Revisiting The Verge PC Guide Fiasco w/Stefan Etienne

Linus Tech Tips had a surprising episode with special guest Stefan Etienne this week. If he looks familiar, Stefan hosted the infamous The Verge PC build guide video two years ago. Linus gave him the opportunity to tell his side of the story while fixing the mistakes he made in that video. I’m going to recap the PC guide fiasco, the copyright strikes that followed, and the new info from Stefan.

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Why The Trump Big Tech Lawsuit Will Fail

Former president Donald Trump announced his class-action lawsuit against Big Tech. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube banned his accounts after inciting the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The lawsuit calls for:

  • Declaring Big Tech as “a state actor” for infringing on Trump’s First Amendment right.
  • Declaring Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as unconstitutional.
  • The reinstatement of Trump’s banned accounts.
  • And unspecified punitive damages.

Here’s why the Trump Big Tech lawsuit will fail.

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Did JayzTwoCents CHANGE ANYTHING After Getting COVID-19?

JayzTwoCents announced that he had COVID-19 on Twitter six weeks ago. He figured out how to use a camera again, made some videos, and went to bed. A week later he posted this tweet:

JayzTwoCents, Phil and Nick returned to work shortly thereafter. That was a month ago. Did JayzTwoCents change anything after being sick with COVID-19?

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Please “Mod Down” All My YouTube Videos

Photo by Daniel Páscoa on Unsplash

A troll posted the following anonymous comment on Slashdot, encouraging users to “mod down” all my YouTube videos.

Make sure to go to YouTube to mod him down, any kind of Google account will allow you to mod him down. I use my Gmail account. Don’t mod too many of his videos down at once since YouTube will shadow-ban and ignore your mods while still making you believe they count.

– I mod down 3 of his videos every day.
– I wait a bit and watch a few videos between modding each of his video down.
-Watch a minute or two before modding it down, then click next video.

Don’t bother to go to YouTube if you don’t have some type of Google account, it’s definitely not worth the time.

I want everyone from Slashdot (and Medium) to click the dislike button on all my videos. If the above steps were consistently applied, each person would add over six hours of watch time to my channel in 83 days. Watch time, not the like/dislike ratio, is the metric that that the YouTube algorithm cares the most about.

Read the rest of the essay on Medium.

Electric Magic Creative Personality ATX Bench Case Review

Last year I looked for an open air ATX bench case to build a modest test system. Popular Tech YouTubers like JayzTwoCents and Paul’s Hardware prefer the Praxis Wetbench open-air bench case. I have two problems with that bench case: too big and too expensive. The Praxis bench case is 18” x 19” x 17” and cost $200 USD. I needed a bench case that was compact and cost a lot less. The Electric Magic Creative Personality open air ATX bench case is 11” x 7” x 16” (standing up) and cost $56 USD. If you think assembling IKEA furniture was bad, try assembling this bench case.

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Is My YouTube Channel Dying During The Pandemic?

Image from Social Blade. Annotations by C.D. Reimer.

My YouTube channel is dying. Social Blade confirmed it (according to the Monthly Gained Video Views graph on my channel profile page). My channel peaked at 8,442 views in January 2020, fell to 3,394 views in February, slumped to 2,832 views in March, and slid to 2,632 views in April.

No doubt something else kept my audience preoccupied during that same time, say, looking for toilet paper in the middle of a pandemic.

Social Blade collects publicly available data about profiles from various social media platforms. For data that’s not publicly available, estimates and projections based fill in the missing gaps. Making Social Blade a one-stop website for critics and trolls — and the bane of content creators.

Those numbers — data, estimates and projections — don’t always tell the entire story when it comes to YouTube channels.

Read the rest of the essay on Medium.

Why YouTube’s Content Moderators Can’t Work From Home

Photo by Rachit Tank on Unsplash

YouTube sent their content moderators home from the office to keep them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, relying on machine learning to handle the demonetization or removal of inappropriate videos in their absence. As most content creators know too well, machine learning doesn’t always do a great job in flagging videos.

Onsite moderators must review flagged videos to determine if machine learning made a mistake. Every correction provides feedback for machine learning to refine its decision-making process when flagging future videos. Wrongly flagged videos will remain unmonetized or offline until an engineer gets around to reviewing them.

The outcry from creators was: “Why can’t the moderators work from home?!”

YouTube released a video explaining that “video reviewers” can’t work from home because their work is sensitive and/or some areas of the world don’t have the right technical infrastructure. An explanation that didn’t reveal the whole truth. Having worked at Google before and after the Great Recession, I can tell you why moderators can’t work from home.

Read the rest of the essay on Medium.

Why YouTube’s Content Moderators Can’t Work From Home

YouTube recently announced that their content moderators were being sent home from the office and automated AI systems will handle the removal of inappropriate videos. As most content creators know too well, the AI doesn’t always correctly remove inappropriate videos. The moderators are the ones who correct the mistakes that the AI often makes from a lack of context. With the moderators gone, removed videos will remain offline until someone gets around to reviewing them.

The outcry from content creators was, “Why can’t the moderators work from home?”

Although YouTube released a video explaining this policy change, it didn’t fully address the work from home question. Having worked at Google before and after the Great Recession ten years ago, I can tell you why the moderators can’t work from home. It’s not a technical issue, it’s the business model.

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