Impossibility Of Content Moderation: Scientist Debunking Vaccine Myths Gets A YouTube Strike For Medical Misinfo

from the it's-tougher-than-you-think dept

Here's another one in our never ending series on the impossibility of doing content moderation at scale, and how (all too frequently) people trying to expose bad behavior are punished as if they're promoting bad behavior.

This involves a scientist who streams on YouTube as Scientist Mel, and tries to educate people about science, including debunking bad science takes. This included a recent two hour episode debunking anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. The video does look at a bunch of ridiculous conspiracy theories and scientific claptrap and nonsense... and then debunks it. But, YouTube dinged her channel for misinformation:

And... look, you can see how this happens, right? You have reviewers with limited time and a two hour video is a lot to take in. And in skimming through the video, you will come across conspiracy theory nonsense regarding COVID and COVID treatments. But it's there so that Mel can debunk it. So... Mel appealed the strikes. And YouTube upheld the appeal, claiming "we reviewed your content carefully, and have confirmed that it violates our medical misinformation policy." They were condescendingly nice about it in their form email: "We know this is probably disappointing news, but it's our job to make sure that YouTube is a safe place for all." Yeah, that's not what this is doing, of course.

Of course, as this started to get a bit more attention... on Twitter... suddenly YouTube realized it might have made a mistake, and over the weekend admitted it was a mistake and the strike was removed (and the video returned).

So, in this case, the end result worked out -- but like so many cases, that only happened once the initial "bad" result started to get some attention elsewhere (Twitter being the world's best "consumer complaint" forum).

Of course, I'm sympathetic to both ends of this argument. I can see why this clearly erroneous strike/takedown sucks for Mel. But I can also see exactly how it happens. When tons of people are screaming at every social media site out there to make sure they take down any medical misinformation, and videos often involve (as in this case) multiple hours of content, it's literally impossible to review them completely and understand the context in which the conspiracy theory nonsense was shown. That doesn't excuse YouTube messing up the appeal, of course, but the appeals process apparently isn't particularly robust, and likely suffers from the same limitations as the initial review.

And this kind of issue is only going to get worse and worse as various laws around the world demand that "bad" information be removed quickly or websites will face significant liability.

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Filed Under: content moderation, debunking, myths, science, scientist mel
Companies: youtube


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  • identicon
    anon, 9 Sep 2021 @ 12:44pm

    What if she's wrong?

    What if some future scientific revelation provers her partially wrong? Will she get the strike back? After all, this is how science actually works....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 12:51pm

      Re: What if she's wrong?

      They could strike most of Newtonian theories as not being the most fully correct, lol. Or, they could strike science education for primary-school children as it is frequently not as full and nuanced as secondary-school / university / leading edge current science.

      On the other hand, most moderators might only know the more simplistic way science is taught, and strike more advanced versions. The possibilities are endless.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rocky, 9 Sep 2021 @ 12:54pm

      Re: What if she's wrong?

      There's a vast difference between misinformation and facts that reflect the current scientific and medical understanding.

      Will someone get a strike on old material that no longer corresponds to new science? It's a possibility for the same reason why Scientist Mel's current video got a strike.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 1:30pm

        Re: Re: What if she's wrong?

        There's a vast difference between misinformation and facts that reflect the current scientific and medical understanding.

        Try explaining that to every moderator ever. Try making sure they know the actual difference in any given domain.

        This is one reason why moderation breaks sometimes. i think we all fully agree that moderation at scale is impossible. i rather expect that anon was making a good-faith conversational point about specific ways something could break in the future. is there a reason to not read that charitably?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Rocky, 9 Sep 2021 @ 2:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: What if she's wrong?

          i rather expect that anon was making a good-faith conversational point about specific ways something could break in the future. is there a reason to not read that charitably?

          Did I answer in an uncharitable way? The first paragraph firmly establishes that misinformation and facts are vastly different, the second paragraph acknowledges that if facts change there is possibility that an old video containing outdated facts may be moderated as misinformation by mistake.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 3:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What if she's wrong?

            Did I answer in an uncharitable way?

            No, i was wondering if there was a reason to give the op a less charitable reading on my part.

            Perhaps i misapprehended your statement that misinformation and current facts subject to future refinement are different. I suppose what i am thinking is: The differences between outdated facts, misinformation, and disinformation are probably academic when it comes to the bulk of moderation efforts. Which i suppose is also what you said in acknowledging the possibility of any of these thing being a reason for getting a strike. Mea culpa for that.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 12:45pm

    i frequently see modertion by "Context" (more speech) which is poorly applied, such as references to facts about a thing when the video is debunking a thing. The best one so far is an inapt Context addressing something that was mentioned in passing, while the bulk of the video was debunking another thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 1:15pm

    While it is somewhat of a rehash of what Mike has been pushing for a while now, I think it's worth saying;

    It is a fools errant to try an force people not to live in an echo chamber. I believe (as I've taken Mikes ideas) that for communications platforms, that the best effort would be to create tools that enable people to have healthier environments, and encourage them to do so.
    However I think trying to universally deny people the ability to have the terrible content some people really want will, in the long run, continuously back fire. Thus focusing effort on that won't yield the most profitable results.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 1:39pm

    Not Debunking Hard Enough

    It seems to me like any medical misinformation is being removed, even if it gets debunked. YouTube wants complete radio silence. But what if YouTube is playing the long game? This decision to retract opens the possibility that a bad faith pro-conspiracy individual will begin posting more misinformation, and then do a deliberately bad job of debunking it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 2:42pm

      Re: Not Debunking Hard Enough

      Oh good! You are still alive. You were so silent over in that other thread that we were afraid the "worst" had happened.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 3:10pm

      Re: Not Debunking Hard Enough

      Hey Koby: you never responded to the questions on the other thread, in which you had 24 hours to back up your nonsense, so now we know you're posting in bad faith.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        ryuugami, 9 Sep 2021 @ 8:05pm

        Re: Re: Not Debunking Hard Enough

        now we know you're posting in bad faith

        Eh, to be fair, we knew that before, too. Though now we have (additional) proof.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Upstream (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 1:41pm

    Just making a point

    follow @WHO and @CDCgov

    While I completely agree with Masnick that moderation is impossible at scale, and I do not think Youtube should issue a strike or take down these videos, the above could legitimately be considered questionable advice. The history of both agencies is checkered, at best.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 1:57pm

      Re: Just making a point

      The history of both agencies is checkered, at best. While there are elements of both that leave room for improvement, they are not the ones promoting Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine enemas.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 9 Sep 2021 @ 2:31pm

        Re: Re: Just making a point

        Well it makes total sense to take unproven drugs not meant for COVID and ignore the proven medicine, the vaccine. Yip. %-/

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Upstream (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 3:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Just making a point

          I quite intentionally did not refer to any specific medications, treatments, or other medical procedures, advice, or recommendations that either the WHO or the CDC may have addressed in the recent or distant past.

          You did that. And in doing so, missed my point entirely.

          I referred to the "checkered histories" of both agencies (and I believe I was being rather polite, there) which stretch back decades, in both cases, and to the dubious wisdom of suggesting that people follow the advice of any agencies with such questionable track records.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            JMT (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 4:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Just making a point

            So is your advise to completely ignore these organisations and "do your own research"? Coz that's working out so well for all the Facebook-addicted Darwin Award hopefuls at the moment.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 7:02pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just making a point

              If you are doing good-faith research based on what qualified experts say, then yes. That would back up the sensible advice of the WHO and the CDC. It might have contradicted the whole "don't wear masks" shit though.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 12:36am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just making a point

                No, the "don't wear masks" thing is easily explained as "we don't believe COVID is airborne at the moment, but we saw how you assholes reacted with toilet paper, and we know doctors need masks way more than you needed that".

                If cautious, pragmatic early advice that changed the second that facts indicated that it needed to be changed gets you to completely ignore global scientific knowledge, you probably deserve to chow down on your horse paste.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            techflaws (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 4:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Just making a point

            And in doing so, missed my point entirely.

            Which was some variety of JAQ'ing off?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 2:39pm

    Dear YouTube,

    Your recent email said:

    feedback has been shared with the right team to help improve our review processes and prevent this from happening in the future.

    and:

    We're here if you have other questions.

    So I've got a couple of questions.

    1) Who is "the right team" in this case? Does that team specifically include the people involved in the initial strike decision and the initial appeal decision? The team responsible for creating policy and procedures? Both?

    2) What specific improvements in review processes have come from this feedback? (If the process for reviewing the specific feedback in this case is still ongoing, please let me know when specific recommendations for improvement are produced.)

    3) Do the improvements to your process include improvements to strike/appeal process include methods to help authors indicate relevant contextual information? Indicate where in the contested video content contrary to the strike can be found?

    Respectfully yours,

    J. Q. Public

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 2:51pm

      Dear YouTube,

      Thank you for your automated reply.

      While I had entertained hopes that your earlier message regarding feedback would actually result in changes, I see now that it was merely PR speak for "go away".

      Be aware, though, that such responses are less effective over time. And that effectiveness is very close to nil at this point.

      Respectfully yours,

      J. Q. Public

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 3:33pm

      Re: Dear YouTube,

      1) Who is "the right team" in this case?

      1a) Is the right team even a real thing? Be honest. :)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous, 9 Sep 2021 @ 2:55pm

    Mike Masnick is not a doctor

    For starters, the FDA approval process testing vaccinations, before approval would on average take many years. It takes a very long time to make sure vaccines are safe.

    With such a low risk of death of getting covid. There's really no rationale to get vaccinated without your own doctor giving you the vaccine. Because at present, few outlets administering the vaccine are administered by a licensed doctor. Leaving anyone getting a vaccine after caving to peer pressure to do so by the Biden administration, no recourse to sue when experiencing negative side effects or death.

    Obviously, Mike Masnick is no doctor, but he seems to think so given his statements from his article.

    Second, the vaccine that has been FDA-approved is not the vaccine that is being administered to those wanting to get vaccinated. Meaning, if you received the "vaccine" already, it was not FDA approved and you were taking part in a lab experiment.

    Just because you went and got vaccinated without your doctor administering it, doesn't mean that it's safe and a smart thing to do. But I'm willing to bet, many of you, including Mike Masnick, think you should because they did. This is bad advice, just like someone on youtube trying to coerce others who have not received the vaccine to get vaccinated when at present, FDA-approved vaccines have not been sent to ANY doctors, medical personal for administration. Why? Because they are trying to exhaust the supply that has not been approved, the very vaccines that are widely reported to have caused side effects.

    Finally, this concludes that the youtube video posted was in fact medical misinformation. Why? Because everyone getting vaccinated is taking part in an unapproved, lab experiment. And I for one, am not a lab rat, and I am not going to get vaccinated until I know it's safe, which is probably around 2027(the time it would take for FDA trials to actually approve/pass vaccines).

    I bet Techdirt will block this post because it counters the validity of this article. Because Mike Masnick is always right, even when he's wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 3:35pm

      Re: Mike Masnick is not a doctor

      Obviously, Mike Masnick is no doctor, but he seems to think so given his statements from his article.

      Or maybe that would be you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 3:49pm

      Re: Mike Masnick is not a doctor

      With such a low risk of death of getting covid.

      Its about 10 time that of the flu, and it is putting many more people in hospital, and leaving many with long term problems. I don't know where you are getting your idea of the risk from, but its not from following the news.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 4:17pm

      Re: Mike Masnick is not a doctor

      Or maybe you're an anti-vaxxer crank?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      AC Unknown (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 4:17pm

      Re: Mike Masnick is not a doctor

      And that's where you're wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 4:36pm

      Re: your dumb ass is not a doctor

      "I bet Techdirt will block this post because it counters the validity of this article. Because Mike Masnick is always right, even when he's wrong.'

      Nah it won't get blocked. But I will flag the hell out of shitty bad faith garbage "arguments" all day long.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 5:01pm

      Re: Mike Masnick is not a doctor

      That's a lot of words to just say "I know absolutely no idea about how modern vaccines are developed and why it can be done much faster than in the past, because my understanding of technology and science is frozen at the level it was when I left school".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 5:21pm

      Bugger off plague rat.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rocky, 9 Sep 2021 @ 5:29pm

      Re: Random idiot is not a doctor

      It takes a very long time to make sure vaccines are safe.

      And the research for this type of vaccine have been in the works for close to 30 years and the first animal-testing of RNA-vaccines was in 1994. You really should acquire some facts.

      With such a low risk of death of getting covid. There's really no rationale to get vaccinated without your own doctor giving you the vaccine. Because at present, few outlets administering the vaccine are administered by a licensed doctor. Leaving anyone getting a vaccine after caving to peer pressure to do so by the Biden administration, no recourse to sue when experiencing negative side effects or death.

      4.55 million deaths worldwide and 654,000 deaths in the USA alone kind of proves you are full of shit.

      Just because you went and got vaccinated without your doctor administering it, doesn't mean that it's safe and a smart thing to do. But I'm willing to bet, many of you, including Mike Masnick, think you should because they did. This is bad advice, just like someone on youtube trying to coerce others who have not received the vaccine to get vaccinated when at present, FDA-approved vaccines have not been sent to ANY doctors, medical personal for administration. Why? Because they are trying to exhaust the supply that has not been approved, the very vaccines that are widely reported to have caused side effects.

      I see you are peon who thinks that the rest of the world doesn't really exist or matter. Regardless of your naïve and myopic worldview, it would be interesting to see you actually provide some facts about these "widely reported side effects". Btw, perhaps I should first explain that "widely reported" doesn't mean "many people have gotten side effects" - unless you are talking about the headache and fever some get when the immuno-response kicks in.

      Finally, this concludes that the youtube video posted was in fact medical misinformation. Why? Because everyone getting vaccinated is taking part in an unapproved, lab experiment. And I for one, am not a lab rat, and I am not going to get vaccinated until I know it's safe, which is probably around 2027(the time it would take for FDA trials to actually approve/pass vaccines).

      It doesn't conclude anything, because you supplied zero facts and a lot of stinking bullshit. Btw, the FDA approved the vaccines for emergency use - how can they then be unapproved?

      I bet Techdirt will block this post because it counters the validity of this article. Because Mike Masnick is always right, even when he's wrong.

      No, it doesn't counter the validity one bit because all we have you proving how little you actually know. Your post will most likely be flagged into oblivion by the community here for the simple reason they don't suffer fools gladly - and you are one big fool.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 6:50pm

        A side effect of one is DEATH, the other not so much

        Regardless of your naïve and myopic worldview, it would be interesting to see you actually provide some facts about these "widely reported side effects"

        I can attest that both have side effects with my personal experience being the vaccine resulting in feeling like crap for a day or so after the shot and covid resulting in super-charged asthma that's lasted for months now and requires a twice-daily medication on top of my rescue inhaler so that I don't feel like I have a brick or two on my chest on a daily basis so I can totally see why they'd be super concerned about 'side effects' since those two are so similar.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 7:04pm

        Re: Re: Random idiot is not a doctor

        Come on, man, only doctors know how to stick a needle a centimeter or two into a muscle. They have all the magic.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 5:53pm

      Re:

      I like how we're two years into this pandemic and yet you maskless assholes still think it's insightful as shit to kiss Trump's footprints and insist that they know what's better for everyone else despite the US hitting record deaths, while you pissed and moaned that nobody would give you a haircut.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 8:28pm

      Re: Mike Masnick is not a doctor

      Not all bad-faith disinformation is hard to spot. Example: AC's fact-free wall of drivel.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 4:55am

      Re: Mike Masnick is not a doctor

      I bet Techdirt will block this post because it counters the validity > of this article.

      Yeah, no. It does not. You just repeated some antivax BS and provided zero facts to back it up. A swing and a miss.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 9 Sep 2021 @ 3:27pm

    So... Mel appealed the strikes. And YouTube upheld the appeal, claiming "we reviewed your content carefully, and have confirmed that it violates our medical misinformation policy."

    I'll let you in on a little secret: Nobody actually looks at your appeal, it's just automatically rejected by the site. The appeal process only exists so that YouTube can claim that there is one. They expect you to overlook the fact that all appeals go straight to the rejection subroutine.

    "We've checked & it looks like the video is now back up & the warning's resolved. We're sorry this happened – feedback has been shared with the right team to help improve our review processes and prevent this from happening in the future. We're here if you have other questions."

    Translation: Due to the bad publicity this has attracted, we had a human being actually look at this situation for the very first time and they agreed that the AI which now runs YouTube and all of Google had made a mistake, so we restored the video. This incident will teach us nothing. We will make absolutely no changes to our system. Humans will still not be involved in the process. Please feel free to talk to our unfeeling AI.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 9 Sep 2021 @ 3:27pm

    "With such a low risk of death of getting covid. "

    673,024 dead people in the US disagree.

    "There's really no rationale to get vaccinated without your own doctor giving you the vaccine."

    Mine was given by a nurse at the hospital I work at. I could also get one from a pharmacist along with so many public citizens.

    "Because at present, few outlets administering the vaccine are administered by a licensed doctor."

    Most doctors never administer vaccines. Nurses/pharmacists do that.

    "Leaving anyone getting a vaccine after caving to peer pressure to do so by the Biden administration, no recourse to sue when experiencing negative side effects or death."

    Nobody has died from the Pfizer nor Moderna vaccines.
    4,619,261 have died from COVID and it's still going up.
    And many more are suffering from Long COVID as it's a nasty disease to get.
    My hospital has started up a Long COVID clinic to start studying this.

    Go fuck yourself or better yet, die from this disease like so many other wackos.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 3:46pm

      Re:

      How many doctors does it take to give a flu shot? Five. One to summon the nurse, and four to make up the 3.15 foursome at Brentwood Country Club.

      How many doctors does it take to "supervise" a flu shot? Four.....

      s/flu/COVID/g;

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 9 Sep 2021 @ 4:11pm

    One of my fave jokes.

    JCAHOis doing a walk thru and they see a patient 'having a little fun time" with himself. JCAHO turns to the nurse. The nurse says, "Doctor's orders. For his prostate." JCAHO, "Oh....ok"

    They continue the walk thru and they see a patient receiving a BJ from a nurse.
    JCAHO angrily turns to the same nurse.
    Same Nurse: "Same orders...only he has insurance".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    restless94110 (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 12:50am

    Myths

    What part of 5 million injured from the vaccines is a myth? What part of 1,000s died from vaccines is a myth? Is VAERS a myth?

    Moderation is anti-American. Stop doing it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Strawb (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 1:32am

      Re: Myths

      What part of 5 million injured from the vaccines is a myth?

      Provide some evidence and we'll find out.

      What part of 1,000s died from vaccines is a myth?

      All of it. VAERS reports 7,218 deaths among people who have received a vaccine, but there's no evidence linking their deaths to the vaccine itself. The rate (0.0020%) is probably low enough for their deaths to have occurred either way.

      Is VAERS a myth?

      No, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System does exist.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 1:46am

        Re: Re: Myths

        "All of it. VAERS reports 7,218 deaths among people who have received a vaccine, but there's no evidence linking their deaths to the vaccine itself."

        ...and even if it did, that's far preferably to the death toll of COVID.

        "The rate (0.0020%) is probably low enough for their deaths to have occurred either way."

        Recently I heard the Alex Jones types latch on to the fact that William Shakespeare, the second person in the UK to receive the vaccine, died a little while back. He was 81, and at the time he got the vaccine was a patient in the hospital's "frailty ward".

        But, no, his death has to be due to the vaccine and nothing else, so spread the disease to people who will die of the virus itself. These people would be pathetic if they weren't so dangerous.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rocky, 10 Sep 2021 @ 7:59am

        Re: Re: Myths

        Provide some evidence and we'll find out.

        He won't.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 1:40am

      Re: Myths

      "What part of 5 million injured from the vaccines is a myth? "

      Even if you weren't talking out your ass, that's still preferable from the dead and injured you idiots are promoting from the virus.

      "What part of 1,000s died from vaccines is a myth?"

      Cite your evidence for this. No, not "86 year old man dies from unrelated causes at some point after he got the vaccine". Actual evidence that there was a causal link in these cases.

      "Is VAERS a myth?"

      No, it's a site where people self-report potential harm that might or might not be related to a vaccine, which is then used to investigate claims. It's not evidence of anything, except how gullible you plague rats are.

      "Moderation is anti-American"

      No, private property is still very much an American right. If some exercises their private property rights, your ass gets the fuck out of their property. End of.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2021 @ 2:13am

      Re:

      Moderation is anti-American. Stop doing it.

      Is Parler going to stop doing it? Is GETTR?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 4:58am

      Re: Myths

      What part of 5 million injured from the vaccines is a myth?

      What orifice did you pull that number from cause it surely smells bad.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 5:20am

        Re: Re: Myths

        I sure wouldn't want to go there...

        A quick search around finds the following article debunking the idea that VAERS is an indication of a causal link:

        https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-vaers-death-idUSL1N2Q3239

        "up to August 20: 623,343 adverse event reports after #Covid #vaccination. A total 2,826,646 individual-symptom events"

        Now, it's certainly possible that in the weeks since that was written there's been a doubling of self-reported cases, but it's also possible that I could log in today and state that the vaccine turned my mother into a hamster and my father suddenly smells of elderberries. That doesn't mean that it actually happened, let alone that the vaccines were a direct causal factor.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2021 @ 6:11am

      Re: Myths

      everyone in history whoever drank a glass of water or went outside into the sunshine died. By your logic, drinking water + being outside when its even slightly sunny = death sentence.

      Sheesh.

      I know 10yr old kids with more logical thinking than you

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2021 @ 6:12pm

      Re: Myths

      "What part of 5 million injured from the vaccines is a myth? What part of 1,000s died from vaccines is a myth? "

      All of it.

      "Is VAERS a myth?"

      I reported you as terminally stupid. Ya know since anyone can report anything on it.

      "Moderation is anti-American. Stop doing it."

      No

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2021 @ 6:03am

    This is this WASN'T a mistake. the youtube staffer that struck the video (can't name here for legal reasons) is a qanon nutball, conspiracy lunatic into all the "everyone that ever wore a mask is dead / vaccines give you magnetic superpowers / the world is flat" nonsense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 12:58pm

      Re:

      That would also act as a viable explanation though barring some evidence to that end it's speculation at this point, so do you happen to have any of that evidence?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    basstabs (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 2:16pm

    There're even more issues at play here than just the scale of moderation and the subjectivity of content. Mathematically, you can't ever make a perfect moderation system that's fully automated.

    Content like photos and video are actually just a form of code: data stored on a computer that is executed (usually through a separate program) that creates a result.

    Unfortunately, the noncomputability of the halting problem, or more precisely Rice's theorem, says that (under any model of computation that can be modeled by a Turing machine, i.e. every one we have currently) for a given property, it is impossible to determine all of the code which will exhibit that property when run. That is, if you have a computer program whose job is to look at pieces of code and determine if they have a certain piece of behavior, you will ALWAYS have false positives, false negatives, or your moderation program will crash. Another way to phrase this is that it's mathematically impossible to make perfect antivirus software.

    This is independent of the amount of memory or computation time you have: if you have infinite memory and arbitrarily much finite computation time, you still can't do it. Even quantum computers are still bound by this restriction.

    As a corollary of this, even if we somehow, magically, were able to completely describe all objectionable images, videos, etc. using some guidelines, we could never actually write a fully automated computer program to implement these guidelines and determine whether or not a particular piece of content was inside that list with perfect accuracy. (Unless the "guidelines" were either "everything is objectionable" or "nothing is objectionable.") We would always flag some non-objectionable content, or allow some objectionable content, or some mixture of the two. No matter how strongly worded a law or judgement ordering a company to create such a system is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 11 Sep 2021 @ 5:46am

    Time to Stop Paying Extra Taxes

    going to get worse and worse as various laws around the world demand that "bad" information be removed quickly

    Only if one maintains offices in those places around the world. Generally the US is relatively safe for most of this stuff.

    If the video sharing service closes offices in India, it is no longer within the reach of Indian laws, even if it no longer has the opportunity to pay taxes to New Dehli. I suppose they could mail a check. Likewise for Brazil, Russia, Red China, Australia, and so many others of which we have read here in Techdirt.

    Note that some services cannot be safely had from US vendors. For instance DNS service ought to be purchased abroad, lest the US govt decide to seize or transfer your domain for saying disapproved things.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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