- YouTube issued MoistCr1TiKaL a strike on his channel over a video it claimed contained violence and graphic content with the intent to shock.
- The content in question featured a viral clip from 2014 of a likely staged road rage incident where people in cartoon character costumes brawl with another driver – a clip widely viewed as funny that has been used in other YouTube videos without issue.
- Cr1TiKaL and Markiplier then called out YouTube for not giving Markiplier a strike as well when he used the same clip in a video from four years ago. YouTube responded by handing Markiplier a strike.
- After backlash and conversations about uneven enforcement, poor communication, and issues with YouTube’s review process, YouTube finally apologized and removed both strikes, calling it an “over-enforcement” of its policies.
Cr1TiKaL Speaks Out Against YouTube Strike
YouTube apologized Wednesday and reversed two controversial strikes it issued against Markiplier and MoistCr1TiKal, two popular gaming and commentary creators.
This whole situation started on Tuesday when Cr1TiKaL took to Twitter to voice his frustration about a strike he was given on his YouTube channel, Penguinz0. The video that prompted the strike was taken down for including violent or graphic content, and according to a screenshot he shared, his appeal toward the decision was rejected.
So what particular content did YouTube have an issue with? Well, his video featured a pretty viral clip from 2014 that you’ve probably seen before. It’s a likely staged “road rage” video where people dressed as characters like SpongeBob SquarePants and Mickey Mouse get into a brawl with the driver of another car. If you’ve seen the video, you know its typically received as funny. It’s since been reinstated on his channel, so you can decide for yourself.
That same day, Cr1TiKaL posted a video talking about this, saying he believed a human moderator wasn’t behind the decision because his YouTube contacts agree that it’s not worthy of a strike. Still, he noted that these contacts are pretty disconnected from YouTube’s manual review team, which can only be reached through email.
“Every department I’ve talked to has no direct means of communication with them. And I’m talking heads of these departments, have no way of getting in f*cking contact with this f*cking group here.” he explained.
“You know how alarming that is? They actually shared with me the message [YouTube] sent in regards to the road rage video they took down. It’s two lines. It is one line that says we are maintaining our decision to keep the video down, and the second line is a copy and paste of the rules regarding shocking content that’s taken right off of the Google help page. That’s it. There’s no conversation. There’s no proof that a human being even wrote that email. It is literally looking like an automated reply. That is what they sent to a f*cking head of one of these departments who tried to get in contact to fix this issue. That is a problem.”
That video is worth a watch because he also talks about YouTube ignoring other types of graphic content like animal abuse, even when people have been vocal about particular channels breaking rules before.
When Cr1TiKaL posted this video, he was pretty confident that YouTube would reply to his tweet maintaining its decision. They did exactly that a short time later, saying the footage contained “graphic content (fights, beatings, etc.) w/ the intent to shock.”
He and his fans then start using the hashtag #AnswerUsYouTube, calling for more explanation of what actually goes on during these reviews.
Markiplier Gets Hit With a Stike
To further point out just how ridiculous his strike was, he pointed to a Maripkier video from fours years ago that features the same exact clip, asking “When will he be getting his strike?”
He clarified that this obviously wasn’t to snitch on Markiplier, but just to highlight how silly his strike was. It seemed like Marikplier understood that because he then tweeted at YouTube, “Fair is fair @TeamYouTube where’s my strike?”
However, rather than walking back on its decision, YouTube actually handed Markiplier his own strike – the first he’s ever received.
Then Marikplier uploaded his own video to talk about this whole situation, which sits at No. 2 on YouTube’s trending page as of Thursday morning. To be clear, in it he says he not against the actual rules themselves because there is content that falls within them that should be taken down. Still, he notes that there are huge problems with uneven enforcement, communication, and YouTube’s review process.
That video is also worth a watch because he makes some great points and suggestions for YouTube. In it, he also said, “Giving me a strike, in what is basically retaliation for me reporting myself, is just petty. That’s all it is. It’s just petty.”
“Who made that call? After I tweeted Team YouTube ‘hey fair is fair.’ Instead of tweeting back at me like ‘Look, no. You’re right, but we stand by it and we have to stick by it. If you could delete it that’d be great.’ And then you know, I would say ‘no, I’m not going to delete it,” and then they would do it anyway. But at least there was a talk about it! At least there was communication about it. At least it seemed like there was another human that cared.”
However, it should be noted that Marikplier and Cr1TiKaL were both clear is saying that their YouTube partner contacts are great, but have to fight so hard for them when it shouldn’t be that difficult.
YouTube Walks Back
After this strike on Markiplier, at a lot of people were surprised, including Cr1TiKaL, who tweeted, “I’m absolutely shocked Youtube is deciding to die on this hill striking even the most wholesome creator on their site rather than admit it was a mistake in the first place.”
But with all of these tweets racking up thousands of likes and retweets, plus both of their videos gathering millions of views, YouTube finally walked back on its decision.
TeamYouTube wrote on Twitter, “we’re not going to die on this hill. You were right – after (even further) review, your video & others are back up and these strikes have been removed. This was an over-enforcement of our policies, especially w/ the added context/commentary as you originally pointed out.”
Update: we’re not going to die on this hill. You were right – after (even further) review, your video & others are back up and these strikes have been removed. This was an over-enforcement of our policies, especially w/ the added context/commentary as you originally pointed out.— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) September 2, 2020
In a reply to a Markiplier tweet where he said: “Fair is fair and if this is the game that @TeamYouTube wants to play, I’ve got my Spongebob costume on and am ready to throw hands,” YouTube responded with, “This is definitely not the game we want to play – we’re so sorry for the confusion & frustration here. Your video and others are back up, and the associated strikes have been removed.”
Markiplier and Cr1TiKaL both said they appreciated the reversal, with Cr1TiKaL adding that he hopes we can all have more open dialogue about issues like this in the future.
He also uploaded another video to YouTube, recapping everything that happened and thanking everyone for all the support. Still, there are several people noting that smaller creators don’t always see this type of resolution and many hope this whole ordeal at least makes YouTube more aware of the issues its users face.
See what others are saying: (TubeFilter) (Dexerto)
TikTok and Twitter Are Now Deleting Videos That Expose Closeted Olympians on Grindr
On top of outing people who may not be ready to have their sexuality revealed to the world, these videos could have endangered LGBTQ+ athletes from countries where homosexuality is illegal.
Closeted Olympians Being Doxxed
Openly LGBTQ+ Olympians are currently more visible than they have ever been before, but unfortunately, so are closeted ones.
That’s because some people have been using the LGBTQ+ dating app Grindr to try and find Olympians. They’ve been doing so by using the app’s “Explore” feature, which allows people to search and see users in specific locations (ie. Olympic Village).
But some aren’t content with just discovering which athletes belong to the LGBTQ+ community. They’re also sharing that information on platforms like TikTok and Twitter.
“I used Grindr’s explore feature to find myself [an] Olympian boyfriend,” one TikTok user said in a post that had been viewed 140,000 times, according to Insider.
That video reportedly went on to show the poster scrolling through Grindr to expose over 30 users’ full faces.
As many have argued, not only does this potentially out already-stressed Olympians who may not yet be comfortable sharing their sexuality, it also could put some users at serious risk if they live in countries where being LGBTQ+ is illegal.
In fact, the video cited by Insider seemingly did just that, as it reportedly shows the face of a user who appears to be from a country “known for its anti-LGBTQ policies.”
Grindr Responds, TikTok and Twitter Take Action
In response, Grindr said the posts violate its rules against “publicly displaying, publishing, or otherwise distributing any content or information” from the app. It then asked the posters to remove the content.
Ultimately, it was TikTok and Twitter themselves that largely took action, with the two deleting at least 14 posts scattered across their platforms.
Twitter says it’s taking steps to remove the posts flagged by Insider showing Grindr’s explore page at the Olympic Village. TikTok has yet to give an on the record response. pic.twitter.com/r11pNL6Lwu— Benjamin Goggin (@BenjaminGoggin) July 28, 2021
A Highly-Visible LGBTQ+ Presence at the Games
According to Outsports, at least 172 of around 11,000 Olympians are openly LGBTQ+. While that number is still well below the statistical average, it’s triple the number of LGBTQ+ athletes that attended Rio’s 2016 Games.
In fact, if they were their own country, openly LGBTQ+ athletes would reportedly rank 11th in medals, according to an Outsports report published Tuesday.
Among those winners is British diver Tom Daley, who secured his first gold medal on Monday and used his platform to send a hopeful message to LGBTQ+ youth by telling them, “You are not alone.”
After winning a silver medal on Wednesday, U.S. swimmer Erica Sullivan talked about her experience as both a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a person of color.
Still, the Olympics has faced criticism for its exclusion of intersex individuals, particularly those like South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya, who won gold medals in both 2012 and 2016. Rules implemented in 2019 now prevent Semenya from competing as a woman without the use of medication to suppress her testosterone levels.
Jake Paul Launches Anti-Bullying Charity
The charity, called Boxing Bullies, aims to use the sport to give kids confidence and courage.
Jake Paul Launches Boxing Bullies Foundation
YouTuber Jake Paul — best known as the platform’s boxer, wreckless partier, and general troublemaker — has seemingly launched a non-profit to combat bullying.
The charity is called Boxing Bullies. According to a mission statement posted on Instagram, it aims to “instill self confidence, leadership, and courage within the youth through the sport of boxing while using our platform, voice, and social media to fight back against bullying.”
If the notion of a Paul-founded anti-bullying charity called “Boxing Bullies” was not already begging to be compared to former First Lady Melania Trump’s “Best Best” initiative, maybe the group’s “Boxing Bullies Commandments” will help connect the dots. Those commandments use an acronym for the word “BOX” to spell out the charity’s golden rules.
“Be kind to everyone; Only defend, never initiate; X-out bullying.”
Paul Hopes To “Inspire” Kids To Stand Up For Themselves
Paul first said he was launching Boxing Bullies during a July 13 interview following a press conference for his upcoming fight against Tyron Woodley.
“I know who I am at the end of the day, which is a good person,” he told reporters. “I’m trying to change this sport, bring more eyeballs. I’m trying to support other fighters, increase fighter pay. I’m starting my charity, I’m launching that in 12 days here called Boxing Bullies and we’re helping to fight against cyberbullying.”
It has not been quite 12 days since the interview, so it’s likely that more information about the organization will be coming soon. Currently, the group has been the most active on Instagram, where it boasts a following of just around 1,200 followers. It has posted once to Twitter, where it has 32 followers; and has a TikTok account that has yet to publish any content. It also has a website, though there is not too much on it as of yet.
On its Instagram, one post introducing Paul as the founder claims the rowdy YouTuber started this charity because he has been on the receiving end of bullying.
“Having been a victim of bullying himself, Jake experienced firsthand the impact it has on a person’s life,” the post says. “Jake believes that this is a prevailing issue in society that isn’t talked about enough. Boxing gave Jake the confidence to not care about what others think and he wants to share the sport and the welfare it‘s had on him with as many kids as possible.”
It adds that he hopes his group can“inspire the next generation of kids to be leaders, be athletes, and to fight back against bullying.”
Paul Previously Accused of Being a Bully
While fighting against bullying is a noble cause, it is an ironic project for Paul to start, as he has faced no shortage of bullying accusations. While Paul previously sang about “stopping kids from getting bullied” in the lunchroom, some have alleged he himself was actually a classic high school bully who threw kids’ backpacks into garbage cans.
This behavior allegedly continued into his adulthood, as a New York Times report from earlier this year claimed he ran his Team 10 house with a culture of toxicity and bullying. Among other things, sources said he involved others in violent pranks, pressured people into doing dangerous stunts, and destroyed peoples’ personal property to make content.
See what others are saying: (Dexerto)
Director Defends Recreating Anthony Bourdain’s Voice With AI in New Documentary
The film’s director claims he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent, but on Thursday, Bourdain’s widow publicly denied ever giving that permission.
Bourdain’s Voice Recreated
“You are successful, and I am successful, and I’m wondering: Are you happy?” Anthony Bourdain says in a voiceover featured in “Roadrunnner,” a newly released documentary about the late chef — except Bourdain never actually said those words aloud.
Instead, it’s one of three lines in the film, which features frequent voiceovers from Bourdain, that were created through the use of artificial intelligence technology.
That said, the words are Bourdain’s own. In fact, they come from an email Bourdain reportedly wrote to a friend prior to his 2018 suicide. Nonetheless, many have now questioned whether recreating Bourdain’s voice was ethical, especially since documentaries are meant to reflect reality.
Director Defends Use of AI Voice
The film’s director, Academy Award winner Morgan Neville, has defended his use of the synthetic voice, telling Variety that he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent before inserting the lines into the film.
“There were a few sentences that Tony wrote that he never spoke aloud,” Neville said. “It was a modern storytelling technique that I used in a few places where I thought it was important to make Tony’s words come alive.”
Bourdain’s widow — Ottavia Bourdain, who is the executor of his estate — later denied Neville’s claim on Twitter, saying, “I certainly was NOT the one who said Tony would have been cool with that.”
In another interview with GQ, Neville described the process, saying the film’s creators “fed more than ten hours of Tony’s voice into an AI model.”
“The bigger the quantity, the better the result,” he added. “We worked with four companies before settling on the best.”
“If you watch the film,” Neville told The New Yorker, “you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the AI, and you’re not going to know. We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later.”
The Ethics Debate Isn’t Being Tabled
But many want to have that discussion now.
Boston-based film critic Sean Burns, who gave the film a rare negative review, later criticized it again for its unannounced use of AI, saying he wasn’t aware that Bourdain’s voice had been recreated until after he watched the documentary.
Meanwhile, The New Yorker’s Helen Rosner wrote that the “seamlessness of the effect is eerie.”
“If it had been a human voice double I think the reaction would be “huh, ok,” but there’s something truly unsettling about the idea of it coming from a computer,” Rosner later tweeted.
Online, many others have criticized the film’s use of AI, with some labeling it as a “deepfake.”
Others have offered more mixed criticism, saying that while the documentary highlights the need for posthumous AI use to be disclosed, it should not be ruled out altogether.
“In a world where the living could consent to using AI to reproduce their voices posthumously, and where people were made aware that such a technology was being used, up front and in advance, one could envision that this kind of application might serve useful documentary purposes,” David Leslie, ethics lead at the Alan Turing Institute, told the BBC.
Celebrities Recreated After Death
The posthumous use of celebrity likeness in media is not a new debate. In 2012, a hologram of Tupac took the stage 15 years after his death. In 2014, the Billboard Music Awards brought a hologram of Michael Jackson onstage five years after his death. Meanwhile, the Star Wars franchise digitally recreated actor Peter Cushing in 2016’s “Rogue One,” and unused footage of actress Carrie Fisher was later translated into “The Rise of Skywalker,” though a digital version of Fisher was never used.
In recent years, it has become almost standard for filmmakers to say that they will not create digital versions of characters whose actors die unexpectedly. For example, several months after Chadwick Boseman’s death last year, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” executive producer Victoria Alonso confirmed Boseman would not be digitally recreated for his iconic role as King T’Challa.