More silencing tactics aimed at Anita Sarkeesian and Tropes vs Women in Video Games

A short while ago Anita Sarkeesian published another video (Damsel in Distress: Part 2 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games) to her Feminist Frequency YouTube channel. Within an hour it was taken down by YouTube because it had been flagged as containing objectionable content. Feminist Frequency appealed the takedown, and it was quickly restored, so you can watch it now below.

Good on YouTube for restoring the video so quickly, but the fact that she needed to appeal it at all means that apparently YouTube appears to have no mechanism in place for people to request inclusion on a “subject to vexatious complaints” list, where they could be sequestered from the automatic takedown procedure which involves no human eyes viewing the request. It strikes me as something that would be relatively simple to create on a purely technical level, so why hasn’t it been? It’s not like there’s a shortage of gits dedicated to making vexatious complaints around the YouTube community, so why not have a mechanism that doesn’t make it so simple for them to silence other people’s voices?

h/t Jason Thibeault

Categories: arts & entertainment, ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, technology

Tags: , , ,

5 replies

  1. Because Merica? Because Datelines? Get that stuff off NOW as against screeching flying poo flinging monkeys that will play silly buggers? Because PICTURE OF MOTHER FEEDING HER BABY ERMIGERD!!!11!1!!Elven!1! as opposed to Family Values ™*
    *Your family is of no value.
    This post brought to you by red wine, sarcams, white whine, cynicism, and half past ten at night, and the letters F and U. Spelling optional

  2. It’s a good idea, but, just as some people constantly harass certain chosen victims online, those same people would immediately declare themselves to be “subject to vexatious complaints” to guarantee themselves the right to be as vicious as they like without easy recourse.
    In the end, YouTube would have to establish a kind of court to review posters and complaints on an individual basis. Even then the trolls would simply swamp it.

    • You’re probably right. I was thinking that anyone applying would have to demonstrate a pattern of abusive comments on their channel, but it’s certainly not beyond 4-chan and suchlike to dedicate a campaign to submitting fake abuse to a friend’s channel just to flesh out the background story.
      A single hour’s downtime due to a vexatious complaint is a fairly quick turnaround, really.

  3. Kevin – I bet YouTube have some arrangement in place with the companies/people who bring in a lot of ad revenue or pay them enough – say pre-screening or a contract to pay a substantial fine if they are found to break the rules. Because otherwise its a pretty easy DoS attack.

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