Trio Da Kali – Full Performance (Live on KEXP) https://youtu.be/9ttsz6j6bjM
Future – Mask Off https://youtu.be/xvZqHgFz51I
Among the millions of algorithmically-generated videos on YouTube attempting to hack keyword searches, autoplay rankings, and human cognition, a very sizeable number are aimed at children, playing on common YouTube tropes such as nursery rhymes, surprise eggs, learning colours and popular songs and characters.
A very significant number of these however are intentionally disturbing, segueing from standard cartoon fare into nightmarish situations of pain, fear, violence and abuse, with a notable propensity for things which particularly trouble children: dentistry, blood, injections, insects, and evil clowns. The knock-off Peppa Pigs above are at the very mildest end of this spectrum.
What is particularly troubling is that while there is a connection here to the kind of algorithmic weirdness that youtube and other similar complex computational systems throw up with increasing regularity (the rape tshirts, the adult diaper phone cases), this is a deliberate, intentional attempt to terrorise and traumatise children, performed on a massive scale, using Youtube and its algorithms as its attack vector.
References, in ascending order of disturbingness:
YouTube has a fake Peppa Pig problem - The Outline
On YouTube Kids, Startling Videos Slip Past Filters - New York Times
Something is Terribly Wrong With Many “Kids” Videos on YouTube – Vigilant Citizen
There is a widespread sense amongst the public that surveillance is inevitable, shows a study following the Snowden revelations.
The British public is uneasy with the extent of data collection and surveillance revealed in documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden since June 2013. But there is a widespread sense of resignation to its inevitability, coupled with confusion as to the purpose, degrees and practices of surveillance, says a two-year study of the nature, opportunities and challenges of digital citizenship following Snowden’s revelations.
Findings point to ‘surveillance realism’ – a condition in which imagining alternative ways of organising society has become increasingly difficult. “One strand of our research illustrates the extent to which the possibilities for change post-Snowden have been stifled by limited public debate and knowledge, feelings of disempowerment, and systematic reinforcement of state and corporate interests above those of citizens,” says Dr Arne Hintz.
“In the project we also analysed media reporting of surveillance, impacts on civil society and technological infrastructure, and policy reform. As a result, we have developed a new understanding of digital citizenship in the era of omnipresent data collection and analysis in which citizens are increasingly profiled and categorised according to their personal data, and explored ways to address this new reality.”
AlphaGo, fake news, cyberwar: 2017 has felt science-fictional in the here and now. Space settlement and sea-steading seem just around the bend; so, at times, do nuclear war and pandemic.
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won’t be available to download any more. These are my 100 favourite songs of 2017: songs I love more than snow-men, group-texts and royal weddings.
STORMZY – BLINDED BY YOUR GRACE PT.2 FT. MNEK https://youtu.be/HPuj6UISMhs
Christian Bale talks “Hostiles” and his new look https://youtu.be/yjV4PIDJVHg
Method Man, Ghostface Killah, RZA – Pearl Harbor ft. Sean Price (Explicit) 2017 https://youtu.be/6qRqcjB-iRE