Infrastructure services on the other hand are dumb pipes, giving them a lot more leeway. Historically (e.g., the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA, the recent debates around Cloudflare and the far-right), society has proven to be far more tolerant of services simply hosting a video or a stream, than services promoting it or deriving benefit from it (e.g., through ads).
Arguably, the latter is also the more critical. A lot of smaller-scale entities (like your church) can tolerate losing promotion for a day or a week far better than they can tolerate losing their infrastructure.
This comment is sort of victim blaming.
...but I agree that people should not rely upon social media companies whenever possible to distribute content and communications, due to increasing efforts to police content.
The conflict or tension that troubles me the most is between platforms' incentive to have the most vague and broad TOS and users' reasonable expectation of consistency and explanation.
The same tension exists in government police/arrest powers and resulted in many historic documents and rights. YT is not a government but their power rivals many actual countries. It will be interesting to see if the same revolutionary actions result. I don't think it's clear yet that it will or could happen.
Newsreader: Good evening. Here is the news on Friday, the 27th of Geldof.
Archeologists near mount Sinai have discovered what is believed to be a
missing page from the Bible. The page is currently being carbon dated in
Bonn. If genuine it belongs at the beginning of the Bible and is believed to
read "To my darling Candy. All characters portrayed within this book are
fictitous and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely
coincidental." The page has been universally condemned by church leaders.
An in-person service yes. But if it's streamed online I think a license is required.
That can be just God's bookshelf itself right?
>Copyright is exercised as a means of quality control
Is that God too, or another 'authorized source' like the Vatican? ;)
For Catholic translations there's a requirement that a Bishop sign off on the accuracy/suitability of the translation and its accompanying commentary (at the minimum, a Catholic Bible will include references to parallel/related passages in the other parts of the Bible and usually also includes significant additional commentary). The most commonly used Catholic Bible in the US has its copyright held by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops who have published the full text on their website as well as have authorized multiple (20, according to Wikipedia) publishers to produce print editions.
Given that God himself is credited as author of at least parts of the Bible, the "life of the author plus 70 years" doctrine of copyright should help keep the Bible out of the public domain for the foreseeable future.
That's only true if “nobody” can reach up to approximately 1 billion people.
“Not everybody” ≠ “nobody”.
THIS INCOMPLETE NON BIBLE BOOK IS PROVIDED AS IS, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND EXPRESS OR IMPLIED...
Yes, there's context. How often does context help?
"By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the willows we hung our harps, for there our captors requested a song; our tormentors demanded songs of joy: 'Sing us a song of Zion.' How can we sing a song of the LORD in a foreign land?"
Be sure to check out the awesome Reggae take on it by The Melodians, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tAb5rYRXvs, as well as the great pop cover by Boney-M, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYK9iCRb7S4. Although, unfortunately, yes, both versions leave out the bit about dashing infants against rocks. After all, this is a foreign land, and if the Psalm were sung in full, it would be unacceptable to our captors!
Why is the narrative “Google relies too heavily on automation”?
Why not “I rely too heavily on Google”?
In the attention economy all it takes is giving them less attention.
This does not invalidate your questions, but still it's something to be considered.
My mother (diagnosed schizophrenia in the '70s) tried to get to her webmail one day, but the ISP had moved the page. She got some generic 404 message like:
"We couldn't find the page you were looking for."
She immediately spazzed out asking who the "We" was and how did they know what she was looking for!??
She shutdown the computer and many years later, to this day, will not use a computer.
So yeah, some people handle disparities in user experience better than others, and mental health is a thing in the population at large.
Consider that you may be relying too much on a free service that you paid nothing for.
I'm not saying that google sucks. It does. But it will never get better unless you actually move to another service and take your money with you.
People pay everyday with their data. If it was truly a free service that provided no benefit to Google do you think they'd keep running it?
They definitely have no aversion to shutting shit down. I guarantee the only reason they really shutdown google plus was because they weren't getting as much datamining out of it as they wanted.
If you're a church or nonprofit, you can run it for free on Azure by applying for a sponsorship. I wrote automation to setup and teardown the system on Azure: https://github.com/awakening-church/live-infrastructure
Video playback is handled by Video.js with the HLS plugin. Our existing frontend web server reverse-proxies to the Docker instance serving HLS playlists and video chunks.
I used this software from 2016 until about 6 months ago. We use Vimeo + Restream nowadays. If we ever needed to self-host again, it would be easy to switch back.
This was especially apparent during a POC DJ's stream at a recent virtual furry convention.
I suspect that theres a certain number of reports to viewership that allows streams to be taken down by trolls.
Religious texts and religious conversations use words like war, murder and rape quite generously. Those words used mostly in context of discussion, or prohibition, but automated systems cannot yet distinguish that reliably. There's a great chance that's what happened to your stream.
Should be noted however, it's not so rare that religion orders their followers to do unfathomably gory things to other human beings. Which is sadly excused by most people quickly and in great effort, instead of scrunitizing further and pondering on it.
I think personally that anyone having a serious presence on YouTube should consider at least having a backup of all their videos on Dailymotion or other service. AFAIK we don't do massive automated deletions like YT does. There are also tools to upload videos to both platforms at once.
While DM is not chasing youtubers to host their stuff there and even lowering the share of revenue for non-verified creators (the company has pivoted to "premium content" strategy and prefers to partner with big brands) and reach and monetization is way lower than YT, having a backup/fallback strategy (especially when you embed your videos on your website) is something worth considering given history of YT dramas.
DM is here to stay and your videos as well AFAICT. It was acquired by Vivendi (huge media conglomerate, owner of Universal Music Group) in 2016 and the company is rebuilding itself and growing.
That doesn't actually help. Archive.org might be a better party to save important material.
But for sure, brand safety is an important KPI and clearly, unlawful content is definitely being removed, and certain kinds of content get demonetized.
Like Geocities, right? The web rots, and video / media sites rot faster than most because of commercial interests which typically do not align with the long term interests of the users of those sites. As soon as a large corporation acquires them, especially a media company it becomes a different ballgame and what goes for Youtube goes just the same for DM. Youtube isn't going to disappear next year, but some of its content will.
I'm impressed with the incremental approach that they've taken to making improvements.
LBRY is great, but the fact that the token is unstable makes it impossible to set a consistent price barrier for your content. And it's difficult for normies to understand how to get money back out of the token economy. That's why I think crypto currency systems are great, but should either be opt-in or a first class on-boarding experience that explains like you're five.
The ability to control and censor broad swaths of human communication globally is not a power any corporation should have.
...it is just one of many negative by-products of oligopolies.
I think Minds does have a pretty unique system for moderation. It does seem pretty resilient because the voting happens in private, so you can really vote your conscience.
Scale it down for argument's sake, such that people are using a video service that you own and operate to spread extremely destructive false information about everything from elections and politics to public health. Your first reaction is "This is fine, the marketplace of ideas will sort it out in the end." Instead, it turns out that the more offensive, destructive, and just plain stupid the content is, the more people eagerly lap it up.
Are you going to take steps to prevent this from happening? If not, how are you not at least partially responsible for the real-world consequences of the videos on your service, which seem to be mounting by the day?
How about if someone posts a video calling for political assassinations or other violent criminal activity? Do you act to keep that sort of content off your channel?
Where do you draw the line? And why should Google be prohibited from drawing the line at all?
None of this justifies the unaccountable use of flawed algorithms to delete random channels, of course. But that's a separate point from the one you've raised.
> Where do you draw the line?
Somewhere reasonable. I'd say Facebook, Twitter, Google, Reddit, Microsoft, and maybe a couple other massive communications companies, have a duty to preserve free speech - with a small number of exceptions like CP, calling directly for violence, etc...
Ideally, the market would have more competition, but until that happens these companies should remain obligated not to bar content.
Imagine if ISPs started blocking content to people who went to the "wrong" websites, or cell phone providers who overheard the "wrong" phone conversations.
For the record, my actual opinion mirrors yours almost 100%, except that I don't believe Google or Facebook should be forced to publish anything they don't want to. That's no better than overt censorship. These companies are not ISPs or public utilities, in that they don't rely on government-granted monopolies over public airwaves and physical rights of way. So they shouldn't be subject to strict content neutrality requirements.
This is a really hard problem and we've taken an incremental approach too (mostly because our team is so small). We sorta have an opt-in system since you can use lbry.tv or the app without owning any LBC.
I'm planning to spend some more time really digging into our onboarding flows over the next couple of months to make this crypto knowledge dump a lot easier for new users to understand.
In particular bitchute seems to be entirely filled with conspiracy videos to the point where it would be better if people didn't suggest it as an alternative.
include controversial videos in search results yes-no.
Not entirely, and I see a lot of conspiracy vids on youtube and other platforms too, so I believe suggestion is justified.
Better than having the content be deleted, though. Choose for yourself what you want to watch, and don't choose for other people.
The bigger, more abstract, more difficult task is implementing the above as well as all other aspects of the platform in such a way that it fosters the sort of community you are envisioning, attracts the sort of user you're building for, and this is incredibly nuanced. If you want the platform to appeal to, say, creators of animated or short narrative content who are interested in friendly conversation and critique, you aren't likely to do this if they visit the platform and find nothing but fringe political content and the perhaps less-than-friendly conversation this may attract.
Ironically, building a platform that appears to be fairly unbiased and balanced that puts the control in the hands of the user generally involves an immense amount of curation and control behind the scenes to achieve this. And similarly, failing to put tons of work into this, opting to let the users decide everything organically, etc., will likely find your platform's content and community dominated by whatever group is able to rally the most like-minded users to join up the fastest. You're at the mercy of the mob, and most likely, you won't enjoy what they've brought with them.
So you log in to Bitchute and just see your subs which are like 5 channels that got deleted from youtube. Subbing is the curation system.
Personally, I’m not confident bitchute is technically competent enough to implement a real discovery algorithm. They haven’t made any discernible technical improvements to the site since they first launched.
> Personally, I’m not confident bitchute is technically competent enough to implement a real discovery algorithm.
That's just a lie. It's filled with videos that don't match your politics.
It does certainly seem like this was an erroneous take-down. I'm not familiar with the content, but I can't imagine a more innocuous channel. If JPdylon is out there, the first recommendation is to appeal the decision .
Granted that doesn't always work, and it's unfortunate that common next step is to resort to "Support via Hacker News". That being said, content moderation is a super hard problem. It needs to get better and more fair on both sides (i.e. taking down what should be; leaving up what is quality content), but the scale here is often forgotten.
There is far, far too much content posted to manually review. If EEVblog's suggestion was taken and
Susan (YouTube CEO) had to manually review every moderation action on channels with 5K+ subs, she would not be able to keep up. If you had a team of people, they would not be able to keep up. Even if you had a fleet of people, the scale is just unreal.
EEVblog's suggestion to diversify platforms is reasonable. The fact that those platforms don't have some of the same problems doesn't necessarily mean that they're better at content moderation, however. They just don't have to operate on the same scale.
- a list of clear rules
- takedowns must provide a reference of which video caused the takedown, roughly where in the video it was, and which rule it was violating
Someone may reply that this is feeding information on the rule boundaries to spammers, at which point I make a second suggestion which could apply to more services:
- a "this platform is valuable to me" deposit, of say $10, which guarantees human review of administrative decisions.
It's people's livelihood. You can't just vaporise it. Well, you can, but eventually the angry mob you create will get large enough and come for your statue.
It would be difficult to structure this but simply allowing a video creator (or any fan of the channel!) to pay a Youtube analyst or a third-party auditor at cost ($10 seems reasonable for 15 minutes of even a decently-payed, English-speaking Western employee's time) to review the channel/video for 15 minutes for actual violations would be a huge boon to real content creators.
This would also allow Google to identify what takedown requests are blackmail botnets and block them from doing further harm.
If anyone at Google is reading this please consider it!
So many viewers would be willing to pay that this need not even impact creators.
(Obviously this would have to be kept from getting out of hand and turning into Google racketeering with multiple takedowns of the same channel, but I trust them not to do that)
I don't really see how this is any different now. Google is already generating bad PR by not having an appeal process for these issues and plenty of people are already complaining that it's all a scam.
If a nominal fee gets you a written report that details exactly how you offended YT's policies and creates a possible scenario which you're given the opportunity to course-correct perhaps, then it's a win. What you're arguing would happen is already happening.
Right now, blocking a video will lead to Google being unable to earn money from it. Their incentives are aligned with those of the video creator.
> What you're arguing would happen is already happening
No, right now you are not pressured into giving Google money to review their automated decisions. With the suggested system implemented, you might fork over $10 individually for each of your 452 videos and get humans picking mostly the same useless text block in response, not really helping you to understand their decision. You will feel kind of like now, except you notice that YT actually made more money by banning your videos and start to wonder if that is by design...
Courts are great, but have to be independent. Even arbitration can be skewed in favor of bigger companies, since getting their recurring business is in the arbitrators interest.
I'd still be in favor of setting up something like that for lower level decisions, but understand this can only happen if Google finds a way to stay out of the line of fire. And still keeps a way for them to overrule those third party decisions...
I would say that's only true if the volume of video content was a bottleneck for their advertisers. They have more than enough content.
The given channel was estimated to make $4 per video. Just holding a small amount of revenue for review would pay for the human time.
Losing $10 is vastly better for the monetized creator than losing the channel completely.
When you issue a DMCA notice, you're certifying that the content is yours, under (theoretical) penalty of perjury. But big content studios erroneously issue them using automated systems all the time, and the only way to actually enforce this is for you, the individual getting targeted by one, to personally take legal action against a multinational corporation.
Meaning that, for all practical purposes, the people this affects have zero recourse.
Nearly 100% of people who receive a DMCA notice of alleged infringement (read: 'copyright strike') from YouTube have the option of filing a counter-notification.
In nearly all cases, YouTube responds to valid counter-notifications by informing the party that initiated the takedown. Counter-notification starts the clock on a 10-day window, within which the party alleging infringement must - if they want to keep the video down - sue you in federal court and prove to YouTube that they they have filed suit against you. Otherwise the video goes back up.
That procedure is almost always available. The downside, of course, is that you might get sued for an enormous amount of money that you may be held liable for. Statutory damages are scary. (But thy are a consequence of infringement, not notice-and-takedown.)
The only way to modify that behavior is to make it hurt.
Or the far more radical point of view that people who are economically dependent on Google are employees .. although that is probably impossible to define and unworkable.
On the other side, the content producer's "defending" karma should also increase each time the claim is rejected.
And then, the "content police" should somehow need more "work" to ban or remove something the weaker the claim is or the defendant is "stronger."
I am aware that the "platforms", however, simply don't care much now, simply prioritizing the "reaction."
For example, it is very hard to come up with a sort list of clear content rules. There are all sorts of ambiguities. For example, when is nudity ok? What about violence? Every line you draw in the sand will have false positives and false negatives. See any number of stories about Facebook moderators who despite having lots of content rules, will make subjective and contradictory judgement calls.
Furthermore, with a concrete list of rules, bad actors will act just to the left of rules violations. Clearly, having some feedback is required. In this case, however, we don't know what Jordan Pier knew, since this was initially a reaction to the channel's deletion without consulting with Jordan about what happened.
Finally, having a support deposit--no matter how small--will disadvantage many creators and increase the divide between haves and have-nots. I admit that it's frustrating that you literally can't purchase a human's attention, but every policy decision like this has profound ramifications when you have billions of users.
These aren't new questions, organizations like the BBFC and MPAA have been wrestling with them for years. And Google will have been wrestling with them internally .. in total secrecy. Yes, there are always going to be edge cases and people intentionally working up to the edge.
> having a support deposit--no matter how small--will disadvantage many creators and increase the divide between haves and have-nots.
I get that, but at the moment everyone's disadvantaged, and the larger creators potentially for tens of thousands of dollars.
Secondly, they work with (largely) mainstream content producers (e.g. movie studios), who rarely act with downright malicious intent because of reputation and money on the line.
I don't believe content moderation is a problem solved well anywhere.
Joke's on them: Google Maps will just give the angry mob directions to the Amazon HQ instead.
If this was a hardware or software issue it would be obvious that you're trying to scale systems that do not scale.
In technical terms, social "algorithms" are O(k^n), exponential.
You're trying to do the impossible, eh?
(Really, the argument could be made that FANG et. al. are becoming a new de facto world government. From that POV you're attempting to solve the hardest human problem, eh?)
- - - -
No one is forcing you to be that big. At the end of the day, scraping away all the bright-eyed rhetoric about "connecting all the people, places, and things for great good", you're doing it for money. Building a moderated social network isn't impossible (maybe) but it's woefully expensive.
The existing systems are, arguably, harming people and messing up society, tech companies notoriously have a lot of money already, but are unwilling to prioritize and pay for the moderation that could (arguably) improve things.
So... what? I don't have any answers, I just want to point out that from my POV the problem is clearly hubris and basic cheapness.
FWIW, I don't think money is the limiting factor here. If there was a known good solution, but it took $10B to implement, I think it would be done.
You could pay X thousands (more) moderators, but there are drawbacks in a human solution as well. First is the fact since there's human judgement, rules will be applied inconsistently, and probably with some bias.
Second is the fact that moderation is a very mentally exhausting effort. You can observe some of the cyclical nature of this balance from the news over the past few years. Article about moderators with PTSD? Well, automation is the solution. Automation fails in a lot of edge cases? Well, why not hire armies of people to do it for you?
I don't think there is an obvious solution here, no matter how much it cost.
The issue is centralizing social decisions to a single entity. We already have a model where corporate entities provide services at scale without taking on much of the social aspect: Utilities and infrastructure. So find a way to become a video hosting utility. An uncaring pipe. Create tools for users to build their own fiefdoms and branding and have it moderate themselves. Tying advertising into that might be difficult, but perhaps it would be up to those users, pay for the services or automatically enter an agreement with advertisers. If advertisers pull their content for whatever reason then people could choose to pay themselves or perhaps make a deal with different advertisers.
Hosting adult-related content that most brands don't want to touch? Perhaps make a deal with seedier advertisers. Youtube would still take its cut, but only as part of infrastructure fees.
Want to promote your content to other circles? Well, you're essentially an advertiser yourself now.
If that's the case, then it may be back to Youtube doesn't scale.
> Second is the fact that moderation is a very mentally exhausting effort.
You have an impossible trilemma. Youtube:
* Allows/must allow anonymous or pseudonymous content creation, without the ability to ban bad actors;
* Faces significant social (sometimes legal) liability for content hosting and especially curation/promotion; and
* Wants to provide friction-free, speedy, and consistent policies to its content creators.
Those can't all exist at the same time. Right now, what gives is a bit of #3 (seemingly arbitrary, severe, and algorithmic actions against channels) and a bit of #2 (occasional stories about how Youtube is evil for promoting flat-earth Nazism vaccine-denial theory to children or whatever).
Youtube could go with a heavy-moderation approach, by requiring content creators first register with a government ID (plus business license in each country of intended audience) along with prior human-moderator approval of each uploaded video. But that would fundamentally change the platform into something more like a traditional TV network rather than dynamic social media.
Other commenters here go heavier on the "free speech" side of things and think that Youtube ought to face no repercussions (social or legal) for hosted content, freeing it of the need to moderate. I'm not sure how we would get there from here, but nevermind that job for lobbyists.
Society as a whole seems to implicitly solve this problem by not being a big giant curator under its own brand. Traditional media still exists as many (notionally-)separate outlets, each with their own branding and editorial views to offer at least limited competition. But if this is the only viable model, it's still another way of saying that Youtube doesn't scale.
The critics think that they know better than society and impose demands not codified in any law nor how things remotely work. How the hell should YouTube have decided to keep its size acceptably small then? Youtubes 1 to 99999 and hope people go to the right arbitrary subsegment? The demanda are arrogant and clueless as saying that builders should only use rubber headed hammers and nailguns should be banned because it would reduce construction noise knowing nothing about the field or its practicalities. Now /that/ is hubris.
> If they were 50% smaller, which 50% of their current content do you think they should get rid of?
Couldn't they just split in twain? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_division
(I lied when I said, "I don't have any answers". I do have answers.)
- Add a "reputability score" for every channel which is log((total videos) * total views * total likes * months since first video). Obviously there should be a HUGE burden of proof when deleting a channel with millions of views and over a dozen videos.
- These are just two 15-minute-ideas of an engineer who can't get an interview at google. I'm sure among the thousands of employees somebody has an even better one.
YT has policies against animal cruelty, but a search for "electric mouse traps" shows a bunch of live animals being killed. (There are a lot of these).
Tar paper traps lead to a slow death by starvation but it is a side effect of the function - to work without "triggering" and inconveniencing anything much larger instead of risking harm. No need to take a cat to the vet if they step on it, just wash them off and maybe clip some fur keeping it attached. The fact it causes more suffering than a mechanical trap isn't enough to qualify although one may object to its usage. But breaking a mouse's leg just to laugh at it and watch it crawl? Gratitutous and would qualify as animal cruelty.
And you should blame that (that nobody flagged them) on the double-standard most people have towards "not hurting innocent animals" vs "freedom to do any slaughter with the so-called 'pests'".
As I say I don't mind the killing of a healthy animal for meat, but the milk industry just sticks in my throat (especially when it is so easy (and tasty) to cut out milk these days)
(or was your comment a joke :p)
This discrepancy between how we pretend to protect animals but still do plain "pest control" is weird (this is a weak word), but this is a quirk of our "modern" society.
The law is made democratically, so that just means that a majority of the citizens think that it is not ok to hurt animals, but that it is ok to use mousetraps. Blame on the lack of awareness of the society.
But then, in turn, this means that not a lot of people flag the video, if the majority of them still think that pest control should be legal. If not, then now should be the right time to change the law of the country where you/me live.
You can't just ban everything with electric mouse trap in the title - this video  is on the first page of searches and doesn't contain any rule breaking content. If a band appears titled "electric mouse trap", do you want that content to be removed?
There are so many topics, so many videos,so many people actively trying to skirt the rules that it's just infeasible
to moderate purely by scale. According to , there are 30k hours of content uploaded to YT every hour. How do you suggest they moderate even just the new content, never mind the backlog of content.
To be clear, I'm not defending the content on YouTube, or their moderation/takedown practices and responses, I just want to point out that it's not as simple as "just moderate better"
> There are so many topics, so many videos,so many people actively trying to skirt the rules that it's just infeasible to moderate purely by scale. According to , there are 30k hours of content uploaded to YT every hour. How do you suggest they moderate even just the new content, never mind the backlog of content.
That's really an argument that they have to reduce their scale until it matches their moderation ability (or increase their moderation ability until it matches their scale). We wouldn't accept a car company failing to recall and fix defective cars that they sold because their repair shops lack the capacity to do so.
Send 999 out of 1000 viewers away? Delete 999 of 1000 channels? Block 999 of 1000 video uploads? I genuinely don't understand what you are looking for.
And note that this would still be 30 hours of new content per hour. And it would change nothing about the economics of moderating content.
The only content policy that matters is unwritten: "No content which could cause a large or loud enough objection to disrupt add revenue."
Objections to mouse traps or hunting is not large or loud enough to hurt the bottom line.
If you mean that the channel didn't do anything "wrong", and shouldn't have been deleted, I totally agree.
Moderation here isn't the problem. Youtube's policing has downright enabled censorship on the site.
I don't think anybody here is forgetting the scale; they simply understand that Google-scale problems come with google-scale revenue.
Omitting this fact seems like an insincere overture to the community of upset users, to me.
The channels that do actually have revenue impacts are the ones with actual people reps already.
Saying what video and when in the video tripped what part of the magic algorithm is also doable. I think we both understand that the algo has to do the work, and it has to output a "yes/no" at the end. However, absolutely nothing forbids coming up with some kind of feedback or error message. The algorithm is doubtlessly complex, and was therefore debugged. Yes/no was not sufficient for debugging in its development. The mechanisms are present.
Expose this to the user.
YouTube is an internet advertising company like pretty much everything else Google. That they serve video content is ancillary.
Maybe perform fewer moderation actions?
There are many sophisticated actors that try and game the system, and it's because of them at sometimes the system makes the wrong call.
And before you say this won't scale, this is how Reddit moderation works, and seems to work for millions of posts made every day.
Also, some sort of public log of takedowns and reasons in some form we could verify might also be nice. It's super creepy seeing someone "disappeared" from the Internet without so much as a peep from Youtube/Google.
People should not be expected to somehow get another famous youtuber and a hang of an insider through HN front page to get their problems resolved.
Well this is BS, it's like saying the author of a book at a library should be the one to complain if the library censors the book. Don't the library's patrons get any say?
If Google can't operate at scale, then maybe it just needs to be shut down so maybe someone who can will take their place.
Google simply doesn't WANT to operate at scale because that will impact profits.
Then don't take it down, and let the Justice Department do it. Or accept being an editor. You can't have it both ways.
Your appeal to scale here doesn't apply to this case.
It's possible (however unlikely) that there was a justified reason for the take down. Has anybody heard from the original creator?
Is there a reason why Google cannot hire more people?
I consider adding that to every Google related comment, but it gets tiring.
Presumably/hopefully this will happen when storage becomes cheap enough to easily host video and someone figures out a way to filter through all the undesirable content which currently afflicts free-speech-oriented alternatives.
* Storage costs have decreased over the years and will continue to do so, but video quality has increased during this time, as well as the number of delivery formats you need to create. For each video uploaded, you likely need to encode and store 5+ different variations.
* Bandwidth is not cheap, and while it may be lower than the cost of storage initially, for any chance of survival you'll eventually need some popular content, at which point its cost of delivery will exceed that of storage
* To prevent the video from buffering and provide an experience that is tolerable to the average user, you need to have all of the above replicated on a dozen edge nodes around the world, and serve a user the video they've requested from the one nearest to them. This is a situation where the latency differences here really can make or break the entire thing
There are numerous ways to try to optimize these things, or filter out costly/undesirable content, or prioritize only things that people are actually watching, or whatever, but few that come without consequences or that will cause bigger problems down the line.
What I would personally love is an aggregator, or many aggregators, that act like YouTube, but are actually a distributed network of video sources.
The key to the concept is thinking of a source like a library of content, and the individual uploader manages their own source. You could consider it a channel, and then that uploader can syndicate their source/channel to any aggregator they want. Sources can be private/public, sources can be tagged, discoverable, and searchable.
Another key point is that uploaders need not host things themselves, SaaS products will quickly fill that role.
a) Anyone can start an aggregator and immediately have content, lowering the bar for entry.
b) A niche aggregator can pick or have submitted to them video library sources that match their niche, and can curate them just like any other video hosting site.
c) A cottage industry for video hosting can utilize an "average user" friendly UI to allow for anyone to create a source and submit it to these aggregators.
d) Allows free information to flow freely
f) Allows content creators full control over deals with aggregators on how they'll be reimbursed for access to their source. You can imagine YouTube accepting sources with an ad revenue share model just like they have now. Some aggregators will choose to "cache and redistribute" content from sources to allow for consistent UX to their users, but that's their decision.
Which will, of course, drive all the normies away. (Well, okay, all the pirated content might not, but then you'll also include 'all the media companies' and 'the government' as your list of enemies.)
And if you add federated moderation (Like Mastodon did), you're going to quickly understand why federated moderation is a labour-sucking, drama-ridden, centralized-censorship, tire pyre. (Like Mastodon did.)
 Mastodon instance administrators blacklist instances that produce problem content and problem users. (Child pornography, nazis, furries, etc.) These ban-lists are centralized, because nobody has time to investigate every single other instance in the network. I hope you trust the person running those centralized lists!
 Oh, and if a troll group does not like a particular person, they can follow him around, shitting on every instance that he posts in. How do instance operators deal with this sort of thing? By banning the target of the trolls, because then they can stop wasting time playing whack-a-mole.
The aggregator can build their site however they want. So then the moderation and community guidance is their responsibility. Maybe the site doesn't have comments, maybe the site has a 30 day source verification timeframe. Unsurprisingly I don't have the solution to the internet's cultural problems, except to say that moderation is probably the hardest problem for any internet community, and YouTube hasn't figured it out yet either.
In some countries, the hosting services would also be on the hook for policing of content on their hosting. Not everywhere has safe harbour type laws, and some authorities have the ability to take down servers they deem break the law.
Of course, an aggregator could accept all public sources, and inevitably succumb to the unmoderated internet.
 See section on identity and moderation - you can't decouple them when you have a hybrid between a content platform and a social media application (Which is what any video hosting service that allows comments, or shows recommended videos, or cross-links to other distributed aggregators is.)
 Bad people show up to the community, everyone loses their mind, hard-coded bans starts happening, because the community interfaces with things like app stores, and app stores have policies that don't care one whit about your federated free-as-in-speech ideals, not to mention that developers and moderators are human beings too, and maybe they personally can't stand allowing furries/commies/fascists/homosexuals/homophobes/Englishmen in their space.
 For whatever someone's definition of 'bad' is.
I say this in good faith, as I'm not part of the alt-right nor do I agree in any way with them. But toxic people are of all kinds and we should be aware of those in our camp who do harm to our causes by acting in deleterious ways.
However, it raises a more valid point about 'what do we do about controversial figures' in general, and you would expect, as with most federated services, to be able to prevent "non-local" personas to be blocked from interacting with local users.
In those situations though it degrades the experience; the best part about mastadon though is that you get to choose who you federate with, so you could, in theory, have linked mastadon installations for government officials (who are often controversial) and signup could be linked with an oauth2 identity system that ties back to a real identity somehow (this would be possible in Estonia with their e-ID systems).
He will denigrate, attempt to belittle and often pick very bad faith arguments about the smallest of issues.
To give an example of his demenour: https://youtu.be/pHckKckhBYc
There's also this account from a fan, which goes into how he is: https://v1.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.874144-I-need...
He also called PewDiePie "A Racist Piece of Shit Bigot" and while PewDiePie did use a racial epithet and there's no excuse for that, he did apologise profusely and regardless that's not a decent way to engage a stranger. https://boundingintocomics.com/2019/04/02/wil-wheaton-attack...
He will block you for any disagreement; and I don't mean people being crappy to him, anything that goes against what he says: https://steemit.com/blocking/@awgonnerman/is-this-why-wil-wh...
For whatever it's worth his introduction to mastadon was mired in controversy after he bleated calls to have a user blacklisted from the platform for the following joke:
> “Hey, did you watch that awesome show on Bofa last night?”
> “What’s Bofa?”
> points to crotch “Bofa deez nuts down here.”
And when Mastadon wouldn't (couldn't) blacklist the user from the platform he got viciously angry.
EDIT: His fans are on hackernews; please don't "downvote to disagree"; he is known to be toxic and curates blocklists of anyone who slights him in any way. If you disagree, please prove me wrong.
(It's 95% ready but still a WIP, so excuse any clunkiness and the lack of content)
It's a content aggregator for content creators (plus custom postings) -- Make your YouTube channel, Vimeo Vids, Twitch streams, etc. available to your audience all in one spot.*
My hopes is that once this catches on, it will become easier for new video hosting services, etc. to pop up since the huge current barrier to entry--providing an audience for content creators--is no longer a necessity. The only thing new services need to compete on it the value they contribute as a content host.
This isn't quite as technical a solution as what you described, but the current problem is that of coupling content hosting and audiences, and I believe severing that connection will bring about many improvements to online content creation and distribution.
Feel free to respond with any questions or email me (yaniv <at> mynexus <dot> io).
*The list was about to include Mixer too, but that opportunity faded away, unfortunately. Will be adding more content sources over time as they are requested by creators.
I've been thinking the same thing about Amazon lately: things would be a whole lot better for the experience of buying things "on Amazon" if "Amazon.com, the storefront website" and "Amazon.com, the platform+marketplace that sellers register with" were two separate businesses.
I'd love to use the latter without the former—to use some third-party "Amazon client" that talks to Amazon's marketplace backend but has its own way of searching, browsing, and recommending products, with its own curation, its own reviews, its own ratings, etc. added on top. In the end, you'd still be putting Amazon.com warehouse SKUs into your Amazon.com shopping cart, but those SKUs might be ones Amazon.com the website would never have surfaced for you no matter how much you searched.
For just one thing, someone could build a "classic Amazon" frontend that filters out SKUs coming from "Amazon Marketplace" sellers.
For another, someone could build a version that applies actual modern spam/scam-filtering techniques to the SKU database, paring it down such that any random thing ordered from the "safe" subset should actually be what it seems from the listing. (Not the approach that most benefits you if you're Amazon.com-the-website, because its listings might look empty; but certainly a niche to be filled!)
Building a tracker/aggregator (like PeerTube etc) is straight forward. It's actually getting video content to clients that is challenging. Video is both large and sensitive to internal ordering. You need packet 1 before you can do anything with packet 2, if you have those but packet 3 is stalled you can't go forward.
To serve video you need enough online storage to actually house it but then enough upstream bandwidth (and good latency) to serve it to clients in real-time. Serving up HD streams at a reasonable bitrate will quickly saturate a gigabit connection.
A network of HTTP servers or even an overlay network like IPFS don't help solve these problems. Video needs a lot of storage and is very sensitive to a server's upstream capacity.
Torrent based streaming can distribute that load but introduces its own problems. Torrent based streaming clients just request video content blocks in sequential order versus normal BT clients just accepting a random ordering of blocks. But again unless you've got a bunch of high bandwidth seeders it's difficult to serve content at playable rates. If the content is encoded to use 5Mb/s in order to play it back without buffering you need it delivered at least that rate.
Both methods to distribute video suffer from popularity problems. If transitional servers stop hosting old/unpopular content or seeders for it drop off it becomes unavailable on the network even if it's still referenced in the aggregator.
Not that YouTube is an overall good service or that monopolies in the space are good but online video is an area that gravitates towards centralization if not monopolies. If you want to compete with YouTube, or more likely Vimeo or another smaller player, you'd need to replicate their infrastructure. That's the difficult/expensive thing to build and maintain. Other self-hosted services are trivial by comparison.
I'd love to set up a seedbox that works like a ~bitcoin mining rig but consumes upload bandwidth rather than CPU/gpu time. However I'm not sure anyone has figured out a good way to do this while avoiding copyright issues.
End users do not want to deal with micropayments, they'll just watch one of the billion hours of content on YouTube. Few content creators have any sort of following that will follow them to SelfHostedTube.
Self hosted video streaming (of any configuration) is competing with "free" and convenient YouTube. Unless some independent service offers a similar level of service it's not going to catch on.
You're right though of course, which is why we have a YouTube monopoly in the first place.
Video distribution is expensive and technically complicated.
Say I've got a video channel and most of my content is "talking head" style. Encoding 1080p using in a widely compatible h.264 configuration (Main profile level 3) I could easily get good quality output at a data rate between 1-2Mb/s, let's say 1.5Mb/s. That's about 11MB per minute of video for storage purposes (for that single config).
In order to serve those videos to streaming clients I'll need 1.5Mb/s of bandwidth for each client. Any lower of a transfer rate and the playback will stall. Faster data rates can allow for a larger buffer but the file's data rate is your transfer minimum to actually play the content as it downloads.
So back to our video channel. Self hosting on my residential connection means I'm limited by my shitty upstream bandwidth and throttling from my ISP if not outright T&C violations. My home connection I could serve maybe a half dozen clients simultaneously. So long as my content is unpopular that might be ok. Bubbling up on an aggregator or just making an interesting video would DDoS me and no one would get to see it. It I want to spend ~$60 a year on cloud hosting I could serve a lot more connections. Then I'm out $60 a year or more if I want to make a longer history of my content available, remember 11MB a minute.
If I want to have better compatibility and broader reach I would need to encode a couple more versions of my videos at the cost of storage and my time.
So self hosting either costs me money or severely limits the availability of my content. P2P distribution can help a little but it has its own issues. Even an aggregator offering paid hosting doesn't really solve the issue because I'm still out some money. Were I to make any money from advertising or patronage that hosting cost would come right off the top.
The situation is even more difficult if you consider mobile access which is a huge portion of online video access. For a lot of reasons self hosting from mobile devices isn't practical. P2P from a mobile device is likewise impractical. So for anyone with a mobile device as their primary computing device, a non-trivial number of people, they would have to pay for some third party hosting without a meaningful self hosting option.
Demand from mobile devices also significantly increases your need for multiple encodings of a video. Mobile streaming needs to respond to much more drastic traffic conditions than your laptop on your home WiFi. This increases storage requirements meaning less historic content or increased storage costs.
TrainVids.com doesn't get many hits so for now they rely on the source' perfomance, but CatVids.com gets millions of hits and they long ago invested in a redistribution layer. Meanwhile ContentCreatorMatt pays $5/m on his source hosting with burst protection should a video go viral. Hosting can afford this because they have thousands of creators who never get a hit video. While CreatorTom only submits to large platforms with redistribution so he doesn't have to pay for traffic.
I wouldn't use P2P nor expect people to host the videos at home because that would never work for the reasons you outline. But think of live streaming and how that distribution works and that is just one possible method an aggregator could choose to increase performance of slow sources.
The idea is to break up the video platform monoculture and make the space competitive again, so that there will be some variance in performance to end users depending on the aggregator they visit isn't an issue.
There probably are ways to keep a catbirds.com running but as the difficulty increases the likelihood of the site's maintainers keeping with it decreases significantly. If the site tanks all of its hoisted content goes with it. Ask all the people that had their content wiped from MP3.com how that feels.
So from a content creator's point of view, why hitch their wagon to catvids.com? It costs them money and isn't guaranteed to be around in a year. They're also far less likely to make any money no matter how much traffic aggregators send them. Sticking with YouTube is way less of a hassle and gives them a far better chance to make money if nothing else to break even to keep making content.
The aggregators don't own or host the content in the system I am thinking of, they just consume and redistribute their sources. So if catvids.com goes away the creator's source is still online. It's also probably syndicated to a bunch of other cat video sites simultaneously from that one source. Thinking through it more, it's pretty much an RSS feed but for videos. In fact I would probably just use the RSS protocol if I were ever to try and get something like this off the ground. Have an open source aggregator template so it's easy to start one, and then monetize it by starting the first video source hosting as a service company.
I don't think it could ever take off though, the "Next YouTube" will be another massive corporate, closed platform with deep pockets or venture capital.
The other part of avoiding peer to peer is to ensure there's money in it for hosting and advertising. I hate to be cynical, but for companies to play along and join in, there has to be money in it.
Data storage costs at around $1/TB/Mo raw ($3 for 3x redundancy), bandwidth costs at around $1 / TB egress. Pricing comes from an open marketplace, and we do a lot of sophisticated stuff to make sure it's high reliability.
We've got video buffering solved as well. The latest builds of Sia (decentralized storage network) can retrieve files at about 700mbps with a time-to-first-byte of under 200ms. We haven't fully rolled this upgrade out to siasky.net yet, but it should be there in the next 1-2 weeks.
The decentralized cloud is a lot closer than people realize, the infrastructure is finally reaching a point of being competitive.
Current rates on the network are $0.70 per TB, cloud to user. Many of the nodes are serving bandwidth from unlimited connections, either at home or from cloud providers like Hetzner.
Having users act as nodes that always store and share some chunk of content is a noble idea and a piece of the puzzle, but the scale required to support something like YouTube is very different than how simple it usually is to find a torrent of a popular recent film or whatever. Ensuring that the network also always has available an unpopular 6-hour video someone uploaded last year of some birds in their backyard is a lot harder. If users can't use your video platform without some basic guarantee that the video will even exist or have peers, this would likely be a much bigger problem than most people have with YouTube (though perhaps not philosophically).
I personally feel that decentralization and shared distribution is likely the only way a viable alternative will be able to surface, survive, and not make the same mistakes, but we aren't there yet, and PeerTube is too simplistic of a solution.
One potential piece of the puzzle that I'm closely following and casually involved with is VideoCoin (https://videocoin.io/) which distributes the expensive work of encoding videos across nodes, and aims to fully power the delivery of their livestreaming product the same way. (Yes, I know anything "blockchain" in 2020 is likely to force your eyes to roll, but it's actually a fantastic product and has made lots of progress.)
I'm not sure I follow. Peertube works without peers. I maintain an instance for my personal videos, most of them have maybe 5-6 views total, and they'll still work fine whenever anyone visits the server. The peers are only there to handle bandwidth spikes and scaling.
And if you're worried that my server will go down, other instances can just mirror it.
Of course, if I stop hosting the content and nobody else mirrors it, it will disappear. But from my understanding of VideoCoin, nothing seems to be different there at first glance. If I stop paying for people to host my video on VideoCoin, are random nodes just going to keep storing it for free?
I'm trying to think of any distributed storage system that actually solves the problem of unknown content disappearing. Filecoin & IPFS don't remove the need to pay for storage, torrents still need to be seeded. The point isn't to make it impossible for content to vanish, the point is to make it easy for people who do care to archive and share the content that they care about.
I did not mean to imply that VideoCoin solves this issue, just that it is, in my opinion, a clever and functional solution to one or two pieces of this very large puzzle.
> The point isn't to make it impossible for content to vanish, the point is to make it easy for people who do care to archive and share the content that they care about.
My personal opinion is that anything truly viable and useful will need to do both, at least to the extent that this can be done. I have a huge problem with content availability being so dependent on popularity (and likely also temporal factors) and don't really think a system that doesn't inherently support content longevity (whether peers like the content or not) could be considering a big improvement over YouTube or centralized options.
If I had my way, I think a hybrid approach of some sort would be the place to start -- let peers explicitly choose to mirror and help distribute content they care about, but also force all nodes to also devote some % of whatever they're allocating to the platform to mirroring anything the network has chosen to give them after various calculations intended to maximize data integrity and performance.
Right now I think of any video on youtube as temporary and archive any videos I think there's any chance of wanting to watch later using youtube-dl.
Actually not relying on one is more portable across isolated networks, and requires way less computing resources. Plus, blockchains are usually a privacy issue.
I'm highly interested in the topics of decentralized (federated or distributed) platforms and identities, but I don't see what a single blockchain brings to the table? I could see profiles-as-blockchains, though, or instances-as-blockchains. But the rationale isn't clearly explained in the website, so it feels more of a buzzword and less of something that efficiently solves an issue (content discovery and global indexing, I guess).
Lastly, would you mind stating your affiliation? Thanks :)
They are attempting to decentralize and distribute video encode/delivery, and a big piece of that is a poof of work implementation to incentivize and reward reliable nodes.
Just one example, but there are others, and a lot of progress has been made to reduce the strain caused by throwing crypto into something that fundamentally needs to be very fast and lightweight to be usable.
Edit: Corrected duplicate links
* Storage costs are likely paid for by the uploader. Most regular uploader do (or should) keep at least a local copy of their work. Plus the original materials. So the weight of the video is likely not that significant.
* With webtorrent, the more a video is watched, the more it is shared. If you want to handle the worst case though, you'd need enough bandwidth to serve a couple times every file over simultaneously. That gets worse the more videos you have, but simultaneous watching of every one of your videos is unlikely, I think, over a certain number. It would be nice to get some stats on this.
* That's not really needed, is it? Latency isn't likely to be big enough to cause issues, and I would think available bandwidth doesn't change that much with distance. With a couple of local torrent peers, that also gets better.
Now, this isn't perfect, but there are ways this can be improved:
* Peertube intances can mirror content to provide at least one peer (and a backup HTTP source I think). It would be nice if subscribers could choose to support their favorite channels by asking their instance to mirror that content (with a lower priority than local content, of course). That could more or less solve the local CDN issue, if "peertubers" participate in content exchange to reduce downtime and improve experience. A form of insurance, if you want.
* I wish scalable video (SVC, or adaptative video bitrate, however you want to call it) was more supported by ffmpeg & container formats. Using a single file for the various qualities would be a natural fit for Webtorrent, as it would allow HQ watchers feed LQ watchers.
* Multicast would be a great thing to have on the Internet. Maybe some future/alternative IP stack implementations could bring that back? Yggdrasil is promising, for instance. If nodes could subscribe to a given content, I guess it could be delivered across the network, splitting where it should.
That is the problem the tech community needs to solve, not storage or bandwith, ways to distribute that is really a solved issue in several ways.
The problem for creators to move off of YouTube is the discoverability for an audience.
Youtube goes to great lengths to make videos play instantly, including running huge local caches near large traffic exchange points. The audience is conditioned to see a clip start in under a second, faster for popular clips.
Anything that runs off distributed (not replicated) storage, let alone peer-to-peer links, will inevitably be slower to start. It may take 10 seconds, or 30 seconds, for a clip to begin playing.
This alone can kill such solutions for the mass audience, hungry for instant gratification.
Demanding that people accept the shortcomings of your product/service as a fact of the Universe isn't going to get you far.
>hungry for instant gratification
How many hours of video content are uploaded to the web every second? Life is too short to wait around to see if your video is worth watching in full.
A lot of people have this bias that p2p networks cannot be fast, but those days are behind us.
I think you're seeing how these systems actually work in practice, and why they operate this way. They don't quite work as you describe, and they work the way they do for the benefit of the user's playback experience more than anything else.
Most adaptive video implementations are using HLS/DASH and are serving up each video in 2-5 second chunks. (Usually closer to 2.) This is by design, and a very good thing for the vast majority of users and use-cases. You aren't beind mindlessly spoonfed chunks of the video you're trying to watch -- your playback experience is also being heavily measured, and the next chunk you receive is determined by this. If your bandwidth suddenly drops, or you've been watching a higher-quality version of the video than you can support, within a couple seconds you'll be served a slightly lower-resolution version. If it goes back up again, same thing, it'll be corrected very quickly.
If you're watching a video on your iPhone and walk from your fast wifi to the 3G outside to your garage with almost no service and back into your house again in a single minute, the video can have adapted to each of these situations quickly and fairly seamlessly.
This also solves another problem -- letting the user have near-instant playback at relatively high-quality without having to worry much about if your one-second bandwidth test wasn't as accurate as you'd hoped. The scenario you describe, where buffering for longer at the beginning to improve performance overall, is not a big concern here. If you serve a version a bit higher quality than the client can sustain, it'll be kicked down in a couple seconds. (By the way, the 2 seconds preceding every Netflix stream, when you see their logo and hear the tone that accompanies it, that's when Netflix tries to very quickly measure and determine which quality level to start you out with.)
If you have blazing-fast, highly-stable internet, that's great! And that's not most users. But in this case, most services should still be giving you far greater than 30 seconds worth of chunks, provided that the system determines this is safe/stable for your connection. If you're seeing a shorter buffer in web browsers, it's likely the cache readahead limits in Chrome/Firefox. (You can modify them!)
I can see how one might think having one big video file buffered might result in lower performance for peers, but in the ideal scenario, peers aren't being served byteranges of a single big video file that you have buffered locally with your fast internet, but rather the next chunk(s) that make sense based on the client's current playback experience.
I will admit that shoehorning adaptive video standards into p2p has been a more difficult challenge than letting WebTorrent handle the full file the way torrents have worked for years, but it's getting there, and it's the proper way to go.
Needs care with adverse risk selection, because freeloaders who want cheap video bandwidth for god knows what will crowd around.
If only IP-SSM worked on the open internet. Even some sort of best-effort routing would be a start.
The problem is not technical. It's legal.
It takes a lot of upstream bandwidth to stream even just passable quality video. Between shitty upstream bandwidth for residential Internet and swarm participants limiting their seed ratios or further limiting upstream bandwidth scaling torrent streaming is unreliable at best and impractical at worst.
We already have several alternative means of distribution for content, and searching that content, that are quite mature and successful. There is a huge community of people hosting, indexing, searching, and sharing all kinds of media in a distributed peer-to-peer fashion, for instance, the vast majority of it just happens to be pirated.
The real problem is that such distribution mechanisms are not a way to make money, and you aren't going to solve that with a new algorithm. People have tried, it doesn't work.
The issue is that many people aren't really looking for a way to host their videos; they're looking for someone to host their videos for free, with easy search, and to actually pay them money.
For big content creators that depend on the ad revenue, I realize it really isn't practical to mirror everything on PeerTube. Even if you know how to run your own peertube server and keep up with security updates, now you're eating into your own ad revenue (with the advantage of keeping your videos online in case the YouTube robots and/or gods decide to take down your channel).
It's a double edge sword, but I hope more content creators will mirror their videos on services they pay for and have more control over.
I think this is the key...using the YT up/until you no longer can and then (presumably once an audience is present) reverting to your backups/hosting and going 'indy'.
Naively I see three obstacles.
1) cost + technical complexity, but that could be overcome through time, kind of like you have many platforms today that give you a way to create your own blog in a few clicks, and the cost of storage and bandwidth will only go down.
2) revenues. You kind of need an advertising platform (and then we are back to the google monopoly) or a payment platform (visa/mastercard/paypal oligopoly)
3) marketing, which I think is probably the easiest part. You lose the organic traffic of the next video suggested, but it is easy to do cross website subscriptions (rss style), and if people can share your videos through social networks or messaging, you can still have some powerful ways to pass the word (plus advertising).
2) is the one I am the most pessimistic about.
Doubtless the film got far fewer views, as YouTube is not only a video-delivery engine but also a video-discovery engine.
(Shouldn't need to be said, but this is not an endorsement of Moore's film. Also I can't comment on the legitimacy of the copyright complaint, it's quite possible it's legitimate in that instance.)
Sometimes Vimeo will also delete your channel. Example: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20347254
Before I renovated my house, I might have agreed with you. But leaning building, carpentry and plumbing by watching is by far better than reading.
You need to write, edit, and proofread the content, while you can just speak as you go while shooting a video.
You need to sort through a ton of photos and annotate them, while you can do with a worse quality video, because the motion helps perceive the details in imperfect conditions, and annotate much of it by voice?
Some tricky parts of repairing stuff can be more easily shown in a 20-sec video clip than by 15 well-made annotated photos, the latter taking way more time.
I think for certain areas, like the electronic repair stuff, video may be not just the most adequate medium we have, but also the fastest and easiest-to-produce medium.
>you can just speak as you go while shooting a video
You're comparing a "good blog post" with a unscrippted/uneddited "video log".
It's not the same - it's comparing Louis Rossmann VS iFixit. One is a form of educational entertainment, or entertainment, other it's a guide. You can learn from L.R., but it's not a step by step guide.
You don't need to go back and try to find time stamps, you don't have issues of not understanding something that got muffled by him moving, you can miss a reference, etc.
If you're talking about video guides, then they are scripted and will for sure be harder to edit than a blog post.
There's a place for everything, and production costs (SHOULD) reflect on quality - the medium is irrelevant.
However the flip side is that youtubers are all fighting with ridiculous cuts in revenue over time, bans, copyright strikes on the wrong content, and so on. And the number of videos of youtubers complaining about this comes in huge surges.
In other words a lot of youtube content is creators talking about problems with youtube.
Launched last month. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23558483
Of course, not as convenient as streaming, and you lose the comment section (is that truly a bad thing, though?), but it is a viable solution that can be implemented right now. People are talking about "alternative" websites as if they will find some magic bullet on that path. But who will create that website? Who will maintain it? And if the answer to those two questions isn't "me", how can you guarantee that the same problem won't eventually happen?
People use YouTube because it aggregates content for people in channels, makes engaging with videos and their creators easy, makes discovery easy for users through search and suggestions and allows people to roughly measure notability and quality of videos through up/down votes, views, and a creator's channel subs. They make becoming a content creator as easy as making an account and hitting upload. They make monetizing that content as easy as hitting a checkbox.
Similarly, people could get around the privacy concerns and constrictions of big social media sites by having a self-hosted blog or something along those lines... but we all know that the chance of someone— even someone you care about— breaking the comfort of their daily digi-routine to visit your site and comment on your happenings is pretty much nil. If all of their "friends" did it, then the whole ecosystem... well it wouldn't be an ecosystem anymore.
EEVBlog is a good example of content that wouldn’t exist without youtube. Dave is a full time youtuber who can focus on creating content instead of making money some other way.
Dave is trying to move away from being dependent on YouTube, and he absolutely should, but he built his audience on YouTube in a way that isnt feasible in a world without algorithms pushing content towards people
as long as there's no easy revenue model for non-youtube content, people will continue to put their videos on youtube, because that's how they get paid.
Reliable Bandwidth isn't cheap.
All of these costs are much higher than anyone actually estimates as people incorrectly valued them while YouTube arbitrages the real value in this.
We created an alternative to YouTube for those who have discovered the real value of these costs at Swarmify, but there are other options as well depending on needs/wants.
 https://swarmify.com/ - No code/low code easy YouTube migration option
 https://mux.com/ - API based option
 https://vdocipher.com/ - Enterprise DRM option
You're going to run into transmission problems waaaay before that.
Torrent streaming has a lot of scaling issues that you've just been lucky enough to avoid. A new torrent will have issues with its initial seeding. A new torrent is limited to the seed bandwidth of whatever seeds have the complete file. The initial members of a swarm can't help each other because they're all downloading the file sequentially so can't really share with one another. They only increase seed bandwidth to subsequent participants in a swarm and only so long as they seed the content.
In the traditional BT model swarm participants download blocks out of order so they can share them with peers. So even the initial members of a swarm can share with one another. Streaming requiring blocks be received in sequential order breaks that peer amplification.
With torrent streaming unpopular content and new content can easily stall or just never begin playback. At a small scale torrent streaming is workable but it quickly starts requiring a lot of infrastructure costs. Long tail content on BitTorrent is virtually impossible to find as popularity required for availability.
Sure, you could do something like you mentioned, but doing this for every single video is not likely to go well. But very clever! And helpful, I'm sure. Not a true solution most of the time.
I do very much enjoy the Chrome side-scrolling dinosaur game that appears when I'm offline, but I don't enjoy it more than once every few weeks :)
The issue then simply becomes one of labeling. You can remove or relabel content for mislabeling itself, but not for being controversial.
Have you met actual book publishers? And while KDP is pretty unfiltered, it's also kafkaesque and has its own weird little spam and infringement problems.
We're already there. When you want to learn how to do something where do you go first?
- search doesn't even deserve to be called 'search'. I search on a well-known name from the news, Youtube shows me results from a band for a video I watched a month ago.
- you must consume a nontrivial amount of a video to determine if it is any good.
- information density is terrible.
- most people are not practiced at being on camera, and you end up focusing on that rather than whatever you wanted to learn.
- You can't reference things. What are you going to do, build your own index of '&skip=' links?
- people feel the need to be funny, cute, or worse get a marketing budget and feel the need to create a "brand" with the time you're trying to use to learn something.
- copy/paste. Enough said.
- and so on.
If video were somehow optimal pedagogy, there would be no arguments about reopening in the face of Covid - we'd all just watch TV.
In conclusion, video sucks.
Completely and strongly disagree.
You seem to focus on educational videos, and just regarding that I consider youtube one of the greatest educational tools in all of history.
I've learned so much through watching youtube videos, much faster than I would have learned it by reading about it.
This is especially the case with learning things that have a visual component, like learning GUI apps, painting techniques, etc. There's no substitute to watching a master painter work, for example, and you've got dozens if not hundreds of them on youtube.
Regarding information density, I've found "a picture is worth a thousand words". It might not correspond to kolomogorov complexity or the sort of information that compsci people are used to, but just like looking at a painting (which is arguably equivalent to a single frame of film/video) can convey and enormous amount of information that even a book can not equal, the amount of such information conveyed by moving pictures can be almost infinitely greater than print.
Of course, the amount of information will differ from video to video and book to book, but it does not to justice to say that for video "information density is terrible", unless you're talking about something like a video of someone reading something (though I find even there, I can listen to speech at a much higher rate than I can read, and usually listen to videos at 2x or 3x speed, so can consume way higher amounts of verbal information through audio or video than I can through books).
If you step outside the realm of educational videos, your argument becomes even less tenable. The "information density" of a music video, for example, is terrible? Compared to what? There literally is no equivalent.
Or how about a film, or watching someone sing on camera? Outside of educational videos, talking about information density in these contexts seems to be missing the point of such videos entirely.
I, like your parent, if I run into a video, will press back and try and find an article first, and then use the video as a last resort. For some process type things, like you describe, things I'm less familiar with, like a mechanic working on a car, a video might be easier.
I do very much like the rev interface for transcript/video. https://www.rev.com/transcript-editor/shared/MHjYIxnUkQQJMJ6...
Then you would have chapters so you could avoid the waffley "please like/subscribe" begging and longwinded intros that don't get to the main part of the video.
Youtube would still be able to embed their ads whenever they want.
The "Hey guys, blahblahblah" is insufferable but you quickly learn hammering L about 4 times gets you to the real meat of the video.
I was replying to the parent, who was focusing on learning.
> If you step outside the realm of educational videos
I was only talking about educational use. Entertainment, of course, is different, also explaining why most schools don't hold class in night clubs.
I notice you devote almost all your attention to the density question, but that's hardly the worst problem I listed - pacing, discovery and reference are all far worse problems. But to focus on density,
> the amount of such information conveyed by moving pictures can be almost infinitely greater than print.
Ah yes, I aced many exams thanks to the almost infinite amounts of knowledge I picked up watching slow sweeps of dancing corporate logos and stock footage of the Grand Canyon.
This is semantics. In a learning context, the illusion of "infinite information" your brain creates in response to a pretty picture is at best a comfort for the student, more typically a distraction only there in the first place because people expect it out of video.
Just because an exam might not test you on all the information in a video doesn't mean it's not there.
You seem to focus only on certain types of information, perhaps (though you don't specify) "useful" information, but there's lots of other types.
Think of a high resolution photograph (or a frame of video) of a person wearing some clothes. With a high enough resolution you're going to see thousands or millions of fibers of cloth on the clothes they wear, the subtle gradations of color of each fiber, the direction of each tiny fold of clothing, millions of pores of their skin, gradations of color on their skin, thousands of hairs, their direction and color, and many details of the background of the image (such as, say, millions of blades of grass).
It could take volumes of books to describe all this precisely in detail. And that's just for one photo or one frame of video. You'd 30 such frames per second in a 30 FPS video, and with many of these details changing based on the lighting changes and movement of the scene in question, making for insane amounts of information for, say, a whole hour of high resolution footage.
Now, of course, you could compress this and write it out very efficiently (as is actually done in computer video file formats), but this virtually unreadable for humans.
And, of course, on the other hand, a human normally isn't going to pay attention to or be conscious of all these details in a photo or video, but that doesn't mean the information isn't there.
Humans are also going to be subconsciously influenced by or subtly affected by videos or images in ways they may not be by words -- as is clear from looking at the difference between a book and the film adaptation of the same book (nevermind that no complete, 100% faithful translation from one form to the other is possible). So the information in an image or video arguably matters even if one is not consciously aware of it.
This is all quite apart from any test one might have on the material in question. It doesn't really matter if you're not tested on the color or direction of one of a million fibers in someone's shirt, for example. Those colors and directions are still there in the image regardless.
To make the example a bit more meaningful, consider, say, Goya's The Third of May 1808 or Picasso's Guernica, or any of hundreds of other incredibly famous paintings. Entire books have been written about each of them, and that's just for one single image each. I suppose whether you would get tested on their information content would vary on the art history course you took, and its instructors, but that's almost beside the point. Arguably, these paintings contain information that can not be expressed equivalently in words (else we wouldn't need to look at the paintings at all but just read a book on them instead).
The same goes for movies, except they contain millions of images each, and not just one. So the informational content is that much greater, and is again not reduceable to something you can say in words without doing them injustic (which, of course, never stopped a movie critic, analyst, or summary writer from trying).
 - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fd/El...
 - http://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/121341829928-0-1/s-l1000.jpg
I'm more on the side of design/art than programming so maybe its more of a thing in my industry but basically anything you can think of a video exists, "How to remove green leaks from greenscreen footage" "How to render great metal material in 3D software" etc
But now I even use it in the rest of my life, if I'm going to cook something I check 2 or 3 videos on the recipe before I make it looking for tips. Sure I could have used a cookbook but that would mean I'd have to own multiple cookbooks to get the same information for the dish that I get from 2-3 videos and also I'd need to have planned ahead not just watch the videos then go to the supermarket.
I completely get the things you're saying about the format and I used to feel the same, but honestly the amount of content has overruled my previous feelings.
Youtube's the first place I go to learn about any topic I'm a beginner on, especially topics which require manual skills, like home repair, automobiles, playing an instrument.
It is a repository of the informal knowledge of mankind that is unprecendented in scale, breadth, and probably depth. It may be more revolutionary than book-learning in how it has disseminated knowledge to the world, and large parts of it would have incalculable value in being preserved.
I only wish the Internet Archive had the sort of resources necessary to back up Youtube, but that seems unlikely to happen given the huge amount of storage necessary.
I think we all can agree on this.
The question, however, is: What is gonna pay for it? Especially the transmission of videos is very expensive. And while I would believe, that a lot of nerds would sacrifice resources to keep a P2P form of a specialized content distribution network running, it would not reach more than a few: the nerds themselves.
Couldn't that have been said about the World Wide Web itself in 1994?
Peer-to-Peer distribution only doubles the bandwidth required on a per peer basis. I don't think most broadband internet connections are >50% saturated by a youtube video.
And for a long time, it was!
Let's not forget, that the novelty/impact of Internet ("a new world, we need it!") and an abstract concept like a "net in the net" is very much different. While the former is cool, the latter is, well: "who needs that", the average person says?
You don't need seperate distibution networks for Facebook and Twitter, email, shopping and the web. And that's where the majority of the people wannt to hang around. Yes, Netscape was around, when Microsoft introduced IE, but it really came to everybody with IE and Outlook Express (otherwise, the net would still be a more refined and better mannered place, I dare say).
Strongly disagree with at least that statement.
If we combine all three parts of Peter Jackson's Lord of The Rings, it still can't match the depth and length of Tolkein's work. Also, given that less than 3% of the book market actually reads digital file sold as a book, I'd say tech community in general is way off the course here.
Ground reality is a lot more complicated than 'video is the new book' or 'blog is the new book'.
I don't think we've figured out how to build a distributed social media network yet that matches the ease-of-use and scale of Facebook. I'm hopeful though.
1. credit card monopolies that kick you out.
2. dns servers like cloudfront
It would be cool to be able to sort a comment section, with a dropdown, between "best", "like people I follow", "like /r/askhistorian seeds", "like /r/askscience seeds"