Youtube took down MEP's videos about torture debate

Originally published at:

The ambiguity in Youtube's "community guidelines" don't help much.
That`s what the ambiguity is for.

Or - it discredits them for wanting to be “in charge” whilst they know not of what they speak.

it’s a perfect microcosm of the problems of so much significant, political expression being subject to the whims of a single company.

I struggle to understand why so many users accept YouTube’s opacity. It seems like Stockholm syndrome where people disagree with their terms and policies, but still want to use the service anyway. If those who thought that YT had problems (and there are many who do) used a different service would be more likely to resolve the issue than using YT and complaining about it. It is not like a utility company where there is an actual monopoly on service, all you need to do is use somebody else’s service. If you don’t, then you are actively creating the same would-be monopoly you appear to be complaining about.

If you disagree with the TOS of some web service, you should absolutely not use them. Once you agree to abide those terms, you make any of your other complaints about them more or less irrelevant to that company.


“In the future present corporations will be more powerful than governments.”

Monoculture is where sloth and convenience dovetail with a critical mass of eyeballs. Like Amazon, once YouTube had enough traffic, other video-sharing sites all seemed desolate by comparison.


It’s a bit of critical mass, yeah.

If you watch videos, you have to watch the ones that someone else made and put somewhere, and most of those are on youtube. If you make videos, you have to put them where people will watch them - youtube.

Are there any real alternatives to youtube? My understanding is that Vimeo has some pretty big problems of it’s own.


The problem isn’t so much that other sites can’t offer competitive services. Vimeo has some advantages and some disadvantages over YouTube. It’s that humans are mostly herd-like creatures of habit. We subconsciously equate scale with quality and necessity, which is how you get everything from Windows to banks that are deemed Too Big To Fail.


I’d argue the Windows point, but I’m somewhat biased myself. Either way, I don’t really disagree with you, I just have much less of a gloomy outlook on it. MySpace died when it was once the only place. Others will come and go and frankly put Youtube just needs to piss off someone with enough resources to sue.

1 Like

Mass critical enough to do what? This treats the internet like broadcast media. The useful thing about the internet in comparison is being able to find precisely the information that you need, or providing it to the person(s) who actually need it. It’s strength is that it is point-to-point rather than broadcast. That also YousdTuBe the strength of YouTube - that it is for users to play and watch videos which aren’t part of the broadcast television experience, so making it more like broadcast television misses the point, and by doing this they actively diminish their own relevance.

This still does not explain why or how the amount of traffic matters. Considering the analogy of street traffic, the purpose is to get people where they need to be, to the content which is their destination. Not to take them on great digressions for the purposes of creating more traffic, that’s expensive because it is inefficient, and not worth the time of the average person despite them being captured in it. Traffic is a means, rather than a goal.

It’s a self-creating/regulating problem in a way not dissimilar to representative democracy. It’s pointless to complain that something better isn’t prevailing if you don’t put your vote there. The reason better options aren’t prevailing is precisely because you aren’t voting for them! The frontier seems desolate because you and others aren’t there already, and you have the power to fix that.

1 Like

Is not understanding common statements a hobby for you or do you do it professionally?

Critical mass is big because YouTube suggests other videos for people to watch - a lot of the channels I watch from time to time I discovered on YouTube, not from another source. This means that people that watch YouTube videos tend to find others, and so it becomes the default - and that means that video creators are more likely to put their stuff there. If you care about profit it’s basically the place to make money, and if you don’t, it’s still the place to get views and get your videos in front of people.


I’m also just having kind of a gloomy day. I’m not quite as pessimistic as I probably come across :neutral_face:

In principle and ideal, I totally agree.

Simply because when someone wants a video, they’ll often go to YouTube to look for it. Or they’ll search Google, which where most people go to for general internet searches. Which is of course why Google bought YouTube. The internet doesn’t take people where they need, it takes them where they want. It does no good to have imagination be the limit if people prefer not to use their imagination.

On top of that, companies like Google are carefully manipulating the architecture of the internet to make it more centered on them and less democratic.

It is getting the others to join the cause that tends to be the sticking point of most revolutions.


It’s been known for awhile that their moderation, copyright take downs, etc were broken. Now they are introducing a flagging system that I guaren-fucking-tee is going to be abused to the point of being useless by the various factions on the internet.

Expect more of this.


If you read closely, you might know that it is not the statement which I don’t understand, but rather the concept behind it. My experience is that people regularly repeat apparent truths in order to create a social consensus without taking the time to really analyze and discuss the causes and motivations which may be behind them. In this case I am referring to the internet having been touted as being extremely progressive in the 1990s because it was not just another subscription-based broadcast-media format. That there was exciting content there because they didn’t need to sell themselves as the next newspaper or cable television station. So yes, people not questioning the regression of a whole medium back away from made it worthwhile in the first place is puzzling to me. Personally I tend to suspect well-funded dinosaurs such as advertisers, marketers, and publishers - but they are a small population, so I don’t understand why the average person would give them power to reshape the medium to its detriment. Is that more clear?

YMMV, but the thing I hate most about YouTube is that they recommend things for me to watch. They make it impossible to get rid of their recommendations. And again, like television, their recommendations are slewed towards popularity rather than specificity. I don’t have any incentive to enjoy a video more simply because other people are watching it. Lock-in looks like victory by fiat, but it’s a losing deal once the energy, cost, and effort of keeping people in undermines the content. It did so for me by 2010, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it become more of an issue for others also.

1 Like

I’ll take that to mean ‘professionally.’

1 Like

Don’t be evil, only do evil. it’s more efficient that way.


I explained that I did not misunderstand the statement, so do not attribute to me things which I did not say. I am not professing to anything of the sort. If you are not interested in reading and parsing my comments, then the signal to noise ratio of the topic will improve if you refrain from remarking upon them.

1 Like

I doubt it’s an accident that the video was hazed; someone made that happen, so naturally I had to watch it and fulfill The Streisand Effect. Regarding the video’s message:

“Value based” trade standards for Europe sound like a brilliant idea; a veneration of human rights morality should be front and center, promoted and reaffirmed, in every policy of all nation-states, alliances, and unions. No nation is above the higher moral authority of basic human rights; not the United States, not Saudi Arabia, not Syria, not Turkey, not Iraq, not Iran, not Ukraine, not Russia, not North Korea, not Israel, not China, not the Philippines, not anyone- not at home, and not abroad. Not directly, and not through proxy. Any policy that guides and incentivizes the wayward national actors back into the bounds of decency is well worth earnestly and urgently pursuing.

1 Like

My heart on this post is the “gravely concerned” variety

Youtube has a scary amount of power to shape public opinion. And they are in no way transparent and can not be held accountable.

I used to have a youtube account with timelapse movies of a bout trip through belgium.

One of the movies suddenly got somewhat popular (no idea why, it was nothing special, just a holiday movie to show friend&family) and a week later the account was terminated for ‘violation of TOS’. No correspondence possible. I to this day have no idea what the problem was. there was no music. All movies were shot by myself. There was nothing special to see in the movies.

My guess was that they were just popular and cost a lot of bandwidth and I had turned all monetisation off so they did not earn something from them but did cost them.

While they can , of course, terminate any account they like (it’s a free service after all). The complete lack of information and openness was very frustrating to me. I had spend a lot of work uploading all that stuff and now I need to do it again (to vimeo this time).

In the grans cheme of things my holiday movies are not important, but they did teach me that youtube (i.e. google) cannot be trusted or held accountable for anything.

1 Like

I don’t think it’s the critical mass of watchers - it’s the critical mass of content providers.

If, for example, I want to know how to deal with an older fuel-injected car hunting idle without paying a dealer over $1000 to provide a new throttle body, I can go to YouTube and find a video that explains how to solve the problem with a couple of wrenches and a dollar’s worth of Brakleen. Without the video, good luck, the parts don’t have names that make sense unless you already know so much the problem’s trivial anyway, and the shop manual that tells you the part names (but not the cheap fix) costs $200.

Joe the Shade Tree Mechanic doesn’t know how to post anywhere but YouTube.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.