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Emperor G built a beautiful walled city, inviting everyone in, encouraging them to paint their houses whatever color they like. A year later, Big G banned blue houses. If you didn't like the rules, you were more than welcome to build your house outside the city and paint it whatever color you like.

Only most people don't leave - blue is just one color and they weren't very interested in it anyway. Besides, the city is so beautiful and provides for their every need. In the coming years, people who want to paint their house blue badly enough to leave paradise are heavily scrutinized and eventually considered outcasts.

Over the years, more and more colors are slowly banned, one by one. People start to notice and complain once their favorite color is outlawed. But decades have passed since Emperor G's generous invitation. Entire generations have lived, died, and raised children inside the city. No one knows how to navigate the wilderness anymore. And even if they could, why would they want to? Thorns and weeds have overgrown the wasteland; it's much safer to stay inside the city walls. Besides, it's cozy and we have everything we need in here.

In theory you are correct. In practice, if 97% of society exclusvely uses said aggregator/community to find videos - 97% of your potential audience will never know the video exists - is that not still censorship?

Let me retell your story from my perspective.

Some random guys built a beautiful walled city inviting everyone in, encouraging them to paint their houses whatever color they like. Before the walled city, almost everyone was homeless, and the few people who had houses were rickety and constantly needed upkeep. (Before YouTube, most people couldn't do video sharing, and tech-savvy people could but it was more complicated)

Five years later, the random guys realized they had spent themselves into oblivion building the city. Thankfully, the Emperor, G, came along and offered to bail them out provided he could run the city. G didn't want to charge people money to live in the city, but did need to make money somehow, so he began allowing people to run home businesses and made profit off business taxes.

Years after that, lots of people were running home businesses. Some of them were running legally and ethically odious home businesses. Two things happened: First, all the customers from outside the city said they really didn't want to keep buying from Emperor G's city unless he took action to shut down the shady businesses. Second, Emperor G didn't like that he was being associated with those businesses. So he suggested that in the near future, zoning laws would change to prohibit running home businesses in some categories. In the metaphor, this is Google and advertisers beginning to demonetize certain for-profit YouTube channels without banning anyone.

Some business and some residents owners expressed concern about the new zoning laws (especially those affected!), but most of them, and certainly most visitors, didn't because they had the effect of weeding out some undesirable elements and beautifying the city.

Then, like three years after that, a bunch of white supremacists (and some people who aren't white supremacists, but who frequently say things that are debatably white supremacist, and also, some people who aren't even those people, but pal around with them a lot and really do their best to appeal to white supremacist audiences) colonized a big wing of the town. Some of them were running businesses and so they ran into zoning law problems as before, but most were just living there. Emperor G started an HOA to exclude those people, since many others in the city were tired of the general nuisance. I think the metaphor here should be clear.

Like most HOAs, it wasn't especially fair (and it caught up some of the neighbors of the people listed above) and so even if you agree with the decisions in principle you probably still have a lot to complain about.

Now, as even more years go by, Emperor G is starting to make really silly calls through the HOA, like banning certain colours of paint on houses. People are really starting to get irritated with this. Some of the people kicked out in the previous wave or zoned out of business in the first wave are seeing "told you so", but most residents of the town don't see the connection because it's possible to support HOAs or zoning laws while disagreeing with specific stuff that they ban. That's this thread and what's being discussed here. In fact, most people do support the HOA and the zoning laws!

Some people talk about leaving the city for the wilderness, or just missing the wilderness. Today, about the same number of people have wilderness skills as had them before, and the good news is there's more avenues than ever before to learn wilderness skills and get supplies out there. So you absolutely could leave the wilderness. However, most people still prefer the city despite its flaws, because in the same way that it takes less effort to prepare food than it does to grow it from scratch, the city allows people to focus on the things that matter to them rather than reinventing all of civilization from scratch. Besides, all the white supremacists that got kicked out of the city are still out there screaming, and sometimes you just want to go through your day without being screamed at.

Authoritarian Censors always have a boogeyman to point to that justifies their censorship

Your white supremacists boogeyman is just a over blown justification for massive dictatorial censorship of the internet in general and you tube more specifically

I have no respect for anyone that wants to hide behind this narrative in support of the wide and sweeping censorship of millions of hours of contents

//as a side not, HOA's and Zoning laws are also Authoritarian, as a libertarian and supporter of individual freedom I do not support censorship, nor HOA's nor Zoning laws

corndoge 20 days ago [flagged]

Except this is about hacking videos not white supremacy videos

I know my post was a little long for HN, but I think you need to follow the through line. Let me re-iterate:

Policy decisions and how people respond to them unfold in chronological order, and so the chronology is important. I was responding to a metaphor that imagined Google as an Emperor of YouTube, subjecting its subjects to a series of terrible decisions. It was framed as a "first they came for..." style argument for why we should believe today's decision tells us something about previous decisions. In the original metaphor, no hacking videos is like the emperor taking away another colour, after having previously taken away other colours.

I rewrote the metaphor as a chronology of what I think were some of the major inflection points for YouTube, and why a) this is different than previous cases; b) but the previous cases do lead us to this; c) I can support the goal of restricting some content on YouTube and not support this; d) I disagree with it and believe it to be stupid and arbitrary, but also I don't think the end point here is "Abandon YouTube and reclaim the free web!" for a few reasons.

Like most odious behavior, there is a scale. It doesn't have to be super odious for it to be banned anyway, just look at your local HOA board and how petty they can be.

tkxxx7 20 days ago [flagged]

Flippant comments like these are not only frustrating, they are misleading. I know you realize now that you were wrong, but your short, dismissive comment following a substantive paragraph makes it seem much less substantive without having read it. Which would be great, if you weren't wrong.

> In theory you are correct. In practice, if 97% of society exclusvely uses said aggregator/community to find videos - 97% of your potential audience will never know the video exists - is that not still censorship?

I mean... no?

I think it's useful to have a separate concept for actual censorship (government-mandated), and just "someone built a really great way to connect to a bunch of users, that didn't exist 20 years ago, but now isn't letting you use it". I'm not saying it's not problematic (or that it is), just that it's different in a meaningful way and therefore bad to conflate.

As for how much of a monopoly YouTube really is - it's clearly a huge aggregator that's gotten almost all "user watching video" engagement. Except other niches have been discussed here (e.g. porn), and they seem to be doing fine. So I don't think it's inevitable that YouTube is the only service that can exist.

This works in a non monopolized system. If you live in a large city with many different stores, and you get banned for one of them for wearing a blue shirt, that doesn't matter too much.

If you live in a remote city with one wallmart and no other stores, and wallmart bans you, that's a problem.

Yes, there are alternatives, but 97% of the market is definitely a monopoly.

The difference between your example and the YouTube case is in how accessible are the alternatives. If the only store close to you bans you, then it can be somewhere between a major inconvenience and practically impossible to go to an alternative.

On the other hand, replacing YouTube as a hosting platform isn't too hard (I think? I don't actually have much experience with this but there are alternatives).

Of course the big issue isn't YouTube the host, it's YouTube the marketing platform - but even here there are alternatives. Host on vimeo, but use other social media more. More Facebook posts. Get an audience via podcasts. I'm not saying it's easy, I'm saying that I'm not at all convinced that YouTube really is a monopoly in the sense where we want to do something about it.

It's very easy to host a video elsewhere than YouTube.

It's very easy to view a video elsewhere than YouTube.

It's difficult to convince other people to view a video elsewhere than YouTube. You'd have to be on YouTube to begin with to reach them. Sure, there are Facebook and Twitter. But if you want to get off those as well (and I do)… good luck.

Youtube is not a chat app, where you have 10 alternatives (whatsapp, viber, wechat, fb, telegram, signal,...), but it's the site where most users search for videos, and if eg. wallmart had such a monopoly as youtube does, if they decide not to sell your products, you're basically fuked.

This is a good point. I've been hearing "deplatforming" as the word for what's happening and that seems more accurate than censoring. In part because if we call this censoring and then later the government actually does strictly ban this content - what do we call that?

I mean, corporations have the worst track record. A great number of governments managed to stay non-evil for centuries, even the ones that dipped their toes in censorship.

Honestly if it were my government (the Dutch one, which is okay, but also definitely not perfect) versus any random corporation, even one that has so far only displayed good and well-intentioned behaviour, benevolent even. Remember Google in the early 2000s? Yeah.

To turn from something so good, such a positive outlook on the future, idealism, etc, in less than two decades into the this global market dominating, employee mistreating, faceless, evil .. Moloch thing.

This can of course also happen to governments, but if you look at history, it's the exception. Whereas with capitalism and corporations, it seems to be the fucking rule. You just have to wait which ones grow big enough to just go completely predator on humankind.

There is nothing in the definition of "censorship" that implies it has to be government-mandated.

Also, you're free to leave the country if you don't like what it is censoring.

Government-mandated or capitalism-mandated? What's the meaningful difference?

Well, maybe, historically, many governments have proven time and time again a meaningful capability to not simply turn Evil for many decades, centuries even. For corporations it seems utterly inevitable; they either grow and become evil, or they don't grow and die. Which happens over the span of one or two decades at the most.

Clearly, we should prefer government censorship, if anything. ...

I totally disagree.

For the most part, if I don't "do what YouTube/Google wants", then I'll just not use their products. If they want to "censor" me by not allowing me to post certain content, then I can put that content elsewhere.

On the other hand, if my government decides to censor me, they can force me to be quiet, either by monetary threats or physical threats. This is obviously much more of a deterrence.

> For corporations it seems utterly inevitable; they either grow and become evil, or they don't grow and die. Which happens over the span of one or two decades at the most.

Not really? Most corporations are not "evil", even if you choose to personify the corporation, which I think is a mistake.

It'd be real nice if we could make an expeditionary force and start setting up more cities outside, to continue the analogy. At the moment, most groups wanting to leave the city contain too many undesirables, but eventually there'll be enough critical mass. What does that look like? At first - an ecosystem of services, packaged together, rather than piecemeal. Firefox, duckduckgo, an open calendar. I don't think it means linux per say, but maybe a privacy-focused android distro and an overlay for windows. The OS doesn't matter as much anymore.

The solution to alternative communities having too many 'undesirables' is pretty simple; you focus on a specific niche/field that YouTube or whatever doesn't do well, then build up from there.

That's how Twitch took off. Started off being gaming focused, became a bit more open to other content later on. Same with Discord compared to say, Reddit or Twitter or Slack or what not.

The reason most alternatives attract the wrong audience/don't reach critical mass is because their marketing is always focused on the freedom of speech/privacy/whatever angle. That's attractive to a certain audience (those who are being censored more often on existing platforms), but not to the general public.

So you aim your new privacy/decentralised/free speech focused platform at gamers or sports fans or software engineers or what not, and then slowly open it up to the general public/all topics. Like how Facebook started out being aimed specifically at college students.

The part that people always miss is the “don’t sell out to the big bad companies after you get traction”.

> The OS doesn't matter as much anymore.

I disagree. Everything described above applies to the Microsoft Windows monopoly. The monopoly was shaken by the web, then by mobile in general, but lots of traditional businesses are still locked into the Windows stack. Non technical businesses in particular are locked into MS Office.

Given that the world basically shrugged and let MS keep their stranglehold over the enterprise market, I don't expect Google to be treated any differently.

I work in a non-technical business that depends critically on MS Office, but it's not a very pernicious form of lock-in. Honestly, we could probably get by with LibreOffice or Google Docs, and with VMs or terminal servers as a backup, we could ditch Windows as our main desktop OS.

But retraining non-technical users is disruptive and expensive, not to mention retraining helpdesk staff who were hired from a massive pool of Windows experts. The ongoing support costs could massively exceed Microsoft's licensing costs, and switching would produce no benefit for us. So we're 'locked in,' but it's not really Microsoft's fault.

Things were different before their monopoly was disrupted by the web and mobile. OS pluralism is normal now, and people are more inclined to blame vendors, rather than those who opt out of the vendor's ecosystem, for compatibility problems.

What an exuberantly generous take on the relationship that exists between your company and Microsoft.

'depends critically' vs 'we could probably get by [with alternative]' - which?

> So we're 'locked in', but it's not really Microsoft's fault.

It's conceivable that some of the wealthiest people on the planet have accidentally arrived at a situation whereby myriad users are 'locked in' to a situation whereby their on-going wealth is assured.

Most enterprises depend critically on being able to view and edit Word and Excel documents. If there was some urgent need to get rid of Microsoft, they could get by with non-Microsoft applications that support the same file formats. It's easier and cheaper to stick with Microsoft because of the huge ecosystem Microsoft built. That's no accident, it was good business, aided by some questionable business practices which were noticed by antitrust regulators at the time. But it doesn't give Microsoft unlimited power – if they hike licensing fees, the available alternatives will start to look more appealing, despite the (currently) higher cost of finding staff to support them.

They’re locked in because they do license agreements for office, not because they can’t use anything else on windows. Plenty of companies use g-suite on windows.

I was also talking more about home and personal use in general, rather than businesses.

Let me tell you, technical businesses are too.

What if Microsoft was offering the best solutions to enterprise, and that's why they kept their stranglehold?

If solutions were independent of the environment, the fix would be easy: simply develop better software than Microsoft. Unfortunately Microsoft owns the stack so it's hard to compete with them on their turf. You can develop for Mac or Linux and sell to a tiny market. Or you can develop for Windows and hope Microsoft decides not to enter your market.

Without a full stack you're just a Jenga tower.


While Google created that walled city, they also destroyed every other city into a pile of rubble after tapping into endless resources from a completely unrelated industry. YouTube had an unfair advantage over just about any other company trying to build something similar.

Google is famous for making things free until they are not, than your screwed. I like when they arbitrarily change rules about SEO, AMP's and such. Don't want to play by the new rules? No problem, you and your company will be thrown onto the scrap heap.

The more this metaphor is fleshed out the more it sounds like it's referring to civilization in general and how ancient cities/city-states actually operated (to some level of similarity).

Build a city, invite people in, tax them and rule them, and destroy or absorb every rival you can get away with. Have technology or resources your competitor doesn't have? Sucks to be them.

I guess I'm not that surprised that even though we can collectively build better systems for ourselves after time and lots of understanding where the alternatives lead us, our nature shows itself in various other areas.

Yeah, that's exactly how it was. Then we pushed for the rule of law, a set of fundamental rights, democracy, and a social safety net and while this stuff still happens it's a lot better than it was.

Time will tell if we're able to keep it up. Certainly there are new threats and opportunities.

Many of the of the same pundits supporting censorship on Google search and Youtube used to be extremely critical of Walmart's business practices. This isn't about principles.

Is there a way to disable amp in my browser? It’s hard to get to the real sites

Use Firefox and/or DuckDuckGo.

Yes, install Firefox Mobile.

As far as I know, no. You can request the desktop site and that should stop you from getting AMP pages as search results, but it doesn't always work either.

Apparently it's "for our own good" not to have the option to turn it off.

Am I the only one gets annoyed when people use "than" while it should be "then"? And hell a lot of such people!

> people use "than" while it should

Don't you mean "when"? "people use 'than' when it should..."

GP's second sentence could also use some grammar love ;)

Ah, but we do know how to navigate the wilderness. You see, we built this city. We built it on ARP and IP. And we can build it again - next time with better foundations.

The gatekeepers underestimate how long tastemakers are willing to go without them to discourage long-term bad behaviour.

My only regret is that I did not contribute to building DuckDuckGo.

The problem isn't you and me, the problem is "the most".

In my time, we all hung out on IRC (well, some still do, but mostly for technical stuff). But IRC was like ARP and IP, you needed to set some parameters, enter a server address (that you had to look up in a paper magazone or had to ask a friend for it), you had to join a channel, that you had to find first (listing all channels was useless on larger ircnets), and then you could chat. ...and you had to be online to receive messages, which was a problem back then with dialup connections.

Then came "social networks" (myspace, facebook,...), where all you needed to know was "myspace.com", and they offered objectively "more" than irc (chat messages were recorded even if you were offline, photos, profile pages,...), and people started using those. So if you wanted to chat with friends, you had to make an account there. And most people slowly migrated to myspace, and then facebook, and so on.

Anyone can build a website, set up video streaming, buy virtual machines for video hosting, etc. But if "all of your friends" (97%(?) of video watchers) open up youtube, and search for videos there, and your video is not there, it's the same if you were alone on an empty irc channel with two other users on the irc server.

Who is 'we'? You know, and I know. Most users of youtube do not.

Yes, not everyone needs to need to invent the future to enjoy it. A few rogue engineers are enough.

This comment reminded me of the last lines of Hotel California: "You can check out any time you like // But you can never leave!"

There are other cities which you can move to.

The problem is, Emperor G sells the only map to the Internet, and they're not shown on it.

Is your analogy trying to say that Google is the only search engine you can use, and that it doesn't list rival video sites?

(Disclosure: I work for Google)

You can use other search engines, but the only one Mr. G tells you about is their own, and it consistently features YouTube above other sites.

If this kind of behavior from a market leader isn't a textbook anti-trust concern I don't know what is. It's remarkably similar to Microsoft featuring and promoting its own browser at the expense of others. The level of bundling and integration that they were attempting between IE and Windows, and which ultimately got the DoJ to act, has been going on in Android with Search and Chrome from day one.

Look up "search engine" on google and you find link to alternatives to google, and not google (of course you need to know what a search engine is and that it exists)

It was also possible to use Windows to download alternatives to Internet Explorer.

Microsoft got into hot water not because Windows blocked alternatives, but because it gave preference to Microsoft's own browser. Which is something that is normally perfectly legal and fine, but under US antitrust law it stops being fine once you're the market leader.

Even "alternatives to google" gives you a card with "Top 12 Search Engine Alternatives To Google"

the Analogy to me is the Google run YouTube, Andriod and Search.

Google, it is believed and supported by much anecdotal evidence and some leaked documents, that google manipulates search to remove the "undesirable" competition like Minds, Gab, Bitchute, and others. Twitter, Facebook, and other Authoritarian Censorship supporting Silicon Valley companies are unaffected

Then there is Android where google blocks apps from anyone unless the adopt a censorship policy mirroring that of Google

Human race has a lot of intellectual growing up to do.

This is, in effect, the same Modus Operandi that resulted in the Opium Wars - addict a populace to "free" some thing and bankrupt them intellectually.

Greed. Humanity has always been driven by greed, but the hope was that it would recognize and overcome this sin and get to the next level. This hasn't happened. I have a weird feeling that humanity (or rather this civilization that started about 10k years b.c.) has just missed the critical point when it needed to take off. The greed was too heavy and we've started losing altitude. In practice, losing altitude manifests as the raising temperatures: the only way to solve this problem is to overcome greed.

I guess the lesson is "don't build your house in someone else's land".

A lesson that's impossible to follow when all the land is already owned, unless everyone gets the ability to create a full fledged ISP in their basement.

> In theory you are correct. In practice, if 97% of society exclusvely uses said aggregator/community to find videos - 97% of your potential audience will never know the video exists - is that not still censorship?

Reminds me of the retort to libertarian/anti-big-government goals: "Lots of things become a government"

Who cares about 97% of society? They can enjoy their shit.

thanks to lightning me. i seriously try new firefox today.

You forgot the part about how Emperor G would come and burn your house to the ground if you tried to build outside the city because building houses was his idea.

But wait, they didn't invent building houses. But Arbiter W lives in the walled city and the Emperor gives him gifts. Arbiter W considers Emperor G to be the person who owns the idea of building houses, and Aribter W is the one that sent the arsons out to your place, so you are now shit out of luck with a burning house.

I'm sorry, this just flew over my head. What is this analogy about? Is Google DoS'ing third party websites? Deranking them? Suing for patent infringement? Who's W?

If you want to livestream on Youtube, you aren't allowed to mention or link to other livestreaming solutions, such as Twitch.

YouTube's policy appears to ban videos that "promise users they will see something but instead directs them off site in order to view." As far as I can tell, mentioning that you have a Twitch channel should be fine, but creating a video called "my sick game livestreaming" whose content is a guy telling you to go somewhere else to watch your sick livestreaming might be seen as this type of spam. Honestly, that sounds pretty reasonable to me. Maybe I'm missing a story somewhere about them doing something worse?

I think this is the policy here: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2801973

> creating a video called "my sick game livestreaming" whose content is a guy telling you to go somewhere else to watch your sick livestreaming might be seen as this type of spam.

this happens a lot with many twitch streamers who also do youtube. I don't think it's banned under youtube.

Someone needs to tell Linus Tech Tips that.

They mention the Twitch or Floatplane streams or streaming all the time. Either last week or the week before that they had an issue with the Youtube and Floatplane streams, but Twitch was doing fine.

Would you link to those rules? Curious what the exact text is.

They did get a strike about that, or possible several times. For example, https://twitter.com/linustech/status/1008752236027973632?lan... talks about it and I strongly remember a wan show being almost dedicated to the same topic.

If I recall right, they have said that there were not that many users who came from youtube so it doesn't matter much, and that wan show itself isn't really a money maker in the first place but rather a place where they can vent and just talk a bit about random stuff. They later changed their setup so the same stream goes to youtube, twitch and floatplane at the same time but they don't know if that is within the youtube rules.

Here's where they talk about it: https://youtu.be/SKtJY6soCds?t=698

Doesn’t floatplane stream to multiple services? You have 1 system to stream to many.

I don't know the rules, I'm not a YouTuber. I don't think anyone has ever accused Google or YouTube of applying their rules equally, though.

The original analogy was that you're not allowed to build a house elsewhere. You seem to be analogously talking about selling said house within the perimeter of the original city.

Doesn't Twitch have similar rules regarding not advertising other streaming sites? I mean, its reasonable trying not to give free advertisement for your competitors.

Is it reasonable?

Maybe. Maybe not. I see it as another good reason to find viable and economical ways of hosting our own content independent of these platforms.

Twitch gives you an outright ban if banned Twitch streamers are spotted anywhere on your stream -- whether or not it was intentional.

Lighter cases get 90 day suspensions of Twitch accounts.

Presumably OP was referring to big companies skirting around data laws and heavy lobbying by said companies. W would be the US government or similar.

I believe it is W for Washington

Not OP, but reminded me of the X-Plane developer who was sued for publishing an app to Google Play[0].

[0]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4523380

Reminded me of patents

And if you built a really nice house and people saw leaving the city to join your new house community. The G would just buy your house and move everyone in the walled city.

Vimeo, Twitch, Bitchute etc., none of whom seem to be getting shut down.


Lighting a fire is a crime. (When it's arson.)

Painting a wall is a crime. (When it's vandalism.)

Jumping a fence is a crime. (When it's trespassing.)

Not going to be much left to watch if every act that could be a crime is banned.

No, but the big corps like that because it lets them selectively ban pretty much whatever they want.

Dosen't really have anything to do with it, YouTube can already selectively ban anyone they want (and do), its already a part of the TOS.

But they are not instructionals on how to commit crimes. They are instructionals on how to bypass security systems, and that may or may not be a crime depending on your relationship with the entity controlling the security system.

The same argument could be used to ban any videos showing weapons being used (target practice or demonstration dummies) or any martial arts. Because who knows whether viewers will use that knowledge against live targets. That would include a ban of all military combat and training videos.

Importantly: understanding how to bypass security systems is an implicit dependency of understanding how to defend oneself against your own security systems being bypassed by others. Instead of allowing ordinary people to educate themselves on how they might go about defending themselves against cybercrime, YouTube has effectively decided that "nah, it'd be better for the common folk to be entirely helpless to cybercriminals".

>The same argument could be used to ban any videos showing weapons being used

That has actually already happened, to a certain extent (depends on the weapon). This is just the next step.

Videos that involve weaponry are already either banned outright or heavily hidden and demonetized on YouTube. There was a channel (not sure if it still exists) that was about making different kinds of slingshots. SLINGSHOTS. And YouTube came for them a few years ago. The content was popular and the audience loved it. Google, however, did not. They declared it in violation of their community guidelines and swiftly stripped away the creators livelihood.

It's important to realize that we're not just talking about "oh some entertainment is no longer available" here but, in most cases, someone or groups of people just went from being able to feed their families to not.

Except that slopes are actually slippery sometimes. Look at the recent, and quite rapid, normalization of physical violence in American political argumentation.

What normalization? Physical violence is extremely uncommon, but grossly overreported by the media. If it bleeds, it ledes.

Are politicians literally shooting each other again, like Aaron Burr & Hamilton? In all seriousness, if anything is new in our political discourse, it is sensitivity to violent language.

> Bypassing secured computer systems, in practice, is illegal.

So is sexual harassment in the workplace. Remove those videos too?

As far as I can tell, a slippery slope is nothing more than a projection based on current and past data. I think it’s foolish to cast out such projection for the mere reason that they are projections. Rather, we ought to debate the quality of the data and model feeding the projection.

I would like them to have consistent understandable policies and pay anyone they demonetized a severance or just whatever youtube made off of it

It's only a fallacy if there is no demonstrable slope.

It's only a fallacy if you think YouTube owes anyone free platform access and to uphold free speech as a private entity. They don't.

They are acting like a monopolist. And they are an effective monopoly.

A reply to you makes the unsubstantiated claim that YouTube is a profit-seeking company. They ignore the fact that, no, YouTube has not operated as a profit-seeking company. The reason YouTube is, and will remain, the pre-eminent video platform is because it was run at a profound loss for over a decade, losing hundreds of millions of dollars at a clip, for no reason other than to totally suppress competition. Framing them as some kind of capitalist company is genuinely false.

If you wish to build a competitor to YouTube, your first task is to secure a billion dollars or so to build a competitive infrastructure with investors who are prepared to lose money on its operation for no less than a decade and quite possibly forever (or until Google goes bankrupt).

> The reason YouTube is, and will remain, the pre-eminent video platform is because it was run at a profound loss for over a decade, losing hundreds of millions of dollars at a clip, for no reason other than to totally suppress competition.

No one actually knows whether YT is technically profitable as a sole entity. So the premise of your argument and the argument you're referring to is basically flawed unless you have insider information.

And practically impossible to determine. How much does Google "earn" by having a better idea of who its audience is?

How much does Google "earn" by keeping its competition weak(er)?

How much does Google "earn" by being able to speech-to-text all video and increase its corpus of knowledge?

How much does Google "earn" by being a better search engine because it can provide video results?

How much does Youtube bandwidth "cost" Google when it has links into every exchange there is anyway?

Your local auto parts store prices oil lower than a mechanic can get it for, just to bring people in the door to sell them other items.

This is a well known tactic; these items are called "loss leaders". The fact that in this environment other people have successfully made video sharing websites (without a billion dollars, no less) means that the environment is competitive, even with the loss leader tactic.

On TOP of that, "Sharing videos" is not something that is required for civil society. It's an ancillary waste of time, but in no way owed to the public sphere.

>Your local auto parts store prices oil lower than a mechanic can get it for

Why doesn't the mechanic just buy their oil from the auto parts store?

They do! But they charge you full retail price on the bill, without the loss leader pricing.

If you've ever had an oil change and thought, "I can get oil for less" - you're right.

They are a for profit company and can do what ever they want. regardless if their membership is free or not.

There are other choices out there. They may not be the best. People can build their own youtube if they want to.

At least in the USofA you can build something similar with your own rules.

youtube can be taken down, but people appear to be too lazy or unaware of what youtube is doing slowly. Taking away certain liberties that used to be available in YouTube.


There's tons of other video sites that people are free to use. Nobody "requires" you to use YouTube.

"But more people are there, my videos won't be see elsewhere!" does not count as a monopoly.

Host your videos elsewhere, nobody's "owed" access to Youtube.

Is this an argument about free speech?

Its more about the arbitrary practices which affect people’s livelihood while youtube retains all the profits from content it eventually disagrees with

This anticompetitive behavior can be curbed using the people’s government in ways that have nothing to do with free speech

Are there alternatives?

Yes, tons of them. Don't like Youtube? Don't use Youtube.


And simultaneously use existing arbiters created by the people to change youtube’s internal policies

It's not censorship by the definition used by law, no. It's still morally ambiguous...

It's like how free speech is both a reference to the first amendment and a concept in and of itself, meaning that you can support free speech in private spaces, without supporting it as a requirement under law. There's always confusion over the difference between what should be allowed under law and how things should be ideally.

Damn! Don't forget auto-censorship... This is 1984.

Except replace "the color blue" with one very specific shade of blue among millions of possible shades.

Good analogy, but lets not forget Emperor G has to keep the Gods happy. Or at least the federal government(s) and to some extent the press and public.

If he keeps allowing blue houses the few people who want blue houses are happy but the Gods may become angered.

Given this, Emperor G's staff of highly paid lawyers have suggested cutting off the degenerates who want blue houses.

> the degenerates who want blue houses

Are we still talking about computer security tutorials? I'm not aware of any federal law prohibiting those.

Emperor G will use his massive power to influence the elections of the Gods, only allows those sympathetic to the Emperor's goals a voice to talk to the people in the city

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