When the Tube’s Away, The Algorithm Will Play
In March, YouTube warned that its algorithm might go haywire during the COVID-19 shutdown with fewer human eyes on the wayward beast. It’s hard to miss the message that screams “during the lockdown our algorithm might accidentally lock you out”.
It is equally hard to miss the fact that crypto-tubers don’t have a lot of luck when it comes to tripping the video site’s hazard wires. Tone Vays, The Crypto Lark, and Blockchain Education Network have all suffered at the hands of the “harmful content” trigger recently.
None appears to have been offered an explanation why. But there is a plausible explanation for last week’s shenanigans. One that promises to send ripples of fear through the entire crypto content industry.
Ripple Sues YouTube, YouTube Boots Ripple CTO
Ripple Labs has filed a lawsuit against the platform for failing to do enough to stop scammers and impersonators promoting fake XRP giveaways.
The last thing they want is for XRP tokens flooding into the wallets of scam artists.
Of course, a few thousand XRP tokens here and there probably don’t have that much impact on the price of XRP… especially since Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb continues to dump around 1.8 million XRP every single day on the sad, powerless retail market. And oh! Look! Ripple sent him another 55 million XRP just yesterday.
Ahem… back to the point.
About a week after the lawsuit was announced, Ripple CTO David Schwartz’s YouTube channel was suspended, after he was apparently flagged for impersonating himself.
Let’s unpack this:
- YouTube’s antipathy towards crypto channels pre-dates the coronavirus pandemic
- The unchecked and ill-tempered algorithm has exacerbated the situation, yet scammers continue to occupy the video hosting behemoth unscathed
- Ripple Labs sues the platform for allowing those scammers to continue
- YouTube bans an actual Ripple executive
- The algorithm doesn’t work, or…
- The algorithm is programmed to flag crypto content, whether harmful or educational, or…
- YouTube thinks Ripple itself is a scam (And who could… ah, that’s another story.)
An algorithm driven by machine learning shouldn’t really need supervision anyway.
And last week’s David Schwartz ban could indicate that the algorithm isn’t the only culprit here.
It seems the time has come for a decentralized alternative. Fortunately, there are quite a few of them around.
The crypto community created the #ForkGoogle memorandum accusing YouTube of waging “campaigns of suppression against Bitcoin and blockchain industry for years” by censoring content.
And while free speech is not protected on a platform owned by a private company, YouTube is hereby declared the Epic Fail of the week, for allowing its renegade crypto-loathing algorithm to continue a war of attrition against the blockchain industry.