The Internet is Coming for Our Children – Do Not Read Until Monday
THINK of the CHILDREN! …And Do Not Read Until Monday.
The Internet is coming for our children
It’s widely accepted that the Internet can be a digital garbage pile full of trash people, and that’s speaking from the viewpoint of adulthood. But the past couple weeks, the Internet has been shown to be open to treachery against children, and in places marketing themselves as safe spaces.
First, there’s YouTube. Now, previously, YouTube has come under fire for
- a lapse in its reporting feature for predatory comments, which revealed “up to 100,000” suspect accounts, according to the BBC ,
- predatory autofill suggestions in search,
- the discovery of bizarre and obscene content targeted toward children, dubbed “ElsaGate”, and
- of ads being listed beside hateful and extremist content.
OK, so what’s new? Last week, a creator called out the platform for recommending videos with inappropriate comments, resulting in an advertiser backlash. To its credit, YouTube moved quickly once it was alerted, removing 400 channels it said engaged in the predatory activity, as well as tens of millions of suspect comments.
This week, the platform went one step further by closing comments for “tens of millions” of videos, mostly featuring or focused toward children, due to the threat. The channels allowed to have comments – a core feature of the social web – will be required by YouTube to actively moderate their videos.
And let’s not get started on the Momo hoax… Though YouTube stated the kid-targeting “challenge” doesn’t exist, it went ahead and demonetized those videos as a precaution. More like demon-itized though, right? Yeesh.
OK, well what about this TikTok thing we hear the kids like? Well, in spite of – or thanks to – its surging popularity, it too now finds itself a platform for predation. The upstart app addressed such allegations by developing a comment filter for videos, and pushed for awareness of its safety and privacy features.
Additionally, TikTok began deleting the accounts of users it deemed underage, which included many of-age users. While you might think/hope this was related to protecting children from predators, it’s actually a result of the FTC suing its pants off* for collecting kids’ data.
And lest we think these issues don’t affect apps people spend an average of an hour a day on**, Instagram was used in 32 percent of “grooming” cases by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in the UK.
Then, Facebook admitted nearly 1 in 5 of users of its “market research program” spyware were teens, despite a previous claim less than 5% were.
All these stories have a number of implications. For parents, I mean, watch the 🦆 out for your kids on these apps. The general Internet user can report suspicious behavior as well. But also, brands must be stewards of their own content for moderation, and make informed decisions when it comes to where to advertise.
*$5.7 million, but they’re really, really cool pants.
Five things about Facebook
- Speaking of policing social: Did you read the account of Facebook’s content moderators? It’s worth the time even if it may not be as shocking to those with social/community management experience.
- A 50-person team working on your own cryptocurrency? You’re crazy for this one, Zuck.
- Patreon could be the next platform Facebook wants to compete with.
- Watch seems to be hitting some growing (or non-growing) pains. Facebook will cut news programming, while more entertainment shows have been announced.
- It’s also launching a premium video ad buying platform, Facebook Showcase, which will have “ads with a curated list of hundreds of publishers, at a set price, with Nielsen-verified audiences.”
I feel guilty about the Apple-may-be-stagnating-creatively chat last week, but the company continued with interesting moves this week. Confirming the downsizing of its self-driving car team but, more positively, beefing up Siri a bit and possibly setting the stage for its AR renaissance?
Odds + The End
- Cuomo’s trying to show Amazon he still cares, wants them back.
- Well that’s unsettling: “New flaws in 4G, 5G allow attackers to intercept calls and track phone locations”
- I feel pretty bad about these e-scooter riders getting hurt, but it probably looks funny as hell.
- Sick Lyft and Uber discounts: Get em while ya can.
- Erosion of U.S. Tech hegemony or nah?
- Rotten Tomatoes gave its “Want To See” metric a curtain call following Captain Marvel trolling.
- This Week in What Dance Prompted a Lawsuit Against Fortnite: The Running Man.
- Reddit now has a tipping feature, but only for its best troll.
- Who’s Banned this week? Jacob Wohl, Tommy Robinson, and a bunch of fake Howard Schultz fan accounts.
- Events in Facebook stories? Sure.
- Back to moderating: Twitter may soon let you hide replies.
- And back to creeps, troll-farm Gab is trying to hack the Internet so its users can muck around in their own filth everywhere.
- Instagram filters may have a bizarre, beautiful future as they go custom.
- And to end on something nice, here’s one viral challenge we can get behind this week.
- March 1, 2019