This might be a shock to most people in the western world, but if you go on almost ANY news website in china, the headline news is dedicated to government propaganda.
The reality is that Chinese firms and government operates together intimately. Nearly all sizable firms have a party secretary that is involved in board level decisions, and steps in when things get political. You can ponder who has the final say.
No, I get this, but here's the thing: YouTube and, more specifically, it's advertisers do everything that you're accusing China of. There are material consequences if YouTube doesn't keep in line. What this means is that a status quo that pleases advertisers will be maintained.
It's every bit propaganda as dropping leaflets, but you can't point out a boogeyman pulling the strings.
Advertisers are not a homogeneous block. YouTube et al can afford to piss off some advertisers; if they're pissing off all advertisers, the material is probably extremely objectionable to most humans.
I challenge you to point out an example of content that has been banned from youtube because it offends advertisers, that you really think the banning of which is a significant issue. There's no shortage of material on YT hypercritical of Goldman "Vampire Squid" Sachs.
Whereas there is a long litany of material banned from Chinese networks for obvious political reasons. Furthermore, if you don't like YT's policy, you can use other video sharing sites or even gasp host your own videos. Try doing that in China and see how long it takes for men with guns to show up.
The washingtonpost story can be proven false. Whenever I add the word lesbian to a video title traffic goes up 4x the average.
The everage article was interesting. Keywords trans or transgender could put the video into a more mature sexualized context. Most searches with that term probably have a mature/porn intent. It's one of the more popular sexual preferences by keyword search volume so the context of other words matter more.
Similar story with Tumblr. I had been using Tumblr for a good many years, for non-pornographic use/material (I shoot landscapes and buildings, and I liked the way I could post/group my photos). It pissed me off though when they (Tumblr) clamped down on sexual content, because it really hurt the LGBTQIA+ communities. A similar clamp down on Pinterest also made me drop them equally fast.
I don't know what conservative agenda they took on, but there were other ways to "protect the sensitive eyes" of their conservative users, without shutting down freedom of expression.
Content that is specifically about LGBT issues is almost always going to involve sexuality at some point or another. Advertisers are skittish about their ads running next to such content. Tumblr wanted to become more attractive to advertisers, so they clamped down on sexual content. By clamping down on sexual content, they also incidentally clamped down on LGBT content. They probably also clamped down on people talking about straight sexuality as well, but that doesn't raise censorship alarms because the explanation for "censorship" is just plain typical American prudishness that is generally accepted.
This is almost certainly the same dynamic at play on youtube.
You can call this a "conservative agenda" if you want, but IMHO you are twisting the debate to frame it as a political wedge issue when it really isn't.
The equating of sexuality (an identity) to sex (an action) and specifically targeting identities that are not straight _is_ the problem. Under Yahoo (and in a bumbling attempt to adhere to App Store guidelines), completely safe for work content (from discussions to screenshots from media to even teenagers venting or asking for advice) that happened to contain words like "lesbian" got censored/marked as NSFW - meanwhile content that was much more sex-related than that (e.g. a gif from a movie showing two straight characters kissing or getting handsy) would pass just fine. But of course, it's "twisting the debate" to find it absurd and obviously homophobic that a girl _typing_ about wanting to marry another girl someday is considered pornographic in comparison.
Where we disagree is I do not believe this is any kind of moral judgement biased against LGBT content. It's just that content explicitly designed to be LGBT is going to trip stupid automated moderating systems, just like content explicitly designed to be about BDSM or any other kind of sex related topic, whether it is LGBT or not.
Images are a different kind of problem entirely. Again, computers don't understand context. Recognizing a boob or a penis is hard, but still relatively easy compared to understanding that images can be highly sexual without any overt images of sex.
Yes, these sites don't understand the context you want them to understand. But no, I don't think it's a politically conservative motivated judgement (in all likelihood of course, I can't say for certain... and likely neither can you).
Censoring the literal word "lesbian" is not a politically/socially conservative judgment to you?
There is some confusion on these. One has to do with identity, the other has to do with sexual partner choice. I.e. I was born a man, I feel like a woman. In an unrelated (to identity) note, I prefer X-Y-Z as my sexual partner.
The conservative/conservatism bit has to do with the hypocrisy that man, woman should be the only available choices of gender, and that "man + woman" should be the only allowed sexual partnership. I will not bring religion to the discussion, it only makes things shittier.
This (imho) is the founding stone of fascism, you are different than me (postpartum gender change not allowed), and your choices are different than mine (man + woman, and no other combo allowed).
When a company suppresses and eventually kicks out these communities, they may be doing it for the $$$$, but in the end of the day they ostracize people only because of their identity and choices. As for the “stupid automated moderating..” I call bullcrap. It is a mix of hate and incompetency. But driven by hate and conservatism.
If Tumblr wanted, they could have created an tagging mechanism that could facilitate people to find their own groups/fandoms.
Same reason as Facebook: advertisers don't want their ads shown next to controversial content. As a matter of fact, the LGBTQIA+ communities aren't all about sex, and it's homophobic to say they are.
You don't have to have consensus from advertisers to ban something. If an advertiser of significant enough size, or a block doing similar, threatens, YouTube will listen.
> I challenge you to point out an example of content that has been banned from youtube because it offends advertisers, that you really think the banning of which is a significant issue.
You don't have to ban it, you just have to demonetize it and content creators will fall in line.
> Whereas there is a long litany of material banned from Chinese networks for obvious political reasons.
I really think you need to reckon with this. You speak a lot about hosting your own shit, but, as American hegemony crumbles, your consumption will meet road blocks.
This week we saw one social media platform after another ban the same people. The North American cartel moves together as one, once again.
You can host your own videos but if you do expect to be banned by paypal and mastercard and visa. Because all north american companies are just different faces of the same underlying entity.
Chinese companies offer real competition to that. Chinese companies are very good for my political freedom.
I would not totally agree with that statement. In some ways I may be able to speak more freely as a foreigner on Chinese run platforms because China might not care to suppress the same news that American run platforms would try to suppress. I would not agree that they offer political freedom. The CCP does not believe in any level of free speech. For an example see the recent news. Not only do they want to suppress it but even outside China they try to erase that history.
I can name plenty of western companies that have come out in support of the Hong Kong people and plenty that have abandoned them for a quick buck. Can you name one Chinese (Not Honk Kong or Taiwanese companies, these are under different governments) company that has come out in support of the people of Hong Kong against the CCP?
Tell me what kind of videos you'll be banned by payments companies over, please. Because I used to run the (at the time) biggest BDSM porn company on the internet, and yes we took credit cards.
There is no "North American cartel". There are no chemtrails either.
Videos showing American war crimes, specifically the “capital murder” video on wikileaks, which caused visa, paypal and mastercard to all pull the ability to use their services to donate to wikileaks.
Doesn't look very banned to me.
Sounds like they're moving in lockstep in response to public sentiment. Is that a bad thing?
Might be bad for you, but probably not bad for Americans. The people have spoken and the corporations are doing their bidding. Sounds like what most people want from their government. This as opposed to China, where an autocrat is deciding what to do and enforcing his will onto his subjects. Whether it's ethical or not is besides the point, because otherwise this conversation just devolves into a discussion on the merits of democracy.
That is scary.
Like, I get that the milquetoast world advertisers want to live in is some kind of lens that colors the views and opinions presented by their platforms. It's just that the worst that happens from being influenced by it is it that you live a more boring life and consume more product. That's not nearly as worrying as being influenced to hating racial minorities in an attempt to distract from the South China Sea or something.
Coca cola sent death squads into South America.
> That's not nearly as worrying as being influenced to hating racial minorities in an attempt to distract from the South China Sea or something.
I don't know if you've noticed, but there are currently protests going on in America over racist injustice.
> It's just that the worst that happens from being influenced by it is it that you live a more boring life and consume more product
And how do you think this interacts with the above point?
That's an argument against Coca Cola doing business in South America, not against banning an advertising platform in South America.
Also arms smuggling, anti-union activity (violence) etc.
I mean yeah, since those corporations were acting like a quasi-nation state. If you're willing to go back far enough, you could also point to the East India company as evidence of corporate power, although in those cases they pretty much were the state in the areas that they operated. I'm not sure whether you could say the same about corporations today.
For US-based firms, that’s simply not the case.
Yes, YouTube needs to make sure Nike is happy. But Nike didn’t just kill two dozen Indian soldiers.
Certainly there’s privacy related concerns with US companies - as with Chinese companies. But nobody had accused the DoD of manipulating YouTube search rankings.
If the DoD wants to conduct a YouTube propaganda campaign, they can buy advertising like everybody else.
> For US-based firms, that’s simply not the case.
Disingenuous or naive?
Now somebody has decided that China is very bad, and here we are discussing how bad they are. Despise that in 1989 they massacred their population literally in the center of their capital, a few years later and until recently the investment in China grow exponentially. But, they are starting to be too powerful, so, they are not funny anymore. Now, we have to block their mobile apps.
What happened to Saudi Arabia by the way? Why are not the independent media talking about the relationship with them in the same way they talk about Iran?
Probably not the best company to choose given their history.
Consider past agreements about/agency infiltrations to create backdoors and the like or canary clauses in licenses and why they exist.
Still better despite being only a partial mechanism for increasing balance between powers.
>> The reality is that Chinese firms and government operates together intimately. Nearly all sizable firms have a party secretary that is involved in board level decisions, and steps in when things get political. You can ponder who has the final say.
> No, I get this, but here's the thing: YouTube and, more specifically, it's advertisers do everything that you're accusing China of. There are material consequences if YouTube doesn't keep in line. What this means is that a status quo that pleases advertisers will be maintained.
You're basically saying: "YouTube has to please group X, TikTok has please group Y. Since they both have to 'please groups,' they're doing the same things!" That's a flawed comparison, because the the devil is in the details: the relevant differences between group X (YouTube advertisers) and Group Y (the Communist Party of China) get obscured when you're reasoning about such high level abstractions.
Why must every single posting on Hacker News that involves China be flooded with whataboutism? It's a recurring thing, not even subtle.
Maybe I'm too optimistic, but we should always strive to be better. Just because the US could be doing as bad things as China or Russia, doesn't mean it shouldn't be better than it is now.
Maybe we shouldn't have worked so hard to support building up their manufacturing base when we knew this all along.
Oh well, we just get to repeat the Dutch mistake of financing your enemy into having a robust manufacturing base until they gradually overtake global control.
YouTube and its advertisers aren't countries, and aren't engaged in recent, deadly military skirmishes with India.
It might help to read the parent posts I was replying to, but we're talking about the effects of black box algorithms.
>India is absolutely right in banning TikTok as it is a significant national securities threat.
which is exactly why YouTube and China are not equivalent. You're talking about abstract black box algorithms; no one else was.
Unless or until they approach the scale of a nation-state (and to be fair, many do) it seems like commercial interests are at the very least clear (and arguably market-driven and subject to competition).
For a specific if arbitrary example: I don't think Facebook values privacy (or YouTube free speech) but that's a side effect of their primary objective. Maybe it's a distinction without a difference, but it sure feels more sinister when the app is purpose built for privacy-invasion or opinion-manipulation.
And in Canada, corporations are not exactly actors which perform rigid functions outlined by the government.. the liberals, who are currently in power, don’t have party members sitting at the top of companies whose function is to literally oversee compliance to liberal propaganda.
China isn’t quite as bad as western media makes them out to be, I’d argue that in many ways they have been improving and loosening up, but it’s silly to pretend that YouTube is no different than TikTok or that Amazon is no different than Alibaba.
So they actually have a good influence, redirecting marketing dollars for "marketing" ( since it looks good on the outside).
China doesn't care, they even block Winnie the Pooh.
Those people would be even more shocked by the extent to which this is true in the western world as well.
3.9M subscribers, so they're pretty popular.
Lets say it's December 2015 and I want to find out what ISIS has to say about it's activities.
It was nigh impossible to find unfiltered information from them.
The only two political parties in the US, for instance, differ remarkably little in terms of foreign policy and labor rights. Headlines in major US media will virtually never indicate there is any significant room for debate here. The public is satisfied with the false dichotomy of "raise military budget by $100B" vs. "raise military budget by $200B".
Before Trump, I would probably have agreed with you, but these days, I don't know how you can say that. Trump has made major breaks with the foreign policy establishment over the past 3 years, and continues to do so (pulling half of our troops out of Germany is a good example of this). On labor rights, the two parties have been far apart for years. The GOP has intentionally and willfully attacked and degraded the National Labor Relations Board, allowing it to lose quorum and be sidelined.
If you broaden the policy proposals to health care, the parties are even further apart, with one party advocating for single-payer state funded health care, and the other advocating for the immediate elimination of subsidized health care for over 10 million people.
There may have be some issues where there is a general consensus between the parties, but there are plenty of very important issues where the parties are far, far apart.
At best, the establishment Dems have been passive observers to the catastrophic erosion of social systems over the past 50 years.
> Both parties broadly promote global US military and economic supremacy (unipolarity)
They seem to be doing a pretty bad job of preventing the rise of China as a second pole.
It doesn't mean that advocating for multipolarity isn't a political dead end in the US. Both parties are against it.
Maybe that's the goal but the execution is lacking. Seen from outside the USA it seems that the influence and the prestige of the United States are lower now than at any time in my life. The apex was any year in the 90s.
Obama started the trend. Trump accelerated it. Dealing with allies as if they were enemies doesn't help to keep a supremacy. Everybody needs friends, even big countries.
YouTube is filled with virtually everything imaginable. Do you have the numbers and relevant comparisons to back this claim?
That’s the point FFS. I responded to the notion that google only allows fake disagreement by showing two ends of the same snake.
I still can't get over the lack of self-awareness in this post.
In China, the government has more power than corporations. In the US, corporations have more power than the government.
Well I have news for you... Most of the news about international politics you read in the west are propaganda as well- and it works so well you're about to hit the downvote button in disbelief.
I think he is referring to Google.
There's nothing xenophobic about the claim that PRC blocks a huge portion of the internet. I operate several websites that are blocked by CCP in PRC, despite having no relation to any policy priority of the CCP or law/edict in PRC.