wasting bandwidth since 1999

Tag: you tube

Don’t Say Anything We Don’t Like

The Parents Television Council is one of those groups which patrols the media in a never ending effort to purge all family-unfriendly materials. As defined by the members of the council, of course.

In their latest report, the PTC is not happy with YouTube.

However, it’s not the videos themselves that has the members of the organization most upset.

While the survey praises YouTube for prohibiting outright pornographic videos and “algorithmically demoting” sexually suggestive fare, the decency group criticizes the company for taking no steps to reign in user comments, which its authors find at least as disturbing as the videos themselves.

PTC’s researchers did searches using what they defined as “child friendly” terms. These included “Miley Cyrus,” “Jonas Brothers,” “High School Musical,” and “Hannah Montana,” which they say resulted in “highly offensive” content in the text commentary areas below the videos produced by the search.”

Ars Technica did a similar search for “child friendly” terms and found lots of bad spelling and grammar but nothing that would rise to the “highly offensive” category.

So, how does the PTC think we should solve this epidemic of bad language on the web? Through censorship, of course.

In any event, the group wants YouTube to take action on the terrible comments they supposedly found, “by formulating and adopting a thorough, accurate and transparent content rating system which would allow a parent to block a child from viewing age-inappropriate material.”

Ironically, as Ars Technica notes, “it did not occur to PTC’s analysts that the Hannah Montana commentaries they cite may have been written by the very children that the morals group says it wants to protect.”

And once the comments at YouTube are thoroughly scrubbed clean, I wonder which of the millions of other sites that allow open commenting will be next to get the PTC treatment.

Clueless

This is not the kind of crap you want to find buried in the backlog of your aggregator.

You may have heard about the legal battle going between 800 pound gorillas Viacom and Google.

The former is suing the later for a billion or so dollars over excerpts from their programs (Daily Show, Colbert, etc) that were posted on YouTube.

The judge in the case has ordered Google to turn over “all data from the Logging database concerning each time a YouTube video has been viewed on the YouTube website or through embedding on a third-party website”.

Translation: Viacom will be getting a list of all the IP addresses that requested one of their videos and when it was viewed, information that could be combined with other data to identify specific individuals.

According to the EFF, this disclosure would violate the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) which makes reference to “prerecorded video cassette tapes or similar audio visual materials.”

The judge ruled that VPPA doesn’t apply in this case since Google wasn’t trading in video tapes. Huh?

I won’t pretend to understand all the legal aspects of this decision. However, I do grasp two major points.

First, that the EFF is probably right when they claim this would be a major “set-back to privacy rights” online if allowed to stand.

And second, that this judge is even more clueless than the people running Viacom.

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