I spent 30 minutes tonight removing about 200 hate comments on my most-recent video… most from one user account (flamingAJ1213). The little fellow must have sat there for hours typing. Most likely he missed the sarcasm when I pretended to believe Nixon and Clinton were telling the truth, but Obama was lying when he said “what is required of us is a new era of responsibility.” I’ve considered humor subtitles for those lacking the gene to discern sarcasm, irony or humor– especially when politics are involved.
What surprises me, however, are two things. First, that these people know how to type on a keyboard, even if they tend to use “your” instead of the contraction “you’re” (and don’t care much when you correct their grammar. Second, and more importantly, I’m surprised to report how YouTube responded when I reported a quote like this one, written by YouTube user LittleNard19:
“I’d rather spend my time gutting Nalts and his children, then (expletive) his hot (expletive) wife in her tight (expletive).
After 3 years of reading tens of thousands of comments on my videos, I’m fairly immune to attention-seeking rants of the miserable. But I do quite prefer “I want to defecate in your mouth” to a suggestion of violence against my family.
Mind you, this situation pales in comparison to one months ago. We received very specific threats (from an ISP near us), and found a sliced break-line of a car parked in our driveway. The YouTuber referenced the crime (yes we reported it to the police, but YouTube could not provide the “smoking gun” without a warrant).
In this evening’s situation, I’m discovering that YouTube has degraded its abuse/violence process “to serve you better.” Try reporting these accounts of spam, terms of service violations, racism, sexual and death threats, and here’s what you have to look forward to (that’s assuming you’re a YouTube Partner… I’m not sure what happens when you’re just a regular Joe but it can’t be much worse):
Step one: Canned response.
Step two: A website menu with options.
Step three: Information but no forms or contact info. Basically they give you some tips from McGruff the crime dog, and suggest you call 911. No seriously. McGruff. Maybe they send Scrappy Doo if you’re not a partner.
- How about pulling someone’s account when there’s documented evidence of violation of YouTube’s terms of service? Several hundred comments aren’t hard to track, and all of our intra YouTube communication is databased.
- How about a form that allows me to provide a formal complaint, so at least YouTube can investigate an account with multiple acts of verbal threats and abuse? Or is fake at least I have some hope. It feels a little better than reading: “YouTube has literally MILLIONS of viewers every day and just like in the real world, most of the people are good, but some aren’t.” Yeah- some aren’t, and I tend to avoid places where they hang out.
- No I have a better idea. Let’s put our energy into censoring Winekone’s latest video because he used a clip (with permission) that was approved for Canadian tv but too naughty for YouTube.
To I sound bitter? Yeah I am. I know YouTube would self implode if it pursued every case like this, but I’d like to think someone at the company would care enough to make me think they’re doing something. Or even better, maybe they could do something.