Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

The Assault on YouTube

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I got news of the tragic shooting at YouTube yesterday afternoon probably just an hour or so after Nasim Najafi Aghdam started her shooting spree the company’s San Bruno HQ’s outside lunch area.

My heart goes out to everyone in the YouTube family, and the community of San Bruno and the surrounding area, who were impacted by this ghastly attack.

I can’t remember where I first heard or saw it — it may have been Twitter.

But all I could remember thinking was, “Here we go…again.”

At first, coverage suggested it was a disgruntled girlfriend in a domestic dispute.

But now BuzzFeed News has reported that Ms. Aghdam, who had been a prolific social media contributor generally and YouTube contributor specifically, had previously alleged the company had “discriminated and filtered” her videos. Her father was quoted as saying she “hated” the company.

And though San Bruno police were quoted in the story as saying that “at this time there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted,” it hardly seems an accident that she landed on the doorstep of YouTube’s HQ.

So that’s where we’ve arrived now?!

Your videos get de-listed on YouTube, so you pack up the car and the handgun and drive north from San Diego to San Bruno and start shooting up the place?

Has our lust for attention and recognition via social media reached so far beyond the pale that it has now begun to exceed our collective humanity and civility?

I understand that Ms. Aghdam was very likely a disturbed individual, by definition. Yet to carry out such an act for the most mundane of grievances…well, we’ve reached a new low.

And from Ms. Aghdam’s highlt distorted view, this grievance was likely attributable to some unnamed, unfaced human editor(s) at YouTube.

But what happens in our brave new world when it wasn’t expressly a human that decided the fate of her videos, but an algorithm built by humans?

Who are the disgruntled Ms. Aghdam’s of the world going to go after then?

I’m not sure there is a good or bad or right or wrong answer, but it’s  a question we’re going to have to start asking ourselves and soon.

Because I expect the wider the widening gulf between the machines making seemingly indiscriminate decisions and the humans affected by those decisions, the higher velocity of such attacks.

Written by turbotodd

April 4, 2018 at 9:45 am

Posted in 2018, video

Tagged with ,

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