Techdirt: Content Moderation At Scale Is Impossible: YouTube Says That Frank Capra’s US Government WWII Propaganda Violates Community Guidelines. “The film, which gives a US government-approved history of the lead up to World War II includes a bunch of footage of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Obviously, it wasn’t done to glorify them. The idea is literally the opposite. However, as you may recall, last summer when everyone was getting mad (again) at YouTube for hosting ‘Nazi’ content, YouTube updated its policies to ban ‘videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology.’ We already covered how this was shutting down accounts of history professors. And, now, it’s apparently leading them to take US propaganda offline as well.”
BBC: Twitter apologises for letting ads target neo-Nazis and bigots. “Twitter has apologised for allowing adverts to be micro-targeted at certain users such as neo-Nazis, homophobes and other hate groups. The BBC discovered the issue and that prompted the tech firm to act.”
Mashable: Does YouTube radicalize users? This study says not —but it’s deeply flawed.. “A new study of YouTube’s algorithm attracting mainstream attention this weekend claims that the online video giant ‘actively discourages’ radicalization on the platform. And if that sounds suspect to you, it should.”
ThePrint: In 2020, Google will have to wrangle the beast it created with Youtube. “As 2020 begins, the largest online video service is being dragged deeper into political fights over privacy, copyright and content moderation. In response, YouTube is trying to preserve the sanctity of its status as an online platform with little liability for what happens on its site. Instead, that burden is increasingly falling on the shoulders of regulators, video creators and other partners.”
The Daily Beast: Instagram Won’t Pull These Racist, Violent, Russian-Inspired Accounts. “Memes published by some of the worst Kremlin-backed trolls of the 2016 campaign are being echoed online by American neo-Confederates. The Russian accounts, overseen by the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA), have since been taken down. But American parrot accounts running some of the same racist crap—and worse—are still live on Instagram, an investigation by The Daily Beast and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab found. At least one of these live accounts claims to belong to a Russian network persona.”
The Verge: The Terror Queue. “Peter, who has done this job for nearly two years, worries about the toll that the job is taking on his mental health. His family has repeatedly urged him to quit. But he worries that he will not be able to find another job that pays as well as this one does: $18.50 an hour, or about $37,000 a year. Since he began working in the violent extremism queue, Peter noted, he has lost hair and gained weight. His temper is shorter. When he drives by the building where he works, even on his off days, a vein begins to throb in his chest.” This is about moderating content at Google and YouTube. It left me in tears. A disturbing but important read.
Ars Technica: Why can’t Internet companies stop awful content?. “Many of us are baffled by the degradation of the Internet. We have the ingenuity to put men on the Moon (unfortunately, only men so far), so it defies logic that the most powerful companies on Earth can’t fix this. With their wads of cash and their smart engineers, they should nerd harder. So why does the Internet feel like it’s getting worse, not better? And, more importantly, what do we do about it?”