Fraudsters are shaking down YouTubers. Won't the company do anything to stop them?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/05/27/fraudsters-are-shaking-down-yo.html

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It is my understanding that large YT channel creators have reps assigned to them. Were this to happen to a large channel, the creator would probably just call their rep on speed-dial and have the problem fixed. It’s pretty clear that YouTube cares a great deal about the welfare of their heavy-hitter channels. It’s everyone else they don’t give a shit about.

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As much as I enjoy a fair amount of content on YouTube, I would hate to rely on them for my living. They are fundamentally broken.

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Evidently, youtube is pushing back on some of these trolls, but they are overwhelming the system.

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I guess it’s pretty simple: YT does the minimum possible to ensure maximal ad revenue. If a small dude‘s blocked, people are just going to watch something else. There is no incentive to do the right thing. In capitalism, there rarely is.

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Topically, I refer you to my comment on this thread, mere moments ago.

A well regulated market being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of government to enact and enforce regulations shall not be infringed by corporate lobbying or concentration of ownership. Especially media ownership.

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There will be in this case. As @Mister44 points out above, this type of fraud will become so prevalent that Google will be forced to fix it. The more blackmailers pile on, the faster this particular scheme will be addressed.

One thing I don’t understand–when these content creators are locked out of their accounts, do their videos stay up?

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Yeah, but they would fix that exact scheme, and then the next one will pop up. Because ultimately YT relies on strong copyright for being be able to monetize videos, so they will never lobby for the base for those frauds to be removed.

It seems the ones that fraudsters didn’t file claims against stay up. YT wants them to keep on producing ad revenue.

I don’t think the well regulated marked is the necessity for a free state, rather it is the independence of the people governing themselves that is required. Whether or not we have a market would be a secondary issue then.

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I understand your point, however I respectfully disagree. The alternative, an unregulated or badly regulated market, is clearly a threat to a free state. Exhibit 1? This timeline - US and UK ‘democracies’ to name but two, where insufficient/inadequate regulation leads to a subversion of democracy.

People are not able to freely govern themselves, for example, if the market enables concentration of ownership (especially media ownership) of key industries that ‘are too big to fail’ and call on the state for otherwise unwarranted support or preferential treatment.

Hence my conclusion. I believe it applies to any free-market/capitalist economy and such economies are impossible to disentangle from the democracies they operate within (or above, in the case of some global corporations).

But I may agree with your note that

if you are perhaps referring to the concept of self-governing democracies without free markets. A fully and truly communist (not as in any allegedly ‘communist’ state that has so far existed, to the best of my knowledge) society may indeed avoid markets. But any mechanism substituted for markets is likely to be as open to abuse as current capitalist markets.

Edits for grammar/typos

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Ah yes, the classic case of “small entities are being scammed in a big profitable system but the big players are uneffected” where market forces always force a correction.

I mean … I can’t think of a single example of this happening, but that’s what normal right liberal politics says happens so it is going to.

It’s just weird I can’t think of an example though … but it definitely will, so let’s all forget about it.

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YT won’t do it because they care about doing the right thing, nor because they care about content creators. They’ll do it because they’ve created a perfect system for exploitation, and the sheer volume of exploiters will impede YT’s business to the degree that they finally scratch the itch.

Some similar examples of perfectly exploitable systems that forced businesses to redirect: in the mid 1990s, a company called Xcash was paying $0.18 per click for incoming traffic to their ring of porn sites. For a brief, shining moment, all kinds of people exploited it in all kinds of ways. Xcash nearly cratered before they adjusted the system to pay commissions only for conversions.

Likewise, in the early era of Bing, Ebay was paying up to 30% cashback in commissions on sales that came through Bing (I think it was called Live back then? Or something). This produced so much fraudulent activity that the spot price for bullion was disrupted among other things. Co-conspirators could create listings for $500 gift cards, sell the cards above face value to their friends, pocket the commission, and repeat. The gift card didn’t even have to exist in real life, just the idea of the gift card. Both Ebay and Bing cancelled this cashback program. Ebay was also forced to change the way gift cards were sold on the site.

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I meant to say that if the end is a free state, the path towards that would not necessarily lie in a well regulated market. And an entirely unregulated market is only a threat if it allows building and maintaining a concentration of wealth (and this power to influence) that threatens a free state.

Consider, for example, abolishing intellectual property, taxation of wealth above a certain threshold, or taxation of profits that progresses towards 100%. Those are essential measures to eliminate existing concentration of wealth that even a regulated market cannot provide.

I was not referring to those. But my point is: if you avoid concentration of wealth and other obstacles to the people governing themselves (like lack of education, racism, misogyny religion etc.), the kind of market you have is a secondary question.

That being said, I believe that if there such a thing as a free state at all, it can only exist wich collective ownership of the means of production. But I consider it much more likely that eventually a state itself poses a concentration of power that is a threat to democracy.

Agreed - that is not on the critical path, necessarily. But in most economies, it will be close to it because…

Is “only a threat if”?!? An unregulated market will always do this. No exceptions. Absolutely guaranteed.

I initially read ‘abolishing’ as applying to all three parts of that sentence. It took me a moment to realise you could not possibly have meant that.
(A colon and semi-colons would have avoided any momentary ambiguity.) :wink:
But whilst likely to achieve what you say, I do not regard them as essential. It can happen without them, given other regulation.

I totally agree about the pre-requisites in parentheses. Of which education is the primary, ‘root’ requirement. But avoiding a concentration of wealth, per se, is precisely and explicitly providing a key foundation of the kind of market you have. Other questions may be secondary but in doing the things you propose you are starting to define the scope and nature of the operable market.

I am torn between full collective ownership (central planning has never been perfect, to say the least) and tightly regulated for the public good. A very well-regulated market could - in my view - for some sectors be as effective as (and perhaps tantamount to, depending on the scope and rigour of the regulations) collective/public ownership.

That said, I do assume collective ownership must in effect mean some considerable degree of ‘public ownership’ - i.e by some form of the state. In UK we used to have very ‘arms length’’ government agencies which operated some industries as public goods. (This is alien to many, I acknowledge - especially some USanians, who mistakenly see it as entirely ‘communist’.) I do not claim that is an ideal model, but it can work.

I am afraid I disagree that it is

All that is needed is the correct set of democratic checks and balances on executive power (and including some of the market checks discussed above). Some of those checks include the courts, but also a setting up of genuinely independent expert agencies who are not answerable to the government/executive of the day, but to the elected representatives as a whole (e.g. in UK to Parliament, not to the Government). For example, an independent Elections Authority should review and make public recommendations about constituency boundaries - it should not be within the power of the executive to introduce legislation to amend these without reference to such an independent agency. There are many other examples, but this is getting too far from the already off-topic discussion of market regulation. One last example is the establishment of arms-length (and/or local and highly transparently open) education authorities to plan and manage school-age education. The government should not (on its own) be able to solely determine what the little mites are told or not told by way of ‘education’. Otherwise we end up with what passes for education today in certain places. Civic and economic education should be as important as the three Rs and all the associated ‘knowledge’ based sciences, arts and humanities.

What an unregulated market does depends on the culture of the people. In a communalist anarchy I would assume that an unregulated market would work quite well.

Sure, you could just seize everything.

Exactly. And without ever regulating the market itself.

Full collective ownership is not the same thing of full ownership by one collective, and neither would inevitably come with central planning, although it might be prudent to create systems that help provide some overall coordination.

“used to have” being the key phrase here: the state (i.e. the government, i.e. Mrs. Thatcher) decided to privatize that. The owners, i.e. the public, had no say in that. So ultimately that didn’t work. After each crisis, capitalism commodifies more of what is left. You can’t regulate that on the level of the market, you need to eliminate concentration of wealth.

Maybe you’re right, if you totally eliminate concentration of wealth, the state would NOT control the means of production. In that specific case, why you propose might work. However the system of democracy and government would still have to be radically different from what we have now. I’m not even sure we’d still have a parliament or courts, or rather councils and arbitration.

Education is key to the future, we need to guarantee every child receives an education that enables them to participate fully in whatever society we will bring about. So it can be neither the responsibility of the parents alone, nor the responsibility of the state, each community must also contribute to that end.

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