- 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)
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Says Trump Ban Was the “Right Decision” But Sets “Dangerous” Precedent
- While defending Twitter’s decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump, CEO Jack Dorsey noted the “dangerous” precedent such a move set.
- “Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation,” Dorsey said in a lengthy Twitter thread on Wednesday. “They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning.”
- Dorsey’s message came the same day Twitter fully reinstated Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Co.) account, hours after locking it for violating Twitter rules. A Twitter spokesperson later described the lock as an “incorrect enforcement action.”
Dorsey Describes Trump Ban as a Double-Edged Sword
In a lengthy Twitter thread published Wednesday, CEO Jack Dorsey defended his platform’s decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump, while also noting the “dangerous” precedent such a unilateral move sets.
Twitter made the decision to ban Trump on Jan. 8, two days after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol complex in an assault that left multiple dead.
“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban [Trump] from Twitter, or how we got here,” Dorsey said in the first of 13 tweets.
Nonetheless, Dorsey described Trump’s ban as “the right decision for Twitter.”
“Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all,” he added.
“That said, having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications,” Dorsey continued.
“[It] sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.”
Dorsey described most bans as a failure of Twitter to “promote healthy conversation,” though he noted that exceptions to such a mindset also exist. Among other failures, Dorsey said extreme actions like a ban can “fragment public conversation,” divide people, and limit “clarification, redemption, and learning.”
Dorsey: Trump Bans Were Not Coordinated
Dorsey continued his thread by addressing claims and criticism that Trump’s ban on Twitter violated free speech.
“A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same,” he said.
Indeed, multiple legal experts have stated that Trump’s ban on social media does not amount to First Amendment violations, as the First Amendment only addresses government censorship.
“If folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service,” Dorsey added. However, Dorsey noted that such a concept has been challenged over the past week.
This moment in time might call for this dynamic, but over the long term it will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet. A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same.— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
Trump has now been banned or suspended from a number of platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. On Wednesday, Snapchat announced plans to terminate Trump’s account in the “interest of public safety.” Previously, Snapchat had only suspended his account, but as of Jan. 20, it will be permanently banned.
Addressing criticism of the swift bans handed down by these platforms in the wake of the Capitol attack, Dorsey said he doesn’t believe Trump’s bans on social media were coordinated.
“More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others,” he said.
Twitter Reverses Course of Locking Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Account
Dorsey’s thread regarding the fragile nature of regulating users’ privileges on the platform seemed to play out earlier the same day.
On Wednesday, newly-elected Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Co.) posted a screenshot to Instagram showing that her Twitter account had been locked for six days. The screenshot stated that she had violated Twitter’s rules and would be unable to tweet, retweet, or like until her account was unlocked.
Hours later, Twitter reversed course and fully reinstated her account.
“In this instance, our teams took the incorrect enforcement action. The Tweet in question is now labeled in accordance with our Civic Integrity Policy. The Tweet will not be required to be removed and the account will not be temporarily locked,” a spokesperson for the platform told Insider.
It is unknown what tweet caused that initial ban, as Twitter refused to say.
The latest tweet from Boebert’s account to be tagged with a fact check warning is from Sunday. In that tweet, she baselessly and falsely accuses the DNC of rigging the 2020 Election, a claim that largely inspired the Capitol attacks.
See what others are saying: (Business Insider) (CNN) (Associated Press)
Uber and Lyft Drivers Sue To Overturn California’s Prop 22
- A group of Uber and Lyft drivers filed a lawsuit Tuesday against California’s controversial Prop 22, a ballot measure that was approved by nearly 59% of state voters in the 2020 election.
- While Prop 22 does promise drivers wage guarantees and health insurance stipends, it also eliminated some protections as well as benefits like sick pay and workers’ compensation.
- In their lawsuit, the drivers argue that Prop 22 “illegally” prevents them from being able to access the state’s workers’ compensation program.
What’s in the Lawsuit?
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, a group of Uber and Lyft drivers asked California’s Supreme Court to overturn the state’s controversial Prop 22 ballot measure.
The drivers behind the lawsuit, along with Service Employees International Union, allege that Prop 22 “illegally” bars them from being able to participate in the state’s workers’ compensation program.
Additionally, they argue that the measure violates California’s constitution by“stripping” the state legislature of its ability to protect who unionize.
“Every day, rideshare drivers like me struggle to make ends meet because companies like Uber and Lyft prioritize corporate profits over our wellbeing,” Plaintiff Saori Okawa said in a statement.
Conversely, Uber driver and Prop 22 activist Jim Pyatt denounced the lawsuit, saying,“Voters across the political spectrum spoke loud and clear, passing Prop 22 in a landslide. Meritless lawsuits that seek to undermine the clear democratic will of the people do not stand up to scrutiny in the courts.”
California ballot measures have been occasionally repealed in the past; however, most of the time, they’ve only been repealed following subsequent ballot measures. If this lawsuit fails, such an initiative would likely be the last option for overturning Prop 22.
What is Prop 22?
Prop 22, which was approved by 59% of state voters in the 2020 Election, exempts app-based transportation and delivery companies from having to classify their drivers as employees. Rather, those drivers are listed as “independent contractors,” also known as gig workers.
Notably, Prop 22 was supported by major industry players like DoorDash, Uber, Lyft, and Instacart, which launched a massive $200 million lobbying and advertising campaign.
While those companies did promise wage guarantees and health insurance stipends for drivers, Prop 22 also eliminated a number of protections and benefits drivers would have seen under an “employee” status, including sick pay and workers’ compensation.
Because of that, many opponents have argued that the measure incentivizes companies to lay off their employees in favor of cheaper labor options.
Last week, it was reported that grocery stores like Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions began laying off their delivery workers in favor of switching to ”third-party logistics providers.” According to Albertson’s, unionized delivery workers were not included in the layoffs.
In recent coverage from KPBS, one San Diego Vons delivery worker detailed a situation in which he and delivery workers were called into a meeting with management.
“I thought they were going to give us a bonus or a raise or something like that,” he said.
Ultimately, that employee was told he would be losing his job in late February, even though he had been with the company for two-and-a-half years.
“I didn’t want to tell them,” the employee said of his parents, one of whom is disabled. “I’m the breadwinner for the family.”
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (The Washington Post) (CNN)
Daniel Silva Blames Cory La Barrie for His Own Death in New Legal Filing
- Popular Tattoo artist Daniel Silva said the death of YouTuber Cory La Barrie was due to La Barrie’s “own negligence,” in response to a wrongful death lawsuit from his family.
- La Barrie died last May after Silva lost control of the sports car they were in, crashing into a street sign and tree.
- La Barrie’s family has accused Silva of negligence, saying his excessive speeding caused the crash. They also claim he was under the influence, though he was never formally charged with a DUI.
- According to TMZ, Silva filed documents saying La Barrie “assumed the risk of death when he jumped into Daniel’s car that fateful night back in May.”
Corey La Barrie’s Death
Popular tattoo artist Daniel Silva has blamed YouTuber Corey La Barrie for his own death in response to a wrongful death lawsuit from La Barrie’s family, according to TMZ.
The tabloid says he filed legal documents saying, “the car crash that led to Corey’s death was due to his own negligence, and he assumed the risk of death when he jumped into Daniel’s car that fateful night back in May.”
La Barrie died on May 10, his 25th birthday, after Silva was speeding and lost control of the sports car they were in, crashing into a street sign and tree.
Police say Silva tried to leave the scene but was stopped by witnesses. He was later arrested and charged with murder. Silva eventually reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead no contest to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.
In August, Silva was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with credit for 216 days served because of California sentencing guidelines, even though it had only been 108 days since the crash at the time.
He also earned five years of probation, 250 hours of community service, and a suspended prison sentence of four years, which would be imposed if he violates the terms of his probation.
Wrongful Death Suit
Silva still faces the family’s lawsuit, which they filed the same month their son died.
In it, La Barrie’s family has accused Silva of negligence, saying his excessive speeding caused the crash. They also claim he was driving under the influence.
It’s worth noting that people close to Silva have disputed that claim and he was never charged with a DUI. However, the first police statement about the crash labeled it a “DUI Fatal Traffic Collision.” Witnesses have said the two were partying earlier that night, though