Mark Steyn’s April 4, 2018 piece on the YouTube gunwoman Nasim Aghdam included two wonderful passages about the Internet as Google and its YouTube subsidiary are remaking it. Commenting on YouTube itself, Steyn writes:
YouTube is a racket: industrial copyright theft on a planet-wide scale. They get Gladys Scroggins of 27b Elm Street to do most of the active thievery – posting, say, her favorite Michael Jackson video – and then they become one of the biggest corporate behemoths in history by selling advertising off her theft, and tossing the occasional dime Gladys’ way. If you raise an objection to anything they’re doing, you get 47 emails from fellows with different first names – “Bob”, “Dave”, “Nigel”, “Kelli-Su”, “Miguel”, “Rajiv”, “LaShon’dra”, “Bud” – all reciting the exact same boilerplate screw-you response.
As it is, what finally put the shooter, Aghdam, over the edge with YouTube was her ridiculously low views-to-earnings ratio: 300,000 views for 10 cents. Expanding on how YouTube can demonetize and remonetize down its accounts at will (and often for political reasons), Steyn adds:
Why, it’s almost like being made to sit at the back of the cyber-bus or use a separate de-monetized drinking fountain… Don’t like it? Well, you can go to a rock-ribbed conservative like, say, Senator Mike Lee of Utah. But Google/YouTube recently moved into his state and — surprise! — he now seems disinclined to rock that particular boat. Tucker Carlson interviewed him, and some edgy Internet types lifted the interview and posted it to YouTube, billing Senator Lee as “Google’s Number One bootlicker” — and then complained that Google/YouTube had “shadow banned” them so they’d only just realized that Google/YouTube were preventing them cleaning up with Google/YouTube ad revenue by posting somebody else’s content on Google/YouTube in order to trash Google/YouTube. That right there is the Internet in a nutshell.
Steyn is right as far as he goes, but the problem is even more insidious and pervasive. [Read more…] about Google’s Antitrust Future