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  1. YouTube has faced heavy criticism over what some believe is an inadequate level of protection for young users. Though the company has already taken a number of steps to shield young eyes from inappropriate videos, including launching a special app for kids, it plans to take things a step farther by using its artificial intelligence technology to automatically age-restrict videos that are detected as inappropriate for users under the age of 18. Embedding the content in third-party websites won’t get around the restriction, either. YouTube detailed its plan to expand the use of its machine learning technology in a blog post today, explaining that it will soon use the AI to detect and automatically age-restrict videos that likely aren’t appropriate for young viewers. Ideally, YouTube creators will manually age-restrict their content when uploading to the service, but as YouTube notes, not all users take the time to do that. To make up for the times when users fail to restrict their videos, YouTube has leveraged machine learning to find the videos and bump them to its human team for review. The newly announced change is a step up from that, removing the human review from the equation to instead automatically age restrict the video. Once restricted, viewers will need to sign in to their account to verify that they are old enough to watch the content. Any age-restricted video that is embedded in a third-party website will require the user to click through and watch it on the YouTube platform. This will ensure that young viewers aren’t able to get around the age restriction by watching the content elsewhere, though this may be a bit annoying for everyone else. Creators who disagree with an automatically age-restricted video change can appeal the decision to YouTube, which will bump the appeal to its Trust & Safety team to make a final determination about the video’s classification. YouTube attempts to reassure monetized creators by saying that it expects the new change will have ‘little to no impact on revenue.’ Source
  2. A class-action lawsuit, filed against YouTube by Grammy award-winning musician Maria Schneider and Pirate Monitor Ltd, has taken an unexpected turn. According to YouTube, Pirate Monitor first used bogus accounts to upload its own videos. It then filed DMCA notices to have the same content removed in a ploy to gain fraudulent access to Content ID management tools. Early July, Grammy award-winning musician Maria Schneider teamed up with Virgin Islands-based Pirate Monitor Ltd in a class action lawsuit targeting YouTube. Filed in a California court, the complaint centered on YouTube’s alleged copyright failures, including the company’s refusal to allow “ordinary creators” to have access to its copyright management tools known as Content ID. “Denied Any Meaningful Opportunity” to Prevent Infringement Painting YouTube as a platform designed from the ground up to attract and monetize piracy, the action contained a barrage of additional accusations, including that the mere existence of Content ID, through which creators can be compensated for otherwise infringing uploads, means that most infringement is shielded from YouTube’s repeat infringer policy. Schneider informed the court that a number of her songs had been posted to YouTube without her permission, noting that she had twice been refused access to Content ID and the “automatic and preemptive blocking” mechanisms that are available to larger rightsholders. For its part, Pirate Monitor Ltd claimed that its content, including the movie Immigrants – Jóska menni Amerika, was illegally uploaded to YouTube hundreds of times. The company said that while YouTube responded to takedown notices, they often took too long to process. Access to YouTube’s Content ID system was denied, Pirate Monitor added. YouTube Responds to Complaint, Files Counterclaims Much like the beginning of the complaint itself, YouTube and owner Google’s response begins in familiar fashion. The company denies that it encourages infringement, instead noting that it goes “far above and beyond” its legal obligations when assisting copyright holders to protect their rights, including by investing more than $100m in Content ID. Of course, this complaint largely revolves around YouTube denying the plaintiffs’ access to Content ID but to that allegation, the company has a set of simple and apparently devastating response points. Firstly, Pirate Monitor Ltd cannot be trusted since it has already engaged in fraudulent behavior in respect of Content ID. As for Schneider, not only is she suing YouTube over copyrighted music that she and her agents have already granted YouTube a license to use, her own agent has also used Content ID to generate revenue from those works on her behalf. Pirate Monitor Uploaded its Own Content Using Bogus Accounts While the claim that Schneider licensed her content to YouTube and made money through Content ID is surprising, that pales into insignificance when compared to the allegations against Pirate Monitor Ltd. During the fall of 2019, YouTube says that Pirate Monitor through its authorized agents created a series of accounts on YouTube using bogus account registration information to hide the relationship between the account creators and Pirate Monitor. These accounts were subsequently used to upload “hundreds of videos” to YouTube. These included clips from exactly the same works that Pirate Monitor accuses YouTube of infringing in its complaint – the films Csak szex és más semi and Zimmer Feri. “Each time these videos were uploaded, Pirate Monitor was representing and warranting that the video did not infringe anyone’s copyrights, and it expressly granted YouTube a license to display, reproduce, and otherwise use the videos in connection with the service. Pirate Monitor also represented that it owned or had the rights to upload and license the material contained in the videos,” YouTube’s answer reads. Shortly after, YouTube notes, Pirate Monitor followed up by sending “hundreds” of DMCA takedown notices targeting many of the videos it had uploaded through the disguised accounts. “In those notices, Pirate Monitor represented that the videos that were the subject of the notices — videos that it had uploaded — infringed its copyrights or the copyrights of a party whom Pirate Monitor was authorized to represent. YouTube processed the substantial volume of DMCA takedown requests and removed the videos,” YouTube adds. YouTube Backs Pirate Monitor Into a Corner As noted in YouTube’s answer, Pirate Monitor’s representations over the status of these videos cannot be correct in both instances. At the point of upload the company told YouTube that it had the right to upload the videos since they infringed nobody’s rights. If those declarations were untrue, the company breached the ToS agreement and “perpetrated a fraud on YouTube” by uploading infringing content. On the other hand, if it did have permission to upload the content, then Pirate Monitor knowingly made false statements to YouTube when it submitted DMCA takedown notices clearly stating that the uploads were infringing. The big question, then, is why Pirate Monitor engaged in this alleged conduct at all. YouTube: Pirate Monitor Wanted Access to Content ID According to YouTube, Pirate Monitor had previously applied for access to the Content ID program. However, the company was denied on the basis that it was required to demonstrate a valid need and have a “track record” of properly using the DMCA takedown process. YouTube believes that since Pirate Monitor was lacking these qualities, it cooked up a scheme to convince the video platform that it fulfilled the criteria. “Pirate Monitor believed that it could demonstrate both the need for access, and a track record of valid DMCA takedown requests, by surreptitiously uploading a substantial volume of content through accounts seemingly unconnected to it, and then sending DMCA takedown requests for that same content,” YouTube says. “Instead of showing that it could properly use YouTube’s tools, Pirate Monitor’s deceptive and unlawful tactics established that it could not be trusted, and that YouTube was right in rejecting its request for access.” YouTube’s Counterclaims As a result of Pirate Monitor’s actions, YouTube says that there has been a breach of contract. The company and its agents failed to provide accurate information during the account creation process and seems to have uploaded videos to YouTube that infringed third-party copyrights. All of this cost YouTube time and money, including investigating and processing Pirate Monitor’s claims that the content was infringing. Furthermore, YouTube notes that in its agreement with Pirate Monitor, the company is obliged to “indemnify YouTube for claims rising out of or relating to its use of the YouTube service. “In seeking defense costs and any potential liability in this action as damages for Pirate Monitor’s contract breaches, YouTube expressly preserves its separate entitlement to contractual indemnity and will amend its counterclaims to add a claim for that indemnity if Pirate Monitor refuses to honor its indemnity obligation,” the video platform writes. YouTube further alleges fraud in respect of more than a dozen accounts Pirate Monitor created for the purposes of uploading around 2,000 videos. Taking the statements in the subsequent DMCA takedown notices sent by the company as accurate, YouTube says that Pirate Monitor agreed not to upload infringing content but did anyway, each time declaring that it had the necessary rights to the content being uploaded. As an alternative, YouTube offers similar counterclaims in the event that Pirate Monitor actually had permission to upload the videos but abused the DMCA by issuing fraudulent takedown notices instead. Request for Injunction and Damages In addition to requesting damages to compensate for the harm caused by Pirate Monitor’s actions, YouTube demands a punitive damages award to compensate for its “fraudulent conduct”. The video platform also seeks an injunction barring Pirate Monitor and its agents from submitting any further DMCA notices that wrongfully claim that material on the YouTube service infringes copyrights held (or are claimed to be held) by Pirate Monitor or anyone it claims to represent. YouTube and Google’s Answer and Counterclaims can be found here (pdf) Source: TorrentFreak
  3. Google is bringing back human moderators to oversee YouTube content, taking over from automated systems that were given more responsibilities at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. YouTube revealed in late August that in the three months prior, 11.4 million videos have been removed from the platform for violating its Community Guidelines. This is the highest number of videos taken down from YouTube over a three-month period since the service was launched in 2005, and it was attributed to the higher reliance on A.I. as the pandemic prevented human reviewers from going to work. YouTube admitted, however, that some of the videos would have been erroneously removed. “One of the decisions we made [at the beginning of the pandemic] when it came to machines who couldn’t be as precise as humans, we were going to err on the side of making sure that our users were protected, even though that might have resulted in a slightly higher number of videos coming down,” YouTube’s chief product officer told the Financial Times. The Google-owned company revealed that it has reversed the decision to take down 160,000 videos, the Financial Times reported. Normally, less than 25% of appeals are successful, but under A.I. moderation, the percentage of successful appeals has increased to 50%. However, while Mohan claims that more human moderators will start overseeing YouTube content, it remains unclear how that will happen amid the ongoing pandemic. Digital Trends has reached out to Google for additional details on their working arrangements, and we will update this article as soon as we hear back. Source
  4. YouTube’s website now blocks iOS 14’s picture-in-picture mode unless you pay for Premium Picture-in-picture still works on iPad for free and paid users, though Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge One of iOS 14’s big new features is picture-in-picture mode, which lets you watch a video in a small window while you’re doing other things on your iPhone. That could be handy if you, say, wanted to watch a YouTube video in Safari while chatting with your friends or checking email. But unfortunately, it seems YouTube has done something to stop videos from continuing to play when PIP mode is activated — unless you pay for YouTube Premium, that is. See for yourself. Pull up a video on YouTube’s website in Safari on your iPhone and take it full screen. If you tap to pull up playback controls, you should see a picture-in-picture icon in the top-left corner of your screen. Tap that, and the video briefly goes into its own window before returning to its usual spot on YouTube’s site. And if you try to go back to your home screen while watching a video in full screen, you’ll see that it briefly flickers into picture-in-picture mode before disappearing. Interestingly, as observed by MacRumors, you can watch YouTube videos in picture-in-picture mode if they’re embedded on a website. And if you have YouTube Premium, picture-in-picture works as expected. But it’s not functioning properly if you’re a free user. This wasn’t the case as recently as yesterday, according to MacRumors, and I remember it working on the iOS 14 betas ahead of the software’s official release this week. Picture-in-picture mode still works with YouTube videos in Safari if you’re using an iPad, regardless of whether you’ve got a free or Premium account. It’s unclear if this is a bug or if YouTube removed the functionality intentionally. For its own app, YouTube limits the ability to play videos in the background to YouTube Premium subscribers. It seems plausible that YouTube wants to restrict picture-in-picture to its paying subscribers. Google and Apple have not replied to a request for comment. YouTube’s website now blocks iOS 14’s picture-in-picture mode unless you pay for Premium
  5. Mozilla's new browser extension will help fix terrible YouTube recommendations Mozilla is introducing RegretsReporter, a new browser extension which allows YouTube users to "donate" their recommendations in the name of assisting researchers better understand the video platform's algorithm. YouTube has long been criticized for its opaque recommendation system, which sometimes leads users down rabbit holes, giving "regrettable recommendations." Through the browser extension, which is available for both Chrome and Firefox, researchers and outside experts will be able to study what type of content leads the video platform to suggest violent, racist, or conspiratorial content. Additionally, Mozilla wants to identify the patterns that trigger these recommendations and will make its findings public. Ashley Boyd, Vice President of Advocacy at Mozilla, wrote in a blog post: “As you browse YouTube, the extension will automatically send data about how much time you spend on the platform, without collecting any information about what you are watching or searching.” Users will be encouraged to report troubling recommendations they come across, in addition to describing the type of content that led to it. Boyd assured users that data collected will be linked to a randomly-generated user ID, which will minimize the risk of users being identified. The extension isn't the first time Mozilla has called out YouTube's algorithm. Last year, it gave recommendations on changes YouTube should make. Mozilla's new browser extension will help fix terrible YouTube recommendations
  6. YouTube starts rolling out its TikTok competitor, YouTube Shorts The feature will roll out in India first Just like Instagram did with Reels, YouTube is rolling out a new short-form video creator called YouTube Shorts that the company hopes will take some attention away from TikTok. Reports of YouTube’s short-form video creator tool came out several months ago, but now the company is launching an early beta beginning in India. Similar to TikTok, Shorts will let people make 15-second videos which can be set to music. Music is available via an “in-product music picker feature,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Verge. The picker “currently has 100,000s of tracks, and we’re working with music artists, labels and publishers to make more of their content available to continue expanding our catalog.” These videos will appear on the homepage in a row dedicated to Shorts, the company announced in a blog post today. An example of how Shorts will appear can be seen below. YouTube is going to try to get as many people as possible to use its new Shorts feature, and that includes new “create” icon spots that will appear prominently in the app. The “create” icon rolled out with the Shorts beta on Android, with plans to bring the icon to iOS devices soon. There is currently no estimate for when Shorts may appear in other countries, including the United States, the YouTube spokesperson said. One factor YouTube’s announcement post tries to highlight for creators is the opportunity YouTube provides. The site has more than 2 billion monthly users, noting “we want to enable the next generation of mobile creators to also grow a community on YouTube with Shorts.” “We actually have introduced stories on YouTube and we’ve actually seen our creators really engage with the stories,” CEO Susan Wojcicki told NBC News’ Dylan Byers on an episode of his podcast. “That would be an example of really short-form content. So we will definitely continue to innovate in all the different format sizes, including really short-form video.” Instagram’s team seemed to have similar goals in mind with its TikTok clone, Reels, but the immediate response to the feature hasn’t been super positive. Anecdotally, many of the videos that appear in Reels (from non-partnered influencers and brands) I see are straight re-uploads of other TikTok videos. But, arguably, Instagram was never a video entertainment-first platform; YouTube is. The company is hoping that considering people already come to YouTube for short video entertainment, Shorts will be another way to keep people on the site longer and get both existing and new creators to continue uploading. YouTube starts rolling out its TikTok competitor, YouTube Shorts
  7. So I am having the following issue since this morning. Found a channel on YouTube that I like and tried to subscribe to it by pressing the subscribe button. YouTube gave me the message in the attached picture. Tried the below after doing some research with no success. 1- Logged out and logged back in my Google account. 2- Deleted my Cookies (Firefox). 3- Tried to uninstall and reinstall Firefox. Can someone help me fix this ?
  8. YouTube Vanced is a modded version of YouTube that adds much needed features YouTube Vanced is a modded version of YouTube for Google's Android operating system that adds much needed features to the client. Features that it adds include background playback, ad-blocking, sponsor-blocking, and more. YouTube Vanced installation Installation of YouTube Vanced is not as straightforward as heading to Google Play to install the latest version. What you need to do is install the latest Vanced Manager from the project website first on the device. Once done, start the application to install the latest required components. The manager displays them and you need to install MicroG and YouTube Vanced (in that order). Since they are not offered via Google Play, it is necessary to allow the installation from this source (Vanced Manager), but the program reminds you of that. MicroG is a framework designed to allow applications to run on systems where Play Services is not available. The developer forked MicroG so that it can be used by apps that require Google Authentication. YouTube Vanced Configuration You can start YouTube Vanced after both components have been installed. The interface looks identical to that of the YouTube application, and there is a chance that you won't notice a difference on the first screen because of that. First thing you may want to do is open the Settings of the application and open the "Sponsor Block settings" and "Vanced settings" to go through the configuration once. Sponsor Block is not enabled by default; it is a component that uses crowd-sourced data to skip sponsored messages in videos. Works really well for popular channels that use sponsorship messages. Just toggle the option to enable it. Vanced settings are quite extensive. You may use them, among other things, to: Change preferred video quality on mobile and Wi-Fi. Override the maximum device video resolution. Change the preferred video speed. Override the default codec. Enable the hiding of Home ads (experimental feature). Disable YouTube Stories. Disable End Cards. Disable Info Card buttons. Disable branding watermark. Disable cast button. Enable tablet miniplayer. Enable comments location. Enable Home search bar. Enable dark theme. Enable automatic repeat. Disable full HDR brightness. Enable experimental player. Enable swipe controls for brightness and volume. All of these options are added to the YouTube options provided by the official application. Google users may sign-in to their account using YouTube Vanced to manage subscriptions and get all the benefits associated with the account. The Experience YouTube Vanced offers features, such as background play, that should have been part of the official YouTube application. While the installation procedure may deter some Android users who prefer to download and install applications only from Google Play, it is well worth for others who want more control over YouTube on their devices. Vanced is open source and you may check the source code of the components on the developer's GitHub page. YouTube Vanced is a modded version of YouTube that adds much needed features
  9. Woz sues YouTube over “bitcoin giveaway” scam videos using his name Section 230 gives platforms like YouTube broad immunity for user content. Enlarge / A screenshot from Wozniak's lawsuit shows a typical "Bitcoin giveaway" scam video on YouTube. YouTube / Wozniak et al 66 with 50 posters participating, including story author Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has sued YouTube over the proliferation of "bitcoin giveaway" scam videos on the YouTube platform. The videos falsely use the names of Wozniak and other celebrities—including Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin—to give the scams legitimacy. Scammers hijack popular YouTube accounts and change their names so that they appear to be the official accounts of celebrities like Wozniak or companies like Apple. They then broadcast a "live" video showing old footage of the celebrity discussing cryptocurrency or related topics. Alongside the footage is text claiming that if someone sends bitcoin to a particular address, the celebrity would send back double the amount. Along with Wozniak, the plaintiffs include more than a dozen individuals who were taken in by the scam, losing bitcoins worth anywhere from a few dollars to more than $40,000. In total, cryptocurrency scams like this have cost victims millions of dollars. "We take abuse of our platform seriously, and take action quickly when we detect violations of our policies, such as scams or impersonation," a YouTube spokesperson told Ars by email. YouTube says that in the first quarter of 2020, the company removed 2.2 million videos and disabled 1.7 million accounts for "spam, scams, deceptive practices." But the plaintiffs argue that YouTube isn't doing nearly enough to stamp out these cryptocurrency scams. Wozniak's wife, Janet, says that she has contacted YouTube numerous times since May about the scams. The plaintiffs point out that YouTube has sophisticated tools for identifying objectionable activity. Yet they don't seem to be taking even obvious steps like filtering out videos that use terms like "bitcoin giveaway." The lawsuit also points to the example of Twitter, which had been plagued by these kinds of scams in the past but has taken steps to stamp them out in recent years. The plaintiffs argue that the Twitter crackdown pushed scammers to YouTube, where they have thrived for the last couple of years. YouTube has a powerful defense Ultimately, it may not matter how much YouTube has done to stamp out these videos. That's because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides online platforms with broad immunity for user-submitted content. Sites have immunity even if they do little or nothing to combat objectionable content posted by users. Anticipating this defense, the plaintiffs try to distinguish their lawsuit from run-of-the-mill Section 230 cases. But it's not obvious those arguments will be successful. For example, Woz's lawyers argue that the scam videos are "blatant criminal conduct that is not even arguably protected by the First Amendment." That might be true, but it isn't likely to save the lawsuit. After all, the courts have upheld Section 230 immunity even in cases where users were distributing child pornography. The plaintiffs argue that YouTube did more than passively host the videos. YouTube's recommendation algorithms promoted the videos to cryptocurrency enthusiasts and sold ads against the videos—directly profiting from the scams. But that could also be a hard sell; courts have repeatedly held that sites enjoy Section 230 protections even when they deliberately promote problematic third-party content. But while Woz's lawsuit is on shaky ground legally, it could still be significant in the court of public opinion. Being sued by one of Silicon Valley's most beloved figures could pressure YouTube into taking the problem of cryptocurrency scams more seriously. Woz sues YouTube over “bitcoin giveaway” scam videos using his name
  10. 13 YouTube Channels We Geek Out Over From flying a plane to restoring art, YouTubers can truly teach you anything. Here are the best shows that have sparked our curiosity during quarantine. Sheltering in place for several months has led me to explore the vast caverns of YouTube to find entertaining videos to watch—after all, it feels like I've exhausted all my movie and TV options on Netflix, Hulu, and all the other streaming platforms. In my YouTube searches, I've come across a few real gems. Some of these YouTube channels revolve around hobbies that I love, where I can put their tips and knowledge into practice. Others not so much, but they still make some riveting content. These are my favorite YouTube channels that hone in on one particular area of expertise. Happy streaming! Urban Gardening Gardening is a deep rabbit hole and it's easy to, well, get lost in the weeds when you're trying to figure out how to keep alive a bunch of complicated organic machines that need exacting levels of sunlight, soil nutrients, watering, and space. Mohit Kumar Singh Rajput has two decades of experience in gardening, and he explains all the nitty-gritty details in videos that usually run under 10 minutes. Unlike a lot of YouTube gardening hosts, most of his advice doesn't revolve around having an enormous backyard and a wheelbarrow full of power tools. You can put all his advice into practice whether you live in an apartment or a detached house, like how to grow plants in kitchen waste, how to grow new plants from cuttings of other ones, and how to grow vegetables in pots indoors. My favorite is a primer on growing a corn plant in a container. Simone Giertz Photograph: Simone Giertz Remember when she built the Truckla, a production-looking custom Tesla pickup? Giertz has made a lot of whimsical inventions, like a drone that carries babies and a lipstick-applying robot that made Stephen Colbert pretty when she was a guest on The Late Show. WIRED's interview wizard Lauren Goode hung out with Giertz throughout the summer of 2019, which is how we learned that Truckla became a turning point for Giertz as an inventor. Look for her creations to become more grand and ambitious as she's committed to pushing her limits. The LockPickingLawyer Car boots. Home safes. Bike locks. Padlocks. Nothing seems to stop this guy. He won't reveal his identity, but he claims to be a lawyer from the Washington, DC, area who picked up lockpicking as a hobby. In his videos, he picks open both common and strange locks, from modern ones to the antique kind, and explains how different locks attempt to foil lockpickers (and why almost all of them can be beaten). Sometimes he uses a prop, such as a magnet, a pair of open-ended wrenches, or a Red Bull can. Once he used a Lego astronaut. He doesn't water down his words with niceties when the locks are trash, such as in an AmazonBasics bike lock review titled "As Bad As You'd Think" and a Brinks cable lock review titled "A Security Joke". The takeaway here is that basically all locks are bad if a knowledgeable lockpicker wants your stuff. Some are just crappier than others. That Pedal Show Right now is the best time in history for a guitar player who's into effects pedals. Everyone's making a million varieties and doing some really out-there stuff with them that wasn't possible when we were all kids. For all the juicy tones and valuable guitar gear information, this YouTube channel from Dan Steinhardt, head honcho of pedalboard component maker The GigRig, and Mick Taylor, former editor in chief of Guitarist magazine, really clicks as the duo play off each other so well. I've been an off-and-on guitar player for 18 years, and I learn new things about pedal effects on this channel all the time. Not just how they sound but why they sound like they do. So why does a fuzz box sound so different from an overdrive pedal and a distortion pedal (ignoring the vague distinction between the latter two, for the moment)? That Pedal Show will talk about how their wavelengths clip differently from each other, which affects the sound you hear through the amp speaker. Not to mention the amusing demonstrations of things like phasers versus flangers and reviews of rare, new handmade pedals. What's that, you say? You've never bothered with all these pedal effects, and you're more of a straight-into-the-amp kind of player? That was me until I dove into this channel. Steinhardt and Taylor's chemistry makes their show just as much entertainment as it is useful information. Dutch Pilot Girl Michelle Gooris is my favorite airline pilot channel on YouTube because she doesn't hide the fact that piloting an airliner is one of the most difficult jobs on earth. Watching her videos, you never lose the sense that an extraordinarily complicated machine requires a mental decathlon of skills to land, fly, taxi, and maintain. Gooris explains how piloting is done and pairs it with video footage that lets the audience peek into the blades of a jet turbine engine, or follow along with her engine startup sequence in the cockpit. Each video tears into a specific subject to explain in-depth how it works, such as how tailwinds affect the angle of approach on a short, difficult runway and what all that jargon means when pilots are talking to air traffic controllers as they depart and approach airports. You have to watch to find out her answer to the age-old rivalry of which is better to fly: Boeing or Airbus. The 8-Bit Guy There seem to be a million YouTubers unboxing the latest and greatest consumer tech, but if you ask me, it's the older hardware that's more interesting. The 8-Bit Guy is devoted to '80s and '90s—and sometimes early 2000s—tech that got left behind, long before anyone thought those early machines would be worth preserving. Folks like the 8-Bit Guy help show us rare old tech, like digital cameras that used full-size floppy disks. His videos show him unboxing rare, old computers and the occasional robot, taking apart and refurbishing old Bell & Howell and Compaq PCs, plus breaking down how vintage videogame controllers worked. Want to find out what telephone phreaking was? Head over to his channel. Potato Jet Gene Nagata has been a professional videographer for more than a decade, but it's the cheaper equipment that seems to get him the most excited. Like he often says, you don't need premium-priced gear anymore to shoot good footage. Filmmaking and vlogging are more democratic these days than ever. But his best videos tend toward the extremes, from enormous professional cameras that could be used as battering rams on a castle to handheld gimbals for making movies with an iPhone. And then there are the peeks into the industry, such as how Hollywood films car chases. He's a relaxed natural in front of the camera, and you can tell he's always having a good time. It's infectious. The Food Lab A part of Serious Eats' channel, the Food Lab's Katie Quinn and J. Kenji Alt-López take a scientific approach toward cooking methods, such as whether searing a steak actually locks in its juices. And then there are how-to videos for kitchen equipment, including how to sharpen a kitchen knife on a whetstone, a skill that trips up a lot of home chefs if they even know that it's a part of regular maintenance. Plus, you get a few of their favorite recipes to break things up once in a while. Why did it take this long for someone to invent a Nutella-and-brie grilled cheese? Baumgartner Restoration You'd think people would take better care of fancy, old paintings, but a lot of them arrive to new collectors in rough shape. Paint degrades under sunlight and artificial light, and throughout the centuries, misguided cheapos have paid for subpar restorations that only further ruin good art. But it can often be salvaged if the person knows how to remove degraded layers of paint and seamlessly touch up other areas so that it blends in naturally with the rest of the painting. Baumgartner Restoration shows a wide variety of methods on healing wooden split-panels, torn canvas, and masterpieces from the old masters. Primitive Technology Odds are you'll never make Polynesian arrowroot flour or build a round hut in the forest, but it's fascinating to watch what people can make out of a little more than dirt, water, and their own two hands. Everything in these videos is created from natural materials, and the creator is self-taught. The videos are shot in Far North Queensland, Australia, and although he doesn't live in the wild, by now he's got a cool collection of rather large huts of various designs, primitive agricultural fields, stoves, and kilns. Wanna Walk There's something so revealing about a walk through a big city. In these videos, there are no cuts, no dialog, and no voiceover. It's just a steady-cam walking down the streets and sidewalks of Mexico City, Buenos Aires, New York, London, Lisbon, and more in one long take. There are bits of overheard conversations from businesspeople on their morning commutes and families relaxing in the park, and it's a treat when the camera ducks off the sidewalks and into a food market or a Sunday art fair. Videos tend to run about 20 minutes, although some run more than double that. John Darko John Darko dislikes audio snobs. He hates magazine clichés. He flat-out doesn't have the money to do blind tests and measure up all those crazy statistics that audiophiles love to hear when discussing stereo equipment. And he will be the first to tell you he has a different definition of high-end audio equipment. This channel is for the person who wants better sound and is willing to pay more than a few hundred bucks for it but isn't going to go on a hunger strike to afford an uber-expensive system the size of a falafel cart. Darko doesn't mince words. If he has an opinion, he gives it to you straight, and brand names or consumer hype don't seem to hold any sway. As they shouldn't. Global Cycling Network Bikes are having a moment. Everyone is using them to commute to work and run errands so they can stay off cough-covered subways and buses. Global Cycling Network leans toward road cycling, but a lot of the advice is applicable across the spectrum of mountain bikers and commuter bikers. Yes, there are discussions over the significance of uniform colors among international racers and stories of legendary racecourses, if you're into that—and maybe after some GCN, you will be—but there are also maintenance tips and advice on cycling more safely in cities, which everybody can use. 13 YouTube Channels We Geek Out Over
  11. Microsoft acknowledges bug causing YouTube playback errors on all Edge versions Microsoft has acknowledged an issue affecting all versions of the Edge browser that results in YouTube videos failing to play when AdBlock or AdBlock Plus extensions are enabled. The Redmond giant said in a Tech Community post that it investigated the possible bug based on user feedback. The problem currently affects the browser on all operating systems. Users reported being served with an error or a blank screen when trying to play videos on the YouTube website. The issue was faced by users that had the ad-blocking extensions enabled. Currently, the only workaround for the issue for those that are facing it is to disable the extensions and reload the page to play the video. The post adds that the team is working on investigating further while working on a fix. The firm is looking for users to provide feedback on whether they are seeing the error when the extension is disabled, or even without the extension installed. You can provide feedback by pressing the Shift+Alt+I keys and providing the details, or by heading to the ellipsis menu (…) > Help and feedback > Send feedback. You can also choose to send diagnostic data to help the teams check for logs. Since the issue is known to affect all, Canary, Dev, Beta, and Stable flavors of the browser on all platforms, the company could push a hotfix to all versions when a resolution is ready. For now, though, the only way for those affected to get YouTube to work is by disabling the Adblock extensions Microsoft acknowledges bug causing YouTube playback errors on all Edge versions
  12. This Cat Betrayed His Girlfriend just funniest vid ever! If we could refrain from using quotes in replies here pls?
  13. https://www.reddit.com/r/webdev/comments/gzr3cq/fyi_you_can_bypass_youtube_ads_by_adding_a_dot/
  14. YouTube took down Michael Moore’s film attacking renewable energy The film sparked a firestorm of controversy ‘Planet of the Humans’ executive producer Michael Moore with director Jeff Gibbs and producer Ozzie Zehner at the Traverse City Film Festival. Photo: Planet of the Humans The controversial film Planet of the Humans, produced by Michael Moore, was taken down from YouTube on Monday because of a copyright infringement claim. The complaint was filed by photographer Toby Smith, who was alarmed that his work was used in a film that he doesn’t support, The Guardian reports. “I don’t agree with its message and I don’t like the misleading use of facts in its narrative,” Smith said to The Guardian. A few seconds of Smith’s video, Rare Earthenware, were used in Moore’s film, which criticizes renewable energy. In a statement to The Verge, director Jeff Gibbs denied any copyright violation in his film, which garnered more than 8 million views on YouTube. “This attempt to take down our film and prevent the public from seeing it is a blatant act of censorship by political critics of Planet of the Humans,” Gibbs wrote. “It is a misuse of copyright law to shutdown a film that has opened a serious conversation about how parts of the environmental movement have gotten into bed with Wall Street.” Although sources of archival footage are credited at the end of Gibbs’ film, makers of Rare Earthenware say it doesn’t constitute fair use because “the footage has been contorted to represent a pretty un-researched and for that reason rather dangerous narrative.” The footage depicts the Shiguai coal mine in Inner Mongolia, China, and it’s used in a montage about how solar panels and wind turbines are made. In the context of the film, it seems to be used more as stock footage than an active commentary on Rare Earthenware, which could undermine Planet of the Humans’ case for fair use. “The longer it stays offline, the better for the amazing work that the environmental movement has been doing in the last 10 years,” says Liam Young, who co-founded the studio that collaborated with Smith on Rare Earthenware. Young and Smith’s film traces the materials used in electronics back to their sources. Planet of the Humans has gotten some support from PEN America, a group that advocates for free speech. “Those who take issue with the film have every right to make their concerns and arguments heard,” PEN America senior director Summer Lopez said in an April 29th statement. “But first and foremost, the public also has the essential right to view Moore’s film and make their own judgements.” A firestorm of criticism from influential environmental advocates followed the release of Planet of the Humans in April. Among other things, the film makes the dubious claim that solar and wind power are potentially as harmful to the environment as fossil fuels and that environmentalists are essentially in the pockets of renewable energy corporations. Those claims have been torn apart by environmentalists and scientists who say that the film’s assertions are misleading. “There is no perfect solution to our energy challenges. But this film does not grapple with these thorny questions; it peddles falsehoods,” Leah Stokes, UC Santa Barbara assistant professor and author of the book on clean energy Short Circuiting Policy, wrote for Vox. “The weirdly misleading nature of this thing totally explains why it’s on YouTube, nor hosted by Netflix or Hulu or Amazon, or shown in theaters, or released in partnership with a credible news organization,” climate journalist Emily Atkin wrote in her newsletter Heated on April 27th. “YouTube, after all, is a platform that’s been shown to profit off the spread of climate misinformation.” Stokes called the film “a gift to Big Oil.” It has gotten rave reviews from climate change skeptics like the oil-funded Heartland Institute, which yesterday posted a blog to its website that called Planet of the Humans “an entertaining and educational primer on the hype, phoniness, and lies behind green energy projects.” The film has already sown distrust within environmental circles. “I have no doubt that many of the people who’ve seen the film are, at the least, disheartened … My work will be at least somewhat compromised and less effective,” Bill McKibben, one of the environmentalists called out in Moore and Gibbs’ film and a founder of the green group 350.org, wrote in Rolling Stone. Planet of the Humans was also taken down from another platform, Films for Action, because of the copyright claim. Films for Action had previously temporarily removed it following a harsh letter from filmmaker Josh Fox and notable scientists and environmental activists. The full film is still up on Gibbs’ Vimeo account. Source: YouTube took down Michael Moore’s film attacking renewable energy (The Verge)
  15. Netflix is making a bunch of documentaries free on YouTube If you were waiting for a reason to watch Our Planet Several of Netflix’s nature documentaries, including the critically acclaimed Our Planet and Babies, are streaming for free on the streamer’s YouTube page. Netflix normally allows teachers to access and stream its documentaries in classrooms for various teachings, but since schools are closed right now, the company is bringing those documentaries to YouTube. This way, teachers can assign documentaries for students to watch without worrying about whether students have access to Netflix. “Each title also has educational resources available, which can be used by both students and teachers,” a press release reads, “and we’ll be doing Q&As with some of the creators behind these projects so that students can hear from them firsthand.” The 10 documentaries available for free include 13th, Abstract, Babies, Chasing Coral, Explained, Knock Down the House, Our Planet, Period. End of a Sentence, The White Helmets, and Zion. A couple of the documentaries focus on nature; others center on social issues, including poverty, racism, and systemic injustices. The education materials for each documentary can be found on Netflix’s blog. Although the documentaries are only available in English right now, Netflix’s blog states that subtitles “in more than a dozen languages will be available later this week.” Source: Netflix is making a bunch of documentaries free on YouTube (The Verge)
  16. A California federal court has dismissed a lawsuit against YouTube over 'retaliatory' copyright strikes. DJ Short-E accused YouTube of failing to process DMCA counternotices after he threatened legal action. The court, however, concluded that YouTube rightfully terminated the DJ's account as it is not required to process counter-notices under the agreed terms of service. For many content creators of YouTube, copyright strikes are a major problem. When users receive three ‘strikes’, YouTube can remove all videos, take down the channel permanently, and prevent the creator from making any new ones. This is a significant threat for those who make a decent living off the video platform including Erik Mishiyev, aka DJ Short-E, who ran two popular YouTube channels totaling over 250,000 subscribers. This achievement earned him a “Silver Creator Award” and generated $310,000 in revenue over a period of five years. However, Mishiyev’s relationship with the video platform was far from rosy. Despite having over a quarter million subscribers, the DJ felt that the views of his videos were low when compared to similar channels. When some subscribers informed him that they received no alerts for new uploads, Mishiyev contacted YouTube support. This inquiry didn’t go well and ultimately resulted in the creator supposedly threatening to take legal action against the video giant. Soon after that happened, he reported being bombarded by copyright takedowns and strikes, which effectively shut down his channels. Mishiyev believes that these takedowns were retaliation for his legal threats. And when YouTube chose not to accept his DMCA counter-notices – which he sent in an attempt to get rid of the strikes – he took YouTube to court. In a complaint filed at a federal court in California last summer, the YouTuber demanded $720,000 in compensation for lost income, among other things. In addition, he wanted to prevent YouTube from ever banning him again. At the center of the lawsuit is a breach of contract claim. Mishiyev argued that YouTube failed to live up to its duties as it failed to process his DMCA counter-notices, a point contested by the video giant. In a response filed a few weeks ago, YouTube noted that its Terms of Service allows the company to remove any content “without prior notice” and “in its sole discretion.” This agreement allows the company not to restore a video following a copyright claim, even when it is challenged. “YouTube has no obligation to ever restore that material to its service, even when a user protests, and the agreement expressly highlights its discretion not to do so,” YouTube informed the court. In other words, YouTube doesn’t have to restore content after it receives a counter-notice. It can simply ignore it, based on the agreed terms of service. This is also the conclusion reached by the court. In an order released last month, US District Court Judge William Alsup notes that users are given the opportunity to submit counter-notifications but Google is not required to act on them. “[O]nce a user submitted a counter-notice, the agreement reserved to YouTube’s sole discretion the decision to take any further action, including whether to restore the videos or even to send the counternotice to the purported copyright owner,” Judge Alsup wrote. “Thus, YouTube did not agree to act as a neutral processor of notices and counter-notices. YouTube retained control to evaluate counter-notices and infringement on its own.” Mishiyev didn’t go into detail on what grounds the notices were inaccurate. The main claim was that the videos were ‘struck’ by YouTube as retaliation. However, even if that’s true, YouTube is still not in the wrong for terminating the account. “Even taking the retaliation allegations as true, however, the complaint fails to overcome YouTube’s express right to terminate plaintiff’s account for repeat copyright infringement,” Judge Alsup notes. Based on these and several other arguments, the Judge granted YouTube’s request to dismiss the complaint. While that’s good news for the video service, the legal battle isn’t completely over yet. As highlighted by Reclaim The Net, Mishiyev, aka DJ Short-E, has appealed the decision at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Here is a copy of US District Court Judge William Alsup’s order to dismiss Mishiyev’s complaint against YouTube.. Source
  17. YouTube finally begins rolling out the Explore tab to its Android and iOS apps YouTube began testing an ‘Explore’ tab for its iOS app to improve content discovery back in July 2018. However, that feature never made it out of testing for the mobile app. That changes today as the video streaming platform announced via a Support page (spotted by AndroidPolice) that it is rolling out a change to the Android and iOS apps, that replaces the ‘Trending’ tab with the ‘Explore’ tab. The update is rolling to all users widely. In addition to the default trending videos, the ‘Explore’ tab also provides users with “destination pages” at the top of the screen. This contains links to videos for topics such as Music, Gaming, News, Movies & Shows, Fashion & Beauty, and Learning. Interestingly, there is also a ‘Trending’ page for displaying just the trending videos, similar to the trending tab that was present earlier. While scrolling through the Explore feed, users will also see sections such as “Creator on the Rise” and “Artist on the Rise”. The firm says that this section features new creators and emerging artists for users to discover. The update seems to be a server-side change and should not require a separate app update. Since the feature just began rolling out to iOS and Android users, it may be a while till all users see the update to the Trending tab. Source: YouTube finally begins rolling out the Explore tab to its Android and iOS apps (Neowin)
  18. YouTube will resume monetization for coronavirus-related content after all YouTube started demonetizing videos related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a few weeks ago in compliance with its sensitive events policy, which forbids advertising for topics that talk about "a loss of life, typically as a result of a pre-planned malicious attack". This type of content is not considered advertiser-friendly by that policy, but that's changing soon. Today, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote in a blog post that the service will restore ads for coronavirus-related content in the coming days. However, content monetization will be limited only to a number of channels including some news organizations and creators who make their content reporting transparent in accordance with YouTube's advertiser-friendly guidelines. Regarding the platform's change of heart, Wojcicki explains: "We know many of you have had questions about our sensitive events policy, which currently does not allow monetization if a video includes more than a passing mention of the coronavirus. Our sensitive events policy was designed to apply to short-term events of significant magnitude, like a natural disaster. It’s becoming clear this issue is now an ongoing and important part of everyday conversation, and we want to make sure news organizations and creators can continue producing quality videos in a sustainable way." YouTube will also expand this kind of monetization to more creators over the coming weeks as it's working to finalize the policies and enforcement processes. Wojcicki also addressed the spread of misinformation around the virus, saying that YouTube will continue removing videos that violate its policy including "those that discourage people from seeking medical treatment or claim harmful substances have health benefits". Source: YouTube will resume monetization for coronavirus-related content after all (Neowin)
  19. It’s easy if you try Fifteen years ago this month, one of the most important web domains in history was registered: youtube.com. Today’s teenagers have never known an internet that couldn’t host as much video as they want for free, server costs be damned. YouTube has helped elect politicians, create entire industries, and taught millions of people how to use eyeliner. It’s not a stretch to say it shaped the internet as we know it. But what if YouTube had failed? Would we have missed out on decades of cultural phenomena and innovative ideas? Would we have avoided a wave of dystopian propaganda and misinformation? Or would the internet have simply spiraled into new — yet strangely familiar — shapes, with their own joys and disasters? Here’s one idea of what it might have looked like, tracing the line from why YouTube might have failed to what the world would have looked like without it. It’s far from the only option — but if you’re struggling to imagine a world without YouTube, it may not be as hard as you think. This is a creative work of fiction. Any references to real-life companies, persons, or historical events have been fictionalized for the purposes of furthering this narrative story. Other names, characters, places, companies, and events are imagined, and any resemblance to actual companies, events, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. 2005–2006: The False Start A video platform fights copyright law (and copyright law wins) It’s 2005, and three guys named Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, and Chad Hurley have just launched a dating website called YouTube. While nobody accepts YouTube’s invitation to “Tune In, Hook Up,” people do love sharing pop culture clips and little videos about their lives. By 2006, YouTube’s viewership has exploded, but reporters raise ominous questions about its financial strategy and legal risks. NPR, for example, declares that “YouTube does for video what Napster did for audio” — and that, like Napster, its days might be numbered. YouTube discusses an acquisition offer with Google, Microsoft, and Oracle, but all three deals fall through, and growing server costs threaten to eat through the company’s funding. YouTube has its first viral hit in early 2006 with a bootleg upload of SNL’s “Lazy Sunday” (also known as the “Narnia rap”). Faced with an obvious copyright violation, NBC must decide whether to sign an ad deal with YouTube or try to destroy it. The network chooses the path of war, filing aggressive legal requests and rushing the launch of Hulu, which is soon available through popular websites like Microsoft’s MSN portal and News Corp’s social network Myspace. With Hulu established as a legitimate content source, networks view YouTube as a piracy vector for valuable movie and TV clips at a time when the music industry and internet service providers are aggressively pursuing copyright infringers. Companies file lawsuits against YouTube instead of signing deals, and a flood of legal challenges from content-holders threatens to damage the platform’s safe harbor status under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Without YouTube, Google focuses on its existing Google Video service. It shifts focus to expanding a recently acquired stake in AOL, reviving plans for a joint venture with Comcast. Focusing on search and advertising services for other web portals, it’s largely seen as a web software and infrastructure company. Facing high bandwidth costs and no revenue stream, YouTube declares bankruptcy. Apple quietly hires most of its talent, assigning them to an iPhone video chat system codenamed 2006–2007: The Power Vacuum Old media giants meet the influencer economy As YouTube descends into bankruptcy, media companies start buying up lower-profile video sites. Instead of letting anyone immediately post a video, these companies implement a review process and focus on nurturing stables of internet stars often poached from YouTube — including a teenage singer named Justin Bieber. The resulting services often look more like the Sony-acquired platform Grouper than the chaos of YouTube. Some leverage user-generated content into new business models, particularly NBCUniversal, which acquires a life-streaming platform called Justin.tv in 2007. Results are mixed. Sponsorship deals with “lifecasters” offer 24/7 exposure for brands but create an ongoing trickle of PR gaffes, including a Law & Order ad campaign that derails when viewers provoke a police raid on the broadcaster’s apartment. (The incident is dramatized three months later in a Law & Order episode.) Similarly, a licensing process for cosplay live streams earns criticism from fans who object to a prudish dress code and sweeping contract agreement. The incident fuels a broader discussion of the relationship between fandom and corporate media, alienating many potential streamers. NBCUniversal nudges the platform toward semi-curated reality and talent show formats. 2008–2011: The Divergence Peer-to-peer video turns the internet upside-down HostingHosting a giant streaming repository is expensive and legally risky. But there’s a free alternative: peer-to-peer sharing. Without YouTube, decentralized streaming services are developed and popularized earlier. What these systems lack in user-friendliness, they recover in anarchic fun (and a fair amount of pirated content, especially when The Pirate Bay builds a YouTube-style landing page for discovering original videos). Their distributed design makes videos easy to create and difficult to fully erase, and dedicated local networks also spring up on college campuses and high schools. As Apple’s recently released iPhone grows in popularity, the company launches FaceTime: a video calling service that supports both one-on-one chats and small-scale broadcasting. It promotes the feature with a series of heartwarming ads, including an estranged family that reconnects over a shared viewing of a high-school musical. Somewhat unpredictably, the appetite for group broadcasting drives performers and audiences to hold events in massively multiplayer games and virtual worlds, particularly Second Life, which is acquired by Microsoft in 2010. Major telecoms respond by attacking peer-to-peer systems at the network level. Some internet service providers block peer-to-peer streaming in a violation of fledgling net neutrality rules, setting up a conflict between ISPs and the Federal Communications Commission. These services find an unlikely ally in Apple, whose own FaceTime app runs into similar problems. And rampant copyright infringement alarms Hollywood and record labels, which begin lobbying Congress for stricter intellectual property laws. 2011–2012: The Crackdown Congress takes down the video underground By 2011, legitimate online video services have seen moderate success. Their submission review process, powered by a combination of automated tools and human moderators, drastically slows the posting of videos. But it heads off some serious problems, quickly stemming the growth of child abuse material and disturbing videos aimed at kids. Small-scale group broadcasting has also taken off. Public figures regularly use Apple’s group broadcasting options to host intimate discussions — including a variety of streaming stars and noted iPhone fan President Barack Obama who kicks off a virtual tour of American classrooms using FaceTime. Microsoft integrates Skype support into Second Life, letting webcam users “dial in” to virtual book readings and other live events. These systems create an expectation of intimacy and personalization as well as a certain level of privacy from outside eyes. By contrast, decentralized streaming is a free-for-all. Its openness creates a wellspring of creativity, but also persistent problems with harassment and quasi-ironic bigotry. One peer-to-peer streaming subculture is devoted almost entirely to “griefing” mainstream video sites and virtual worlds — clogging submission queues with nonsensical meme videos, launching raids on Second Life, and running elaborate hoaxes to trick celebrities into personal FaceTime and Skype broadcasts. Pirated content continues to circulate, including rips of legitimate video sites’ biggest shows. The combination of lobbyist pressure and increasingly aggressive trolling eventually spurs Congress to crack down. Lawmakers begin debating a sweeping bill called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which requires ISPs to block any foreign sites that host illegal copies of photos, videos, or music. This includes any peer-to-peer services with users outside the US. Internet advocacy groups protest SOPA, holding an online “blackout” in protest. But they lack the support of web giants like Google — its partner, Comcast, staunchly supports the bill — and peer-to-peer platforms’ reputation for unsavory content makes them easy targets for lawmakers. The law passes in 2012, and ISPs quickly block P2P streaming systems without the threat of FCC censure. The resulting crackdown scuttles some innovative projects, including a popular Lego-like game called Minecraft, which had integrated a peer-to-peer streaming system for players. And it galvanizes young voters into political awareness. Some of their enthusiasm is captured by a growing right-wing extremist movement, which has operated under the radar, thanks to decentralized video. 2013–2015: The Backlash The internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it Peer-to-peer video is increasingly inaccessible, alongside foreign streaming services like DailyMotion and Tudou, and people flock to services like FaceTime, Hulu, and Justin.tv. This sudden growth adds both technical and social pressure. Users submit swathes of popular videos like the peer-to-peer hit “Charlie Bit My Finger,” offering welcome ad revenue but requiring arduous hunts for the original creators. Griefers launch all-out swatting campaigns against live performers. AT&T attempts to justify blocking Apple’s FaceTime under SOPA, making the service unavailable to many iPhone users on its network. And as mainstream platforms face more scrutiny, disturbing reports suggest that conglomerates like Sony and NBCUniversal turned a blind eye toward streamers accused of sexual misconduct, or even offered help by suppressing rumors on their platforms. It’s especially troubling because kids’ content is thriving on the services. Children’s channels are filtered to remove disturbing content, but they’re also filled with product placement, free from the requirements placed on broadcast TV. And while their young stars have the support of a studio system, it also places strict rules on their conduct — which, combined with the always-on ethos of streaming, can prove psychologically damaging. Peer-to-peer video devotees take increasingly extreme measures to stay online. They respond to the ISP bans by developing local mesh networks that can stream video across limited ranges, creating pocket subcultures split along geographical lines. Some popular videos make the leap between meshnets. Re-edited versions of a 9/11 conspiracy documentary called Loose Change becomes a rare national hit across the meshnets, circulating throughout California and across the northern Appalachian region. Aspiring streamers flock to dense urban centers like New York and Los Angeles whose networks are still closely watched by mainstream sites’ talent scouts. (Similar scouts watch international sites, poaching stars like DailyMotion streamer Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg to host Comedy Central’s Pew.0.) Others gather in smaller cities like Kansas City, Missouri, and Akron, Ohio, creating regional media hubs colloquially known as “streamtowns.” Streamers from isolated areas with a strong survivalist tradition are often lured into a burgeoning network of far-right media compounds, intermittently monitored by the FBI. Non-video social media becomes more atomized, regionalized, and personal. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg puts a premium on encryption, declaring in 2013 that “the future is private.” (Encryption and limited virality make Facebook less attractive for both pirates and anti-piracy enforcers.) In 2014, public micro-blogging platform Twitter becomes a wire news service for verified businesses and journalists, following a widely criticized public shaming frenzy on the site. Microsoft acquires a buzzy VR startup called Oculus and integrates its technology into Second Life, offering a virtual world anchored by persistent identities and a real-money economy, although its crackdown on sexual content — particularly quirky subcultures like furries — draws some criticism. To fight griefers, mainline sites downrank and demonetize most political discussion, limiting divisive topics like vaccine denial and climate change to a handful of carefully vetted channels. Movements like Occupy Wall Street, organized through a local New York meshnet, have earned little mainstream attention. Private networks can avoid censorship but breed unverified rumors and conspiracy theories, which incubate with little outside awareness or intervention. Streaming sites begin adopting sophisticated machine learning systems and mining sensitive user data gathered by ISPs, which is made possible by consolidation deals like the 2011 merger between Comcast and NBCUniversal. Drawing on Google’s AI research, Comcast-NBCUniversal’s juggernaut Justin.tv carefully parses the most minor shifts in video performance to set advertising rates and surface content, leaving streamers at the mercy of an unknowable algorithm. 2016–2020: The Calm The internet’s immune system is weaker than we think The internet of 2016 has its critics. Media theorists question the “mind-numbing wasteland of sanitized, algorithm-driven monocultures” in which a few media gatekeepers produce limited quantities of web television for the broadest possible audience, padded with some superficially personalized elements like custom title cards that look different for each user. A housing bubble within Second Life has made the thriving virtual world inaccessible to many lower-income Americans, leading to accusations of “virtual gentrification” and debilitating digital mortgages for some unlucky residents. Even so, it’s seen as widely superior to the chaos of the meshnet, which becomes a persistent target for law enforcement after a series of violent inter-network clashes and domestic extremist attacks. With no centralized point of attack, hacking and misinformation campaigns by meshnet griefers and Russian cyber-operatives fail to land, and Hillary Clinton defeats opponent Ted Cruz by a narrow margin in the 2016 presidential election. President Clinton leads a meshnet compound crackdown with bipartisan congressional support — although ardent progressives see it as a cynical gift to the telecom industry and a substitute for meaningful gun control, while populist conservatives decry the advent of a “Waco 2.0.” The newly merged Comcast-Google-AOL-NBCUniversal offers glowing coverage and algorithmically tailored promotion of the campaign. (Disclosure: Comcast-Google-AOL-NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Vox Media.) While aimed at violent extremists, the crackdown embitters many local streamtowns, and large networks grow paranoid over fears of police infiltration. Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones rallies political support from the local Austin meshnet, running for state Congress on a platform of Texan independence. Political concerns leave other networks nearly untouched — including the Miami meshnet, a hotbed for organized crime in the swing state of Florida. Some small networks are repurposed as honeypot operations by small-time blackmailers who trawl their nodes for nude photos and other embarrassing material. Clinton’s FCC starts a massive push for municipal internet development, hoping to unify a geographically polarized country. But powerful telecom-internet-media conglomerates immediately mire the plan in litigation. As the 2020 election approaches, a superficial national calm belies a series of brewing secessionist campaigns and potent localized conspiracy theories. A DC-area network plays host to a supposed Department of Energy operative codenamed “Q” who offers dire warnings about President Clinton and a network of baby-eating satanists — warnings that Fox News promotes on the popular web version of its news channel. A grassroots “Occupy Airwaves” movement is spreading open-source plans for a long-wave transmitter that can bridge the gaps between networks, creating a full-scale decentralized alternative internet. Conversely, the wealthy Mercer family is building networks that offer the illusion of a local meshnet, laced with propaganda for their preferred candidate: Donald Trump. Amid all of this, Apple adds an extra feature to its popular FaceTime application, capitalizing on the app’s widespread popularity. It’s a geolocation-based dating tool where users can “pin” short videos to participating bars and restaurants, hoping to attract another patron on a date. It’s called FaceTime Dating. Source
  20. In three months, YouTube received nearly 110,000 appeals from creators who were frustrated that their videos were taken down — but less than a quarter were later reinstated. The data comes from YouTube’s new community guidelines report, and it marks the first time that YouTube is sharing information on appeals. One of the more frustrating aspects of working as a YouTube creator is dealing with videos erroneously being taken down by the company and having to go through YouTube’s appeal process. Creators have asked for more transparency regarding the appeals process, and today, YouTube is sharing data for the first time. YouTube says that it removed more than 5 million videos between October 2019 and December 2019. Of those videos, around 109,000 removals were appealed. YouTube reinstated around 23,000 videos, according to the report. The vast majority of those videos were removed automatically (meaning a human did not oversee the removal), and more than 60 percent were removed before the video collected any views. YouTube’s report also states that just over 2 million channels were removed. More than 80 percent of these channels were considered spam, according to the report. YouTube reinstated approximately 23,000 videos “Our team is focused on accurately and consistently enforcing our policies, and one of the ways we hold ourselves accountable and measure our success is by making sure that users can easily appeal our decisions and monitoring the rate at which they do,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Verge. Creators filed appeals on “less than two percent of the videos we removed last quarter,” according to the YouTube representative. The company “overturned less than half of one percent of videos we removed last quarter.” The report doesn’t specify how many videos were removed or taken down because of copyright infringement, one of the biggest issues within the creator space. Of the videos that were removed, more than 50 percent were for spam or deceptive practices, 15 percent were removed for child safety, and 13 percent were removed for nudity or sexually explicit content. Hateful and abusive content made up 2.9 percent of all videos removed. Just under 33,000 videos (0.6 percent) of videos were removed for cyberbullying and harassment — an area where YouTube has had to answer for over the last few years. YouTube updated its policy to prohibit creator-on-creator harassment, which became a big talking point last summer. “This is just one more step towards providing transparency into the work we do to quickly and consistently enforce our policies,” the YouTube representative said. “We’re working to add more exhibits to this report over the course of 2020.” Source
  21. Free speech online — First Amendment doesn’t apply on YouTube; judges reject PragerU lawsuit YouTube can restrict PragerU videos because it is a private forum, court rules. Enlarge YouTube / Getty / Aurich Lawson YouTube is a private forum and therefore not subject to free-speech requirements under the First Amendment, a US appeals court ruled today. "Despite YouTube's ubiquity and its role as a public-facing platform, it remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment," the court said. PragerU, a conservative media company, sued YouTube in October 2017, claiming the Google-owned video site "unlawfully censor[ed] its educational videos and discriminat[ed] against its right to freedom of speech." PragerU said YouTube reduced its viewership and revenue with "arbitrary and capricious use of 'restricted mode' and 'demonetization' viewer restriction filters." PragerU claimed it was targeted by YouTube because of its "political identity and viewpoint as a non-profit that espouses conservative views on current and historical events." But a US District Court judge dismissed PragerU's lawsuit against Google and YouTube, and a three-judge panel at the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld that dismissal in a unanimous ruling today. "PragerU's claim that YouTube censored PragerU's speech faces a formidable threshold hurdle: YouTube is a private entity. The Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government—not a private party—from abridging speech," judges wrote. PragerU claimed that Google's "regulation and filtering of video content on YouTube is 'State action' subject to scrutiny under the First Amendment." While Google is obviously not a government agency, PragerU pointed to a previous appeals-court ruling to support its claim that "[t]he regulation of speech by a private party in a designated public forum is 'quintessentially an exclusive and traditional public function' sufficient to establish that a private party is a 'State actor' under the First Amendment." PragerU claims YouTube is a "public forum" because YouTube invites the public to use the site to engage in freedom of expression and because YouTube representatives called the site a "public forum" for free speech in testimony before Congress. Hosting speech doesn’t make YouTube a state actor Appeals court judges were not convinced. They pointed to a Supreme Court case from last year in which plaintiffs unsuccessfully "tested a theory that resembled PragerU's approach, claiming that a private entity becomes a state actor through its 'operation' of the private property as 'a public forum for speech.'" The case involved public access channels on a cable TV system. The Supreme Court in that case found that "merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints." "If the rule were otherwise, all private property owners and private lessees who open their property for speech would be subject to First Amendment constraints and would lose the ability to exercise what they deem to be appropriate editorial discretion within that open forum," the Supreme Court decision last year continued. Ruling against PragerU's First Amendment claim was ultimately a "straightforward" matter, the appeals-court ruling today said: Both sides say that the sky will fall if we do not adopt their position. PragerU prophesizes living under the tyranny of big-tech, possessing the power to censor any speech it does not like. YouTube and several amicus curiae, on the other hand, foretell the undoing of the Internet if online speech is regulated. While these arguments have interesting and important roles to play in policy discussions concerning the future of the Internet, they do not figure into our straightforward application of the First Amendment. Because the state action doctrine precludes constitutional scrutiny of YouTube's content moderation pursuant to its Terms of Service and Community Guidelines, we affirm the district court's dismissal of PragerU's First Amendment claim. The judges' panel also rejected PragerU's claim that YouTube was guilty of false advertising under the Lanham Act. "YouTube's statements concerning its content moderation policies do not constitute 'commercial advertising or promotion' as the Lanham Act requires," the decision said. "Nor was YouTube's designation of certain of plaintiff's videos for Restricted Mode part of an advertising or promotion or a misrepresentation as to the videos." Judges also found that "YouTube's braggadocio about its commitment to free speech constituted opinions that are not subject to the Lanham Act." Source: First Amendment doesn’t apply on YouTube; judges reject PragerU lawsuit (Ars Technica)
  22. MediaHuman YouTube Downloader (1502) Download videos and music from YouTube and many other websites, then convert them to various file formats like MP4 or MP3, by using this simple application MediaHuman YouTube Downloader simply does what it says - downloads YouTube videos. The support for 4K and 8K videos and easy integration with iTunes allows you to get any clip and watch it everywhere. Smooth downloading of videos from many services including Twitch, Vevo.com, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Facebook, UOL, VKontakte, SoundCloud, and TikTok expands your video horizons. Smart clipboard monitoring narrows the downloading to simply copying the URL with the Ctrl+C shortcut. And the ability to extract MP3 audio tracks is helpful when you only need music, not the whole clip. MediaHuman YouTube Downloader is a useful application with a user-friendly and feature-rich environment, many output formats available, minimal usage of CPU and memory, and a good response time. Downloads several videos simultaneously Supports Ultra High resolutions including 4K & 8K (with audio) Downloads entire playlists and channels YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Soundcloud and much more Extracts audio track and saves it as MP3 Supports exporting to iTunes/Music.app Works on all modern platforms (macOS, Windows and Ubuntu) Developer Homepage: https://www.mediahuman.com/youtube-downloader Download
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  24. YouTube is a $15 billion-a-year business, Google reveals for the first time We’ve never before known how much money YouTube generates YouTube generated nearly $5 billion in ad revenue in the last three months, Google revealed today as part of parent company Alphabet’s fourth quarter earnings report. This is the first report under newly instated Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, who took over as the chief executive of the entire company late last year after co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped back from day-to-day duties and promoted Pichai, formerly Google CEO, to the top spot. The announcement marks the first time in YouTube’s nearly 15 years as a Google-owned platform, since Google bought the website in 2006 for $1.65 billion, that the company has revealed how much money YouTube-hosted ads contribute to the search giant’s bottom line. On an annual basis, Google says YouTube generated $15 billion last year and contributed roughly 10 percent to all Google revenue. Those figures make YouTube’s ad business nearly one fifth the size of Facebook’s, and more than six times larger than all of Amazon-owned Twitch. Separately, Google says YouTube has more than 20 million subscribers across its Premium (ad-free YouTube) and Music Premium offerings, as well as more than 2 million subscribers to its paid TV service. Alphabet says revenues from those products are bundled into the “other” category, which made $5.3 billion last quarter and also includes hardware like Pixel phone and Google Home speakers. That makes it hard to gauge the specific performance of any one product bundled under that category. Overall, Alphabet made $46 billion in revenue in the quarter that ended December 31st, 2019, a 17 percent jump over 2018. Nearly $10.7 billion of that was profit, the company says. Google’s search business remains the big moneymaker of Alphabet’s sprawling empire, earning $27.2 billion for the quarter. But alongside YouTube ad revenue, Google is also disclosing the financial performance of its cloud computing division. Google Cloud made $2.6 billion in revenue for the quarter, the report reveals. That means Google massively beat Wall Street expectations on profit, but missed on revenue. That could be one reason why Google may be disclosing YouTube and Google Cloud revenues for the first time. To appease investors, it’s important for Google to remind onlookers that its business isn’t solely dependent on its search engine, and that it has fast-growing and separate businesses like YouTube and its cloud computing division to pick up the slack. Google Search generated an eye-popping $98.1 billion in 2019, the company says, but that’s just a 15 percent increase over 2018. YouTube, on the other hand, grew from $11.2 billion in 2018 to $15.15 billion last year, a 36.5 percent jump. That said, a revenue miss of this magnitude for Alphabet means investors were not pleased, and Alphabet stock is now down more than 4 percent in after-hours trading. Source: YouTube is a $15 billion-a-year business, Google reveals for the first time (The Verge)
  25. YouTube commits to remove misinformation ahead of Iowa caucus YouTube is committing to remove misinformation ahead of the Iowa caucus on Monday, reiterating its pledge to take down videos aimed at misleading or confusing voters ahead of the pivotal first nominating contest of the 2020 election cycle. The Google-owned video giant is bracing itself for an onslaught of viral falsehoods and manipulated video footage as the Democratic presidential candidates face off in the key battleground state. All of the top social media platforms, including YouTube, have spent four years building up their defenses against election interference after Russian trolls successfully used social networks like Facebook and Twitter to sow discord online, bolstering then-candidate Donald Trump's campaign for the White House in 2016. "As the 2020 election season kicks into high gear in the United States, people will visit YouTube to learn about the candidates and watch the election season unfold," Leslie Miller, YouTube's vice president of government affairs and public policy, wrote in a blog post published Monday. "Over the last few years, we’ve increased our efforts to make YouTube a more reliable source for news and information, as well as an open platform for healthy political discourse," Miller wrote. YouTube is specifying it won't allow videos that spread lies about where or when to vote, nor will it allow videos that promote misinformation about whether particular candidates are eligible to run. The company said it specifically won't allow videos that advance "claims that a candidate is not eligible to hold office based on false information about citizenship status requirements to hold office in that country" — a thinly-veiled reference to the "birther" conspiracy theory that dogged former President Obama's presidential campaign. YouTube, which has faced criticism for pushing its users towards fringe conspiracy theories and sensationalistic content, noted that it is working to direct users towards reputable and accurate information. It will be lifting up facts about the political candidates throughout the election season, the company said, and it's working to direct users away from any content that could violate its community guidelines. All of the social media platforms are on high alert on Monday as the 2020 presidential election begins in earnest, raising fresh concerns around how people will use their platforms to stoke anxieties and spread outright falsehoods in a sensitive election year. Since 2016, lawmakers and regulators alike have placed Big Tech under the microscope, blaming their powerful and far-reaching networks for intensifying divisions in a fractured country. And the companies are working overtime to prove they will react faster and defend the "public conversation" more efficiently as 2020 barrels ahead. Source
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