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Youtube Censorship Google Media Politics Your Rights Online

Why I'm a Defender of YouTube (vortex.com) 138

Lauren Weinstein writes: In a time of fascist politicians spouting simplistic slogans about race, religion, terrorism, and censorship, along with whatever other pandering platitudes they believe will win them votes, prestige, power, and control — it's worth remembering how much good the Internet brings us, and how much poorer we'd all be in so many ways for the shackling of Internet services like YouTube, in the name of such self-serving proclamations and damaging false solutions.
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Why I'm a Defender of YouTube

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  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Threni ( 635302 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @05:46PM (#51362575)

    Sorry, who are you? YouTube is the successful product of a wealthy and powerful company. It doesn't need defending.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Odds are they are a pedantic narcissist. After all, who writes In a time of fascist politicians spouting simplistic slogans about race, religion, terrorism, and censorship, along with whatever other pandering platitudes they believe will win them votes, prestige, power, and control unless they feel they are somehow above it all and better than the rest and therefore in a position to judge?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Lauren Weinstein [vortex.com] appears to be a wackjob, from the looks of his twitter feed.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Ye gads. Just looking at his feed reminds me of why I quit Facebook in the 2012 election year.

    • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

      At least he makes a case for freedom. I just hope it doesn't infer exceptions for criticism of his own political views. There's been plenty of that on youtube. Groups who can't handle criticism abuse the fuck out of the tos.

    • Lauren has been on the Internet longer than most of you have been alive. I've been following him since about 1980 or so, but he's been on the net longer than just about anyone. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      Lauren: Thanks for your posting.

  • Slashdotted (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by NotInHere ( 3654617 )

    Interesting that this still happens...

  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @05:54PM (#51362591)
    Youtube's biggest problem isn't really the struggle that the article presents, it's that it's a monolithic entity that can be censored or manipulated by the nation-state, even if that state is limited to blocking. It's also subject to the whims of the corporation that owns it, as was demonstrated very poignantly by the integration of a social networking site and the adjustment of the way that usernames and the comments system function.

    Granted, Youtube is not the sole video site on the Internet for personal content, and sometimes the huge amount of content that is acceptable to a nation-state makes it hard for them to justify blocking the whole site just to get a little bit of unacceptable content, but when one site emerges as the de facto default it becomes more likely that users don't even consider other sites or other options. Usually a competitive system is a healthy system, and this lack of competition threatens the health as it leaves the concept threatened to unilateral manipulation despite the interests of the users.
  • I replied to one of these "YouTube is not a news source" groupie for HRC and it really dawned on me how important the collection, aggregation and the ability to compare and contrast news stories is - really critical if one wants to be well informed at a time when bias and outright lies are being propagated throughout the media.
  • Fascist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 24, 2016 @05:58PM (#51362603)

    Newspeak for 'people I don't agree with'.

  • by Cornwallis ( 1188489 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @05:59PM (#51362605)

    "In a time of fascist politicians spouting simplistic slogans about race, religion, terrorism, and censorship, along with whatever other pandering platitudes they believe will win them votes, prestige, power, and control..."

    Which is to say *all* politicians.

  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @06:06PM (#51362631)

    Who are you?
    What on earth are you talking about?
    Why do you write a sentence instead of a summary?
    Why the hell is that sentence so long and so difficult to read?

    Even if I was interested in what you had to say, I don't know why or what you're on about. But any inkling I may have had to click that link has disappeared due to fear that I will have to spend 10 minutes attempting to understand what each poorly constructed sentence actually means.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Why the hell is that sentence so long and so difficult to read?

      72 words, one sentence. All I can say is, "Yes, dear."

    • by ilctoh ( 620875 )
      Hopefully Bennett Hasselton will add his insight and clarification promptly.
  • by Bartles ( 1198017 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @06:06PM (#51362633)

    The only time in memory that I can think of a fascist action against youtube or a youtube poster, was after the Benghazi embassy was attacked, and some guy was arrested and imprisoned for posting a video critical of Islam. I'm sure that's not the kind of Fascism that TIMMMAAAY! or Ms. Weinstein had in mind, as I'm sure they are both Obama, and Clinton supporters. They should really re-evaluate their political inclinations. Nice straw man, though.

  • What?! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CrashNBrn ( 1143981 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @06:09PM (#51362639)
    So I was trying to figure this out, I think I got about half-way...

    In a time of fascist politicians spouting simplistic slogans about race, religion, terrorism, and censorship, along with whatever other pandering platitudes they believe will win them votes, prestige, power, and control — it's worth remembering how much good the Internet brings us, and how much poorer we'd all be in so many ways for the shackling of Internet services like YouTube, in the name of such self-serving proclamations and damaging false solutions.

    So there are bad politicians trying to gather power. And because of that bad thing, it is somehow worth remembering that the internet is good. Furthermore without that good we would be very poor somehow in many ways without the "shackling of Internet services" ... uh what? "in the name of such self-serving proclamations..." - oh wait the politicians are self-serving and youtube has damaging false solutions? No...

    Yeah so, can anyone turn that run on sentence into an actual coherent thought?

  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @06:10PM (#51362649) Homepage Journal

    One thing has struck me recently, which is that YouTube allows us to catch out misrepresentations and media bias.

    In previous years, we would *only* have the media interpretations of current events. My parents, for instance, would read the newspaper article about some incident or other, and have no way to judge whether the opinions and position were in any way correct.

    Nowadays we can easily dig down to the source, and verify what we are told.

    As an example that everyone knows about, we can look to some of the things said about Trump [salon.com]:

    • The New York Times: “Trump’s claim that illegal Mexican immigrants are ‘rapists.”
    • Time Magazine: “Trump’s comment that Mexican immigrants are ‘rapists.’”
    • Associated Press: “Trump called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals”
    • CBS News: “Trump defends calling Mexican immigrants ‘rapists.’”
    • L.A. Times: “describing Mexican immigrants as ‘rapists.’”
    • Fortune: “in a speech branding Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists.”
    • Hollywood Reporter: “he referred to Mexican immigrants as ‘rapists.’”
    • Huffington Post: “He called Latino immigrants ‘criminals’ and ‘rapists.’”
    • The Washington Post: “He referred to Mexicans as “rapists.”

    What he actually said:

    They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.

    An accurate representation of what he said was "some illegal immigrants are criminals", which is true simply by the law of averages, with the implication that if they went through a vetting procedure we could perhaps filter out the criminal portion.

    This was taken so completely out of context that WaPo rephrased it as "He referred to Mexicans as “rapists.", with the implication that he insulted the entire population of another country, and a fair portion of our own citizens.

    It's highly interesting to me that, as individuals, we now have the ability to find the evidence and come to our own conclusions, rather than blindly listen to the pronouncements of the elite.

    And a little bit, I think that's why Trump's supporters are so immovable. When the MSM cries "but he's a *racist*!", most of the people who were at the rally think "he didn't actually say that".

    It's definitely interesting the effect that YouTube has had on the political landscape.

    • Which is far more interesting than TFA's actual "summary-run-on-sentence".
    • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @06:26PM (#51362723) Journal

      My parents, for instance, would read the newspaper article about some incident or other, and have no way to judge whether the opinions and position were in any way correct

      Your a bit young so I guess I should point out that in my parent's day, you simply wouldn't have opinion in newspaper articles. You would have statements by people related to the stories and the who, what, were, why, and when facts and the statements were clearly marks as somebody said something. That is old School Jounalism. The opinions were saved for the op-ed pages which everyone knew was not news but opinions and editorials. I recently saw someone citing an op-ed page as if it was reported fact when it was just someone's opinion so I guess no one can tell the difference any more.

      • by tsqr ( 808554 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @08:17PM (#51363081)

        Your a bit young so I guess I should point out that in my parent's day, you simply wouldn't have opinion in newspaper articles.

        Newspapers have been full of biased reporting and sensationalism since long before your parents were born. The term "yellow journalism" was coined about 125 years ago.

      • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @09:42PM (#51363337) Journal

        Opinion and "facts" were divided better, but rampant bias was still present in story selection and the truthy factoids chosen for publication. Look at US news coverage of the Vietnam war with with a jaded eye, and you'll see it: did you know we won every major battle in Vietnam? That's not the story the press told, because they wanted us out so very badly. Just like today, the press thinks of itself as smarter than the peasants, who are in need of having their beliefs "corrected". Read some earlier Heinlein stories where is opinion on the press leaks out: literal "newsclowns" in fright wigs and floppy shoes show up in multiple works. Same thing, different generation. Go back further and you reach the height of "yellow journalism".

        Newspapers have always printed fiction inspired by true events, slanted to produce a desired result. Only the sports page is trustworthy, and then only the scores.

        • did you know we won every major battle in Vietnam? That's not the story the press told, because they wanted us out so very badly.

          We have a name for such victories. We call them Pyrrhic [wikipedia.org].

          Just like today, the press thinks of itself as smarter than the peasants, who are in need of having their beliefs "corrected".

          Guess what? They're right. At best, the majority of the peasants are unwashed and uninformed.

          • What makes you think the press is any smarter? It's not like they're chosen by the gods. They're just people, every bit as stupid as the idiots on the street.

          • by lgw ( 121541 )

            Guess what? They're right. At best, the majority of the peasants are unwashed and uninformed.

            There's a name for the sort of system of government you favor. No, no, I'm not going to call you a fascist or commie or anything like that. You want a small ruling class of well-educated people who Think The Right Things, and choose the direction for the nation while helping to correct the peasants, and take care of them in hard times since they can't take care of themselves. That's a feudal system. It works better than communism in practice, but not by a lot. Thing is: even if you get to pick who's in

            • There's a name for the sort of system of government you favor.

              Today? I prefer proportional representation with mandatory participation. That'll get some goddamned attention. Someday? A bioregional socialism. But first people have to recognize that they shouldn't shit where they eat... you have to compost that shit for about a year.

              You want a small ruling class of well-educated people who Think The Right Things

              Actually, I've often spoken loudly in favor of free education for all, and the general need for more education among our populace so that it can make informed decisions. That's not what we have now, though.

      • No, not really. This is "good ole days" nostalgia that was never actually true. Methinks you need to read up on people such as William Randolph Hearst.

    • by rossz ( 67331 )

      I've found that the moment you try to correct one of these stories attributing a false statement to candidate-x, you are immediately labelled as candidate-x fan-boy. And it goes down hill from there.

      • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @06:57PM (#51362825) Homepage Journal

        I've found that the moment you try to correct one of these stories attributing a false statement to candidate-x, you are immediately labelled as candidate-x fan-boy. And it goes down hill from there.

        To be fair, I *am* a Trump fan.

        For the past decade or so we (ie - Slashdot readership) have lamented the high-level of corruption in politics, and have identified the root cause as campaign contributions in return for political favours(*). A games-theory analysis shows that any normal political candidate will end up catering to the wishes of corporate interests in order to get elected.

        As an example, consider [then] Senator Obama's flip flop on telecom immunity [politifact.com] six months before the election, and for which he received generous campaign contributions that allowed him to win the presidency.

        We've often wished for a candidate who can avoid the soul-selling and do things in the interests of the people. In this election, we have two: Trump and Sanders.

        I'm a fan of both. Having a Trump/Sanders election would be the best thing for this nation, and serve as a wakeup call to the elites.

        The people are tired of corruption in politics, and want something in return for their votes.

        (*) I'm referring to American politics, but it probably applies in other places, such as Canada, the UK, and Australia.

        • So your solution is to support one of the very people who was corruptibg politicians with money? Yeah that sounds logical!

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          It's looking more and more like we might actually have a Trump/Sanders election. Trump is more likely than Sanders (unless Hillary gets indicted), but both are doing remarkably well given the RNC and DNC hate them with the burning passion of a million Suns.

          Personally, I think Trump will betray 50% of the promises he makes to conservatives, which makes him infinity-times as reliable as the typical GOP candidate, who betrays the voter on 100% the promises he makes to conservatives.

          • I agree with this comment 100%. Have my virtual upvote.

        • The problem is the people who do this for shits and giggles and don't need the campaign contributions also seem to be outright batshit crazy, or may even be sociopaths which is quite common among people with that much money.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I absolutely support a Trump/Sanders election and agree it would be the best thing for this nation, but never would I consider myself a Trump *fan*.

          He's essentially a fascist without ethics. The past few presidencies have been terrible for the constitution and civil liberties, but have you heard Trump speak? And just because he doesn't have external corporate interests, judging by his past and his personality he has plenty of his own financial interests that will show themselves if he were to ever be elect

        • To be fair, I *am* a Trump fan.
          For the past decade or so we (ie - Slashdot readership) have lamented the high-level of corruption in politics,

          And you want more. Trump has failed on the face of it at almost everything he has done, and only still has money because corruption works. His company gets pushed out of everything eventually, after it fails to deliver on its promises. He is a career criminal, executing one fraud after another.

        • (*) I'm referring to American politics, but it probably applies in other places, such as Canada, the UK, and Australia.

          No it doesn't. The US has unlimited corporate spending in elections. In Canada it's $0. That's right, corporations can't fund politicians. Only people can, and there is a very low maximum amount. That's why we don't have as much climate change deniers within our political elite.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by alexhs ( 877055 )

      What he actually said:

      They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.

      An accurate representation of what he said was "some illegal immigrants are criminals", which is true simply by the law of averages, with the implication that if they went through a vetting procedure we could perhaps filter out the criminal portion.

      That's plain wrong and apologetic. A more accurate representation of what he said would be "some illegal immigrants might not be criminals". He only "assumes" that some are not criminals, but states as a fact that "by default" they ARE criminal (clearer with more context, like "they’re not sending their best"). It's a run-of-the-mill weasel word technique, which won't impress any seasoned journalist.

      Yet I would agree with you that the WaPo title is awful, as is he's clearly talking about Mexican immig

    • by Anonymous Coward

      An accurate representation of what he said was "some illegal immigrants are criminals",

      Oh, I don't think so. Media has been misquoting and misrepresenting everyohne, Trump included, but I think you chose a wrong example.
      A phrase like this:

      They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.

      Clearly implies that majority are rapists, with some exceptions, which he obviously doubts. The implication is that he has evidence (or it is well-known fact) that majority of immigrants are 'criminals' and 'rapists'. At the same time he thinks that some are good people, but has no evidence to back that.

      If anything, the news titles are surprisingly accur

      • by Jiro ( 131519 )

        The implication is not that the majority are criminals. The implication is that enough are criminals that it's something to worry about, which isn't the same thing.

        And even if that was the implication, that doesn't mean the press is being truthful. Reporting "the politician said X" when it's really "they said Y and I conclude that they mean X" is itself a lie. You're making the conclusion, but you're not presenting it as a conclusion. Just because you believe the conclusion doesn't mean it's not a lie to

    • An accurate representation of what he said was "some illegal immigrants are criminals", which is true simply by the law of averages, with the implication that if they went through a vetting procedure we could perhaps filter out the criminal portion.

      The problem with even that statement is that it doesn't jibe with my personal experience at all.

      None of the illegal immigrants that I've met are criminals (although, I do realize that my experience is anecdotal and isn't worth a shit statistically speaking, and that I have no way to tell who is a criminal and who is not).

      That being said, I find that illegal immigrants are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators since in many cases, they can't even go to the authorities for help and they're targeted

    • There's also his 'stop all Muslim immigrants' statement - oddly all the news sources end their quotes right before trump says "until we can properly vet them"...

      His supporters know what he actually said, and when news sources say otherwise they prove their bias...

      • I would like to know how he plans on doing that. Some kind of religious test? A 'shibboleth' if you will? Because it's impossible for the people we want to keep out (terrorists, murderers, etc.) to get coached in order to pass such a rigorous government test that will be posted on the Internet six weeks before it's ever actually enacted due to either a leak, or a Freedom of Information Act request.

        It's a preposterous notion that such a ban could ever be enforced - just like gun control, you would be prev

    • They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.

      An accurate representation of what he said was "some illegal immigrants are criminals", which is true simply by the law of averages, with the implication that if they went through a vetting procedure we could perhaps filter out the criminal portion.

      Sorry, no. What he says reads as "The majority of them are rapists, drug dealers/users, and criminals, but (and I have no evidence so I have to assume) some of them are good people." The press summed it up rather accurately, even though they're journalists.

      What Trump could have said about the problem, which would be more accurate but too boring for the sheeple, would be to note that illegal immigrants have a *much higher* proportion of criminals compared to the general population of either Mexico or USA. Of

    • by rhazz ( 2853871 )

      They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.

      An accurate representation of what he said was "some illegal immigrants are criminals", which is true simply by the law of averages, with the implication that if they went through a vetting procedure we could perhaps filter out the criminal portion.

      I agree that Trump has been misrepresented by the media on a number of things, particularly the muslim registration thing, but the statement by itself does seem generalize mexican immigrants as rapists, and only some of them happen to be good people. Otherwise it would have made far more sense to say "They're good people, but some of them are rapists" - but that doesn't quite invoke nearly as much fear. Maybe he misspoke, but given all the other stuff coming out of his mouth it really seems to align with hi

    • He said "they're rapist". What more do you need? He could have said "a very small minority of them are rapist". But he chose to say "they're rapist" instead. He chose to be provocative and yes, this is racist.

  • Learning (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @06:20PM (#51362697)
    YouTube opened a whole world of learning available to people. YouTube is more than just entertainment, it's educational and informative as well. It's almost the best thing to come to the Internet since the World Wide Web.
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tsotha ( 720379 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @06:24PM (#51362717)

    In a time of fascist politicians...

    If you're going to start your post with "I AM AN IDIOT", how can you expect other people to take you seriously?

  • Just say stupid things hoping people will keep watching ?

  • by Beeftopia ( 1846720 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @07:08PM (#51362859)

    Being able to control the information being fed to the population creates a tremendous of control over that population. Television and radio are loudspeakers into people's homes. And now so is the Internet. Television and radio are very strictly controlled by those that own the airwaves, and a very expensive medium on which to advertise.

    Being able to control information on the Internet is a very dear goal to the powers that be, either elected or not-elected. ALL spectrums of politicians want this power, not just the ones you or I disagree with.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday January 24, 2016 @07:25PM (#51362907) Journal

    If it wasn't for YouTube, I'd never have learned that Alex Jones was a secret agent for the Knights of Malta and the Jesuits.

    https://youtu.be/0ZLIoEOjNhY [youtu.be]

    I'd never have learned that the Moon was a hologram.

    https://youtu.be/_3axPn65MGM [youtu.be]

    I wouldn't have learned that jet fuel can't melt steel beams.

    https://youtu.be/DXRDq9nKJ0U [youtu.be]

    And most important, I'd never have learned that Jay-Z was an Illuminati time-traveler,

    https://youtu.be/-lf4zco47Gc [youtu.be] ...and possibly a clone.

    https://youtu.be/AYDRHySPyDE [youtu.be]

    So don't you fucking tell me that YouTube doesn't need defending. There's no better place to learn the truth than a platform where anyone can have a voice. We don't need journalists when we can get the straight shit from other people like us.

    • Eloi say that fire can't melt steel. But this Morlock will show how he's smarter than Eloi. [youtube.com] I know which side I'll be on.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This does not belong on /.

  • I can barely concentrate on reading the blog-pretending-to-be-news post over the sound of Timothy furiously masturbating while crying and quietly murmuring "They love me. They really love me. I'm s smart,"

    Feck off!
  • But hey, at least you got all that attention you were desperately seeking. I assume that's what the point of this "article" was, since there's clearly no other point. Also, most of the attention might have consisted of people telling you to fuck off, which you've certainly earned.
  • Not unexpected on /. But still you guys should try harder when pushing your agendas down people's throats.
  • Wow. Just wow. Can Slashdot get any lower?
  • Terms used when people don't like something - usually they are clueless about the actual history and people involved.
  • Lauren Weinstein is probably a "defender" of Suckerberg's Facebook too :-)

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