Youtube will always breed narcissism

Mikey 2 comments
Youtube will always breed narcissism

I had an interesting conversation on the Golf course yesterday with a couple of retired gentlemen on the subject of online censorship. I can't remember how the conversation shifted to that subject but there I was listening to a point of view from the less tech-savvy, which is a refreshing change as almost everyone I know is clued up on web technologies and trends.

One thing Alex and Allan didn't understand is why Youtube can't moderate content and filter out the offensive videos, although they communicated it in completely different words. I explained one of the reasons behind Youtubes success is that anyone can post a video any time, as I could film this conversation on my phone right now and post on Youtube before lunch. It is this simple fact, which anyone with any sort of basic video capture device and an Internet connection can be heard in this way, and other people can respond or participate in the same manner, that accounts for the success.

If the ease of use factor was never present and a layer was added where your videos were cued for approval (which might take days) Youtube might not have been as successful as it is.

One thing my temporary golfing buddies were clear on is they don't believe in censorship, and that people should have the right to watch or not watch whatever they want. But at the same time what is stopping anyone from uploading child porn?

The truth be told there is nothing stopping anyone from doing that, and it will be exposed to hundreds or even thousands of people before it is flagged as inappropriate and a Youtube administrator removes it.

It is however a catch 22. A vast percentage of Youtube users make up what I call the 'moron factor'. These are the people who video themselves doing morally objectionable things and post it online, and eventually pay for their actions. If it were not for Youtube's ease of use, trash like Anthony Anderson, (the twat who urinated on a dying woman) might not see a day of jail time or even be apprehended.

In this case you could say the end justifies the means. Because Youtube does breed narcissism and a small portion of that idiotic culture will get their comeuppance in one form or another. You could also say Youtube is crim bait, and it wouldn't be the first time someone was arrested and charged over a video they posted on said site, or resigned for their shocking behaviour.

Is there a solution? To be honest I am hard pushed to think of one. While the burden of monitoring children's online activities lies with parents, Youtube really have no obligation to change their policies. Policies they certainly secretly admire because from a technological and business perspective, moderating videos before they are allowed to go online would be financial scuicide.

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Tuesday 27th November 2007 | 02:50 PM

Interestingly I had a similar conversation yesterday with a friend who wanted to know why you can't filter pornography out of the Internet (although frankly I can't understand why you would want to in the first place :P).

I tried to explain the complexities of trying to tell if a image / video is porn in the first place, from a technical POV but of course, he only understands it from a human point of view. With a human brain, it's easy to tell. For a computer, it's utterly impossible.

First you have to define offensive. Then you have to programmatically enforce it across a huge range of formats and file types. Many of which cannot be read until the entire file is downloaded.

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Tuesday 27th November 2007 | 11:37 PM

so mike forget about the narcissism how was the golf you should have told us more bout the game or uploaded some of your shots.....

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