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YouTube lets biggest stars off the hook for breaking rules, moderators say (arstechnica.com)
82 points by el_duderino 74 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 34 comments

My impression on this is a bit cynical. I often notice a retributive justice motivation from critics of particular youtube and twitch content creators. People see Logan Paul, or Alinity do something marginal and they allow their dislike of that person to blow their response completely out of proportion. They don't just want to see a platform evolve into a more wholesome direction - they really want the person they dislike to get hurt. They then hide behind some false morality or virtue signaling about protecting animals or children. To me their motivation seems quite clear. They are not motivated to protect or even motivated by a sense of fairness, they are motivated to attack a particular individual (or a representative of a class of individual they dislike).

The fact that the stars of YouTube/Twitch get more careful moderation as well as the benefit of the doubt in marginal cases makes complete sense to me. 99% of the time YouTube won't have the time to apply careful judgement to a report and they will likely err on the side of caution. For top creators and high-income potential channels they will bring more resources into their decision.

And if you find yourself calling for someones head on a platter, I urge you to consider your motive. Are you really aiming for a more wholesome platform or do you want to see that smirk wiped off of Alinity's face?

There's a third alternative where they seek consistency or a kind of flat equality rather than a better place. They don't seem a more wholesome place they seek the past.

Reminds me of the motte and bailey fallacy. The bailey is personal dislike and the motte is protecting animals/children.

Unpopular opinion, given the sheer amount of content that gets uploaded to YouTube everyday, I think that in general, YouTube does an awesome job on moderating all that content and keeping the platform clean.

I don't remember at any time seeing in my home screen anything that was blatantly NSFW.

The combination of user flagging, manual human reviews and especially the content filtering algorithm works great, but of course, there will always be a small number of false negatives that will get highly publicized and used to trash the public image of YouTube in the mainstream media.

YouTube is maybe the best thing that has happened on the Internet since it's creation. You have a place to host videos for free on all topics, where people can freely share and exchange ideas at scale in a captivating format.

Most of the ads you get to see are much more relevant than what you get on TV, which thanks mostly to YouTube I have hardly watched in over a decade.

I think that judging YouTube just because Logan Paul has decided to taser a dead rat and only got a 15 days suspension is excessive.

Couldn't care less about NFSW. YouTube is full of spam and click bait, but they don't seem to do anything about it. The top search results still include a lot of crap.

As for clickbait: while bad, it’s not against the TOS

From https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2801973?hl=en

> Spam, scams, and other _deceptive practices_ that take advantage of the YouTube community aren’t allowed on YouTube.

Some click bait is in the deceptive practices category. For example if I see "Logan Paul Tases A Dead Rat" https://youtu.be/GsxYu8vHzBM I'm expecting to see Paul tasing a rat, not a Power Point presentation on the subject.

“Our responsibility was never to the creators or to the users. It was to the advertisers.”

I'm shocked - absolutely shocked! - that after years of activists and a large chunk of the press using advertisers as a tool to lean on YouTube to ban specific videos, their moderation policies are now largely aimed at keeping advertisers happy. Whoever could've seen that one coming.

Twitch and YouTube are platforms where you can literally upload videos of yourself abusing your pets and not get banned because you bring the platform money.

There was also an instance when a popular streamer was live streaming a “road-trip” with himself and others in the back of an RV. When users in chat donated a certain amount ($100 or so) the driver would brake-check on the HIGHWAY and the people in the back would be thrown around while not wearing seatbelts.

How this streamer didn’t end up in jail is beyond me. Endangering innocent people for $100 and seeing it as “entertaining” is disgusting.

A popular Twitch streamer filmed himself in a public bathroom where children were present. He got a one week ban.

A similar thing happened to a local "celebrity" (guy in their 30's films himself on the bathroom with underage girls, wiping their asses; or kissing underage kids in the mouth), and YouTube does absolutely nothing, even after he was criminally investigated for possible sexual harassment (aggravated for commercial purposes).

EDIT: It seems YouTube did close their channel, after the criminal investigation. This should really be the opposite.

Same thing happens on Twitch, especially for some female streamers known for streaming in revealing clothing. As an example, this popular female streamer was recently seen feeding vodka to her cat (mouth to mouth) and throwing her cat over her head (intentionally because the cat was blocking her screen while she was in a fight in-game, unclear if cat was hurt) but got off scot-free. [0]

Meanwhile, last year a less popular male streamer was showing off his catfish and accidentally dropped the catfish and got banned/suspended [1] [2]

[0] https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/tanyachen/alinity-gamer...

[1] https://livestreamfails.com/post/15889

[2] https://twitter.com/alecludford/status/968697869032189953?la...

The whole aggression towards women who wear revealing clothing while streaming concerns me. There seems to be an element of puritanical anti sexuality in it.

It's mostly kids watching

Are these teenagers seeing something more then someone could see someone wearing at the beach?

IMHO, this was a carefully crafted PR stunt meant to draw attention to the woman (and her detractors as collateral damage).

What nobody seems to realize is that both sides benefit from these manufactured controversies. Both sides see heightened engagement from "controversy."

Same issue with Twitter - their golden goose sometimes lays rotten eggs. But people flock to the platform to see the spectacle.

Balancing moderation with profitability seems to be a real challenge for a lot of companies.

> a real challenge for a lot of companies

You imply that the problem can be "solved", but how can it be if users and advertisers have competing interests?

It's possible. The counts (like/view/click/retweet/upvote etc) effect what content creators produce. It's the Control Variable in a Feedback Process.

Just like the news shows, radio/podcasters and comedians decide what gets the largest audience by looking at specific metrics. But in this case Twitter/Youtube/Insta etc have control over When, What and How they show metrics to content producers. Turning these knobs changes behavior. It is still early days and the big tech firms are just waking up to the possibilities.

Both users and advertisers want clarity.

Will this video contain a someone posing with, and mocking, a corpse?

Will this video contain a someone "cementing" his head inside a microwave?

Will this video of a popular children's game including people yelling words like nigger or faggot?

That bit isn't complicated.

The complicated bit is what you do to cater for the religious bigot advertiser / viewers: do you let them say "I don't want to place ads against LGBT friendly material"?

Why not? I would think lgbtqt material would be more valuable and able to bring increased revenue.

Besides people reverse ad buy to avoid certain groups. For example advertising in a church bulletin will excludd many lgbtqt factions.

It's a triple-sided market. Users can be broken out into viewers and content creators, and then there's advertisers.

Moderation is attempting to balance between all three sides, meaning there's no silver bullet but a ton of gray area. No matter what moderation solution is devised it will have downsides for one or more of creators, viewers, or advertisers.

Same thing happens on Twitch with the titty streamers, "just chatting"

And now they are introducing a sub-only stream option, literally turning Twitch into a private cam site


I completely stopped using Twitch after it became clear they wouldn't apply rules equally and that the people making the decisions there aren't people I'd trust to order lunch.

Money talks! This is why twitter has no idea how to handle people when they have created a protected class of people. Some people they ban, others they protect. Its fubar.

Like if I threatened to shoot someone, I'm guessing I'd be banned. Threatening nuclear war though... Not a problem for some people.

A million is a statistic...

One aspect of this not touched is that that YT’s primary response is demonetizing videos or channels- but most get their money from brand deals outside of that.

Does it really matter what youtube does so long as the community holds these content creators accountable? Stop giving them your attention (and youtube ad revenue) and they will have to make amends or do something else.

Don't pretend that youtube cares about anything other than how many hours users spent watching ads; and if you don't like it then create your own index where you store everyone's videos for free.

Let's all pretend to be shocked.

same as everywhere. Big clients always get away with stuff smaller ones are screwed.

Imagine living in a world were Logan Paul is too big too fail.

What we need is for this administration to get involved. /s

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