One of my fine and upstanding readers messaged me about my rant post about the guy in LA who would shoot someone if he got 100 reTweets:
"I like this a lot, but you mixed up your assassination trivia, John Hinckley attempted to assassinate Reagan to impress Jodie Foster, I think the musician you were referring to was probably John Lennon? He got murdered because Mark David Chapman read Catcher in the Rye or some other bonkers nonsense"
You're right, I biffed it, and I admit when I'm wrong.
Google is about to potentially piss off its users again.
Google has announced that YouTube will now feature a team of "super flaggers." Their job will be to go through videos and flag things as inappropriate that the automatic algorithms might miss. So things like nudity or copyrighted materials (or copyrighted materials that will get them complaints from media partners) are the obvious things, right?
Well, they are also going to search commentary vlogs for dangerous and incendiary speech. Oh, and these super flaggers will be government representatives.
So, how many of you have confidence that they'll be fair and respect the right of dissenting opinion? I sure don't.
Keep in mind, YouTube has a nasty history of admins defending their friends or people they can gain regard from. The YouTube All Star Kids (YTASK) is a perfect example, as anyone who complained about the borderline pedophilloic nature of the featured videos had their accounts limited, blocked, or closed. Combine things like this, a lack of understanding of the First Amendment (the Downfall debacle), the continued removal of Let's Plays and journalistic reviews of other media, and a bunch of spooks who serve political and social agendas at the expense of freedom and humanity, and this could get really really bad.
The problem, obviously, is, Where else can you go? Vimeo doesn't have the variety of channels or the user base that YouTube has, and they are the closest competitor they have. Is there anyone else?
There may be soon. And it might not be the answer you like.
Yahoo has been reaching out to YouTube media partners with a little bit of news -- they are going to enter video hosting themselves, and between their user base and advertising portfolio, they can offer more to people monetizing their videos with more reach, better incentives, and better pay. Among the people they have approached are Pewdie Pie, SSXEPhil (one of the people in the middle of the Let's Play fiasco of December 2013), and other big name media partners and cash cows for YouTube, and I wouldn't be surprised if some others that already left like Classic Game Room are being targeted, as well.
There are people already itching for this, a chance to stick it to The Man that is YouTube (similar to Vimeo when it first launched). But there is no mention in this of how they will handle trolls that flag competing videos, videos that are covered as transformative works like Let's Plays and journalistic reviews, what happens if admins abuse their authority, and so on. It's like with elections -- everyone is so anxious for someone new, they aren't asking the questions they need to ask to keep from getting screwed by their choice later on. Change is not progress. Also, will you need a minimum number of viewers or subscribers to remain there, and if you drop below, do they cut you loose? Yahoo is after numbers, and if you can't help them with their numbers, what happens to you? Achievement Hunter would have no problem, but would, say, Glove And Boots or Ashens?
Sooner or later, there will be a competitor that does everything right, and will actually be a viable alternative. I'm just not convinced that Yahoo is it.