Tag: youtube

Social notworking giants sign hate speech pact

Chamberlain_MunichFacebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube and Microsoft have signed a pact agreeing with an EU code of conduct to tackle online hate speech within 24 hours in Europe.

You will still be allowed hate speech in the US so the central platform of the Trump campaign is still safe but those who try to copy his strategy in the EU might become a little unstuck.

EU governments have been trying in recent months to get social platforms to crack down on rising online racism following the refugee crisis and terror attacks, with some even threatening action against the companies.

As part of the pledge agreed with the European Commission, the web giants will review the majority of valid requests for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to the content if necessary.

They will also strengthen their cooperation with civil society organizations who help flag hateful content when it goes online and promote “counter-narratives” to hate speech.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said: “The recent terror attacks have reminded us of the urgent need to address illegal online hate speech. Social media is unfortunately one of the tools that terrorist groups use to radicalise young people.”

Germany got Google, Facebook and Twitter to agree to delete hate speech from their websites within 24 hours last year and even launched an investigation into the European head of Facebook over its alleged failure to remove racist hate speech.

The code of conduct is largely a continuation of efforts that the companies already take to counter hate speech on their websites, such as developing tools for people to report hateful content and training staff to handle such requests.
Twitter has suspended over 125,000 accounts since the middle of 2015 for threatening or promoting terror acts, primarily related to Islamic State.
EU ministers had called for cooperation with tech companies to be stepped up after the Brussels attacks in March.

Spotify grows after rival Apple Music starts-up

97334cab7b3dc626b77b25cb6f686dacThe creation of Apple’s Music streaming business has accidently given a leg up to its rivals.

Spotify has noted that it has seen a faster pace of growth since the launch in June last year of rival Apple Music. Spotify, which was created in Stockholm 10 years ago, now boasts of having close to 100 million users in more than 59 markets, despite increasing competition and, so far, a lack of profits.

Jonathan Forster, a vice president said the arrival of Apple in the market has been good for business by helping to raise the profile of the industry.

“Since Apple Music started we’ve been growing quicker and adding more users than before. It would be terrible if we were just taking each other’s users or to learn there was just a ceiling of 100 million users – I don’t think that is the case,” Forster said.

Spotify now has 30 million paying users, making it the market leader in music streaming, while Apple Music has reported having 13 million paying subscribers since its launch last year in over 100 countries.

But Forster said that there will be some downsizing in the market soon.  There is competition from Pandora, SoundCloud, Tidal, YouTube and Google Play Music.

Forster said having multiple streaming services was not sustainable in the long run.

“My Internet history would tell me that there’s probably not going to be that many significant players, and then maybe smaller niche cases … maybe there could be a classical music streaming service. It’s a hard business.”

Fry batters social media

stephen_fry_mon_13.9.2010Apple fanboy and telly person Steven Fry has issued a stinging 2,600 word rebuff of social media.

Writing in his bog declared an exit from mainstream social network channels such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook equal to the heroic plight of the heroes of 1970s dystopian sci-fi movies such as Logan’s Run and Soylent Green.

Fry regarded flight from the social networks in the same light as ‘unplugging’ from the enemy artificial reality offered to a ‘sleeping’ populace in The Matrix:

‘Jacking out of the matrix would cast one as a hero of the kind of dystopian film that proved popular in the 70s, Logan’s Run, Zardoz, Soylent Green, Fahrenheit 451 … on the run from The Corporation, with the foot soldiers of The System hard on your heels. We really are starting to live in that kind of movie, mutatis mutandis, so surely it’s time to join the Rebels, the Outliers, the Others who live beyond the Wall and read forbidden books, sing forbidden songs and think forbidden thoughts in defiance of The One.’

He called for ‘Generation Z’ to rebel against the matrix:

‘Who most wants you to stay on the grid? The advertisers. Your boss. Human Resources. The advertisers. Your parents (irony of ironies – once they distrusted it, now they need to tag you electronically, share your Facebook photos and message you to death). The advertisers. The government. Your local authority. Your school. Advertisers. Well, if you’re young and have an ounce of pride, doesn’t that list say it all? So fuck you, I’m Going Off The Grid.”

Fry appears to believe that the current social media giants will fall as mightily as they have risen in the last ten years.

“Facebook is of course all powerful and finds itself busy eating the internet (thereby preparing its own extinction) and of course parents are on it. That’s how crap it is.”

 

Virtual reality market to bloom

old-school-tvWhile virtual reality (VR) has been around for some two decades, it’s only recently began to take off.

And that will soon create really serious money, according to market research firm Trendforce.

In a report, it said the total value of VR – including hardware and software – will be worth $70 billion in 2020. Next year it will only be worth $6.7 billion.

The reason, according to Jason Tsai, a Trendforce analyst, is because people continue to seek more audiovisual experiences.

He said that outfits like Facebook and YouTube will provide software tools and support services to make VR videos/

He said the development of VR is not necessarily based on wearable devices made by the likes of Sony. He said much of the growth will come from independent vendors.

Corporations lag on social networking

Old Coca-Cola ad - Wikimedia CommonsSome of the biggest corporations in the known universe are behind the times when it comes to social networking.

That’s the conclusion of a study from Penn State university, which has analysed the Fortune 500 and found some big names lacking.

Marcia DiStasio, a professor at the university, said: “Several firms on Fortune magazine’s list of America’s most admired companies are failing to achieve basic social media standards, let alone best practices.”

She said not all the companies had a Twitter account, a Facebook page or a YouTube page.

Fifty one percent of the companies had basic, Wikipedia fed pages including ExxonMobil and Berkshire Hathaway.

But firms like Coca Cola did the best at presenting their image on the social networking sites, she said.

“All of the industries have room for improvement, but there’s specifically some more room for improvement in the health care industry,” she said. “Social media really helps create brand supporters and connect with people in more ways.”

Turkey lifts YouTube Ban

Hagia-SophiaTurkey has lifted a ban on YouTube that followed a court ordering the video-sharing service to remove images of a prosecutor held at gunpoint by far-left terrorists.

YouTube and Twitter were inaccessible from Turkey for hours on Monday, although the ban on Twitter lifted late in the evening.

The prosecutor seen in the pictures, Mehmet Selim Kiraz, was later killed in a shoot-out between his hostage takers and police last week.

A spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan said a prosecutor had demanded the bans because some media organisations had acted “as if they were spreading terrorist propaganda” in sharing the images of the hostage-taking.

It claimed it was upset because the media was using a picture of the terrorists holding a gun to Kiraz’s head, which was upsetting to the dead man’s family.

Facebook said it had restricted access to some content as instructed and a company spokesman said it would appeal the order.

In the end everyone did what they were told and the ban was lifted.

The Turkish government is not a fan of social media platforms. Last year, just before the local elections, access to Twitter and YouTube were also banned.

The then prime minister, now President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that Twitter was a menace to society.

YouTube online again in Turkey

YouTube is online in Turkey again and may be allowed to show whistleblowing videos which embarrass the government.

Turkey’s top court declared a government ban on YouTube unconstitutional, and cited the Turkish constitution’s freedom of expression clause, which guarantees that “everyone has the right to express and disseminate his/her thoughts and opinions by speech, in writing or in pictures or through other media”.

The administration of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan went after the site on March 27, after it was used to host a leaked audio recording of Turkish officials discussing security matters in Syria.

Erdogan’s ban on Twitter fell flat just two weeks after he imposed it on March 20, and while YouTube is once again accessible, Turkey’s Telecommunications Directorate (TIB) has refused to lift web restrictions.

When a lower court told the government to sling its hook, the government just ignored it. It is not clear if the government will ignore the Constitutional Court’s appellate decision.

TIB has so far insisted that it had no plans to unblock the site for as long as it contains “criminal content” which is anything that says that Erdogan and his party are involved in anything shady.

It seems that the TIB has blinked, probably because the election is over and if Turks saw anything about government corruption it was clear they did not give a monkey’s about it. After all Erdogan was re-elected. 

Turks ban YouTube now

In yet another hamfisted move to stop citizens talking about government corruption, the Turkish government has shut down YouTube.

In a week after the government was told that its shutting down of Twitter was illegal, Turkey is now banning Google’s popular video site, Youtube.

At the heart of the problem were a series of videos which incriminate the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Edrogan, in a corruption scandal.

According to Webrazzi, “the videos included wiretapped sound recordings where, for example, the PM tells his son at home to hide large sums of money from the investigators. It is alleged to be around a couple of million dollars”.

The Turkish government demanded that they were taken down because they would result in an informed population. An informed population would not vote for a man involved with a corruption scandal.

Google refused to take down the videos and so Edrogan unleashed the hounds.

A Google spokespinner opined: “We’re seeing reports that some users are not able to access YouTube in Turkey. There is no technical issue on our side and we’re looking into the situation.”

It appears that all ISP in Turkey have been roped in to blocking the site.

Google ordered to kill anti-Islamic video

An interesting censorship case is taking place across the pond where Google has been asked to remove from its YouTube video-sharing website an anti-Islamic film that had sparked protests across the Muslim world.

According to CNN, by a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Google’s claim that the removal of the film “Innocence of Muslims” amounted to a prior restraint of speech that violated the US constitution.

This would mean that YouTube would have to take down the video, although Google is likely to appeal to the Supremes.

The plaintiff, Cindy Lee Garcia, wanted the film taken down after learning that it incorporated a clip she had made for a different movie. In this film, she had been partially dubbed to say, “Is your Mohammed a child molester?”

Cris Armenta, a lawyer for Garcia, said  the propaganda film differs so radically from anything that Garcia could have imagined when the director told her that she was being cast in the innocent adventure film.

The controversial film depicted the prophet Mohammed as a fool and a sexual deviant and created shedloads of anti-American unrest among Muslims in Egypt, Libya and other countries in 2012.

For many Muslims, any depiction of the prophet is considered a bit blasphemous, but in this particular case it was just plain insulting.  There was talk that the film was an Israeli plot to destabilise the Middle East, because life there was just getting a little too comfortable.

Google had refused to remove the film from YouTube, despite pressure from the White House and others, though it blocked the trailer in Egypt, Libya and certain other countries.

Google argued that Garcia appeared in the film for five seconds, and that while she might have legal claims against the director, she should not win a copyright lawsuit against Google.

“Our laws permit even the vilest criticisms of governments, political leaders, and religious figures as legitimate exercises in free speech,” the company wrote.

Garcia argued that her performance within the film was independently copyrightable and that she retained an interest in that copyright.

9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski confirmed that Garcia was likely to prevail on her copyright claim, and having already faced “serious threats against her life,” faced irreparable harm absent an injunction. He called it a rare and troubling case.

Save the internet: Nuke Netflix and YouTube

If you wanted to double the bandwidth of the internet overnight you could nuke Netflix and Youtube, according to a new survey.

More than half the traffic on the net is created by people watching Netflix movies and amusing videos of cats, according to Sandvine’s latest Global Internet Phenomena Report.

Last year, Netflix and YouTube made up 47.8 percent of total downstream traffic but this year the pair hit 50.3 percent.

Actually the real winner was YouTube as Netflix lost a bit of ground. It appears YouTube’s audience discovered that not only cats could be amusing, but dogs and pandas.

What is bad news is that video services like Hulu and Amazon traffic numbers are slipping,

Amazon accounted for 1.6 percent of total downstream traffic in September, compared with an average of 1.75 percent in the second half of 2012.

For Hulu, meanwhile, September’s 1.29 percent came up short of the 1.38 percent it captured last year.

All up, it would appear that less people are watching paid for movie content and are obeying the will of their feline overlords to watch YouTube instead.