mfioretti: youtube*

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  1. anything designed to maximize engagement maximizes popularization.

    What we are witnessing is the computational exploitation of a natural human desire: to look “behind the curtain,” to dig deeper into something that engages us. As we click and click, we are carried along by the exciting sensation of uncovering more secrets and deeper truths. YouTube leads viewers down a rabbit hole of extremism, while Google racks up the ad sales.

    Human beings have many natural tendencies that need to be vigilantly monitored in the context of modern life. For example, our craving for fat, salt and sugar, which served us well when food was scarce, can lead us astray in an environment in which fat, salt and sugar are all too plentiful and heavily marketed to us. So too our natural curiosity about the unknown can lead us astray on a website that leads us too much in the direction of lies, hoaxes and misinformation.

    In effect, YouTube has created a restaurant that serves us increasingly sugary, fatty foods, loading up our plates as soon as we are finished with the last meal. Over time, our tastes adjust, and we seek even more sugary, fatty foods, which the restaurant dutifully provides.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/10/op.../sunday/youtube-politics-radical.html
    Voting 0
  2. Who is doing the targeting?

    Albright: It really depends on the platform and the news event. Just the extensiveness of the far right around the election: I can’t talk about that right this second, but I can say that, very recently, what I’ve tended to see from a linking perspective and a network perspective is that the left, and even to some degree center-left news organizations and journalists, are really kind of isolated in their own bubble, whereas the right have very much populated most of the social media resources and use YouTube extensively. This study I did over the weekend shows the depth of the content and how much reach they have. I mean, they’re everywhere; it’s almost ubiquitous. They’re ambient in the media information ecosystem. It’s really interesting from a polarization standpoint as well, because self-identified liberals and self-identified conservatives have different patterns in unfriending people and in not friending people who have the opposite of their ideology.

    From those initial maps of the ad tech and hyperlink ecosystem of the election-related partisan news realm, I dove into every platform. For example, I did a huge study on YouTube last year. It led me to almost 80,000 fake videos that were being auto-scripted and batch-uploaded to YouTube. They were all keyword-stuffed. Very few of them had even a small number of views, so what these really were was about impact — these were a gaming system. My guess is that they were meant to skew autocomplete or search suggestions in YouTube. It couldn’t have been about monetization because the videos had very few views the sheer volume wouldn’t have made sense with YouTube’s business model.

    Someone had set up a script that detected social signals off of Twitter. It would go out and scrape related news articles, pull the text back in, and read it out in a computer voice, a Siri-type voice. It would pull images from Google Images, create a slideshow, package that up and wrap it, upload it to YouTube, hashtag it and load it with keywords. There were so many of these and they were going up so fast that as I was pulling data from the YouTube API dozens more would go up.




    I worked with The Washington Post on a project where I dug into Twitter and got, for the last week leading up to the election, a more or less complete set of Twitter data for a group of hashtags. I found what were arguably the top five most influential bots through that last week, and we found that the top one was not a completely automated account, it was a person.

    The Washington Post’s Craig Timberg » looked around and actually found this person and contacted him and he agreed to an interview at his house. It was just unbelievable. It turns out that this guy was almost 70, almost blind.

    From Timberg’s piece: “Sobieski’s two accounts…tweet more than 1,000 times a day using ‘schedulers’ that work through stacks of his own pre-written posts in repetitive loops. With retweets and other forms of sharing, these posts reach the feeds of millions of other accounts, including those of such conservative luminaries as Fox News’s Sean Hannity, GOP strategist Karl Rove and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), according to researcher Jonathan Albright…’Life isn’t fair,’ Sobieski said with a smile. ‘Twitter in a way is like a meritocracy. You rise to the level of your ability….People who succeed are just the people who work hard.'” »

    The most dangerous accounts, the most influential accounts, are often accounts that are supplemented with human input, and also a human identity that’s very strong and possibly already established before the elections come in.


    I mean, I do hold that it’s not okay to come in and try to influence someone’s election; when I look at these YouTube videos, I think: Someone has to be funding this. In the case of the YouTube research, though, I looked at this more from a systems/politics perspective.

    We have a problem that’s greater than the one-off abuse of technologies to manipulate elections. This thing is parasitic. It’s growing in size. The last week and a half are some of the worst things I’ve ever seen, just in terms of the trending. YouTube is having to manually go in and take these videos out. YouTube’s search suggestions, especially in the context of fact-checking, are completely counter-productive. I think Russia is a side effect of our larger problems.

    Why is it getting worse?

    Albright: There are more people online, they’re spending more time online, there’s more content, people are becoming more polarized, algorithms are getting better, the amount of data that platforms have is increasing over time.

    I think one of the biggest things that’s missing from political science research is that it usually doesn’t consider the amount of time that people spend online. Between the 2012 election and the 2016 election, smartphone use went up by more than 25 percent. Many people spend all of their waking time somehow connected.

    This is where psychology really needs to come in. There’s been very little psychology work done looking at this from an engagement perspective, looking at the effect of seeing things in the News Feed but not clicking out. Very few people actually click out of Facebook. We really need social psychology, we really need humanities work to come in and pick up the really important pieces. What are the effects of someone seeing vile or conspiracy news headlines in their News Feed from their friends all day?

    Owen: This is so depressing.
    http://www.niemanlab.org/2018/02/news...-what-to-do-as-things-crash-around-us
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  3. There are 1.5 billion YouTube users in the world, which is more than the number of households that own televisions. What they watch is shaped by this algorithm, which skims and ranks billions of videos to identify 20 “up next” clips that are both relevant to a previous video and most likely, statistically speaking, to keep a person hooked on their screen.

    Company insiders tell me the algorithm is the single most important engine of YouTube’s growth. In one of the few public explanations of how the formula works – an academic paper that sketches the algorithm’s deep neural networks, crunching a vast pool of data about videos and the people who watch them – YouTube engineers describe it as one of the “largest scale and most sophisticated industrial recommendation systems in existence”.

    The algorithm does not appear to be optimising for what is truthful, or balanced, or healthy for democracy
    Guillaume Chaslot, an ex-Google engineer

    Lately, it has also become one of the most controversial. The algorithm has been found to be promoting conspiracy theories about the Las Vegas mass shooting and incentivising, through recommendations, a thriving subculture that targets children with disturbing content such as cartoons in which the British children’s character Peppa Pig eats her father or drinks bleach.

    Lewd and violent videos have been algorithmically served up to toddlers watching YouTube Kids, a dedicated app for children. One YouTube creator who was banned from making advertising revenues from his strange videos – which featured his children receiving flu shots, removing earwax, and crying over dead pets – told a reporter he had only been responding to the demands of Google’s algorithm. “That’s what got us out there and popular,” he said. “We learned to fuel it and do whatever it took to please the algorithm.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/technolog...how-youtubes-algorithm-distorts-truth
    Voting 0
  4. Earlier this month, writer James Bridle published an in-depth look at the underbelly of creepy, violent content targeted at kids on YouTube – from knock-off Peppa Pig cartoons, such as one where a trip to the dentist morphs into a graphic torture scene, to live-action “gross-out” videos, which show real kids vomiting and in pain.

    These videos are being produced and added to YouTube by the thousand, then tagged with what Bridle calls “keyword salad” – long lists of popular search terms packed into their titles. These keywords are designed to game or manipulate the algorithm that sorts, ranks and selects content for users to see. And thanks to a business model aimed at maximising views (and therefore ad revenue), these videos are being auto-played and promoted to kids based on their “similarity” – at least in terms of keywords used – to content that the kids have already seen. That means a child might start out watching a normal Peppa Pig episode on the official channel, finish it, then be automatically immersed in a dark, violent and unauthorised episode – without their parent realising it.
    Advertisement

    YouTube’s response to the problem has been to hand responsibility to its users, asking them to flag videos as inappropriate. From there, the videos go to a review team that YouTube says comprises thousands of people working 24 hours a day to review content. If the content is found to be inappropriate for children, it will be age-restricted and not appear in the YouTube Kids app. It will still appear on YouTube proper, however, where, officially, users must be at least 13 years old, but in reality, is still a system which countless kids use (just think about how often antsy kids are handed a phone or tablet to keep them occupied in a public space).

    Like Facebook’s scheme, this approach has several flaws: since it’s trying to ferret out inappropriate videos from kids’ content, it’s likely that most of the people who will encounter these videos are kids themselves. I don’t expect a lot of six-year-olds to become aggressive content moderators any time soon. And if the content is flagged, it still needs to be reviewed by humans, which, as YouTube has already acknowledged, takes “round the clock” monitoring.

    When we talk about this kind of challenge, the tech companies’ response is often that it’s simply the inevitability of scale – there’s no way to serve billions of users endless streams of engaging content without getting it wrong or allowing abuse to slip by some of the time. But of course, these companies don’t have to do any of this. Auto-playing an endless stream of algorithmically selected videos to kids isn’t some sort of mandate. The internet didn’t have to become a smorgasbord of “suggested content”. It’s a choice that YouTube made, because ad views are ad views. You’ve got to break a few eggs to make an omelette, and you’ve got to traumatise a few kids to build a global behemoth worth $600bn.
    Facebook asks users for nude photos in project to combat revenge porn
    Read more

    And that’s the issue: in their unblinking pursuit of growth over the past decade, these companies have built their platforms around features that aren’t just vulnerable to abuse, but literally optimised for it. Take a system that’s easy to game, profitable to misuse, intertwined with our vulnerable people and our most intimate moments, and operating at a scale that’s impossible to control or even monitor, and this is what you get.

    The question now is, when will we force tech companies to reckon with what they’ve wrought? We’ve long decided that we won’t let companies sell cigarettes to children or put asbestos into their building materials. If we want, we can decide that there are limits to what tech can do to “engage” us, too, rather than watching these platforms spin further and further away from the utopian dreams they were sold to us on.
    https://www.theguardian.com/technolog...ra-wachter-boettcher?CMP=share_btn_tw
    Voting 0
  5. Facebook e Whatsapp sono i servizi preferiti e costituiscono l’accoppiata vincente della comunicazione in pubblico e in privato, sia per i giovani (entrambi all’89% di utilizzo) che per l’intera popolazione.

    Grande salto ha fatto registrare YouTube, che è passato da una penetrazione del 38,7% del 2013 al 46,8%, ma con una spiccata preferenza da parte dei giovani (73,9%).

    Anche Instagram ha fatto un balzo, passando dal 4,3% di utenti del 2013 al 16,8% del 2016 (con il 39,6% di giovani).

    Sorprende la persistenza di Google+ tra i minori di 29 anni ed emerge la forza di Amazon, che viene usato dal 39% dei giovani intervistati, seguito da eBay. Ancora allo stadio iniziale app come Telegram, Viber e Snapchat.

    Il rapporto evidenzia anche un divario profondo tra i consumi mediatici giovanili e quelli degli over 65. L’89,3% dei giovani dice di usare Facebook, contro il 16,3% degli anziani. Su YouTube il divario va dal 73,9% all’11,2% e su Twitter si passa dal 24% all’1,7% degli over 65.
    https://vincos.it/2017/02/20/censis-s...e-i-servizi-web-piu-usati-dai-giovani
    Voting 0
  6. L’Italia è il terzo mercato (di ricavi pubblicitari YouTube) dopo Inghilterra e Francia e quelli che guadagnano da 2-3mila euro a 20-30mila euro al mese non sono più di cinque o sei“.

    Quindi la responsabilità della scarsa qualità dei prodotti video è anche delle piattaforme web? Sembra di sì. Il meccanismo attraverso il quale piattaforme come YouTube pagano i videomaker si basa sul numero di visualizzazioni. Non tiene conto quindi della qualità dei prodotti. Non conta in un video quanti e quali attori compaiano, con quali tecniche sia girato, chi l’ha scritto, se sono stati adottati effetti speciali. Non conta nemmeno se il software usato per l’editing sia piratato o acquistato regolarmente. Conta il giudizio del pubblico. E a guardare il numero di visualizzazioni di tanti video, spesso il cattivo gusto conta più visualizzazioni delle opere d’arte. Questo ci restituisce un ritratto della maggior parte dei fruitori del web come persone abituate al trash, al kitch, al cattivo gusto. Il videomaker è quindi una figura che ha grosse responsabilità rispetto a quello che produce. Possiede il gessetto e una lavagna per essere un fautore di media literacy.

    Ma è possibile farlo sul serio se sul sito di una testata nazionale figurava una retribuzione di €5 per ogni video prodotto e se giornalisti elogiano il lavoro di un ragazzo che squittisce in centinaia di video da milioni di visualizzazioni dove testa e commenta videogame invece di prepararsi all’interrogazione del giorno dopo?
    http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2015/...asta-davvero-poco-per-esserlo/1619509
    Voting 0
  7. If TheKhanly truly made out like a bandit, netting $9.35 per ad per thousand views, and if each listener stuck out all 14 ads, TheKhanly made around $175,000 in two years.

    No matter how much or little he or she generated, in all likelihood TheKhanly, who could not be reached for comment, has made far more money off Follow The Leader than a weed dealer does off an ounce of kush, or a sex worker off a common trick.

    For that matter, uploading an album to a website requires arguably less savvy and effort than dealing drugs or prostituting. TheKhanly theoretically could be making bank off the least taxing form of counterfeiting possible, appealing to a guaranteed audience of dermatologists and schoolteachers and Target clerks who only need to type “korn leader” into a search box.

    The ease of finding this material is facilitated by Google's omnipresence, bringing us back to Google's mission.

    "Look at Google's » name," Steven Levy, author of In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives, told me. "It’s a really big number. Google all along has been about operating on a scale that was tough to imagine before the internet age.”

    While Google’s early competitors like Altavista and Yahoo may have included little perks like collecting news or weather, Google has turned into an aggregator of everything from merchandise prices to metrics for linguistic trends.

    The founder of Network Awesome, Jason Forrest, considers the site’s curatorial effort an antidote to “your Buzzfeeds and Mashables, which » get paid to focus on this very lowbrow mainstream."

    The easy access to David Lynch’s television commercials, a compendium of videos from Chicago’s drill scene, and a PBS documentary on Carl Jung, for example, validates Forrest’s claim that the site uses similar mechanisms as those clickbait powerhouses to “supply a never-ending stream of inspirations.” YouTube’s complicity in this stream cannot be understated, as Network Awesome is, at the end of the day, a mechanism for comprehending the multitudes contained by the archive.

    And the very need for an entity like Network Awesome says a great deal about how YouTube is handling its librarian duties. Searching for Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” several years after it was a hit gives you the sense that YouTube is less like the Library of Congress or Alexandria and more like a hoarder’s house where the plastic plates from the Labor Day barbecue are piled on top of the good china.

    You will find the official "Single Ladies" music video, several “lyric videos” boasting audio of varying quality, smart phone videos of the song performed live, parodies, and acapella covers. Google and YouTube are perhaps not archiving entities with a mission to preserve, rather with one to hoard information simply because they can, suffering from what the late Jacques Derrida would call “archive fever.”

    having your music listened to at the same place where people stream fail videos and ‘I like turtles’, it really makes music seem like trash, just junk you click on and forget about.”

    This viewpoint might ring a bit extreme—especially if you’re in the camp that believes the ability to jump from a remix of a girl getting hit with a shovel to a Laurie Spiegel composition is somehow kind of beautiful—it does raise the question of worth as human creative energy morphs into, simply, a piece of content.
    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-...ost-of-youtubes-library-of-everything
    Voting 0
  8. Lo staff del “divo”, a questo punto, evidentemente, teme l’autogol: dopo aver sottratto Ponte ad un’esibizione davanti ad un pubblico ritenuto troppo “modesto” per le grandeur del giovane Gabry, gli utenti di Facebook e Twitter gli stanno dando ciò che probabilmente merita ovvero una lezione di educazione, etica e buone maniere. Ed è qui che, a qualcuno dello staff, deve venire il colpo di genio: segnalare a YouTube ed in ogni dove il carattere illecito, per violazione del diritto d’autore, del servizio giornalistico di Vera Tv Abruzzo.
    http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2014/...ritto-dautore-diventa-censura/1091647
    Voting 0
  9. non è democraticamente sostenibile che proprio la concessionaria pubblica del servizio radiotelevisivo – una società, peraltro, interamente controllata dallo Stato – chieda la “rimozione a strascico” di tutti gli spezzoni delle proprie trasmissioni da una piattaforma telematica senza guardare al loro contenuto, alla loro natura ed alle finalità perseguite dagli utenti che quei contenuti hanno caricato online.

    Non c’è lettura né interpretazione da azzeccagarbugli del contratto di servizio pubblico che tenga e a nulla vale sostenere che lo si fa per difendere il valore economico del prodotto della tv di Stato: la RAI non può proporre una visione tanto limitata e democraticamente insostenibile del diritto d’autore come se la privativa autorale valesse davvero a consentire a chi ha prodotto e trasmesso un contenuto di travolgere, in nome della tutela proprio portafoglio, ogni altro diritto ed interesse.

    Ma, a ben vedere, questa è anche la conclusione alla quale, legge sul diritto d’autore alla mano, si arriverebbe in relazione a molti dei contenuti che, in queste ore, la RAI sta chiedendo – e, sfortunatamente ottenendo – vengano rimossi da YouTube.
    http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2014/...-al-diritto-dautore-ce-di-piu/1027418
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  10. YouTube (Google) mostrerà il video codec VP9 con supporto alla risoluzione 4K nel corso del Consumer Electronics Show di Las Vegas. Il formato sarà presentato come alternativa all’H.265, sarà aperto e royalty-free. Per evitare la mancanza di supporto che ha impedito al VP8 di avere successo, la società ha siglato accordi con 19 partner tra i quali: Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, ARM, Intel, Broadcom e Marvell. Al CES di Las Vegas, dimostrazioni saranno visibili negli stand di LG, Sony e Panasonic.
    http://www.macitynet.it/ces-2014-goog...trera-il-codec-vp9-con-supporto-al-4k
    Voting 0

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