Archive for YouTube

Other Companies Are Fighting Russian Disinformation…. But Where’s Apple?

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , on March 1, 2022 by itnerd

Earlier today, I wrote that Twitter was taking action to stop disinformation from spreading from Russian media. After some looking around, I found that other social media platforms are doing the same thing in whole or in part.

Let’s start with Facebook:

Facebook’s parent company Meta said Monday it will limit access to Russian state-controlled media outlets RT and Sputnik across the European Union, a move that will likely heighten tensions between the world’s largest social network and the Russian government.

“We have received requests from a number of governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state-controlled media. Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time,” Nick Clegg, who oversees global affairs at Meta and is the former UK deputy prime minister, said in a tweet.

Now let’s go to TikTok:

TikTok has joined Facebook in blocking access to two Russian state media outlets in the European Union. Sputnik and RT are no longer able to post to audiences within the EU, and their pages and content will no longer be accessible to users in the bloc, a TikTok spokesperson confirmed.

Next up is YouTube:

Google’s YouTube said Tuesday that it would block Kremlin-backed media outlets RT and Sputnik from Europe following similar bans by Facebook and TikTok.

“It’ll take time for our systems to fully ramp up. Our teams continue to monitor the situation around the clock to take swift action,” Google’s video streaming service said in a statement.

YouTube’s ban — following an announcement from the European Commission that it wanted to remove these Russian media outlets from the EU — would apply within the European Union and the U.K.

While this is not meant to fight disinformation, Google is disabling live traffic in Ukraine:

The company said it had taken the action of globally disabling the Google Maps traffic layer and live information on how busy places like stores and restaurants are in Ukraine for the safety of local communities in the country, after consulting with sources including regional authorities.

Now over to Netflix:

Netflix was due to fall under a series of new obligations in Russia on March 1 after it was added to a register of “audiovisual services”overseen by the country’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, last year. 

The obligations mean that Netflix would have had to stream 20 Russian federal television stations, including the likes of Channel One, NTV and a channel run by the Russian Orthodox Church, Spas. Channel One in particular has close links to the Kremlin.

“Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” a Netflix spokesperson said on Monday evening.

Finally, Microsoft has announced that they are going to de-rank Russian media outlets on Bing so that they don’t show up nearly as often as well as pulling apps from the Windows Store that are associated with Russian media:

We are moving swiftly to take new steps to reduce the exposure of Russian state propaganda, as well to ensure our own platforms do not inadvertently fund these operations. In accordance with the EU’s recent decision, the Microsoft Start platform (including MSN.com) will not display any state-sponsored RT and Sputnik content. We are removing RT news apps from our Windows app store and further de-ranking these sites’ search results on Bing so that it will only return RT and Sputnik links when a user clearly intends to navigate to those pages. Finally, we are banning all advertisements from RT and Sputnik across our ad network and will not place any ads from our ad network on these sites.

Who’s missing from this list? Apple. One has to wonder why a company who preaches that it has such high ideals isn’t rushing to join this? As I type this, apps from RT and Sputnik which are two of the biggest mouthpieces for the Russians are still available on the App Store. Why isn’t Apple taking action? That’s a very interesting question that Apple will need to answer ASAP as they really stand out for not having taken action unlike all the companies above. And I should also say, it looks really bad on them.

YouTube And Facebook Ban Russian Broadcaster RT From Making Money

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 26, 2022 by itnerd

Things are escalating when it comes to companies banning anything related to Russia. The latest example is that state owned media outlet RT has been banned from making money from YouTube and Facebook:

Citing “extraordinary circumstances,” YouTube said that it was “pausing a number of channels’ ability to monetize on YouTube, including several Russian channels affiliated with recent sanctions” such as the European Union’s. Ad placement is largely controlled by YouTube.

The EU on Wednesday announced sanctions on individuals including Margarita Simonyan, whom it described as RT’s editor-in-chief and “a central figure” of Russian propaganda.

Videos from the affected channels also will come up less often in recommendations, YouTube spokesperson Farshad Shadloo said. He added that RT and several other channels would no longer be accessible in Ukraine due to a Ukrainian government request.

And:

Meta Platforms Inc, owner of Facebook, on Friday barred Russian state media from running ads or generating revenue from ads on its services anywhere in the world.

One thing that I will say it that this is about more than money. The fact that videos will be recommended less means that Russian propaganda won’t be seen as often. That’s going to hurt as well. Hopefully there are other ways that tech companies can hurt the Russians.

Introducing the 2022 Canadian creators of #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 27, 2022 by itnerd

 In 2020, YouTube announced the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, which was created to directly support Black creators and artists so that they can thrive on YouTube. Today, they’re announcing their 2022 #YouTubeBlack Voices creator grantees, which include five exceptional Canadian creators.

Over the next year, YouTube will work closely with these creators, offering dedicated partner support, seed funding to develop their channels, and participation in an intensive development program that will cover production, community engagement and wellbeing.

This year’s Canadian creators represent diverse content found on YouTube, from beauty tips with Tosin Ayeronwi (BGT), Caribbean cooking with Chris De La Rosa (CaribbeanPot) and financial advice from Reni Odetoyinbo (xoReni). These creators are offering resources in spaces where representation is so important, and they recognize the impact their voices can have on the Black community.    

Meet the Canadian creators in this year’s #YouTubeBlack Voices class:

  • Mane Yousuf(852K subs, 83M views) Mane Yousuf is entertaining the masses with laughter and good vibes. By mixing spontaneous interactions with viral songs, Mane has created several shows that showcase his passion, and highlight his personality. With access to YouTube, he’s now broadcasting from Calgary to the globe and sharing his humor with the world. 
  • CaribbeanPot(795K subs, 90M views) Chris De La Rosa’s love of Caribbean cooking has taken him from a small village in Trinidad and Tobago to millions of kitchens around the world. His website CaribbeanPot.com. launched in 2009 as a place for the self-taught chef to document family recipes for his daughters and share his favorite dishes. Now, he has a strong community on YouTube cooking to master his recipes.  
  • BGT(21K subs, 622K views) As Tosin navigates adulthood, her career, and finding her passion, she’s taking her subscribers along for the ride. She launched her channel in 2019, and makes sketches with friends along with fitness content, self-growth vlogs and beauty tips.  
  • xoReni(10.9K subs, 810K views) After buying her first house at the age of 23, Reni saw an opportunity to help more people understand “adulting”. She launched her YouTube channel to become a resource for viewers, and support with career development, financial literacy, and lifestyle content. Her goal? Make complex topics simple.
  • Nora G’s Nook(51K subs, 2M views) Nora G. is a Waterloo-based creator that describes herself as versatile and multifaceted. With an array of passions, she knew she needed a creative outlet to express herself. So Nora G’s Nook was born, where Nora shares everything from interior design to DIYs, fun recipes and fitness tips, and what she calls RTTJMS (Random Things That Just Make Sense!). With every video, she aims to educate, entertain and enlighten. 

You can also see the full talent roster in this video.

YouTube Reveals The Top Videos, Creators And Moments Of 2021

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 1, 2021 by itnerd

Today YouTube is celebrating the moments, videos and creators that brought Canadians together and entertained them through 2021. 

In the midst of the ongoing pandemic and Canada’s gradual reopening, Canadians came to YouTube in 2021 to keep them informed, learn new skills, and to find bright spots that entertain and bring joy. This year’s #1 video shows how Canadians are hungry for excitement after being cooped up at home, turning to creators like MrBeast who spent 50 hours buried underground in a glass coffin (not for the claustrophobic!) as one of his many elaborate stunts. We laughed together as we categorized our friends into game night stereotypes, sobbed together while rooting for Nightbirde,  and collectively spent an afternoon with royalty sipping tea on top of an open bus through LA

Top Trending Videos in Canada

  1. MrBeast, I Spent 50 Hours Buried Alive
  2. Mark Rober, Glitterbomb Trap Catches Phone Scammer (who gets arrested) 
  3. Dream, Minecraft Speedrunner VS 5 Hunters 
  4. Sidemen, SIDEMEN TINDER IN REAL LIFE 3 
  5. NFL, The Weeknd’s FULL Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show 
  6. The Late Late Show with James Corden, An Afternoon with Prince Harry & James Corden 
  7. America’s Got Talent, Golden Buzzer: Nightbirde’s Original Song Makes Simon Cowell Emotional
  8. Forge Labs, I Spent 100 Days in a Zombie Apocalypse in Minecraft… Here’s What Happened 
  9. Dude Perfect, Game Night Stereotypes 
  10. SAD-ist, Hog Hunt | Dream SMP Animation 

In Music, 2021 was the Year of The Weeknd and Justin Bieber, with both homegrown Canadian music superstars releasing chart-topping hits, two of which took the top spots on YouTube’s list of the top music videos in Canada. We saw The Weeknd drop his darkly comedic new video for Save Your Tears (#1), during which he delivers a performance to a masked audience and we jammed along to Bieber’s chart-topping, neon technicolor sensation “Peaches,” featuring Canadian-talent Daniel Caesar and Giveon (#2). 

Both songs were part of a theme of swoon-worthy songs that Canadians had on repeat this year. From Bruno Mars (#7) to Doja Cat (#9), you could say some of these tracks weresmooth as Butter (#6) (see what we did there?)

Olivia Rodrigo had a breakout year, and brought home the #4 and #5 spots as a heartbroken teen who finally gets their drivers license and as a cheerleader exacting revenge in good 4 u.

Top Music Videos in Canada

  1. TheWeekndVEVO, The Weeknd – Save Your Tears (Official Music Video) 
  2. JustinBieberVEVO, Justin Bieber – Peaches ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon 
  3. LilNasXVEVO, Lil Nas X – MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) (Official Video) 
  4. OliviaRodrigoVEVO, Olivia Rodrigo – drivers license (Official Video) 
  5. OliviaRodrigoVEVO, Olivia Rodrigo – good 4 u (Official Video) 
  6. HYBE LABELS, BTS (방탄소년단) ‘Butter’ Official MV 
  7. Bruno Mars, Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – Leave the Door Open [Official Video] 
  8. Pooh Shiesty, Pooh Shiesty – Back In Blood (feat. Lil Durk) [Official Music Video] 
  9. dojacatVEVO, Doja Cat – Kiss Me More (Official Video) ft. SZA 
  10. PoloGVEVO, Polo G – RAPSTAR (Official Video)

This year’s Top Canadian Creators, Top Breakout Creators and Top Canadian Shorts Creators show the incredible ways that Canadians adapted their content to help Canadians during this challenging time. 

Creator Kallmekris and Emerging Shorts Creator Jeenie.Weenie found ways to make us laugh hysterically out loud while MadFit kept us active in the comfort of our homes. 

Canadians’ love for Minecraft became apparent as aCookieGod and MrFudgeMonkeyz dug, built, and crafted their own virtual worlds for millions of viewers. Our inquisitive sides came out as we yearned to learn more about quirky chemistry experiments with science fanatic and Shorts Creator NileRed, and magician and puzzle master Chris Ramsay taught us magic tricks to recreate at home. 


Others were looking to brush up on their English language skills, with ENGLISH with James taking the world by storm. 

 Top Canadian Creators

  1. Kallmekris
  2. Linus Tech Tips
  3. MadFit
  4. aCookieGod
  5. NileRed

Top Canadian Breakout Creators

  1. Kallmekris
  2. aCookieGod
  3. Girl With The Dogs
  4. ENGLISH with James · engVid
  5. Jason Fung


Canadian Shorts Creators – Rising Stars

BREAKING: YouTube Is Blocking Anti-Vaccine Content

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 29, 2021 by itnerd

From the “why the hell didn’t they do this sooner” file comes the news that YouTube is “Thanos snapping” anti-vaccine content off its platform. Here’s the details from The Washington Post:

As part of a new set of policies aimed at cutting down on anti-vaccine content on the Google-owned site, YouTube will ban any videos that claim that commonly used vaccines approved by health authorities are ineffective or dangerous. The company previously blocked videos that made those claims about coronavirus vaccines, but not ones for other vaccines like those for measles or chickenpox. 

Misinformation researchers have for years said the popularity of anti-vaccine content on YouTube was contributing to growing skepticism of lifesaving vaccines in the United States and around the world. Vaccination rates have slowed and about 56 percent of the U.S. population has had two shots, compared with 71 percent in Canada and 67 percent in the United Kingdom.

And this is YouTube’s reason for dragging its heels on this issue:

YouTube didn’t act sooner because it was focusing on misinformation specifically about coronavirus vaccines, said Matt Halprin, YouTube’s vice president of global trust and safety. When it noticed that incorrect claims about other vaccines were contributing to fears about the coronavirus vaccines, it expanded the ban. 

“Developing robust policies takes time,” Halprin said. “We wanted to launch a policy that is comprehensive, enforceable with consistency and adequately addresses the challenge.”

I call BS on that. This is a problem that is literally killing people and dragging out this pandemic needlessly. YouTube has a responsibility to do something about that in a timely manner. But clearly they only wanted to do something about it when they felt that they had no option but to do so. I give YouTube a #Fail on this.

Roku Yanks YouTube TV App From Their App Store

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 1, 2021 by itnerd

You might remember that I recently wrote about Roku and YouTube getting into a fight related to what Roku calls Google’s “predatory” and “monopoly” behavior. YouTube gave the world a hint as to what was to come on Friday via Twitter:

I can now confirm Roku has yanked the YouTube TV off their store. If you have it installed, don’t uninstall it. And I should note that the standard YouTube app still is available.

Let’s see if YouTube and Roku work out their differences, or this escalates further.

YouTube Suspends Trump’s Channel For At Least 7 Days

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 13, 2021 by itnerd

President Donald Trump’s problems in terms of being tossed off of social media are increasing. The news is out that YouTube has joined other social networks in punting him. This was announced by YouTube via a Tweet:

YouTube has barred new videos from being uploaded to Trump’s channel for at least seven days, citing violations of its policies and “concerns about the ongoing potential for violence.”:

It’s the latest action against Trump after last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. Twitter and Facebook have both also suspended or blocked the president’s accounts. YouTube issued “a strike” to Trump’s channel, and said comments would also be disabled indefinitely. The company also said it removed new content posted Tuesday.

It will be interesting to see how quickly this migrates from being a 7 day ban to a permanent ban. Because it’s clear that Trump and his followers won’t moderate their behavior. Which means that everyone has to take their voices away so that they don’t continue to be poison in the political discourse.

BREAKING: Steve Bannon’s Podcast Punted From YouTube

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 8, 2021 by itnerd

This Friday night is really insane.

The latest thing to come across the wire is that Steve Bannon who has a podcast on YouTube and is associated with President Donald Trump has been punted from YouTube after Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani appeared on his podcast saying that Democrats were ‘censoring and suppressing’ Trump supporters:

The YouTube account for Bannon’s War Room podcast was taken down Friday for violating the platform’s Terms of Service, according to the Washington Examiner

A Friday evening search for the podcast brought up an error message reading: ‘This page isn’t available. Sorry about that. Try searching for something else.’ 

Youtube had warned earlier this week that it would ban accounts that continued to spread misinformation about voter fraud. 

Clearly Trump and his supporters are under attack from social media companies not named Parler, and given the vitriol from that bunch, they deserve to be under attack. The events of this week show that things have gone too far and this needs to be addressed. And addressed now by not giving these people a voice of any sort.

Google Gets A Slap On The Wrist For Collecting Children’s Data On YouTube And Making Money By Doing So

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 4, 2019 by itnerd

US regulators need to learn that the only way to alter the behavior of billion dollar companies is to serve up fines that hurt. A case in point is this report from the New York Times that has Google cutting a $170 million cheque to the FTC because it was caught collecting children’s data on YouTube and making money off that data:

Google on Wednesday agreed to pay a record $170 million fine and to make changes to protect children’s privacy on YouTube, as regulators said the video site had knowingly and illegally harvested personal information from youngsters and used that data to profit by targeting them with ads.

The measures were part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and New York’s attorney general. They said YouTube had violated a federal children’s privacy law known as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA.

The fact is $170 million is a rounding error to a company that had revenues of almost $40 billion dollars last quarter. Meaning that this will do nothing to send a message that such behavior is unacceptable.  If the FTC and others really want to send that message, I would say fines have to be in the same range as the GDPR which really hurt companies who run afoul of it.

YouTube Pwned… Videos Erased Or Defaced

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 10, 2018 by itnerd

This is embarrassing if you’re YouTube.

The BBC is reporting that several high-profile music videos on YouTube were mysteriously deleted early Tuesday, in what appears like the result of a security compromise. Some of the videos that have been pulled from Google’s video platform include Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” — which is also the most popular video on the platform. Users reported Tuesday that the thumbnail of the video was replaced by a masked gang holding guns, who identify themselves as “Prosox and Kuroi’sh.” Several songs from DJ Snake, Drake, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Shakira, and Taylor Swift have also been either deleted or altered with. On Twitter, a person who claims to be one of the hackers said this:

Google who owns YouTube has yet to acknowledge the incident. But it will be interesting to see what they say if and when they do