Archive for the ‘YouTube’ Category

Creationist Dirty Tricks: Censorship on YouTube

20 June 2009

For the past year or so, various YouTube channels have been the target of a campaign of censorship by Creationists. THis campaign has consisted of the following:

  • filing false DMCA claims. Filing a false DMCA -wherein an person oo organization claims ownership of a video that they do not really own – is considered perjury and is illegal and the filer can face civil and criminal charges in a court of law;
  • False flagging. YouTube has a flagging feature which allows users to mark a video as potentially unsuitable for minors to watch or could be a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service. In theory, a YT moderator is supposed to actually look at the video to confirm this, but due to the large number of videos on the site, it appears that YT simply takes the flaggers’ word for it and marks the video without confirming its content. This has become common knowledge and is an often-used tactic;
  • Down-rating comments. ThHis involves marking a videos comments with a “thumbs-down”. This used to involve marking only the comments that supported the video, but it is far easier to simply mark them all, so the person doing this doesn’t have to read the hundreds or thousands of comments that are posted;
  • Marking comments as Spam. If comment rating is disabled, in order to protect them from the previous tactic, then a user can mark a comment as Spam. With enough marks, the comment is hidden from view, unless some one clicks on Reply. Due to the amount of time it takes to do this, many people might not take that step;
  • Votebotting. This involves using a computer program to rate a video with One Star ratings, in order to prevent the video from appearing in search engines on YouTube. You simply run the program and it goes to each video several times, each time giving it a One Star rating. Supposedly, only registered users can rate a video, but there seems to be a glitch in YT’s system that does allow such programs to function without hinderance. As a result, even though a video may have only a few hundred views, it could still have thousands of One Star ratings. This has become the favored tactic of creationists in their fight against the pro-science (i.e. the side that explains the Theory of Evolution and debunks creationists’ claims) due to the total lack of legal consequences and YouTube’s lack of self-policing, as well as YouTube’s apparent lack of concern that this is even happening.

When YT users, such as Thunderf00t, posted videos calling for viewers to directyl contact YT to complain about the above tactics being used against their channels, YouTube would either ignore the complaints or would retaliate against the channel by suspending them or even closing their account permanently.

As such, the pro-science and atheist channels on YouTube have been censored and harassed with little or nothing they could do in response.

Few Christians have publicly condemned the above tactics being used, as it seeems to make their propagandizing on YT easier by eliminating the opposing side.

As pointed-out by YouTube user cdk007, this camapign of censorship only proves that creationists have no argument against evolution that can stand-up to scientific scrutiny and they must resort to dirty tricks in order to try to win the argument.

However, instead of “winning”, the usage of the above tactics and the failure of the general Christian community on YouTube to condemn them only shows that they have lost the debate and have nothing to bring to the table.

Here is a list of some of the hardest-hit channels on YouTube. feel free to watch their videos and subscribe, if you like:

Thunderf00t
AronRa
Potholer54

DonExodus2
ExtantDodo
AndromedasWake

dprjones
FFreeThinker
djarm67
ThetaOmega
JaguarJ0nes
ZOMGitsCriss
C0ct0pusPrime

These are just a few of the many channels hit by the censorship campaign. You will find links to other channels through them. You can also find a more complete list at the League of Reason webforum.

It seems that creationists have realized that they have no argument against science. So, they have decided to try to silence the opposing side through a cowardly censorship campaign.

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The Healthcare Public Option: Truth vs Lies

17 June 2009

TheYoungTurks is a liberal-leaning news channel on YouTube. They report on a lot of stories that are relevent to political discourse in the USA and around the world. They also report on Hollywood and celebrity news, along with a few stories that feature “who’s more attractive”-type stories. Altogether, it is a very enetertaining channel to subscribe to, although I think that conservative may not like them too much.

Their main website can be found here

http://www.theyoungturks.com/

Here are two of their most recent reports on a national healthvare system being proposed for the USA

The Truth

The Lies

Overall, I think the Young Turks channel is one of the most fun and informative channels that I subscribe to on YouTube.

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Canadian National Healthcare System: Fact vs Fiction

17 June 2009

TheRealNews is a valuable YouTube channel that reports news stories that may not get much exposure in the American mainstram media. I find most of their reports to be very informative and valuable for me to know about.

Here is a recent video debunking some of the myths about the Canadian healthcare system.

and another video on the same topic from October 2008.

You can visit their website here and even make a donation to help support their work of independent reporting.

http://therealnews.com/t/

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Desertphile Debunking HHO Scammers

14 June 2009

YouTube user Desertphile has devoted considerable time to debunking the claims of people who claim that they can use HHO/water-power to run their cars.

If you do a search of “HHO” in his videos, you’ll find more than 40 videos of him debunking the claims of people who claim to be able to run their cars on water, HHO or who use some sort of phony “gasoline-saving” device, which really don’t work. He has even put out a challenge for anyone who claims to be able to get increased miles per gallon with their homemade device. Few such people have accepted his challenge and those who do usually include additional requirements that he fulfill. However, since it was Desertphile who issued the challenge, anyone who accepts has to adhere to the rules he has setdown. Additionally, he has challnged any of these inventors to have their devices tested by a US government-run facility or even by the James Randi Educational Foundation. So far, none have taken him up on it.

In these hard economic times, it isn’t surprising that some unscrupulous people will come out of the woodwork with inventions thay claim to have designed and built, offering people the chance to save precious dollars on gasoline. What people who fall for this scam often fail to realize is that  even if the device works, which they don’t – they will have to drive for weeks or months, expending hundreds of gallons of gasoline, before they device pays for itself and they can finally begin saving money.

I’m no engineer, so I have a hard time understanding much of what Desertphile explains in his videos debunking these scammers. However, he does his best to explain it to such an extent that I can see the points he is bringing-up and understand, basically, what he is talking about.

Essentially, his points boildown to this: if these devices really worked, then trucking firms and local governments would be buying them up in order to save what little money they have. This is especially true of truckers, who have to save as much money as possible in shipping goods across the states and across the country. This is one reason why truckers drive for extended periods of time, often at the risk of their own lives. If truckers could save money by using these devices, then truckers could get more sleep and the safety of the job would be increased.

All these inventors would have to do is take their devices to a government testing facility, get the results and show them to anyone and everyone who is looking into saving money on gasoline. SInce they refuse to have their devices tested, they usually settle for selling their junk on late-night infomercials or via a YouTube video.

Desertphile is one of my favorite YouTubers. He pulls no punches in his condemnation of frauds and scams. This includes his comments regarding Scientology, creationism, HHO, censorship issues and other things.

Four of my favorite videos are of him cooking various things with chilli peppers.

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