Sunday, March 23, 2014

YouTube Invites 200 "Super Flaggers" To Police Videos

YouTube has invited a select group of snitches. About 200 of them. Government agencies, organizations and individuals who have the power to flag videos (up to 20 in one go) and, as a result, take down someone's channel.

Apparently the YouTube team that monitors videos 24/7 doesn't have the time to catch all the ones someone in Google-land deems inappropriate, so they they have added these "super flaggers." YouTube will then review those flagged videos, 90% of which get dumped or given restricted access.

Some of the government agencies include the British police unit who are on the lookout for extremist videos which are not allowed on YouTube, but which are plentiful.

"We have a zero-tolerance policy on YouTube towards content that incites violence," YouTube told the Financial Times. "Our community guidelines prohibit such content and our review teams respond to flagged videos around the clock, routinely removing videos that contain hate speech or incitement to commit violent acts. To increase the efficiency of this process, we have developed an invite-only program that gives users who flag videos regularly tools to flag content at scale."

According to Google, less than 10 of those flaggers are affiliated with a government agency or NGO. Apparently, the rest are just people who have plenty of time on their hands to spend flagging videos.

One of the casualties of these super flaggers was Mark Dice, at least that's what Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange thinks might have happened.  Dice's YouTube channel was taken down without warning. Mark Dice is a loony conspiracy theorist (as is Rudkowski, though they differ on some issues), but Dice made some interesting man-on-street videos proving just how stupid the average Democratic voter is, here and here.

Rudkowski discusses the situation in his latest video.

On the one hand, freedom of speech is one of our inalienable rights, but do we give lunatics and terrorists a public voice? Do we keep these people in the public eye so they can be monitored, or do we drive them further underground? I'm not sure how I feel about this.

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