Several major companies have reportedly pulled advertisements on YouTube following a report that the comment sections on the site have been used to facilitate “a soft-core pedophile ring.”
Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Walt Disney Co. has joined Nestle and video game maker Epic Games in pulling advertising from YouTube, days after a YouTube user named Matt Watson uploaded a video explaining how YouTube comment sections are used to identify and share exploitative videos of young girls.
Watson said in his video that YouTube’s algorithm has helped facilitate the ability of pedophiles to trade social media contacts, provide links to “actual child porn” and trade “unlisted videos in secret.”
Bloomberg News cited “people with knowledge of the matter” in reporting that Disney has since withheld its advertising spending from YouTube.
Google’s top policy executive [Karan Bhatia] is reorganizing the company’s worldwide influence operation, according to an internal email obtained by Axios.
Why it matters: The long-planned shake-up comes as the search giant faces newly hostile regulators around the world.
The EU has finally settled on the wording of its Digital Single Market copyright reform package, a three-years-in-the-making effort, greeting the agreement with a sizzling rebuke of the “misinformation campaigns” around the measures….
In a press conference today announcing the measures, MEP and Conservative legal affairs spokesman Sajjad Karim said the process had highlighted a disturbing development in the “political culture”.
“The ability of some of the platforms to carry out campaigns [against the legislation] is a good thing,” Karim said. “But the way some of these have been carried out really has been against the grain of how a democratic society should function.”
Individual staff members had been targeted, he said, by “elements that have misled the public about what we’re trying to achieve, and we’re sure will mislead the public as to what we have actually achieved. It strengthens our resolve to make sure we don’t allow European citizens to fall victim to that sort of misinformation.”
In other news from the Goolag, if you’ve been following the battle over the European Parliament’s passing of the new Copryight Directive, one of the core group of Members of the European Parliament who helped get the legislation passed was the Green Party’s Helga Truepel. As David Lowery notes in this post on The Trichordist and in many other posts, Big Tech misused political communication tools to spam Members of the European Parliament with the hope of tricking them into thinking that there were actual constitutents who opposed the new Copyright Directive.
Remember that there have been two votes, with yesterday’s victory being the second vote. Our side lost the first vote following the first astroturf spam campaign. But–not only did Google get called out about it in The Trichordist, the London Times, FAZ and a bunch of other publications also confirmed David’s research. Did that stop Google? Nope. They did it again in the run up to yesterday’s vote. As Blake Morgan often says, Goliath never learns.
In a press conference at the European Parliament after yesterday’s vote, MEP Truepel answered a question from a journalist seeking an explanation of why the vote changed so radically–dozens of MEPs actually switched their votes to pass the Directive yesterday.
MEP Truepel said that she thought it was because MEPs were pissed off by the Google-backed astroturf campaign that was so offensively transparent–but not in a good way–that massively backfired on Google. Of course, not only has it backfired, but Google (and, in fairness, Facebook) was exposed as the prime mover behind the attack, which came right before the European Commission announced yet another multi-billion fine against Google for violating European competition law.
MEP Truepel also announced that she was going to meetings at the Googleplex–aka Spamalot–in the near future to discuss the role of Google in Europe. Oh, that should just be a bunch of LOLs.
Start at 14:45:10 You HAVE to watch this. When asked why EU Parliament switched from opposing the copyright directive to overwhelmingly supporting it, German MEP Helga Truepel pulls no punches: “I think it’s due to this message spamming campaign. I talked to some of my collegues here [and they] are totally pissed off […]
Networked Propaganda Online activists and lobbyists are using digitally manipulated protests and misinformation to fight a copyright reform in Europe. They know what they are doing. Do Members of the European Parliament know what this is about? A guest commentary. Translated from original German text: http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/von-lobbiysten-die-das-urheberrecht-bekaempfen-15773233.html “History doesn’t repeat itself, it just writes the bill,” […]
According to the Canalys research outfit, Google has taken the lead over Amazon for the first time in the acquisition of biometric identifying data–aka “smart speakers”. It should come as no surprise that Google is vastly more interested in acquiring “phonemes” by which to identify users and track them through a variety of means.
The “smart speaker” is the latest step in government contractor Google’s long running campaign to track users and build speech-to-text and speech recognition tools.
The program goes back to at least 2007 when Marissa Meyer said of “GOOG-411”:
The speech recognition experts that we have say: If you want us to build a really robust speech model, we need a lot of phonemes, which is a syllable as spoken by a particular voice with a particular intonation. So we need a lot of people talking, saying things so that we can ultimately train off of that.
So who do you think the customers are for speech-to-text and speech recognition tools to whom government contractors like Google and Amazon might be selling your biometric data? The biometrics harvesting tools allows Big Tech to connect your voice print and maybe your fingerprints to all the other data that they have already harvested about you from other means. And of course when you add in facial recognition or iris recognition it’s game, set and match.
Think about that when you enable your fingerprint, iris or facial recognition authentication or talk to Alexa or your Google Home Mini. Or you could just ask the Shoe Gazer at the Internet Association.
“Hey Alexa, re-gift yourself.”