Here is a relatively mild, but still upsetting example: A step beyond the simply pirated Peppa Pig videos mentioned previously are the knock-offs. What I will argue, on the basis of these cases and of those I’m going to describe further, is that the scale and logic of the system is complicit in these outputs, and requires us to think through their implications. Channel after channel after channel of similar content, churned out at the rate of hundreds of new videos every week. Industrialised nightmare production. The architecture they have built to extract the maximum revenue from online video is being hacked by persons unknown to abuse children, perhaps not even deliberately, but at a massive scale. I’m going to stop here, saying only this: What concerns me is not just the violence being done to children here, although that concerns me deeply. He also co-hosts one of the world’s most popular podcast Hello Internet with another successful YouTube educator Brady Haran. Batman, Joker, Riddler, Catwoman” and on and on and on. I usually write on my own blog, but frankly I don’t want what I’m talking about here anywhere near my own site. I am not alleging anything bad about Play Go Toys; I am simply illustrating how the structure of YouTube facilitates the delamination of content and author, and how this impacts on our awareness and trust of its source. In the official Peppa Pig videos, Peppa does indeed go to the dentist, and the episode in which she does so seems to be popular — although, confusingly, what appears to be the real episode is only available on an unofficial channel. How to pick the best niche for your YouTube channel. I see kids engrossed in screens all the time, in pushchairs and in restaurants, and there’s always a bit of a Luddite twinge there, but I am not a parent, and I’m not making parental judgments for or on anyone else. There is a lot of effort going into making these. He is popular due to his quick wit and humorous player interactions - no one trolls other players better than faceless. Nobody set out to create these shirts: they just paired an unchecked list of verbs and pronouns with an online image generator. Exploitation is encoded into the systems we are building, making it harder to see, harder to think and explain, harder to counter and defend against. 15 Popular YouTube Channel Ideas to Get You Started The most common video trends are the best for a reason. As with Bounce Patrol Kids, however you feel about the content of these videos, it feels impossible to know where the automation starts and ends, who is coming up with the ideas and who is roleplaying them. A second way of increasing hits on videos is through keyword/hashtag association, which is a whole dark art unto itself. I have always been a critical proponent of the internet and everything it has brought, and broadly considered it to be emancipatory and beneficial. I’ve seen family members and friend’s children plugged into Peppa Pig and nursery rhyme videos, and it makes them happy and gives everyone a break, so OK. Sometimes PewDiePie did have a small square in a corner showing his facial expressions as he played. Channel Leaderboards × × The Most Popular Twitch Streamers, December 2020. A huge number of these videos are essentially created by bots and viewed by bots, and even commented on by bots. The brand with the most followers on the platform is Riot Games with over 5 million followers. Statistics data is updated every day via YouTube API and summarized by Stats.Video by. Obviously too this raises questions of fair use, appropriation, free speech and so on. (Surprise-egg videos are all accompanied by pre-roll, and sometimes mid-video and ads.). This is a music channel by Konrad and he is a music video producer and owns KondZilla Records. The video consists of a regular version of the Finger Family song played over an animation of character heads and bodies from Disney’s Aladdin swapping and intersecting. A striking example of the weirdness is the Finger Family videos (harmless example embedded above). Using a combination of hand-labeling and machine learning, the Center categorized videos based on whether or not they contained any text or audio in a language other than English. This automation takes us to very, very strange places, and at this point the rabbithole is so deep that it’s impossible to know how such a thing came into being. [1][6], The first-created and first-viewed YouTube channel was "Jawed" created on April 23, 2005 by YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim. The offness creeps in with the appearance of a non-Aladdin character —Agnes, the little girl from Despicable Me. But reports which simply understand the problem through this lens fail to fully grasp the mechanisms being deployed, and thus are incapable of thinking its implications in totality, and responding accordingly. With just 515 videos, they have accrued 11.5 million subscribers and 13 billion views. Like Nastya Show . Here’s one from Russia. Another huge trope, especially the youngest children, is nursery rhyme videos. Little Baby Bum, which made the above video, is the 7th most popular channel on YouTube. Numbers in the long tail aren’t significant in the abstract, but in their accumulation. Historical progression of most-viewed channels. The channel is having 3,840,000 subscribers with 450 videos uploaded. Superhero Finger Family Collection”, “Batman Finger Family Song — Superheroes and Villains! Disturbing Peppa Pig videos, which tend towards extreme violence and fear, with Peppa eating her father or drinking bleach, are, it turns out very widespread. This no longer applies when brand and content are disassociated by the platform, and so known and trusted content provides a seamless gateway to unverified and potentially harmful content. TheRadbrad YouTube channel does an amazing job of this and they have 9 million subscribers to prove it. To expose children to this content is abuse. The internet has a way of amplifying and enabling many of our latent desires; in fact, it’s what it seems to do best. On the video platform YouTube, a subscriber to a channel is a user who, by selecting that channel's subscribe button, has chosen to receive content released by the channel.Each user's subscription feed consists of videos recently published by channels to which the account is subscribed. In the official timeline, Peppa is appropriately reassured by a kindly dentist. About Youtuber FOX NEWS is a top five cable network, FNC has been the most-watched news channel in the country for more than 12 years and according to Public Policy Polling, is the most trusted television news source in the country. I have no idea where the “Wrong Heads” trope originates, but I can imagine, as with the Finger Family Song, that somewhere there is a totally original and harmless version that made enough kids laugh that it started to climb the algorithmic rankings until it made it onto the word salad lists, combining with Learn Colors, Finger Family, and Nursery Rhymes, and all of these tropes — not merely as words but as images, processes, and actions — to be mixed into what we see here. As well as nursery rhymes and learning colours, Toy Freaks specialises in gross-out situations, as well as activities which many, many viewers feel border on abuse and exploitation, if not cross the line entirely, including videos of the children vomiting and in pain. I kind of hope it is. Open your favourite YouTube channel. But I don’t think so. They’re at play here, but they’re not the whole story. In turn, the amplification of tropes in popular, human-led channels such as Toy Freaks leads to them being endlessly repeated across the network in increasingly outlandish and distorted recombinations. What is occurring here is clearly automated. As the importance of video content becomes increasingly evident, more and more businesses are turning to video. 12. But it shouldn’t obscure that there are also many actual children, plugged into iphones and tablets, watching these over and over again — in part accounting for the inflated view numbers — learning to type basic search terms into the browser, or simply mashing the sidebar to bring up another video. I believe they have an absolute responsibility to deal with this, just as they have a responsibility to deal with the radicalisation of (mostly) young (mostly) men via extremist videos — of any political persuasion. Once again, I want to stress: this is still really mild, even funny stuff compared to a lot of what is out there. Many of these latest examples confound any attempt to argue that nobody is actually watching these videos, that these are all bots. There are literally thousands of channels doing the same thing, and they get views and subscribers. SpaceX’s Starlink to Receive $886 Million From FCC to Improve Rural Broadband, The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority, Why you should care about the Nate Silver vs. Nassim Taleb Twitter war. Numbers in the long tail aren’t significant in the abstract, but in their accumulation. T-Series), YouTubers (e.g. But I don’t even have kids and right now I just want to burn the whole thing down. Here, and overwhelmingly it sometimes feels, that tendency is itself a violent and destructive one. Someone or something or some combination of people and things is using YouTube to systematically frighten, traumatise, and abuse children, automatically and at scale, and it forces me to question my own beliefs about the internet, at every level. (Yes, this is the exact same process as the delamination of trusted news media on Facebook feeds and in Google results that is currently wreaking such havoc on our cognitive and political systems and I am not going to explicitly explore that relationship further here, but it is obviously deeply significant.). The 10 Best YouTube Channels for Full At-Home Workouts By Emma Korstanje March 23, 2020 | 12:45pm Escape the Crowds with These 5 Outdoor Retreats in … While I find it disturbing, I can understand how it might provide some of the rhythm or cadence or relation to their own experience that actual babies are attracted to in this content, although it has been warped and stretched through algorithmic repetition and recombination in ways that I don’t think anyone actually wants to happen. Many are obviously parodies, or even satires of themselves, in the pretty common style of the internet’s outrageous, deliberately offensive kind. ], Toy Freaks is a hugely popular channel (68th on the platform) which features a father and his two daughters playing out — or in some cases perhaps originating — many of the tropes we’ve identified so far, including “Bad Baby”, (previously embedded above). 2. Who’s writing these scripts, editing these videos? More than spam revenue can generate — can it? I spend a lot of time arguing for this tendency, with regards to human sexual freedom, individual identity, and other issues. You don’t have to read it, and are advised to take caution exploring further. Her work has appeared on Techvibes, SlashGear, Lifehack and others. But as with Toy Freaks, what is concerning to me about the Peppa videos is how the obvious parodies and even the shadier knock-offs interact with the legions of algorithmic content producers until it is completely impossible to know what is going on. It’s also international: there are variations of Finger Family and Learn Colours videos for Tamil epics and Malaysian cartoons which are unlikely to pop up in any Anglophone search results. On-demand video is catnip to both parents and to children, and thus to content creators and advertisers. He posts music produced by his record label on his channel, which usually consists of music videos and some behind the scenes footage. But both stories take at face value YouTube’s assertions that these results are incredibly rare and quickly removed: assertions utterly refuted by the proliferation of the stories themselves, and the growing number of social media posts, largely by concerned parents, from which they arise. This is a deeply dark time, in which the structures we have built to sustain ourselves are being used against us — all of us — in systematic and automated ways. The example above, from a channel called Bounce Patrol Kids, with almost two million subscribers, show this effect in action. Here are the 10 most-subscribed-to channels. Again, this is weird but frankly no more than the Surprise Egg videos or anything else kids watch. I’ve written enough, too much, but I feel like I actually need to justify all this raving about violence and abuse and automated systems with an example that sums it up. In the example above, the agency is less clear: the video starts with a trollish Peppa parody, but later syncs into the kind of automated repetition of tropes we’ve seen already. Last updated Mon, Dec 7 at 9:53. The first-created and first-viewed YouTube channel was "Jawed" created on April 23, 2005 by YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim. [1][2][3][4][5] T-Series became the most-viewed YouTube channel on February 16, 2017 and has over 134 billion views as of December 2020. I state this at the outset because thinking through the implications of the problem I am going to describe troubles my own assumptions and prejudices in significant ways. Toy Freaks channel was removed by YouTube, a widespread removal of contentious content, On YouTube Kids, Startling Videos Slip Past Filters, Kids left traumatised after sick YouTube clips showing Peppa Pig characters with knives and guns appear on app for children, Here’s what is basically a version of Toy Freaks produced in Asia, BURIED ALIVE Outdoor Playground Finger Family Song Nursery Rhymes Animation Education Learning Video. I don’t know what to think any more. This is the origin of all the weird names in the list above: branded content and nursery rhyme titles and “surprise egg” all stuffed into the same word salad to capture search results, sidebar placement, and “up next” autoplay rankings. I’m a writer and artist concerned with technology and culture. Top 250 from United Kingdom. I’ve also been aware for some time of the increasingly symbiotic relationship between younger children and YouTube. It’s not about trolls, but about a kind of violence inherent in the combination of digital systems and capitalist incentives. pirated Peppa Pig and other cartoons, videos of toy unboxings (another kid magnet), and videos of, one supposes, the channel owner’s own children. Not in a future of AI overlords and robots in the factories, but right here, now, on your screen, in your living room and in your pocket. One of the thus-far hypothetical questions I ask myself frequently is how I would feel about my own children having the same kind of access to the internet today. They literally had no idea what they were doing. Stock animations, audio tracks, and lists of keywords being assembled in their thousands to produce an endless stream of videos. It’s very mild on the scale of such things, but. All the 4chan tropes are there, the trolls are out, we know this. Create Whiteboard Animations. As another blogger notes, one of the traditional roles of branded content is that it is a trusted source. It presents many and complexly entangled dangers, including that, just as with the increasing focus on alleged Russian interference in social media, such events will be used as justification for increased control over the internet, increasing censorship, and so on. I have no idea where they came from or the origin of the children’s rhyme at the core of the trope, but there are at least 17 million versions of this currently on YouTube, and again they cover every possible genre, with billions and billions of aggregated views. Surprise Eggs videos depict, often at excruciating length, the process of unwrapping Kinder and other egg toys. As someone who grew up on the internet, I credit it as one of the most important influences on who I am today. Wrong Heads Disney Wrong Ears Wrong Legs Kids Learn Colors Finger Family 2017 Nursery Rhymes. I’m trying not to turn this essay into an endless list of examples, but it’s important to grasp how vast this system is, and how indeterminate its actions, process, and audience. They literally had no idea what they were doing. Automated reward systems like YouTube algorithms necessitate exploitation in the same way that capitalism necessitates exploitation, and if you’re someone who bristles at the second half of that equation then maybe this should be what convinces you of its truth. 82 likes. I’m not going to link to it. And of course there are vast, vast numbers of these videos.