Tag: YouTube

Night of the Living Algorithm

Every time the story is told it becomes more chilling than the last.  Caleb Cain – West Virginia resident, college dropout, YouTube enthusiast – stalked by an algorithm bent on radicalizing the unsuspecting young lad into a world of rightwing extremism.  Thankfully for Caleb Cain, and the entire universe for that matter, the New York Times swooped in and rescued the impressionable young man from his YouTube nightmare, exposing the dastardly algorithm before it could do further harm. 

Fresh off his hellish ordeal, Caleb Cain is calling upon legions of YouTubers to take up arms against the wicked algorithm and prevent this fiend of hell from spreading it’s darkness across the land.  Appearing on Majority Report, hosted by YouTube celebrity and slayer of strawmen Sam Seder, Caleb urged lefty YouTubers to start injecting themselves into the algorithm as a means of defeating it. As horrifying as the image of confronting the demon may be, this act of purification may be the only means of preventing it from claiming more victims.

To get a rough idea of how many Caleb Cain’s there might be out there operating under the spell of this Svengali-esque algorithm, we need look no further than the 2016 presidential election results.  Donald Trump won 68.5 percent of the popular vote in West Virginia, Caleb Cain’s home state. That translates into nearly 490,000 other Caleb Cain’s succumbing to the manipulation of this diabolical algorithm in the Mountaineer State alone.

Host of the popular podcast Savage Love, Dan Savage perhaps best described the sinister power the YouTube algorithm possesses on Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher.  Citing the New York Times “great cover story,” Savage fearlessly called out the algorithm for force feeding unsuspecting white kids in their basements “a steady diet of more and more extreme videos.”  In truly terrifying fashion, the YouTube algorithm exploits the consumer’s weaknesses, forcing their hand to click on extreme content all while disabling critical faculties that might lead the viewer to turn away.

One can only imagine the debilitating PTSD Caleb Cain must have fought through during an appearance on CNN’s New Day with Alisyn Camerota.  With inspiring bravery, Caleb announced that what we’re really dealing with here is a crisis of public health. Mental health intervention and professional assistance is required to exorcise the algorithm’s powerful grip on the mind and soul of its victims.  Despite the real threat of reprisal, Caleb fearlessly promoted his organization on national television to assist those in the throes of rightwing radicalization.     

When one thinks of the countless YouTube viewers selling their souls to the algorithm, the number is truly terrifying, and has the potential to make the satanic scare of the 1980’s look like child’s play.  But despite the algorithm’s possession of Caleb Cain, forcing him time and again to click on increasingly extreme content, Caleb somehow managed to survive his ordeal and inexplicably emerged as both a consumer and producer of left leaning YouTube content.  It is no wonder the New York Times chose to highlight Caleb’s truly inspiring story of grace and redemption on the front page of its Sunday edition. Finally exorcised of the demon algorithm, Caleb Cain begins the life-long process of witnessing to the non-believers and the willfully naive.  The soul of a nation is at stake.

Media releases News Pyramid guidelines, recommends five full servings of bullshit per day

Mainstream media outlets today released their 2019 News Pyramid guidelines for recommended daily allowances of news consumption, and there seems to be agreement among experts on one thing – Americans need more bullshit in their news diet.

“Most mainstream news organizations are recommending Americans get at least five full servings of bullshit per day,” says guidelines contributor Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources.  

While the guidelines don’t specify between print, television, or social media content, most experts agree cable news is an excellent source of the kind of fact-free, speculative nonsense of which most Americans could benefit.  A healthy diet of bullshit journalism has the additional benefit of providing confirmation of the consumer’s beliefs and ideology, while at the same time pointing out that everyone who doesn’t hold the same views is evil and wrong.

The next level on the News Pyramid calls for four daily servings of partisan propaganda. While most Americans try to avoid eating their propaganda, the report notes the necessity of its daily consumption for the functioning of a healthy democracy.  “Don’t worry if you’re left or right, Republican or Democrat,” the guidelines state, “there’s a news organization out there ready to satisfy your partisan hunger.”

In what signals a change from recent years, the new News Pyramid guidelines raise the recommended daily allowance of conspiracy content from two to three servings per day. Experts warn, however, consumers of news should only get their conspiracy from authoritative sources. Rachel Maddow, Vox, and the New York Times are all considered excellent sources of conspiracy content and should be chosen over the empty, non-authoritative conspiracy musings of YouTube.

“Two ‘hit pieces’ per day are essential to a healthy news diet,” according to the new guidelines.  Some journalists take great pleasure in writing ‘hit pieces’ because they recall an adolescent superficiality and pettiness, so consumers should indulge the writer’s childish impulses by reading them.  Although they can be found at almost every news source, the New Yorker and Vox are exceptionally proficient at this brand of juvenile journalism.

Finally, the news consumer should make sure to save room for at least one serving of Jim Acosta per day.  The new guidelines cite Acosta as that rare guilty pleasure that almost as often becomes the news as reports it.  If news dieters follow these simple recommendations, they can become almost as confused and clueless as some of the journalists who report it.

The grooming of a New York Times radical

On the surface, rural West Virginia seems like an odd place to find a young male conservative.  After all, only 68.7% of residents of the Mountain State went for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.  By contrast, a robust 26.5% of voters went for Hillary Clinton. Apparently the allure of Clinton’s promise to put a lot of coal miners out of a job wasn’t strong enough to pull an impressionable young man, recently dropped out of college, into her sphere of support.  

So perhaps in some strange universe, it makes sense that the young man, let’s call him Caleb, would find himself on right-wing YouTube viewing clips by conservative comedian Steven Crowder and right-wing Canadian activist Lauren Southern.  As crazy as it sounds, the work of Rachel Maddow or Lawrence O’Donnell somehow failed to prevent this coal country Peter Cottontail from hopping down a right-wing bunny hole. But for how long?

Initially, Caleb resisted the pull of the left by immersing himself in the work of YouTube personalities like Stefan Molyneux, a Canadian talk show host, and Paul Joseph Watson, a right-wing conspiracy theorist.  For a time, their message seemed to be a natural fit for the disillusioned young man. But then along came a new spider, emerging from a group that called itself the Intellectual Dark Web. “I started watching Joe Rogan,” says Caleb, “these IDW cats had me all mixed up.  They were academics, journalists, scientists, philosophers, psychologists and business leaders. Some were on the right, some were on the left, and some crazy motherfuckers said they were non-ideological. Yeah right, I thought.”

Although Caleb didn’t know it at the time, it was this group of sinister minds that would serve as a catalyst for introducing the young man to a world of left-wing intersectional politics.  A cursory glance at Caleb’s YouTube viewing habits over three years clearly shows an initial strong preference for conservative content, followed by a modest sampling of IDW videos, finally shifting into more left-wing identitarian content.  Like boiling a lobster, YouTube had by degrees fully indoctrinated the mild-mannered mountaineer into a rabid progressive, gradually immersing Caleb in a left-wing Marxist maelstrom from which he would never emerge.

By June of 2019 the transformation was nearly complete.  Sensing an opportunity to lock down a convert to their side, the New York Times soon came a calling.  “After the NYT interview, I was fully on board with the far-left agenda,” says Caleb. “You could say I got gray pilled by the Gray Lady herself.  I mean, Charles Blow was blowing my mind. Then I learned from Rachel Maddow and others the truth of how Trump had conspired with the Russians to swing the election in his favor.  Also, I had no idea that Stacey Abrams was the actual Governor of Georgia because her election had been rigged. I never realized the left had its own menu of conspiracies. I had been asleep for so long, but now I was woke.”

Regrets, Caleb has a few, but overall he’s grateful that a group of elite journalists from New York City took pity on a poor old country boy and rescued him from his right-wing YouTube addiction.  “Now all they have to do is radicalize another 150,000 just like me.”

Vox spends walkout suppressing free speech, burning content and torching YouTube

Vox journalists went into their walkout Thursday riding and endorphin induced euphoria, stemming from their successful campaign to reduce the amount of free speech millions of Americans enjoy.  How better to celebrate their victory than with a content burning bonfire and a strategy session to build on the momentum gained from their latest successful endeavor to suppress free expression?

As the bonfire blazed, Vox journalists patted themselves on the back and felt even more emboldened to demand higher than market wages of Vox management for their successful efforts at internet censorship.  After all, censoring YouTube doesn’t just benefit Vox writers, it has the potential to enhance the company’s bottom line as well.

Vox journalists could barely contain their elation from seeing content creator after content creator on the YouTube platform go up in flames from the fire they had lit. Among the victims were history teachers and academic videos, as well as the work of prominent journalists that sought to educate about hate, not promote it.

Unrepentant and sensing they had their opponents bloodied but not beaten, Vox journalists penned “An open letter to YouTube’s CEO” where they demanded the platform update it’s standards to censor even more speech:

“Without a serious change to YouTube’s interpretation of its standards, Crowder is free to continue to make videos where he hurls slurs at journalists and creators, who will then keep getting hit with the same sort of harassment, invective, and dangerous leaking of personal information that Carlos has continued to experience from Crowder’s fans.”

Apparently, Vox’s bonfire brainstorming session worked, as they hit upon resurrecting the old argument of blaming the content creators for the actions of the consumers of said content.  A stroke of brilliance on the part of Vox journalists, the tactic was once successfully deployed when John Hinckley blamed Jodie Foster and the movie Taxi Driver for his assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan.  (Warning: Vox Millennials, don’t try watching Taxi Driver at home alone, it will trigger the shit out of you.) More importantly, Vox has successfully rallied much of the mainstream media to join it’s effort to torch independent journalists, educators, and content creators.

As the fires subside and the Vox Adpocalypse gives way to a new dawning Voxtopia, the media company has positioned itself nicely to be one of the “authoritative sources” YouTube will now begin directing its traffic toward.  Having successfully punched down on the independent voices of both the marginalised and non-marginalised alike, the required reading of white liberal elites, Vox, can now resume it’s authoritative role as explainer of news and protector of the historically marginalised, who are now free to just shut up and listen.  

In an effort to root out disinfo and crush competition, Daily Beast leaves no stone unturned

Emboldened by their successful effort to take down an obscure operator of right wing Facebook pages, The Daily Beast goon squad has now set their sights on a number of other purveyors of disinformation threatening our democracy.  Chief enforcer, Dark Dante, as he’s more commonly known, has identified several internet disinfo agents who are either wittingly or unwittingly doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin and the Russians.

Main offender on The Beast’s shit list is a 77 year old granny who produces knitting videos on YouTube where she occasionally lets slip some unflattering comments about Hillary Clinton that may or may not be factually accurate, and may or may not be suitable for 77 year old grannies.  After reaching out to his contacts at YouTube, Dark Dante not only succeeded in having all the videos removed, but was able to determine the location of the subversive sewing circle and expose the group as an existential threat to American democracy. Needless to say, thanks to the work of The Beast, the offending granny is no longer welcome at Shady Pines Retirement Village.

Next up, Dark Dante, intrepid reporter for The Daily Beast, received an anonymous tip about a fifth grader who, while making a class presentation on America’s border crisis, may have included some information The Daily Beast fact checkers determined to be slightly misleading.  No worries, a little bit of creative hacking into the schools antiquated computer network revealed the fifth grader’s name and address. In a matter of hours, Woodlawn Elementary School was once again made safe for democracy as the pint-sized disinfo agent was escorted from the premises.     

Fascism wears many disguises, but thanks to the fearless reporting of Dark Dante and The Daily Beast, it’s running out of places to hide.