Tag Archives: YouTube

Apple, YouTube, and Facebook Removed Alex Jones’ Content



Last week, Spotify deleted several episodes of The Alex Jones Podcast. The reason was because that content violated Spotify’s hate content policy. Stitcher removed Alex Jones’ podcasts on August 2, 2018. Apple, Facebook, and YouTube have followed with their own bans.

Buzzfeed News reported that Apple removed the entire library for five of Infowars’ six podcasts from its iTunes and Podcasts Apps. Among them were War Room and Alex Jones Show.

Buzzfeed reported a statement from Apple that said:

“Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users. Podcast that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”

CNBC reported that YouTube, which is owned by Google, has removed the Alex Jones Channel.

CNBC reported that Google said in a statement regarding the removal of the page: “All users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube. When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.”

Facebook provided information about why they removed four videos on four Alex Jones Facebook pages in a newsroom post titled: “Enforcing Our Community Standards”.

It starts with: “We believe in giving people a voice, but we also want everyone using Facebook to feel safe. It’s why we have Community Standards and remove anything that violates them, including hate speech that attacks or dehumanizes others. Earlier today, we removed four Pages belonging to Alex Jones for repeatedly posting content over the past several days that breaks those Community Standards.”

Toward the end of the post, Facebook said: “As a result of reports we received, last week, we removed videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies. These pages were the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page, and the InfoWars Nightly News page. In addition, one of the admins of these Pages – Alex Jones – was placed in a 30-day block for his role in posting violating content to these Pages.”

Facebook also removed more content from the same pages that had been reported to them. Facebook took it down for glorifying violence, which violates Facebook’s graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describes people who are transgender, Muslims, and immigrants, which violates their hate speech policies.

On August 2, 2018, Stitcher posted a tweet that said: “Thanks for your note. We have reviewed Alex Jones’ podcasts and found he has, on multiple occasions, harassed or allowed harassment of private individuals and organizations, (1/2)”

Stitcher followed that with a second tweet: “and that harassment has led listeners of the show to engage in similar harassment and other damaging activity. Therefore, we have decided to remove his podcasts from the Stitcher platform.”


Facebook Video Faces Massive “Freebooting” Problem



Facebook logoFacebook has quickly become a major player in the online video space, thanks to the site’s ability to import and display videos natively. This has created a quick and convenient way for users to upload and share short clips and home movies. But it’s also created a new venue for social media savvy celebrities and big brands to distribute shareable content, similar to YouTube. The big difference being that native Facebook videos are easier to share on the massive social networking website. This has been a boon for some creators who’ve seen success in posting exclusive content to their Facebook pages. But it’s also created a problem for others, who’ve seen their videos posted natively to Facebook without their permission. This practice is called “freebooting” and it’s become fairly prevalent on Facebook.

The freebooting issue is felt most by YouTube creators who discover that their videos have been ripped from YouTube and then uploaded to Facebook without their permission. Freebooting is a problem that’s really as old as the World Wide Web itself. But it’s gotten a lot of attention recently due to a post on Medium by YouTuber/author Hank Green, which reports that:

According to a recent report from Ogilvy and Tubular Labs, of the 1000 most popular Facebook videos of Q1 2015, 725 were stolen re-uploads. Just these 725 “freebooted” videos were responsible for around 17 BILLION views last quarter.

That’s a lot of freebooted content! Naturally, Green is pretty upset by this, since it’s definitely cutting into the YouTube traffic he relies on for ad revenue.

Freebooting like this probably isn’t as big of a problem for most podcasters. In fact, most of us release our content under Creative Commons licenses that might even allow for this kind of redistribution. But when a third party gains from your work, whether it’s in direct financial compensation or just social currency, it’s a problem. Especially when that third party isn’t even providing proper credit or attribution for the work.

If you suspect your creations have been freebooted, reach out the party responsible for posting your content and politely ask them to remove it. If they decline, file a DMCA takedown request with the website’s administrator or hosting company.


Spreaker Adds YouTube Stats



Spreaker LogoPodcast host and media-streaming service Spreaker has added a new feature to its statistics package. Users who subscribe to one of Spreaker’s Broadcaster Pro plans and  share their media on YouTube can now see YouTube stats for those shared items from within the Spreaker dashboard. From the Spreaker blog:

We’re excited to introduce a new figure to your podcasts’ analytics!
Spreaker has always been the only podcasting platform out there allowing you to export your content to Youtube. It only makes sense to have your plays there counted towards your overall stats, too.

and:

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Justin.TV Announces Closure Of Video Archives



JustinTV LogoVideo streaming service Justin.TV has announced it will be closing its video archive system permanently on June 15th. This means that producers who use Justin.TV will no longer be able to host saved versions of their videos on the site. Also, any videos that are currently in Justin.TV’s archives will be deleted. The company explained thru its blog:

“…our staff has been reviewing data surrounding our archive and VOD (Video on Demand) system. We found that more than half of our VODs are unwatched (with 0 or 1 total views), while the vast majority are rarely watched (with 10 or less views). This data was essential in better understanding how our service is being used. Even when adding the direct upload to YouTube functionality, we found this feature was seldom used.”

The statement went on to say that Justin.TV will be focusing its efforts on live streaming, as that seems to be what most producers and viewers are using the service for.  Justin.TV has put together a help article that provides alternative solutions for live producers who’d still like to archive their video streams. Users who currently have archived videos on the system can also download them.

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SoundCloud For Podcasting: A Skeptic’s Point Of View



SoundCloud LogoIf you want to publish a podcast, media hosting is a big deal. You need a reliable place to store your audio/video files. And preferably, that storage system won’t cause you go to go broke due to high bandwidth costs. Over the years, a number of companies have moved into this field but most of them haven’t stuck around. Spend any amount of time in a public forum devoted to podcasting, and the question of, “Which media host should I use?” will come up. And a flurry of responses will follow. Perennial favorites in the media hosting game like LibSyn and Blubrry come up often during these discussions. But another company seems to be entering the conversation more and more as of late: SoundCloud.

SoundCloud was first conceived by its founders as an online collaboration tool for musicians. It eventually morphed into an upload-and-share service for audio. Thanks to its ease of use and social sharing features, the service took off with musicians. Its growing popularity caused some to dub it “the YouTube of audio.” Soon, podcasters began asking SoundCloud how they too could take advantage of the service. SoundCloud’s base offerings aren’t really good for podcasters, as they’re really designed for musicians. In response, SoundCloud created a program for podcasters which has never officially left the beta phase of development.

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Google Kills Another RSS Channel – YouTube User Feeds



YouTube LogoDid you know that YouTube provided RSS feeds for all of the site’s users? It wasn’t a highly promoted feature but it was there. In fact, I used it and found it to be a handy way to follow my channel subscriptions without having to log in to the YouTube dashboard for updates. But YouTube users’ RSS feeds are no more. The Google-owned video giant has shut them down in the latest version of its API.

Of course, YouTube RSS feeds never worked like podcast RSS feeds. You couldn’t actually download media thru them. And while many podcasters use YouTube to supplement their main shows, this RSS issue isn’t likely to affect them directly. If anything, it’ll have the most impact on creators who are only distributing their shows via YouTube. Regardless, I can’t help but wonder, given Google’s unpredictable history when it comes to RSS support, is this another nail in the coffin for FeedBurner?

Like YouTube, FeedBurner is also owned by Google. But unlike YouTube, Google has pretty much abandoned FeedBurner. Yet, many podcasters still rely on FeedBurner to handle the RSS feeds for their shows. And anytime I see that, I worry a little bit for those shows.

On one hand, I understand why podcasters still flock to FeedBurner. At its core, it’s a handy service with some decent features. I even used it myself for some of my early podcasts, back when there weren’t many dedicated podcasting tools to speak of. On the other hand,  it’s not 2005 anymore. I wouldn’t use FeedBurner now and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who’s starting a new podcast. It’s risky enough using a third-party service to handle your RSS feed. It seems even riskier to use a service that’s been severely neglected by its owner, especially when that owner hasn’t had a good track record of supporting RSS.

For everyone out there still using the service, I hope it’s meeting your needs and that it continues to do so for a long time to come. But as more time passes, it seems like Google is separating itself from RSS entirely. And that can’t be good for FeedBurner’s future.

Posted by Shawn Thorpe