YouTube Will Remove Ads of Channels Posting Offensive Videos

Maxx

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What does laws changing have anything to do with staying within the law?

Right to be forgotten is a pretty good example of how modern law is changing. It's important because the crux of my original argument is that Google must not only be concerned with current law but future and potential law when it makes decisions.
 

Tsumi

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Right to be forgotten is a pretty good example of how modern law is changing. It's important because the crux of my original argument is that Google must not only be concerned with current law but future and potential law when it makes decisions.

No, corporations do not need to be worried about potential future laws until the law is actively being discussed in legislation, which is not the case here. Even then, after the law is enacted, there is a grace period for getting in compliance with the law. Additionally, nothing that was stated says that corporations are free to selectively choose to comply with old laws and ignore new ones.
 

Maxx

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No, corporations do not need to be worried about potential future laws until the law is actively being discussed in legislation, which is not the case here.

You act as if law is universal. Google (and other companies) do preemptively change policies in one jurisdiction (e.g. the U.S.) in response to legislation in others (e.g. the EU) in some cases. More relevant is the concept of extra-territorial law which is very much a concern of Google's - in the example I linked, France leveraged it to effectively remove results universally. But to avoid getting off-topic and to focus on YouTube, actually the EU is already threatening regulation which has had an impact on local (U.S.) policy (despite the narrative of it being only advertiser-driven). This is of course why YouTube has regional viewing rules (albeit able to be bypassed in a number of ways - and again, refer to the extra-territorial aspects of the Forgotten case) but nevertheless, online social media is facing massive legal challenges in the upcoming decade; at least YouTube hasn't been linked to Russian propaganda (yet).
 
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tetris42

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Sure.

"Corporations CAN do whatever they want as long as it's within the realms of the law" - the bedrock of this argument lies in the assumption that laws never change and that new laws are never promulgated, but as someone who has studied law I can tell you the history of corporate law is largely reactionary (not in the political sense as it is used today - in the sense that the laws came in reaction to abuse) so the implication that current law has ever been adequate is naive.
I misunderstood the full context. I thought you were implying that corporations were bound by their ethics and not simply laws and profit, which I disagree with. If you're saying the laws are not necessarily adequate in order to have ethical behavioral from corporations, well of course I agree completely. On the contrary, you mention how the laws change in reaction to abuse, it works both ways; if a corporation lobbies enough it can change laws to make previously illegal behavior legal.

Being careful to separate ethics from morality there actually are some "moral" (or even altruistic) companies around, although your addition of the qualifier "major" makes giving an example more difficult. In either case I think you're dabbling into philosophy here and it's not new ground; Hegel discussed the "social rehabilitation" of corporations, Adam Smith had his own views about how a company should act, etc. - the concept of the company as a self-interested, profit-driven entity without moral responsibility is an old one but not necessarily concrete.
The reason it's difficult is because by and large, the larger the corporation, the more profit is of the utmost importance. That's why I emphasized a private company can do whatever it wants. A private company owner can exercise his personal ethics through the company, ensuring that it only engages in ethical behavior, even if that means less potential revenue. A publicly traded corporation answer to shareholders, who typically want one thing and one thing only: return on investment. This becomes essentially the only guiding principle, which makes ethics violations acceptable so long as they contribute towards this goal. Benevolent actions are also acceptable, so long as they result in more profit, but that tends to be a rarer situation.
 

Maxx

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if a corporation lobbies enough it can change laws to make previously illegal behavior legal.

A private company owner can exercise his personal ethics through the company, ensuring that it only engages in ethical behavior, even if that means less potential revenue. A publicly traded corporation answer to shareholders, who typically want one thing and one thing only: return on investment. This becomes essentially the only guiding principle, which makes ethics violations acceptable so long as they contribute towards this goal. Benevolent actions are also acceptable, so long as they result in more profit, but that tends to be a rarer situation.

First point: absolutely true. Google is actually a major lobbyist (understandably). Although its (selfish) motives tend not towards making illegal behavior legal but rather to be preemptive to legal challenges, which is a major part of my argument. Preemption can take on a different meaning as well, not only in federal vs. state but extra-territorial law (see my link to "right to be forgotten" and France's legal position) which has ramifications for local (U.S.) policy also (e.g. hate speech).

Second point: I draw a distinction between ethics and morality. Beyond that, I linked Google's "do no evil" because the mantra was proposed by an employee, not an owner, and was ratified (for lack of a better term) by the employees as a whole. It later became a bit of a marketing point (and thus of interest to shareholders) but there are many employee-driven companies that do not fit the basic, selfish archetype. Also, your mention of benevolent actions is what is known in the business as "good will" and actually shows up on official ledgers. Nevertheless I brought up Hegel and Smith because many early capitalist philosophers believed a corporation inherently has a responsibility to act in good faith and, indeed, should be of a benefit to society. The real argument comes from priorities - and as you assert, profits tend to take precedence, but the modern concept of a company (ironed out through ages of anti-trust legislation) is inherent stilted, that is to say we tend to think it is immutable but in an ideal universe it shouldn't be.
 
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My problem with this is YT's definition of "Offensive material" is getting really broad.

No. It's getting really NEBULOUS.

This helps in uneven enforcement. As nothing is really DEFINED, you have nothing to defend yourself with when they pull a "Because We Said So".
 
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Hate all you want but Google is a business can do what ever they want on their platform. Freedom of speech only offers protection from the government. You can get fired from any company if they deemed your speech/actions offensive and have no recourse. Until a new competitor comes out to challenge YouTube you either accept it or stop using it.

Yes. Google's a business. Which is why this irrational, bush-league kiddie shit is so irritating.

It also means that, when they're partnering with content creators, they NEED to be CLEAR on their terms of service and rules for use. Otherwise they're essentially setting these people up for failure and dealing in bad faith.
 
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The problem is that there is simply no good solution to the dilemma.

Honestly, had YouTube simply balls'ed it out, and kept pointing to the fact that their viewership numbers they'd have been fine.

Yes, they'd have taken a hit up front. SURPISE! They took a hit up front anyhow!
 

tetris42

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First point: absolutely true. Google is actually a major lobbyist (understandably). Although its (selfish) motives tend not towards making illegal behavior legal but rather to be preemptive to legal challenges, which is a major part of my argument. Preemption can take on a different meaning as well, not only in federal vs. state but extra-territorial law (see my link to "right to be forgotten" and France's legal position) which has ramifications for local (U.S.) policy also (e.g. hate speech).

Second point: I draw a distinction between ethics and morality. Beyond that, I linked Google's "do no evil" because the mantra was proposed by an employee, not an owner, and was ratified (for lack of a better term) by the employees as a whole. It later became a bit of a marketing point (and thus of interest to shareholders) but there are many employee-driven companies that do not fit the basic, selfish archetype. Also, your mention of benevolent actions is what is known in the business as "good will" and actually shows up on official ledgers. Nevertheless I brought up Hegel and Smith because many early capitalist philosophers believed a corporation inherently has a responsibility to act in good faith and, indeed, should be of a benefit to society. The real argument comes from priorities - and as you assert, profits tend to take precedence, but the modern concept of a company (ironed out through ages of anti-trust legislation) is inherent stilted, that is to say we tend to think it is immutable but in an ideal universe it shouldn't be.
Oh sure, its function has mutated over time, I was referring to modern corporations. There's been a definite shift in terms of the perceived responsibilities over time compared to maybe 50-60 years ago. There's a quote by one of the oil VPs saying how their responsibility is to the employees, customers, community, and shareholders. That shift has gone almost entirely to the shareholders starting around the 80s.

It's ironic you mention the Don't Be Evil phrase, since they officially dropped that a couple years ago. Google now definitely has shifted in its role compared to when that phrase was made. Public corporations can claim to have have all the ideals they want, but ultimately the CEO is in charge, who is appointed by the board of directors, who has has a fiduciary duty to maximize their profit, so all decisions flow downward from that initiative.
 

Maxx

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Oh sure, its function has mutated over time, I was referring to modern corporations. There's been a definite shift in terms of the perceived responsibilities over time compared to maybe 50-60 years ago. There's a quote by one of the oil VPs saying how their responsibility is to the employees, customers, community, and shareholders. That shift has gone almost entirely to the shareholders starting around the 80s.

It's ironic you mention the Don't Be Evil phrase, since they officially dropped that a couple years ago. Google now definitely has shifted in its role compared to when that phrase was made. Public corporations can claim to have have all the ideals they want, but ultimately the CEO is in charge, who is appointed by the board of directors, who has has a fiduciary duty to maximize their profit, so all decisions flow downward from that initiative.

Even at the inception of corporate theory there was argument about the role of a company, but in practice (especially in the U.S. beginning in the 19th century) they acted like natural players in the environment. The idea is that business is an ecology of its own and therefore when unregulated it will, as in nature, create monopolies (e.g. mankind) that are inherently selfish (e.g. survival). If you take that biological angle further, there have been studies done on altruism in nature - such as animals warning their clan at their own risk, bats sharing blood with strangers, etc. - that imply companies are able to be unselfish (keeping in mind altruistic acts do increase "fitness" on a tribal scale) but that, as in nature, it is never as personally efficient as greed. However, humans are distinct in nature in that we create boundaries (regulations) in the interest of the greater good so the lines of "profit-seeking" behavior start to become blurred especially in the 21st century; social media is one cornerstone but also consider DNA/genetic patents and engineering (GMA et al). I could go on all day but the basic foundation is nature - which is why the great Enlightenment thinkers all based their theories on it ("unalienable Rights" with a capital R).

I'm glad you mention "public" corporations because a lot of people were throwing around the word "private" in this thread and that completely ignores the fact that different rules apply to a company once it's gone "public." By private I assume they meant not government-owned, although that line is very blurry in many places (e.g. China), but it's worth noting the distinction. As you say, such a company (post-IPO) does indeed have a fiduciary duty (and must open its books) although obviously it's done as a trade-off.

One good book on the larger subject (or rather the history of the "company") says upfront: "by comparison, the modern company is a bastion of restraint and morality" which I think underlines my argument that companies are shifting from natural (greedy) actors closer to the original (societal benefit) ideal. You are right to say that nature bears out but I'm of the mind that such a view will become archaic in time (perhaps not within our lifetimes) and I feel the "linchpin" of that change will be social media. Now obviously companies have gotten "better" due to regulation but if you look at some of my links (like the EU threat) you'll see a move towards self-regulation; while it's still not at the level of altruism, the fact these motions have found their basis in social media (in that case, hate speech) supports my theory.
 
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Morlock

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With great high god google deciding what's offensive.

Would be too bad if these massive hosting and social media sites got regulated like utilities.
 

lilbabycat

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Right to be forgotten is a pretty good example of how modern law is changing. It's important because the crux of my original argument is that Google must not only be concerned with current law but future and potential law when it makes decisions.
The only thing I see "right to be forgotten" used for is the rich/powerful covering their tracks and rewriting history.
 

Morlock

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This helps in uneven enforcement. As nothing is really DEFINED, you have nothing to defend yourself with when they pull a "Because We Said So".

This pretty much baked into the cake by now. The left basically runs the culture (especially corporate culture). And newsflash, LEFTISM IS INCAPABLE OF WRITING DOWN ITS RULES. Because they're complete shit. Half of them contradict other leftist "rules." If they wrote them down, we could all point and laugh. So they have to remain unspoken. "Everybody knows." If you can write them down, you can analyze them, and if you analyze leftism, they're exposed as a pile of shit.

Totalitarians in general love having the system governed by unwritten laws. That way their whims are the rules.
 

Maxx

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The only thing I see "right to be forgotten" used for is the rich/powerful covering their tracks and rewriting history.

I by no means necessarily support that legislation (apologies if you're not suggesting I am) but that is certainly one of the arguments against it. My point in linking it was to show how extra-territorial law very much deals with legal preemption in that case. I think it's a situation where there are legitimate uses of that right but it will largely be abused, which is one reason no such law exists in the U.S. (although it has been advocated at different levels and by different groups, ostensibly pro-consumer). The larger thing is that Google as a U.S. company and with markets all over the world has to comply universally.
 

Morlock

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Just to state the obvious:

Censorship is bad. The censorship of "bad" ideas is always camouflage for the censorship of "contagious" or "incorrect" ideas. Ideas that threaten the regime and the ruling class.

The good done by censoring "bad" or "offensive" ideas, if any, is far outweighed by the bad done by censoring "incorrect" or "threatening" ideas.

What's funny is all the contradictory stuff leftists can simultaneously hold in their heads:

It's okay for us to be censorious now, even though we were vehemently, stridently anti-censorship when we were on the outside, looking in.

Now that we've taken over, censorship is good.

We're the champions of free speech.

Etc.
 

Maxx

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Censorship is bad.

More universally, truth is good. The problem is that you get contradictory information but the freedom to do so (and to follow that, the ability to think for yourself) should be unalienable. People tend to see censorship as a "Fahrenheit 411" type situation when the more insidious methodology is bias, and when you think you're morally superior and correct there is a tendency to feel that is sufficient cause to filter the "wrong" information.
 

Morlock

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Yes, social media will straighten out the corporations.

1. Corporations create social media.
2. Corporations block/ban/shadowban, and otherwise unperson anyone or anything that doesn't toe the leftist/corporate line.
3. This filtered mob of leftists will show the corporations what's what.
 

Morlock

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Maxx: right. You have to trust people to be able to do their own sifting. Let the best ideas win.

The basic problem with even well-intentioned censorship (I don't think most of it qualifies) is definition creep; redefine what you don't like so it qualifies.

Edit: what really drives me nuts is when leftists just invent "rights."

"What about my right not to be offended?"
"What about our right to live in a world where we aren't in fear (of scary ideas)?"

YeeeeeeAAAAAARGH this is what separate countries are for.
 

Maxx

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The basic problem with even well-intentioned censorship (I don't think most of it qualifies) is definition creep; redefine what you don't like so it qualifies.

Free speech is of course a concept that's been bandied about for centuries and it never fails to bring people out of the woodwork who immediately say, "free speech has limitations." Legally, as in slander and libel, obviously. But then they start on the whole "hate speech" thing and that's when warning flags should be thrown. Not only is it a grey area - for example it usually covers gender, which in current times could include an attack helicopter - but if it gets to the level of DMCA you start to have "censor first, ask questions later" where things get even murkier. Very often people will assert that Google has no bias or political leanings, but when they aren't always clear on things like this it can be difficult to ascertain how much truth there is to that impression.

Of course that's the point of this entire discussion, right? And how I got involved with it originally...as people were stating a "private" company can do whatever it wants within the law and the market will self-correct for it. Yet I feel I have every right to complain and argue about it (and that was never denied here) but more importantly when you're dealing with such a "nebulous" (as someone else put it) issue I don't think it's unfair of users (and content creators) to feel that social media companies have an innate responsibility to be open about it. If the only way to do that is legal recourse (which puts too much faith in the legal system, in my opinion), then fine, but the idea that there is no bias present shows some naivety.
 
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Don't like what a private company does? Well you're still free to criticize them if nothing else. Just as they have no law requiring then to listen to you, you have no moral obligation to hush up.
 

atarione

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blah blah blah.. in the modern technology age freedom of speech is meaningless if one has no access to the digital "public" squares.. which unlike the public squares of old now reside fully with "private" companies that can censor whatever speech they find expedient to censor..

This is an issue that should have been solved in the 80s when it was the mall / shopping center that as privately owned areas could censor speech .. but it wasn't now the issue is much worse..
 
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Haha, nice.

To be fair they're dealing in a relative grey area but I think most people are justifiably critical.

They're trying to cede themselves maximum power to prevent gaming of the system.

Unfortunately the system's ALREADY gamed. Primarily by their own employees.

In the end, all they've REALLY done is create a system that's ripe for abuse.
 

Morlock

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as people were stating a "private" company can do whatever it wants within the law and the market will self-correct for it.

This is a great reason to bitch about censorship, raise a fuss. It's advertising "take my money" to capital that values profits over feels.

Yet I feel I have every right to complain and argue about it

Exactly. It's more like a moral duty at this point.

I don't think it's unfair of users (and content creators) to feel that social media companies have an innate responsibility to be open about it.

Constitutionally speaking, the law is on the side of the social media companies. They're more "press" than "public square," at least as far as the letter of the law is concerned. That said, I agree, we ought to mandate, by law, that these companies disclose their rules. And that they have rules in the first place, obviously.

Really I think anti-trust law is a big cudgel against the abuses we're talking about, and it's past time that gov't started using it against social media companies (inter alia).
 

Morlock

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And if regulating these companies like utilities doesn't fly, fine: create digital public squares with taxpayer money.
 

Maxx

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Constitutionally speaking, the law is on the side of the social media companies. They're more "press" than "public square," at least as far as the letter of the law is concerned.

Well if you follow some of my links (specifically with regard to the Right to be Forgotten case, and France's extra-territorial efforts) it is stated somewhere that Google is not registered as a media/press outlet in the EU (purposefully chosen for unrelated benefits) which actually does open them to data protection laws among other things. Obviously this works differently in the U.S. and I suppose I'd have to find the exact article/link for the full explanation, but essentially they are NOT legally press in the EU. And again as I've stated in the thread, there's pressure for some of that to extend to the States and there is a precedence for extra-territorial legislation (as per the 2014 ruling).

However, I do agree with your general stance; I dislike regulation and prefer self-regulation when possible (as my one link to EU's "threats" underscores) but it's extremely difficult to legislate something like this in the U.S. I expect the EU will lead the way with precedence as per above. Unfortunately, the EU leans left of Google while the U.S. has a stronger history of speech freedoms (for example, compare Germany's hate laws) so any such legislation is unlikely to be to our benefit. (which Google fully knows in entering this arena)
 
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Dr. Righteous

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Of course by offensive they mean anything that goes against the extreme left social justice agenda.

THIS>
YouTube is currently being sued by Prager University for blocking their videos for "offensive" content. Yeah, offensive to far leftist who won't stand for apposing ideas.
 

Jagger100

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Real purpose:
from people peddling propaganda to influence elections

Excuse:
to those who are posting harmful content aimed at children.

A bunch of butt hurt over not being able to control the last election. They got caught only doing the former and got in trouble for having done nothing for the latter.
 

Morlock

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Well if you follow some of my links (specifically with regard to the Right to be Forgotten case, and France's extra-territorial efforts) it is stated somewhere that Google is not registered as a media/press outlet in the EU (purposefully chosen for unrelated benefits) which actually does open them to data protection laws among other things. Obviously this works differently in the U.S. and I suppose I'd have to find the exact article/link for the full explanation, but essentially they are NOT legally press in the EU. And again as I've stated in the thread, there's pressure for some of that to extend to the States and there is a precedence for extra-territorial legislation (as per the 2014 ruling).

I'd rate how a corporation evaluates itself on its filings pretty far down the list of determining factors. IMO this is something to be decided by third parties. In the context of this discussion, I mean.

However, I do agree with your general stance; I dislike regulation and prefer self-regulation when possible

I'm generally very pro-small-gov't, so when you hear me advocating regulation or nationalization, you know I think there's a compelling or overriding interest (trust-busting, on the other hand, I'm much more sanguine about; I think it's long past due that the pendulum swing the other way, and gov't start smashing up some of these sectors with far too few dominant players).

The new reality of speech is that it's digital. The line between the citizenry and the press is eroding. Society has an overriding interest in making sure big corporations don't get to monopolize the manufacture of consent.
 

Morlock

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YouTube is currently being sued by Prager University for blocking their videos for "offensive" content. Yeah, offensive to far leftist who won't stand for apposing ideas.

Leftists find everything but leftism offensive. An offended leftist and $2 will get you a cup of coffee.
 
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