Bookmarked Content moderation is not a panacea: Logan Paul, YouTube, and what we should expect from platforms by Tarleton Gillespie (Social Media Collective)
Content moderation should be more transparent, and platforms should be more accountable, not only for what traverses their system, but the ways in which they are complicit in its production, circulation, and impact. But it also seems we are too eager to blame all things on content moderation, and to expect platforms to maintain a perfectly honed moral outlook every time we are troubled by something we find there. Acknowledging that YouTube is not a mere conduit does not imply that it is exclusively responsible for everything available there.
Tarleton Gillespie unpacks the recent discussions for more moderation for YouTube. One problem that she highlights is that the intent associated with the content being created is not consistent:

Incidents like the exploitative videos of children, or the misleading amateur cartoons, take advantage of this system. They live amidst this enormous range of videos, some subset of which YouTube must remove. Some come from users who don’t know or care about the rules, or find what they’re making perfectly acceptable. Others are deliberately designed to slip past moderators, either by going unnoticed or by walking right up to but not across the community guidelines. They sometimes require hard decisions about speech, community, norms, and the right to intervene.

She also discusses the difference between television and YouTube, questioning what it might mean to have such expectations:

MTV was in a structurally different position than YouTube. We expect MTV to be accountable for a number of reasons: they had the opportunity to review the episode before broadcasting it; they employed Kutcher and his team, affording them specific power to impose standards; and they chose to hand him the megaphone in the first place. While YouTube also affords Logan Paul a way to reach millions, and he and YouTube share advertising revenue from popular videos, these offers are in principle made to all YouTube users. YouTube is a distribution platform, not a distribution bottleneck — or it is a bottleneck of a very different shape. This does not mean we cannot or should not hold YouTube accountable. We could decide as a society that we want YouTube to meet exactly the same responsibilities as MTV, or more. But we must take into account that these structural differences change not only what YouTube can do, but how and why we can expect it of them.

So what we critics may be implying is that YouTube should be responsible to distinguish the insensitive versions from the sensitive ones. Again, this sounds more like the kinds of expectations we had for television networks — which is fine if that’s what we want, but we should admit that this would be asking much more from YouTube than we might think.

One of the problems associated with moderation is the rewards behind such content:

If video makers are rewarded based on the number of views, whether that reward is financial or just reputational, it stands to reason that some videomakers will look for ways to increase those numbers, including going bigger. But it is not clear that metrics of popularity necessarily or only lead to being over more outrageous, and there’s nothing about this tactic that is unique to social media. Media scholars have long noted that being outrageous is one tactic producers use to cut through the clutter and grab viewers, whether its blaring newspaper headlines, trashy daytime talk shows, or sexualized pop star performances. That is hardly unique to YouTube. And YouTube videomakers are pursuing a number of strategies to seek popularity and the rewards therein, outrageousness being just one. Many more seem to depend on repetition, building a sense of community or following, interacting with individual subscribers, and the attempt to be first.

On the 8th of December at The Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney Australia, BVN hosted its bi-annual conference – Futures Forum 2. The theme was ‘Knowledge and Ethics in the Next Machine Age’.

23:21 Larry Prusak: Knowledge and it’s Practices in the 21st Century

Prusak discusses the changes in knowledge over time and the impact that this has. This reminds me of Weinberger’s book Too Big To Know. Some quotes that stood out were:

Knowledge won’t flow without trust


Schools measure things they can measure even if it is not valuable

Again and again Prusak talks about going wide, getting out and meeting new people.

1:21:59 Professor Genevieve Bell: Being Human in a Digital Age

Bell points out that computing has become about the creation, circulation, curation and resistence of data. All companies are data companies now. For example, Westfield used to be a real estate company, but they are now a data company.

The problem with algorithms is that they are based on the familiar and retrospective, they do not account for wonder and serendipity.

As we design and develop standards for tomorrow, we need to think about the diversity associated with those boards and committees. If there are only white males at the table, how does this account for other perspectives.

We do want to be disconnected, even if Silicon Valley is built around being permanently connected. One of the things that we need to consider is what is means to have an analogue footprint.

Building on the discussion of data and trust, Bell makes the point:

The thing about trust is that you only get it once.

The question remains, who do we trust when our smart devices start selling our data.

In regards to the rise of the robots, our concern should be the artificial intelligence within them. One of the big problems is that robots follow rules and we don’t.

The future of technology that we need to be aspiring to develop a future where technology can support us with our art, wonder and curiosity.

A comment made during the presentation and shared after Bell had finished:

Is your current job the best place for you to make the world a better place?

2:49:51 Phillip Bernstein: The Future of Making Things: Design Practice in the Era of Connected Technology

Berstein unpacks six technical disruptions – data, computational design, simulation analysis, the internet of things, industrial construction and machine learning – and looks at the implications for architecture.

3:51:44 Dr Simon Longstaff: Ethics in the Next Machine Age

Dr Longstaff explores the ethics associated with technology. This includes the consideration of ethical design, a future vision – Athens or Eden – and the purpose to making. Discussing the technology of WWII, Longstaff states:

Technical mastery devoid of ethics is the root of all evil

He notes that just because we can, it does not mean we ought.

A collection of points to consider in regards to ethics in technology
A screenshot from Dr Longstaff

He also used two ads from AOL to contrast the choices for tomorrow:

H/T Tom Barrett

Listened The YouTube star who fought back against revenge porn and won – podcast by Jenny Kleeman from the Guardian
Four years after her ex posted explicit videos filmed without her consent, Chrissy Chambers talks about the gruelling legal battle that nearly destroyed her
Written by Jenny Kleeman, read by Kelly Burke and produced by Simon Barnard. The original text can be read here.

The Webby Award-winning PS22 Chorus was formed in the year 2000. We are an ever-changing group of 5th graders from a public elementary school in Staten Island, New York. PS22 is NOT a “school for the arts,” and the chorus is not a magnet program. PS22 Chorus just features ordinary children achieving extraordinary accomplishments — musically and otherwise.

Bookmarked The Social-Media Star and the Suicide (The Atlantic)
There were no gatekeepers to stand in his way, and YouTube itself only acted after the video became news. In every step but the filming of the dead body, this is not the system breaking, but the system functioning as intended. And as with the recent discovery of widespread exploitation on “child-safe” parts of YouTube, it points to a dark tendency in today’s engagement-optimized web. As online platforms have pursued engagement to the detriment of everything else, they have come to favor content that dehumanizes us. Meanwhile, the same platforms dominate more and more of teen culture.
Robinson Meyer discusses the situation in which Logan Paul posted a corpse on YouTube. The post provides some wider context associated with the Paul brothers and the dehumanised web that they are a part of.
This video was a contribution to Alan Levine’s 2015 K12 Online Conference presentation ‘True Stories of Open Sharing

I often stop and wonder, how did I get here? It wasn’t one particular moment, rather a series of interconnected happenings which makes up my ‘unexpected adventure’. I first had a go at telling this fractured story on my blog. However, every time I think about it, other people and events seem to stand out.