Monday, July 13, 2009

YouTube causing pain with censorship

People often ask my why I get angry and why I swear. I’ll fucking tell you why, because science fucking tells me to, that’s why. A study conducted at Keele University in the English Midlands (which I’ve never heard of but is clearly the best fucking university in the world) has shown swearing helps you withstand pain.
Volunteers who swore were able to withstand more pain than those who didn’t swear during the same test. Thus science has proved that swearing is not only big and clever, it’s fucking useful. And people who don’t swear are clearly into pain and are probably the sort of sick fucks who like to be tied up and whipped.
This also show’s YouTube’s attempts at censorship (threatening to delete or at the very least not promote videos just because they have some fucking swearing, introducing the censoring of swearing in comments.) means they want to hurt us. If we are allowed to swear we feel less pain. YouTube wants to reduce swearing. Therefore YouTube want us to suffer more pain.
Fucking bastards!
For those who can’t tell, including references to YouTube’s “censorship” policies is a joke. I point this out because I think people are far too casual in their use of the word “censorship” when it comes to YouTube. To cite the two examples I used, in 2008 YouTube said they would be trying to make videos with profanity appear less prominently on the site by “algorithmically demoting” them. This does appear to affect big name users – Cory Williams of SMP Films has been affected by it a couple of times but I haven’t toned down my swearing at all and I haven’t suffered for it. I would get pretty pissed off if/when it affects me directly.
More recently, YouTube introduced a feature that allows users to censor swearing in the comments on their videos. If this feature is invoked and a commenter calls someone a fucking cunt then it will appear as ****ing ****. It appears that on the first day this feature was live some goombah launched it with “on” as the default setting. This caused quite a few people to freak right the fuck out, thinking that massive censorship had been imposed.
It may surprise people to learn that I think this is a good feature. So long as it’s set at the video owner’s discretion and not imposed as a blanket rule, that is. It should be obvious that I’m anti-censorship but within their own domain people should be able set whatever rules they like. If someone doesn’t like swearing and they particularly don’t want to cop volumes of abuse directed at them on their own channel I say they are well within their rights to block swearing.
And I don’t give a fuck if that offends some purist libertarian streak in people. If someone imposes limits on my ability to express myself within my own domain I’m gonna get really pissed off. But it’s absolutely hypocritical to say “I demand liberty for all and nobody is allowed to disagree with me.” If YouTube enforced this level of censorship across the site I would be leading the user revolt but as an option I think it’s perfectly acceptable. I may even use it myself on some of my videos. For instance, my kids are in a few of my videos and they like to see what comments people are making on the videos. I don’t want them exposed to the typical lowest common denominator profanity that’s common on YouTube so I might censor the comments in that case.
Another way I can see it being good is the sort of no life fuck-up who makes a regular practice of leaving hater comments on people’s videos is easily frustrated. The main reason for this is the useless pieces of shit never produce anything of their own – the only thing that they have is trying to upset people who are actually doing something. Take that away (for example, by deleting any swearing in their comments) and they have nothing. So the whiny little fucks chuck a fit and wet their pants over how unjust it all is and I, for one, laugh right in their ugly fucking faces.
This is why I frequently delete obnoxious comments and block the perpetrator. Fuck censorship, I just want it to be clear that these sniveling little fuck-knuckles that they have no power in my world. And I want them to be upset. I want to know that they are bitching and whining about their “rights” being infringed. Because fuck them.So yeah, most of the hyperbole about YouTube going mad with censorship is overblown (not least because of the number of idiots who conflate copyright claims with censorship). It does seem clear, however, from their public pronouncements that YouTube see themselves as becoming some sort of new broadcast network. And they aren’t even a little scared of blanding things out if they think it will make them more money. Even if science proves they are reducing our capacity to endure pain.

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