Monday, August 17, 2009

Porn protests on YouTube: something, of some sort, should be done

In some sort of protest at YouTube removing music videos, protestors have been sticking a bunch of porn videos up onto the YouTube servers:

One user believed to have uploaded some of the pornographic material videos is Flonty, whose profile states that he is 21 and from Germany.

He told the BBC: "I did it because YouTube keeps deleting music. It was part of a 4Chan raid.

BBC Have Your Say users are equally, sort of worried, for reasons they can't put their fingers on, either:
YouTube delete music because they have to by law. Half the time you'll end up with a same copy of that same song elsewhere on YouTube anyway, and even then there are other sources for music. Children DON'T JUST find porn that easily. What about people at work who have a legitimate reason for using YouTube? How would one go about explaining porn to their boss?
Tony Williams, Liverpool

Given that the porn has been hidden amongst Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana material, you might wonder what job it is that involves watching this area of YouTube at work.

Presumably, though, if your boss came in and found you staring at a butt-donut, or a session of naval-drubbing, you could simply say "look, here's a report on the BBC website about how you can't avoid porn on YouTube at the moment. And, erm, I think it also explains why I'm not wearing pants right now."
YouTube is a privately owned site. Why do people feel entitled to use the site as they please? Do they help pay for bandwidth? Google ultimately has governance of what content should be on a site that they own. In most parts of the world, anyone is free to set up their own personal website with streaming content for their cause. Let's just see how many views is generated beyond their own interest group.
Sophie, Toronto, Canada

Sophie starts off with a good point - Google do own YouTube, and can do with it is as they see fit - but then lurches off in a frankly odd direction. "Go on, put things on the internet and see how many people who aren't interested in your things look at your things". None, I'd guess. It wouldn't exactly prove anything, though, would it? A herpetology website isn't going to attract any views from people who aren't that interested in amphibians or reptiles, but it doesn't mean that there's something wrong with toads, does it?

But Sophie seems to be implying that people go to YouTube to look at things that they aren't interested in. Can that be right?
A lot of comments here seem to excuse this behaviour because "kids need to learn how they get here". As if parents should take this mindlessness as an opportunity to educate their children on sex and procreation.
RB, Florida

Also, of course, quite a lot of the videos don't really help on the procreation front, just raising extra questions along the lines of "and so how do Daddy's fishes then get from the tied-up lady's face into her belly?"
True, there's porn on millions of sites which children could easily have access to, but there is a significant difference between that and interest groups purposely tricking and delivering porn to children in a Hannah Montana package on YouTube .
Tiya, Miami, Fl

But if your kids are that young, you'd be supervising their time online and would have been able to leap in at the first sight of something unsavoury, right? Hello? Right?

Yes, yes, we've all seen the words "Hannah Montana package", but let's try and keep some decorum, shall we?
"Moderate all the uploaded videos? Are you insane?" said Michael, he's right because latest reports from a few days ago indicate 20 hours of video are uploaded every second. The only solution is to charge users for uploading content, while watching remains free.
Ian Mayman, UK

Ian Mayman doesn't say whereabouts in the UK he's from, but I'm betting it will be somewhere around 76 Buckingham Palace Road. Still, charging people to provide content for Google to sell advertising around - neat idea, Ian.
For those who wanted to protest the loss of music from Google, it doesn't seem very inventive to upload porn to YouTube. If they really wanted to make a more distinguished protest, they could have plainly made a video of their own and uploaded it instead of acting cowardly as they have.
Kelly , Crofton, BC, Canada

Kelly neglects to mention how much time she had been giving to the question of music on YouTube prior to this story appearing, nor if she has extrapolated that this sort of discussion is taking place because of the porn in a way that wouldn't have happened with a worthy piece.

It doesn't make it right, of course. And, in one of the few comments that is actually delivering a coherent thought, Nicholas Mills points out it could be counter-productive:
This could be a serious problem - not because of the idea that children could see this material but because it's a rare occurrence which could cause catastrophic results: censorship. And serious censorship at that - with people using this incident as an excuse to begin censoring video's not suitable for children. Youtube is a fantastic medium that self-censors amazingly well - what, I hope, people understand is that this is one situation and a minority out of the majority of users that post non-pornographic content and follow the rules.
Nicholas Mills, Glasgow, Scotland


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