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|Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:51 pm Post subject:
|YOUTUBE SHOOTING BRINGS TO FORE CONSPIRACY THEORY ABOUT SITE SUPPRESSING CERTAIN CHANNELS
ANDREW GRIFFIN @_andrew_griffin
Wednesday 4 April 2018 08:09 BST
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/youtube -shooting-latest-conspiracy-theory-suppressing-views-channel-videos-mo netisation-a8287746.html
The woman who opened fire at YouTube's headquarters before killing herself had said that she hated the site, which she accused of hiding her videos and taking away her money.
The event saw Nasim Aghdam enter the company's building and open fire with a handgun, injuring three people in a shock attack. But YouTube has been the target of long-running anger from many of its users, and some of the conspiracy theory used by Aghdam to justify her shocking attack has been present on the site for years.
Even many of the site's biggest users have complained that it appears to be suppressing videos, changing what people are recommending and reducing their views in the process. For instance PewDiePie, who is perhaps the site's most famous user, claimed in 2016 that his videos were being hidden and suggested that he would delete his account in protest.
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At that time, YouTube said that it had reviewed the channel run by PewDiePie as well as other users, and that there had been no specific drop in subscribers apart from the usual changes that happen as part of the way the site works.
Some creators have expressed concerns around a drop in their subscriber numbers, a spokesperson said in a statement after the PewDiePie controversy. We've done an extensive review and found there have been no decreases in creators subscriber numbers beyond what normally happens when viewers either unsubscribe from a creator's channel or when YouTube removes spammed subscribers. We do the latter to ensure that all creator subscriber numbers are accurate.
Video blogger Nasim Aghdam identified as YouTube attack suspect
But YouTube uses a range of different techniques to decide which videos to show and which not to. They are mostly decided by an algorithm that studies videos and users to work out what they might want to watch next, but that algorithm is controlled by YouTube and so remains mostly mysterious to the people using the site, as with other major technology platforms.
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But the site can also manually punish specific channels by "demonetising" them, so that ads are taken off the videos and channel owners receive no money from them. Aghdam's family have suggested that her videos some of which contained graphic and violent content, such as abuse of animals might have been demonetised and that she was angry as a result.
Controversial YouTube user Logan Paul, for instance, had his channel demonitised in the wake of a range of videos that included him filming a dead body and tasering a rat. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said that the decision to remove ads from his page was "actually a pretty strong statement in itself" when asked about the punishment.
But that same example showed how rarely YouTube completely removes channels or videos from the site, and Ms Wojcicki said that the same time that YouTube "can't just be pulling people off of our platform". In the wake of the Logan Paul controversy, many YouTubers argued that the site needed to do more to stop such controversial videos being uploaded.
YouTube's community is explicitly and noticeably engaged with those changes, and many of the site's creators have posted videos attempting to address the finer workings of the site's platform. Often, users claim that they are seeing their video views drop despite there being no obvious explanation.
After the shooting at YouTube's headquarters, Aghdam's family have told the press that she was angry at the site, and police said she had a longstanding dispute with the company. She had said that she "hated" it, people close to her said, and her father said he had called police on Monday to tell them she had gone missing and that she could go to YouTube.
A website in the name of Nasime Sabz, which Aghdam used online, lays out her frustration with YouTube's policies.
"There is no free speech in real world & you will be suppressed for telling the truth that is not supported by the system. Videos of targeted users are filtered & merely relegated, so that people can hardly see their videos!" she wrote on a personal website. "There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!"
She posted videos to the same effect on her channel. A screenshot of a video posted on Aghnam's YouTube channel before it was taken down on Tuesday, showed her complaining that "YouTube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!"
Apart from her videos attacking the YouTube platform, Aghdam was a vegan activist who ran her own website under her online name, which means "Green Breeze" in Farsi, where she posted about Persian culture and veganism.
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."