At one point in your YouTube viewing career, you have bound to come across a clip that spoke to you as violent, racial, or stereotypical. You may wonder why these seemingly “inappropriate” videos remain on the site for all to see. One of the most infamous cases happened when Texas native Hillary Adams posted a video of herself as a child getting beaten and abused by her father, who just so happened to be a FAMILY COURT JUDGE. See it for yourself, at your own peril.
I was able to just pluck this video from YouTube today because it is still on the site. Which brings up the question: Should it remain on YouTube? On the one side, these clips can expose to individuals how bad violence could be. Also, it could show footage that is impossible to pull up in a written or spoken account, which can help for law enforcement. However, on the other hand, is this really appropriate for the random Internet user to see? Select people may use these clips as an inspiration to inflict damage on others, which could snowball into a larger issue. Per YouTube’s Community Guidelines, “It’s not okay to post violent or gory content that’s primarily intended to be shocking, sensational, or disrespectful.” So, if Adams’ menacing video remains on the site, why? Unfortunately, one reason might be monetary. According to our reading by Sarah Roberts, “I noted that a number of (these similar videos) were preceded by commercial advertising”. Since only well-viewed videos ever receive ads before them, clips like these somehow manage to continue to get by the CCMs. This creates real tension between Google’s profitability and the question of a video staying up. In my opinion, there are more than enough ways for Google to make superior earnings than by showing horrid violence to the masses. In YouTube’s Guidelines, a sentence about inappropriate videos reads “Don’t cross the line”. Where, then, is that line?
“Community Guidelines.” YouTube, YouTube, www.youtube.com/yt/policyandsafety/communityguidelines.html.
Roberts, Sarah T. “Commercial Content Moderation: Digital Laborer’s Dirty Work.” Digital Formations, vol. 105, 2016, pp. 147–159., www.dropbox.com/s/gbup3cq4w90bmi0/Roberts%20-%20Content%20Moderation%20%282016%29.pdf?dl=0.