are being paid up to 6 figures.
Eventually it got to the point where he had one of the top videos when you look up the product name on YT. A bit later the company sent him a bunch of their other products and he reviewed them. It's smart for the company to do that, but it makes the subsequent videos feel just a bit tainted.
Your wife has a normal response to ads when the topic is interesting to the viewer. That's the holy grail of "relevant ads": the boundaries of the "ad" get blurred and the message of the product being sold is better received.
Women buy Vogue Magazine for the ads of fashion. It's not just a female thing. Some males bought Computer Shopper specifically for the ads. Why would consumers pay for ads?!? Because they're relevant to their interests.
For one, market facts (price, features, etc) are more likely to be honest, and for two, self-touting advertisements aren't hiding their bias. Advertorial content is doubly deceptive -- the content is biased AND the bias is hidden.
But that's it. Marketing products means advertising them to consumers. There's no gettting around that, no matter what the product is.
computer products are aimed at people who think they are too smart to be sold anything
Edit: and it's very irritating.
What makes you say that?
Perfect vs good
And there is an excellent reason equipment manufacturers send electronics test equipment to the EEVblog channel. Even though there's a good chance it will be reviewed harshly, that channel definitely drove my last scope purchase.
And I don't have a problem with this, since I don't find the content objectionable. I DO have a problem when the promotion is disguised or not disclosed, it is deceitful to not mention the product was free or that the company has compensated you. And there's no good reason not to, in fact I become suspicious otherwise.
Did you buy a Rigol like everyone else? ;)
Agreed on that channel, but as gruff and seemingly honest as that guy (Dave) is, at some point he’ll likely fall victim to some advertising shanannagans, it seems everyone does eventually.
And your comment reminds me of one of my other examples of the "buyers buying ads":
It isn't just small subscription amounts where people buy the ads in magazines; sometimes people will pay $12000 to be bombarded with ads. Who are those people and why would they do this?!?
The example is the attendees to the Milken Institute conferences. The ticket price is ~$12000 and it allows attendees to listen to "ad presentations" from fund managers. (Example.)
Yes, it's formally called a "discussion panel" but everybody knows that the fund managers on the stage are really advertising their firms' investing expertise without the vulgarity of explicitly labeling it "ads".
If one only has an uncompromising view that _all_ ads are evil, it will not make any sense why pension fund custodians would pay thousands to view ads. On the other hand, if there's wiggle room for "relevant ads", the payment of $12k for ad presentations is perfectly rational.
There's a mixture of both. The pension officer for institutions like California Retirement System will have his/her ticket paid but other folks that run their own small fund will pay their own way.
The attendees all have the problem of "where do I put my institution's money?" and they go to the conference to listen to various presentations to be persuaded. Yes, there are also chances for networking and "meet & greet" but the event is largely a marketplace hub for "sellers" (funds) and "buyers" (institutions). The sellers (e.g. the hedge funds and the billionaire managers that appear on the stage) sponsor the show which in effect also funds Milken's 501c charity institution.
It's in getting into a room of sales prospects and potential investors who have already demonstrated that they can afford to spend $12k on a conference. It's like deliberately going to a bar with a steep cover charge so you only have to mingle with the "right people".
The best events I’ve been to, with the most interesting and talented speakers, were always cheaper.
Edit: and apparently that's required by the FTC as well.
I'm not sure what you mean here. Are you saying that it's normal to love "relevant ads" when you know that it's actually an ad and not organic content? Because I personally disagree, I absolutely hate that and I feel scammed when it happens to me.
It's fundamentally dishonest because it plays on the trust you have for the person doing the "ad". They betray this trust by pushing a product for money, not because they genuinely like it.
Now if they actually say something like "okay, this is a sponsored video but I actually genuinely like this product" I can give it a pass. But if you don't actually care about the product and are just pushing the script given to you by the marketing dept without any obvious disclaimers then it's plain and simple scam in my book. Actually I expect that it's probably illegal in many places, especially when it's about gambling websites like in TFA.
Now if you're saying that it's normal to like this content if you don't know it's an ad then yeah, I agree, but that's the scam.
>Women buy Vogue Magazine for the ads of fashion. It's not just a female thing. Some males bought Computer Shopper specifically for the ads. Why would consumers pay for ads?!? Because they're relevant to their interests.
It's not the same thing, those are explicitly ads. The equivalent would be those fake articles that you can find in some magazines (especially the free newspapers they distribute in the subway in my experience, but also in online publications) where they mimic the format of real articles to push an ad. I actually fell for those a couple of times, generally you only have a small disclaimer in the top or bottom margin saying "this is sponsored content" or something similar. It's clearly meant to deceive.
If I want to be a good homo economicus and update my information about the market, it's probably not the best idea to do so via a means that is by definition one-sided and actively tries to undermine my attempts at rational descision making.
You wouldn't consume data from a web service that actively tries to hack you.
I don't get it, but she enjoys it. As much as I hate to admit, I'm sure I've been sucked into some tech or office product in a similar fashion.
I can't stand videos like that. Especially if you have to sit through 2-3 minutes of intro bullshit before finding out it's all an advertisement for some product.
The ones I don't mind, that I've been seeing a lot more lately, are the ones that simply have an actual ad in them done by the video creator. They're usually pretty bad and sometimes you can tell they're not usually too happy about the product they're advertising but it still feels more honest to watch. You know it's an ad there's no pretending and i've seen a few videos where the creators actually put some effort in and did a pretty good job with the product placement part of their video.
Is a video tour of the Grand Canyon a National Parks advertisement? Is someone fixing their broken-down car and advertisement for that car brand? Is a guy tearing down a drill an advertisement for that tool brand? What if he talks about all the shitty design in the tool? What about if most of his videos come down hard on the tools, and then one he declares "not teabag" (Canadian for "not too bad")? Is that an advertisement for that brand that didn't suck? Are political commentary videos advertisements for a party or politician or idea?
Are cat videos an advertisement for cats?
I guess it depends on what you are getting out of the video. I, personally, mostly watch youtube videos to be entertained or to learn things. Now, many of them will change my perception about brands or ideas, either positively or negatively. But, to me, they are serving a "higher purpose". Hell, I've even watched make-up videos like you describe (my daughter needed help with doing winged eyeliner), so I know what you're talking about.
I'm not saying your point is invalid, it very much is. I have a pretty low threshold for traditional advertisements. But I think it's important to talk about the good and the bad, because there's a lot good on youtube that can get painted bad by ideas that all of this is advertisements.
But the paid shills? Ugh! They have to be teaching or entertaining me a lot for me to be able to stomach them. I'm looking at you, Wranglerstar.
It's amazing that you have people with over 1 million subs taking this money when there are so many red flags. Then again some of these are just young kids who only care about cash and are fine selling out their young impressionable audience.
If you watch any of these videos it is so obviously rigged, they "win" a bunch of prizes off screen such as high end nike shoes and computers (on screen they get low tier prizes like random shoes or ear buds) and have it delivered in unmarked boxes immediately in the next scene.
I expect some form of federal intervention in this case because it's absolutely insane from a simple cursory glance how brazen this is.
Compare Uniqlo minimalist logos vs Polo logo directly on their breast pockets.
Except Facebook also gets people to subscribe to advertisements so they (have a chance of) seeing them as soon as they are shared.
But Facebook actually builds it's business model around that, unlike YouTube, and charges the advertisers more to reach more of the subscribers even after they've expressed interest, while YouTube treats videos as a venue for ads it sells, but doesn't treat the channel-subscriber relationship as an advertising channel to monetize the way Facebook does with Pages.
I'll bet $1000 that the real Dwayne Johnson doesn't care that much, as most people don't care or think about it that much.
'The Rock' and everything you've ever seen about him is a performance.
It's slightly different than what's going on here, which might be more akin to the interesting conversation you struck up with the stranger on the bus getting awkward around for third or fourth time them mention how much they like their new jacket, which is both stylish and waterproof.
That's not to say it's all one or the other. Fashion magazines have advertising masquerading as editorial content also, I'm sure, but I imagine most people are expecting their being pitched some product most the time while reading the magazine.
The only way that video made me smarter is realising how blatantly most social media offers low quality content crammed with advertisement.
this price would include all fees and taxes to get the exact item shown in the ad. in cases where the fees and taxes vary for the viewership, you show the highest possible price. you can show other price variations, but the highest must be the most prominent. not only would consumers get better information but markets would be more competitive and ads would be better targeted (so as to show the lowest price to each viewer).
Also, not on youtube, but Bill Burr does some fantastic advertisements on the Monday Morning Podcast. I never want to skip them.
TL;DW - Youtubers with large young audiences are promoting loot box style gambling.
Youtube seems like the wild west.
On the dark side we have channels bursting with (possibly) human trafficked vietnamese women producing sexual content masquerading as slice-of-life, huge youtubers promoting gambling to children, elsagate, etc.
On the light side we have people's videos being flagged for copyright violations over literal sounds of nature, music they produced themselves, or music playing in the background. Also "fair use" doesn't exist on YouTube - a 1 second clip is enough for a company to claim your video apparently.
There are still a lot of niche channels I love on YouTube but I would never want to try to make a living producing content on that platform myself... seems too volatile.
YT to me is more like Kowloon Walled City - massive and amazing as a monolithic entity, and you can find amazing gems - but when you look closely, its a lawless cess-pool with a confusing and almost evil method of getting around - and things that shouldn't be anywhere near each-other are practically roommates, rather than neighbors. And you should
not trust any strangers you come across, no matter what they promise you. Also, its a terrible place for children to be unattended - and is largely ungoverned by those who should be governing it...
Gambling sites masquerading as merchandise seems like it is not in any grey area, it's purely negative. This type of service may even be strictly illegal, so it's a pretty strange situation to see it being advertised so heavily in a major way.
So basically they're engaging in borderline false advertising targeted at people who are by definition emotionally and psychologically vulnerable and compromised.
And the youtube side of it is that a whole host of youtubers promoted this service on their platforms.
Not to mention that their terms dictate they can sell your data. Which obviously is unexpected from a“medical” company.
That seems like it must be skirting the HIPAA line very closely.
This happened a while ago so I don't remember everything, but I believe the company was like an Uber for therapy, rather than providing therapy directly.
Can you explain for those of us out of the loop...
I'm trying to imagine some 14 year old boy trying to explain to an angry mother that yes, he's that interested in the boring day to day life details of an Asian mother.
But as you note, it's mostly a good deal for the producers that can monetize the videos a lot easier on a legit platform like YouTube, and there is probably a reasonably big captive market of people who are trapped behind porn filters.
On the one hand, there's a woman providing hours and hours of gratuitous upskirt shots and flashing her panties, made creepy because of the role the children play in it. The sheer scale of the content being uploaded makes it feel less innocuous to me, so it's hard to think this is just a woman indulging in a mild fetish...something else must be going on.
After watching the ASMR video though, I felt utterly disgusted. The mother was on record saying it was fine, and that she was writing 'sassy' role-play stuff that has blatant sexual undertones. It felt to me like a clear case of child exploitation, given the number of subscribers and the mildly pornographic subtext.
I remember some time ago there was another popular youtube channel that was basically a case study on the root cause of Complex PTSD: the father would consistently gaslight one of his kids, under the guise of horseplay, in order to broadcast his kid's reaction to such bullying to a wider audience. Presumably because the parents were making bank from it.
This should not come as a surprise—the internet is full of anything you could imagine and 'rule 34' came about for a reason—but I didn't expect to see something bordering CP on Youtube. Given the monetisation model Youtube has now, I can see why popular YT 'stars' will completely detach from their humanity in order to bring home more bacon.
You're thinking of DaddyOFive.
They lost custody of two of their kids (the ones they treated the worst) and eventually got banned from YouTube. Now they have a website, FamilyOFive (he numbers still work because 7 - 2 = 5), where they offer paid content.
I can't begin to understand what it takes, mentally, to lose two of your kids, and then come back to the internet asking for more eyeballs. They have a "Meet The Family" page on their site that omits two of the children, who are no longer part of their family as a result of their behavior. I would have probably had suicidal thoughts just writing that page, and I'm not making a joke or hyperbole here. Sure, who am I to say what sort of punishment they deserve? But good god, you lose two of your kids, you should either be angry or depressed or both, not going straight back to the life you had that led you there. I feel bad for these people.
I assume that "bikini girl" prepended to any video title attract more views than videos of me. "old, chubby bald dude fishing in real life" doesn't seem like a great clickbait title. If there's enough money to be made in "slice of life" videos, I guess it could attract the attention of human traffickers.
That was beautiful, and nothing at all like the sexual ones we're discussing.
I don't know if this is a good or a bad thing.
How do you think that could be a good thing? Seems like an obviously bad thing to me.
Maybe, but it seems like people who fall into the echo chamber just vote for the evil doers instead.
If they're not fined more than they profit then they're not going to change it.
The incentives of YouTube and Youtubers are aligned against the better interests of society; but that's true of a lot of capitalist activity -- the only way it is going to change is via mass action of the populous (direct action [which might be as simple as changing viewing habits], or legislation).
"Stop with this trending nonsense, stop with this "your friends liked" nonsense, stop with this "in case your missed it" nonsense, take your hands off me and just let me mindlessly click and watch whatever videos I feel like watching and react to the tweets I want to react to, I don't need your damn help knowing what my friends are doing or feeling like I need to like something because the platform detected that Jim liked it six hours ago since my last login".
For all this talk about FOMO, it's impossible for me, personally, to NOT look at the culpability the platforms have in it by nagging me all the time about what everyone else is doing and be annoyed by it. I know what they're doing, I see it. I don't need your helicopter parenting to know that, twitter. Keep the trolls in line, keep the lights on, otherwise get out of the way.
- Sort by time.
- Sort by creator/channel.
- Sort by creator selected content type (fallible).
- Search (a la Google, which sucks on Youtube).
I wonder if these would be sufficient? Maybe something like Reddit/HN is necessary; some human aggregation and interaction. Would a Reddit style interface work well for video?
A landing page with trending videos (upvotes, comments, threads, etc.), links out to popular subjects/sub-reddits, and so on. Perhaps with an interface like HN which forces people together in one kind of communication (in threads), generous wait periods for new members, and so on...
I suppose that only considers the viewer's use-case. What about monetization? What about creators?
- Frequency and quantity of the uploads indicated she was doing these videos more than full-time
- No verbal interaction other than an occasional glare at cameraman
- Vietnam, not (say) America or Europe
I'd like to give the benefit of the doubt, but something makes me deeply uncomfortable about it.
In America I generally trust that the FBI will have no mercy when cracking down on human trafficking. I also trust that the vast majority of sex workers are legit, consenting people who consciously chose to do it.
I don't know much about Vietnam, but I am guessing police/FBI-esque corruption is much higher than America/Europe which is why I would also guess that this accounts for the larger percentage of sex workers there that are trafficked.
How can you say "just because"? Several other reasons were plainly listed?
I might also note that I lived in southeast Asia for many years. There's a huge amount of trafficking that isn't being reported to the Atlantic website or the US State department there.
If you'd review the guidelines at https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and follow them, we'd appreciate it. This one is particularly relevant: "Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith."
The websites themselves are very manipulative. First of all, many offer a "test spin", which usually gives you a very good prize just to lure you in. Secondly, they use popular Youtube personalities to perform "box opening" videos, they get e.g. 30 free box openings. What isn't told, is that it's trivial for the mystery box website to boost the winning chance for the youtuber so that people think "wow, it's so easy, I can win that too". Thirdly, when doing the spin animation, they usually show you that the prized possession you were after was just around the corner, you were very close. Just give it a one more spin, you'll surely get it this time!
It's quite a problem that all these gambling scams are (to more or lesser extent) regulated in geographic jurisdictions, but Internet-bsaed systems bypass all local sovereignty.
How long before the governments step up and demand that all Internet businesses get import licenses and traffic must pass through "customs" at each ISP "port of entry" for their goods and services?
Same goes for PewDiePie. Who the hell sits down to actually watch him? I tried watching all three, and clearly I'm not their target.
The fame and influence they wield, is it more or less nefarious than using celebs to market pre 00's? It feels more so to me.
I finally understand the cultural gap my grandparents must have felt when I played my Atari 2600 all day and they just shook their heads.
The YouTubers I follow rarely shill for anything I care about. In fact, I don't subscribe to much at all because I honestly don't want to get a stream of mediocre content. I don't understand Twitch (I only watch gameplay videos to get a sense of the gameplay, not to live vicariously through someone else), and I don't understand those stupid "unboxing" and "playing with toys" videos that my kids like so much. In fact, I go so far as to actively discourage YouTube with my children, instead moving them toward Netflix, which had much better production value and usually includes some education.
However, I have acquaintances that love watching streamers, and my wife follows a few live streamers religiously and gets involved in live chat and whatnot. I see that they enjoy that content and I've read literature about it, but I cannot relate.
However, when examining the "provably fair" system used by this specific site mysterybrand.net, one can see that the commonly used algorithms have deliberately been manipulated in a way such that the actual draws done on the server can be arbitrary without respecting any predeclared odds.
E.g., the verification site just checks whether md5($randomClientSeed + $publicServerHash) == md5($randomClientSeed + $publicServerHash), based on things which are all known pre-roll, and which is obviously true, not involving the $secretServerSeed at all. It's a joke.
They even link to the URL mentioned above, but their implementation is completely wrong.
Still not saying that I am pro/con gambling, but just seeing a website at least implementing the provably fair system in a non-malicious way, it would be a start.
Some people have seen something like this ahead of many others, people like LinusTechTips, who, for years now worked on partnerships with companies to gain relevant sponsors but many others didn't and were hit hard by all this. YouTube even removed their abilities to link their Patreon as part of their videos, if I remember correctly.
Realistically speaking, I'm unsure what the real solution to this would be, other than YouTube doing its best to provide its creators a stable source of income..
(And on a small side-note: ads on YouTube itself have become quite dodgy, here in Eastern Europe. I keep seeing video and image ads for shoddy gambling sites, Russian singles sites (not even kidding!) and weird Jesus-cults. I am having very real flashbacks to the early 2000s Warez-internet.)
> These terms are interpreted and are subject to the jurisdiction and the laws of Poland
Which is really intriguing, since organizing any form of lottery or chance-based game is so complicated, that virtually nobody who knows anything about the subject would dare to try.
When I worked in advertising nobody in their right mind would create a promotional campaign with prizes given away to randomly picked winners, there had to be objective criteria (skill, talent, popular vote etc). E.g. when we made a memo-like browser game, the lawyers said we need to show all the cards for a few seconds, so there's an element of skill (memorization of the board) instead of chance (the cards being randomly distributed). And if my memory serves, finishing the game was required to enter the contest, but to win the prize there was an extra text field where participants had to answer something like "why would you like to win the prize?", and the best answer, picked by a jury, was awarded.
There were people playing poker with family and friends raided by police. (I think poker is now considered at leat partially skill based and some laws were fixed since).
There were teachers going trough hell when trying to make a simple lottery as a part of school fund raiser event.
If they really operate in / from Poland, it may not take long for this to get shut down if the authorities get involved.
Edit: found a detailed overview of the regulations in English here:
Lottery draws are done in presence of commission including members of state's Commission of games and gambling (Komisja gier i zakładów - KGiZ).
Commission members are named in document describing game's terms and conditions.
Commission records and protocols drawing process, and stores those because lottery participants have unconditional right to request access to them.
Possible fines went into millions of PLN - enough to sink small company and piss off larger one.
I've been working at advertising agency doing lotteries for certain big home brand. The way we did that was paying 3rd party company with ties to KGiZ for organizing those, because it was crazy to try doing it otherwise.
Only if they take a rake. There is nothing illegal about playing poker for money privately with friends. However, if there is a fee paid to the house, especially in the form of rake for tournaments or hands in ring games, then you are now breaking the law, if you are transacting in USD in the US.
TV networks and media outlets like thedailybeast also push gambling ads to casinos, vegas, online gambling, etc.
It's so awful! How is this so popular?
It's popular among children who like the high energy, intense emotions, and jump cuts. They also mix in base humor while heavily cross promoting among themselves. So their viewers feel like they're part of team or a movement or whatever.
The death of fixed-timetable broadcast TV feeds in to it too - as with soap operas it gives people some common ground to use in social situations (kids at school, for example).
> Paul, for example, has acknowledged that the bulk of his fanbase is between 8 and 15 years old.
An age range not known for taste.
Let's also not forget that the Paul brothers fame was created by the Disney regime.
If you're curious you can for example check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFpwOzfXErs
Beyond how despicable it is that these YouTube "stars" are promoting this, it's really interesting to see how these concept of a website even came about. I don't know much about the origins of it, but I'm going to assume they took a play from the modern gaming industry playbook. It was only a matter of time that someone realized modern gaming companies are "geniuses" in their execution of this same thing in their games. It's crazy that these gaming companies are causing such big problems for our youth by all the microtransactions and addiction problems in their triple A title games. I know some countries have done a great job regulated it (Germany, I believe?), but that regulation really needs to make its way to the USA to kill off these greedy parasites. It really is starting to be a black cloud around a lot of the modern gaming industry. I would rather pay double the price of a game (~$60), and have no microtransactions at all, vs these games that charge full price and then put have the content behind a paywall of microtransactions -- cosmetic or not. /rant haha
Weirdly, it may also partly be the fault of former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.
By restricting microtransactions to cosmetic elements, the thing they play on is one's vanity. Players who are content exploring the gameplay can do so unencumbered. There is no "special club" for players who buy items. They don't beat you more easily in the games. The main focus is still on winning the matches.
There is no incentive to buy those cosmetic items except players thinking "I want to look cool". Whatever Valve may do, that's not a vice they are responsible for creating, or that anyone is ever exempt from (we all have to buy clothes). They merely brought it, opt-in, to their games.
That combination of factors has created a hive of scum and villainy. CS:GO skins became the ideal unit of value for unregulated gambling sites - they're highly liquid, they have a stable value, they're freely exchangeable for real money and there's no KYC or age verification checks.
The mechanics and appearance of Mystery Brand are almost identical to numerous existing CS:GO gambling sites; they even use the same colour-coding for the rarity of items. Some CS:GO gambling sites already offer real-world prizes like electronics and designer clothing.
I'm sure that's a defensible position, but far from common sense. I certainly don't agree with it.
Also it's not only cosmetic since you can have weapons / items in those crates.
The issue is that unusuals (with only a 1% chance of unboxing) are the real prizes of mann co crates, and because regular hats are so cheap, the base level of "coolness" rises such that regular hats just aren't that fashionable.
Which is a shame, because there's shows like Binging with Babish which are quite nice.
edit - remove comment because apparently Logan Paul and Jake Paul are not the same person, they just seem like it.