KIDEODROME: scary "Kid's Youtube" algorithms, fringe programming, insert conspiracy theory here

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I think this first came up on the I Love People-Making board in response to this:

https://medium.com/@jamesbridle/something-is-wrong-on-the-internet-c39c471271d2

for discussion there, see this thread:

execrable children's programming pox

then there was also some discussion on the alt-right thread starting here:

the alt-right

in short, wtf, the internet is eating itself and going insane

sleeve, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 02:43 (three months ago) Permalink

any search-friendly tweaks to the thread title are welcome

sleeve, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 02:44 (three months ago) Permalink

how about "Superheroes Learn Colors Fun Babies Elsa Venom Finger Family Nursery Rhymes Apocalyptic Dystopia"

marcos, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 02:57 (three months ago) Permalink

i can't really handle learning about this thing

brimstead, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 02:59 (three months ago) Permalink

huge empathy to parents

brimstead, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 02:59 (three months ago) Permalink

is that a patronizing post? i just want to give hugs to parents, i feel for you having to deal with the frickin INTERNET and "PHONES"

brimstead, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 03:00 (three months ago) Permalink

Idk i just dont give my kids phones/youtube access, it isnt that hard

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 03:43 (three months ago) Permalink

this is on ile it's a point and gawk thread

brimstead, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 03:52 (three months ago) Permalink

Is this also thread where we post the cream of the crop from thos exciting new genre?

Moodles, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 03:57 (three months ago) Permalink

*this

Moodles, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 03:57 (three months ago) Permalink

sure! click at your own risk

sleeve, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 03:59 (three months ago) Permalink

there was a time when we let our son have access to an ipad half supervised as he watched various kids songs videos (of the dumb but mostly innocuous variety) and then autoplay turned up something where one crude cartoon stabbed the other and that was the end of that phase, internet disabled on that.

Men's Scarehouse - "You're gonna like the way you're shook." (m bison), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 04:42 (three months ago) Permalink

this would have been about two years ago, i think. thankfully he didnt really have any frame of reference of what he saw, though he did ask about it a couple of times afterwards which we shooed away fairly successfully. anyway, fuck the internet, an actually terrible thing humans invented.

Men's Scarehouse - "You're gonna like the way you're shook." (m bison), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 04:43 (three months ago) Permalink

My daughter was watching a 2+hr compilation video of Caillou a few years ago and the last scene or so was a demonic voice saying crazy shit. I ran in from the other room (Caillou is painful to be around), and quickly shut it off. I'm not sure if that's what is happening on these videos, but luckily she's just into slime / toy unboxing videos now.

brotherlovesdub, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 05:00 (three months ago) Permalink

fwiw the article initially referenced goes into the unboxing videos, be careful with the way the algorithms switch to other videos after one is over

sleeve, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 05:05 (three months ago) Permalink

CBeebies is our uk saviour.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 05:34 (three months ago) Permalink

Gigglebiz counts as one of these ime

kinder, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 08:07 (three months ago) Permalink

Okay cool so basically if I ever have a kid I'm going to have to move to an island with no Internet access until they're 18.

louise ck (milo z), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 08:44 (three months ago) Permalink

Finally found the Medium post I referred to in the other threa. Unfortunately, it's in Dutch. The pics will tell you a good part of the story though, esp the weird coded comments on YT. Nasty stuff: https://medium.com/@BryonAdams5/de-kinderkanalen-op-youtube-onschuldig-elsagate-59e6d315b654

Le Bateau Ivre, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:49 (three months ago) Permalink

the youtube kids video article is interesting but i think it stops a step short of capturing why these videos are disturbing to kidshttps://t.co/cIgyHbFoc9

— Normaler Things (@Cam_Oflage) November 6, 2017

Speaking of conspiracy...I get that you should be concerned if your child is being exposed to unwanted violence or explicit content. However saying that it should be avoided because it is so far removed from the guiding hand of its creators is a step too far for me. It’s the whole appeal to nature; since the creation method is not sufficiently natural/organic for this person, it obviously is nefarious. These videos aren’t going to brainwash your child. No more than Teletubbies did, Spongebob did, or any other cartoon that has annoyed parents throughout the ages.

Jeff, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 11:37 (three months ago) Permalink

Click tweet to read thread, obvs.

Jeff, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 11:38 (three months ago) Permalink

Sorry if this is covered in the thread, can't open it, but surely the point isn't that algorithms are inherently bad, more that they encourage rather than supress disturbing images, and the alternative - teletubbies or whatever - has been designed by educational psychologists to support not just learning but emotional development and socialisation. 'Brain washing' is an emotional term with an obvious inherent bias to it and IMO not helpful in most arguments.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 12:00 (three months ago) Permalink

I couldn't quite work out which videos were automated and which were homemade trolly 4chan things? Like - is the video creation itself automatic, or is it that the algorithms are dictating editorial?

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 13:40 (three months ago) Permalink

(Or that editorial is gaming the algorithms.)

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 13:40 (three months ago) Permalink

https://youtu.be/8ZzxbDPwD9Y?t=5m6s

yeah ok these get pretty dark

frogbs, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 14:31 (three months ago) Permalink

Need to create a kids' ILE as a safe space.

Slime C/D
Dorothy The POLLnosaur (voting ends in 5 days)

Eazy, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 14:38 (three months ago) Permalink

but yea this stuff is like "I Don't Want My Pizza Burnin" combined with @horse_ebooks except aimed entirely at kids

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERXq3r1Kq0Q

frogbs, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 14:44 (three months ago) Permalink

The Dutch article has me properly creeped out and no mistake

stet, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 17:22 (three months ago) Permalink

it lost me on the 20-step code breaking shit at the end but the videos mentioned look profoundly disturbing especially considering many of them have view counts in the millions

marcos, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 17:27 (three months ago) Permalink

That's the weird part to me as well. These things sometimes have more than 10 million views! The ones with children acting are partic disturbing.

Le Bateau Ivre, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 17:33 (three months ago) Permalink

are they gaming the counts somehow, like through bots?

sleeve, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 17:33 (three months ago) Permalink

Reminds me a bit of Halloween III.

Eazy, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 17:37 (three months ago) Permalink

I see from that dutch article that Pobosiec is pushing this on twitter, thus tying it back to the alt-right discussion.

cosmic brain dildo (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 17:41 (three months ago) Permalink

Those Bad Baby live action ones, which I think are Russian, are very strange and silly. I don't know if they would seem as weird to Russians or not.

Moodles, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 17:51 (three months ago) Permalink

This has really consumed my thoughts and bummed me out for a few days. I think we've spent the last 10 years of internet completely dominated by the twin ideologies of "the free market is good" and "tech means innovation." Both of which, as it turned out, are patently untrue.

I really see this as an economic/capitalism issue more than anything. Imagine being a poor single parent exhausted from working two jobs or, even worse, having to bring your kid to your night job because no one can watch them. No one with a shred of empathy would blame that person for wanting to hand their phone to their kid and say "please keep yourself occupied." The problem is that owning, say, a digital copy of a season of Peppa Pig is like $12.99 on iTunes or Google Play. Or Sesame Street costs $14.99 or whatever a month to stream on HBO. A Disney Movie is whatever, $12.99 HD or something. The easiest thing to do is end up on YouTube where users upload versions of these things for free. Jobs are paying less, people are struggling more and there's decreasing incentive for someone on a small income to actually do these things through the legal channels.

Now, for the middle and upper classes I think it's more a culture of tech snobbishness that reminds me of the FAG BUYS MUSIC cartoon circulating a few years ago when this was mostly a music problem.

And the fact that YouTube/Google not only ENCOURAGES this, but PROFITS off it, is a disgusting failure. It reminds me of Uber or something where they just broke the fucking law until it became part of society and then everyone just throws up their hands and says "what can you do." This entire thing is a product of the free market, but we're all a little complicit. It's all very saddening and just once more proof that we live in a disgusting dystopia where white libertarian tech bros are going to start dictating government policy in about 10 years if not sooner

"the fgti incident?" (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 17:57 (three months ago) Permalink

wow @ that Dutch article, y'all weren't kidding about some of that

what exactly is the point of all this? does this sort of content do better with Youtube's algorithms or do they think that kids will seek that out, much like a 12-year old peeking at rotten.com ? or is there something more nefarious there? this seems like a different phenomenon than the AI-generated Animals for Kids videos

frogbs, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 17:59 (three months ago) Permalink

xpost to me

And, you know, it takes beaming uncanny valley violence into the brains of unsuspecting children for everyone to see that the last decade of the economy has been leading up to this, and we've all been living this on a macro level in ways we didn't really notice. "You know, Fox turned into a hardcore sex channel so gradually, I didn't even notice"

"the fgti incident?" (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:02 (three months ago) Permalink

xp from the alt-right thread:

want to rescind my earlier comments about how this is more market failure than child abuse. I've seen some more Animals For Kids videos that can only be described as intentionally created to harm young children. the sections with guns. these people aren't getting a Nickelodeon show, hopefully they'll be exposed and held to account.

evidently on youtube kids until recently, millions of hits. profoundly upsetting. there's a very, very good reason Bridle didn't link. I'd unwatch if I could.

― Milton Parker, Tuesday, November 7, 2017 6:09 PM

sleeve, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:03 (three months ago) Permalink

we have friends who work at home and they don't really engage w/their six yr old much, they hand her an iPad and let her go to town. when i bring our kid over for a play date, she always wants to watch something on the iPad. at dinner she wants to prop the iPad up and watch something. we went over there another time and she was crying inconsolably for an hour bc she wasn't allowed to use the iPad before we arrived. she's learned to buy apps on the iPad. our kid gets bored there now because he wants to play, and she just wants to watch the iPad. she watches a million unboxing videos too.

omar little, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:08 (three months ago) Permalink

:(

sleeve, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:16 (three months ago) Permalink

As somebody who was freaked out by the opening credits of Wall Street Week as a kid, just thinking about what I would have turned into with a steady diet of this pure incoherence is terrifying

I don't really want to live in a world where this is unregulated and we just let the algos do their thing. How the people who produce this and the people who enable it can sleep at night, I can't imagine

Brakhage, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:18 (three months ago) Permalink

I'm sure most of the people who work at YouTube and Google sleep just fine

"the fgti incident?" (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:20 (three months ago) Permalink

Basically, never allow your kids access to any part of the internet featuring any content created/uploaded by the general public, I guess?

Bernard Crunderdunder (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:23 (three months ago) Permalink

I mean it's pretty well established that the anonymity of the internet allows people to be unfiltered id monsters.

Bernard Crunderdunder (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:25 (three months ago) Permalink

I'm surprised by my visceral reaction too. Part of me wonders if it's overblown. If I was a teen, finding masses of bad-trip nonsense videos would have been hilarious. Now that I'm older I can't really be sanguine about it. It makes me despair that we've decided that if you can make money manipulating a system we depend on for more and more things in life, everything's ok. At some point you have to seize the reins, regulate, and stop people doing what is the equivalent of dumping dioxin into water mains

Brakhage, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:33 (three months ago) Permalink

When I was 7 or 8, my mom cancelled pay cable after she saw me watching hair metal videos and Children of the Corn ... the thing that I saw that was the most disturbing was a documentary on Nostradamus' prophecies that was on PBS or something though. ... I think this thing is creepy like Halloween 3 (as mentioned upthread), but I don't see any real difference from unsupervised tv watching that was a touchstone of the Gen X latchkey kid era.

sarahell, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:34 (three months ago) Permalink

Idk - I wonder if there have been scientific studies done on children to see whether seeing this stuff has real developmental consequences, or whether this is mostly a case of parents instinctively wanting to protect kids from bad things.

sarahell, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:38 (three months ago) Permalink

i think part of the issue here is that the target audience is in the 1-4 range, not 7-8, also see Milton's post above re: content

sleeve, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:40 (three months ago) Permalink

never allow your kids access to any part of the internet featuring any content created/uploaded by the general public, I guess?

p much. I have no problem w this.

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:40 (three months ago) Permalink

I wonder if there have been scientific studies done on children to see whether seeing this stuff has real developmental consequences

too soon to know, I'd assume?

Simon H., Wednesday, 8 November 2017 18:41 (three months ago) Permalink

its not hard to have the thing just play Sesame Street videos for example

you are perhaps overestimating the computer-literacy of the average person.

new noise, Friday, 10 November 2017 19:51 (three months ago) Permalink

posts indicating that the creepiest thing about these videos is not necessarily their violence (for the most part) or whatever but more the fact they are bizarre lifeless inhuman simulacra seem right to me. i mean plenty of cartoon network shit, to my adult eyes, seems totally bizarre and wacky and often violent or grotesque but still seem pretty different from the stuff mentioned in these articles.

I really dunno about this part, much as I agree w/ the rest of your post - I mean, within the world of kid's animation Cartoon Network is a class act! Have you seen Foodfight or Rapsittie Street Kids? Those are closer to a point of comparison for these auto-generated vids, I think - and while they're certainly disturbing and fascinating in their own ways, I don't think they provoke the same reaction, because they don't have the actual terrible content.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 10 November 2017 19:59 (three months ago) Permalink

Another thing I was thinking about was, like, how even when kids were/are watching the most bottom-barrel Clutch Cargo/He-Man/Paw Patrol whatever thing that just exists to sell toys and make ad revenue, there's still, like THINGS they can learn. Like how a story is told, or how emotions are translated, or how people interact with one another, or words they don't know or whatever. There's none of that in "a pair of hands opens an egg"

"the fgti incident?" (Whiney G. Weingarten), Friday, 10 November 2017 20:03 (three months ago) Permalink

Well... They learn what's inside the egg.

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Friday, 10 November 2017 20:04 (three months ago) Permalink

lol

marcos, Friday, 10 November 2017 20:05 (three months ago) Permalink

Don’t mess with He-Man, I’ll break you.

Jeff, Friday, 10 November 2017 20:11 (three months ago) Permalink

Another thing I was thinking about was, like, how even when kids were/are watching the most bottom-barrel Clutch Cargo/He-Man/Paw Patrol whatever thing that just exists to sell toys and make ad revenue, there's still, like THINGS they can learn. Like how a story is told, or how emotions are translated, or how people interact with one another, or words they don't know or whatever. There's none of that in "a pair of hands opens an egg"

The unpacking videos really bother me way more than just random weird stuff for the most part. It's what made me stop my kids from watching youtube. Young kids can learn so much and can be so creative and it feels like when they watch this stuff it just turns them into mindless zombies.

silverfish, Friday, 10 November 2017 20:15 (three months ago) Permalink

Anyway, lately I've been trying to get my daughter to watch more stuff on tv rather than directly on the tablet. I get to see what she's watching and for whatever reason it just seems to encourage more active/critical viewing.

silverfish, Friday, 10 November 2017 20:17 (three months ago) Permalink

There is a series of videos made by a guy who collects all of the Thomas and Friends trains where he lines them all up on the floor and names them. We stumbled across it on Youtube and it full-on MESMERIZED my kids to the point where I was thinking "is there a subliminal message here that I am missing? I am going to wake up to one of them gently sliding a knife into my eye while intoning 'Thomas. Edward. Henry. Gordon. James. Percy. Toby. (etc)'?"

I think they watched this video twice and afterward they knew the name of literally every single character that popped up on Thomas and Friends, including ones they hadn't seen before.

Interestingly, after watching this video they also could count to 10 without skipping numbers and started recognizing lowercase letters as well as uppercase letters. There are weird side-effects to everything they consume at a young age.

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Friday, 10 November 2017 20:18 (three months ago) Permalink

"unpacking the unpacking videos" is a doctoral thesis just waiting to happen.

sleeve, Friday, 10 November 2017 20:19 (three months ago) Permalink

you are perhaps overestimating the computer-literacy of the average person.

you don't really have to be. if you play 5-6 Sesame Street videos, that's all you're gonna get

frogbs, Friday, 10 November 2017 20:21 (three months ago) Permalink

man i fucking have this dumb "daddy fingers daddy fingers where are you" jingle in my head all the damn time now

marcos, Friday, 10 November 2017 21:42 (three months ago) Permalink

genuinely sorry!

sleeve, Friday, 10 November 2017 21:42 (three months ago) Permalink

I have inflicted "Johnny Johnny/Yes Papa" onto multiple people and I don't feel one bit of remorse; if I'm suffering, everyone around me is going down, too.

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Friday, 10 November 2017 21:43 (three months ago) Permalink

It was tough going for me when I first saw it due to this story breaking but the adorable "drinking beer?" variant described in this thread has made it a welcome earworm.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 10 November 2017 23:06 (three months ago) Permalink

There is a series of videos made by a guy who collects all of the Thomas and Friends trains where he lines them all up on the floor and names them. We stumbled across it on Youtube and it full-on MESMERIZED my kids to the point where I was thinking "is there a subliminal message here that I am missing? I am going to wake up to one of them gently sliding a knife into my eye while intoning 'Thomas. Edward. Henry. Gordon. James. Percy. Toby. (etc)'?"

I think they watched this video twice and afterward they knew the name of literally every single character that popped up on Thomas and Friends, including ones they hadn't seen before.

Interestingly, after watching this video they also could count to 10 without skipping numbers and started recognizing lowercase letters as well as uppercase letters. There are weird side-effects to everything they consume at a young age.

Yep yep here too. Btw you are going to be this guy when you're older :)
Mine can recognise all the various iterations even in real life - he saw a plastic version of one of them attached to a Thomas magazine and then another time in a thrift store saw the same one and told me which shop we saw it in originally.

Lol at people going 'well why don't they watch something else/do drawing' - he's 2, he knows what he wants and something else/drawing is not it. Of course I don't have to give him what he wants but that's different from 'just show him the properly franchised tv show that actually has decent story-telling that surely anyone sane would prefer' (sadly). He knows most alphabet/letters stuff which has entirely come from Youtube because I didn't try and teach him it so young and on the whole is pretty good at picking up stuff from the videos we do let him watch. But the lack of control I have over what appears next/on the sidebar etc is frustrating as hell. I have to check I'm there at the end of each video if I need to go and make dinner in a different room. His screen time has always been fairly limited but kids are brilliant at pushing these things ("Oh! I could watch a Thomas while you make tea! That's a good idea, isn't it mummy?").

kinder, Friday, 10 November 2017 23:42 (three months ago) Permalink

He doesn't get US accents so calls e.g. 'Talking Gordon's Tender' "carcking Gordon's tender"

kinder, Friday, 10 November 2017 23:43 (three months ago) Permalink

I work in a shoe shop and we often get in a lot of upset children who can't stop crying and screaming. I would say at least once a day I turn to my tablet, load up Youtube and type in Peppa Pig or Thomas The Tank Engine and give it to the child for five mins for distraction while we pull off the shoes and try to get the feet measured. At two or three years old they're old enough to start clicking on the sidebar recommendations, by accident or intent. I don't really have any young kids in my life orbit outside of work but I imagine this kind of thing happens when you take a toddler to the doctor or for a haircut or any new, stressful situation where the person who is about to cause the child stress will panic and worry and use Youtube as a source of relief and distraction. So it isn't just "parents should give their child a colouring book" - screens are out there in the wild. I try to be careful and encourage my staff to be too - one time we had a very close encounter when someone accidentally loaded up Thomas The Dank Engine and sat in front of a child. This stuff is scary.

boxedjoy, Saturday, 11 November 2017 08:49 (three months ago) Permalink

seems like it would be easier and safer to install the nickjr app, pbskids app, or just the youtube kids app. it would require far less vigilance. to be really safe, just download a few innocuous videos and put the tablet in airplane mode so they don't inadvertently browse to something else.

also, do you ask parents if it's okay first?

piezoelectric landlord (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 11 November 2017 12:06 (three months ago) Permalink

I went to do dinner last night with some family including my two nieces. I made a vague comment about YouTube clamping down on kids content, and my 13-year-old niece, who has a tendency for browsing inappropriate content was immediately like "oh you mean pregnant Elsa and Spiderman?"

Moodles, Saturday, 11 November 2017 14:28 (three months ago) Permalink

never heard of it before but lol @ "Thomas the Dank Engine"

marcos, Saturday, 11 November 2017 16:13 (three months ago) Permalink

Thomas the Dank Engine was an early discovery that made me go “welp the internet is annoying and terrible”

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Saturday, 11 November 2017 18:07 (three months ago) Permalink

was ILX the next discovery that led to that deduction?

akm, Saturday, 11 November 2017 18:15 (three months ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLJM5lHwql0

omar little, Saturday, 11 November 2017 18:18 (three months ago) Permalink

the tablets are work-provided and so you can't really do things like install and modify apps unfortunately. And we need them to be connected fully cos we use them to eg check other stores stock levels. We always ask the parents and make it clear what we're doing and we've never had any issues with it - most parents are just relieved we have something to help placate. A lot of parents will beat us to it and have their phone on Youtube when they arrive too. We have a young boy who regularly comes in who is autistic and used to really struggle with the experience, but once his mother told me that he loves the London Underground we always make sure to have a video of the trains loaded up for him to watch when he sits down, and it's so much less stressful - for him, for his mother and for us.

boxedjoy, Saturday, 11 November 2017 18:43 (three months ago) Permalink

I mean, generally it's a useful tool. But sometimes you see those sticky fingers reaching into the sidebar. In my branch I don't let the guys use Youtube for anything other than this and we don't log in or anything, but I've heard horror stories from other shops where people have been using the tablets to stream music via Youtube and then the recommendations have been explicit and innappropriate.

boxedjoy, Saturday, 11 November 2017 18:45 (three months ago) Permalink

boxedjoy, okay, if you can't install apps, I would note that a tablet that can browse to YouTube.com can also browse to:

http://pbskids.org/video/ (Dinosaur Train, Curious George, Thomas)

http://www.nickjr.com/videos/ (Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Bubble Guppies)

http://disneyjunior.disney.com/video (Mickey Mouse, Handy Manny, Octonauts)

As well as

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/videos/
https://jr.brainpop.com/
https://www.wbkidsgo.com

Honestly some folx itt view the options as:

1. Eternal hawk-eyed vigilance
2. Nonstop pregnant Elsa beheadings

When that simply isn't the case. Look, I know YouTube is a popular and familiar interface but it's not the only path to children's entertainment.

piezoelectric landlord (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 12 November 2017 08:38 (three months ago) Permalink

this is great stuff thank you so much! As I only encounter kids through work and not in my direct real life this stuff often passes me by (I still don't get what actually happens in Paw Patrol) so I would never have thought to look at these sources, this is so useful and appreciated.

boxedjoy, Sunday, 12 November 2017 19:41 (three months ago) Permalink

Buzzfeed has been investigating the videos with staged or otherwise abuse of kids

Content warning here: there are screen grabs from the videos in the post

https://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/youtube-is-addressing-its-massive-child-exploitation-problem

stet, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 20:26 (three months ago) Permalink

how the hell do these get so many views? is this really just kids letting their curiosity get the best of them, clicking a scary-looking video, and then falling into the algorithm?

frogbs, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 20:36 (three months ago) Permalink

bots

you had better come correct (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 22 November 2017 21:07 (three months ago) Permalink

yea but if it's a bot ring, why even bother making a video like this at all? surely there's a way to abuse YouTube's algorithms that doesn't involve having to film stuff like this

frogbs, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 21:08 (three months ago) Permalink

Okay then how about all the curious adults who have been reading about OMG Horrid Kid YouTubes for the last several weeks

you had better come correct (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 23 November 2017 00:32 (three months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

on the one hand it sucks that YouTube's takedown/demonitization protocol is so arbitrary. if Baby Alive poop explosion videos are no longer permissible, then YouTube should give pooptubers explicit feedback re: why their content is being deleted (and update its policy to reflect its new standards) rather than leaving them guessing as to what they've done wrong.

The father of two, who asked to use a pseudonym for fear of retaliation from YouTube, left a job with a six-figure salary to make YouTube videos of his young kids.

---

Davey Orgill, who left his job to make superhero parody videos that initially featured his kids, said that his channel “Kids Try,” had 2 million subscribers when it was shut down around Thanksgiving.

but on the other hand it's hard to feel too much pity for parents who are irresponsible enough to quit their jobs to focus on their "YouTube careers". I'm pretty sure 99% of these YouTubers aren't actively catering to pedophiles/fetishists, but I'm also pretty sure 99% of them are incapable of putting the best interests of their children ahead of their own risky business ventures. the defenses in that article basically amount to "I don't abuse my kids, I just exploit them for clicks!" which is decidedly nagl unless your standards for parenting are abysmally low.

jesus and figs and science and the foo fighters (unregistered), Tuesday, 12 December 2017 00:18 (two months ago) Permalink

my 3-year-old niece spends a ton of time on the iPad, but I can't come up with a way to bring up these issues with my sister without coming off as a alarmist/paranoiac ("oh hey so there's this huge expose about youtube kids on medium.com. it's in Dutch but you can get the gist of it just by looking at the pictures. you might want to ignore the spooky numbers stations stuff toward the end tho")

the last time I babysat her, she was watching a bunch of videos about a girl who travels around the world trying to find a place to pee. in retrospect I was afraid it might be some kideodrome shit, but apparently it's a Disney Junior series so nvm

jesus and figs and science and the foo fighters (unregistered), Tuesday, 12 December 2017 00:25 (two months ago) Permalink

Booming posts. It's what grates the most, reading that buzzfeed thing:

but I'm also pretty sure 99% of them are incapable of putting the best interests of their children ahead of their own risky business ventures.

The complete lack of self-reflection, heck even second guessing their motives, from these makers is pretty staggering. The shrugging "hey we just fed the algorithm to make a good buck; it's youtube not updating their codes of conduct or sending an email that's the real problem here" is def nagl. (this could be because buzzfeed decidedly aimed at the bzznzz angle here, which is terrible reporting imo).

In a broader sense: yt did create a monster. But it's nothing to do with "algorithm", which makes it unjustly sound 'savvy'; it becomes an excuse "it's the AI mang, we just feed it"). I expect this defense to be called to the stand many more times in the near future. But it's not the algorithm that is to blame, it's the jekyll and hide's who resurrect it. It's not a monster we don't know yet. The monster is called capitalism. YT will go as far as it cynically can to cash money. Don't expect their users to be any different.

♫ very clever with maracas.jpg ♫ (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 12 December 2017 00:39 (two months ago) Permalink

I love how much of this thread is 'this is viscerally terrifying' "actually it's fine" 'how will we protect our children' "its not even hard to do"

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 12 December 2017 00:57 (two months ago) Permalink

haha I'm glad you saw this, some classic ILX dynamics going on earlier for sure

so weird how that Buzzfeed article is totally sympathetic to those poor YT bloggers making 10K+ a month with their fucked up videos, maybe they should have saved some of that money? sure YT could be clearer, but man the tone really grates on me there

sleeve, Tuesday, 12 December 2017 01:14 (two months ago) Permalink

Hoos, all those things are true simultaneously.

didgeridon't (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 12 December 2017 01:15 (two months ago) Permalink

but I'm also pretty sure 99% of them are incapable of putting the best interests of their children ahead of their own risky business ventures.

SO MUCH of this going on in much more squeaky clean corners of YouTube, too.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 12 December 2017 11:38 (two months ago) Permalink

kind of a diff issue but everyone should be much more cautious and strict about putting images of their kids onto social media platforms, period

https://privacysos.org/blog/the-kids-arent-alright-with-you-putting-their-photos-online/

https://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2016/03/08/dont-post-about-me-on-social-media-children-say/

they can't and don't consent to having an exhaustive gallery of themselves stored in places they can't control

goole, Wednesday, 13 December 2017 21:28 (two months ago) Permalink

i mean, the only thing i *like* about FB is pics of other people's kids, but this is something that worries me!

goole, Wednesday, 13 December 2017 21:29 (two months ago) Permalink

“We saw channels grow to five to ten times our size in a matter of weeks or several months, all because the algorithm was out of control and irresponsible,” he said. “All creators knew this was happening and started trying to integrate trends into their content. How can anyone blame them?"

for fucks sake

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Wednesday, 13 December 2017 21:32 (two months ago) Permalink

they can't and don't consent to having an exhaustive gallery of themselves stored in places they can't control

i used to find it hard to believe that people didn't understand this but then i heard about farhad manjoo and his reasons for installing surveillance cameras to record everything that happens in the common areas of his house. I finally realized that some (many?) people can't see past their own blinders when it comes to images/having one's image captured/being on or off camera.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 14 December 2017 01:07 (two months ago) Permalink

i've put a few photos of my kids on insta. it's not "exhaustive" just a few nice shots. they know about it and are stoked actually. it makes them feel noticed and powerful. i haven't thought about it too much but if their feelings change and they want me to take them down i assume we'll have a conversation about it and i'll take them down.

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 14 December 2017 09:35 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's a conversation I need to have with my kids too.

I guess around 15% of my (private) IG is photos of my daughters, and around a third of my Flickr stream (those albums are restricted to Friends & Family). I occasionally post pics of them on FB (again, "Friends" only). Back in the days when I would actually tweet (obv public), it was often (fairly oblique, non-specific, hopefully funny) kids-said-and-did-stuff. *That's* the stuff they could be embarrassed about, I guess, rather than the 2yo-face-full-of-pesto pics.

I've also posted photos and anecdotes in this place, and you're all lunatics, so that's bad.

They know Daddy is always going to have a camera at the ready, and they're ok with that, but they should have more (some!) say in what I do with the results.

Michael Jones, Thursday, 14 December 2017 10:53 (two months ago) Permalink

I use a private smugmug website to give family/friends access, to avoid posting pictures on social media. Still I throw a few highlights on my private insta. Never posted a picture of my child on facebook.

Jeff, Thursday, 14 December 2017 11:37 (two months ago) Permalink

There are a few pics of my son I've put on FB, but increasingly fewer. They're pretty much all flattering to him, I think. But if he wants them down in later years there'll be no argument from me. A small set are private on Flickr for family members; all the rest are shared privately via the iOS photos app so that relatives can keep in touch.

I've mostly gone analogue recently too, so some have been sent in the post, classic-style

stet, Thursday, 14 December 2017 12:23 (two months ago) Permalink

With my kids, I've definitely found that starting at about age 4, they are old enough to have a basic understanding of what social media is. We ask before putting any of their pictures up (they often say "no"). Even then, it's never public.

We share stuff with relatives/friends through google photos.

silverfish, Thursday, 14 December 2017 16:27 (two months ago) Permalink


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