The 411 Douchebag of the Week: YouTube
The 411mania Douchebag of the Week
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of The 411 Douchebag of the Week. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.
Am I the only one who thinks that this whole “what’s going on with Richard Simmons?” thing has gotten completely out of hand?
Simmons, the exercise guru who made “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” a thing, has basically been incognito for around three years now. He hasn’t made any public appearances since February of 2014 and has been the subject of massive online speculation. Because, really, what the hell has he been up to since 2014? Why has he decided he no longer wants to be seen in public? Why did he close down his exercise studio in Beverly Hills? The celebrity gossip websites have been “covering” this story for several years, there’s a mega popular podcast completely devoted to speculation on what Simmons has been doing, and even the police in California have gotten involved doing two “wellness checks” to see if something nefarious or “strange” is going on.
Is Simmons being held against his will by his housekeeper?
Did Simmons gain a bunch of weight?
Is Simmons transitioning to a woman?
None of that shit is going on. The cops have said, twice, now, that Richard Simmons is fine, that he’s operating under his own power, and he’s doing exactly what he wants to do. Simmons himself has also contacted Entertainment Tonight and told them that he’s fine and that he just wants to devote time to “himself” (and he fucking did that over a year ago).
So why all of the endless speculation? Where, exactly, is the mystery? Richard Simmons just wants to be left alone. He’s fine. Isn’t time we all moved on?
And now onto this week’s Douchebag of the Week.
This week, the 411 Douchebag of the Week goes to YouTube, for its botched rollout of its new “content guidelines”. Due to an international ad boycott initiated in the United Kingdom over ads appearing on “extreme content”, YouTube’s parent company Google initiated a new scheme to prevent advertising appearing on said “extreme content.” Now, initially, this scheme was only meant to remove advertising from YouTube videos featuring explicit hate speech (racist stuff), “harmful” political propaganda, and terrorist recruitment videos (think beheading videos) and shit like that. A reasonable person could understand why major advertisers using YouTube would want to keep their brand names away from videos created by David Duke or ISIS, and it’s easy to understand why YouTube would want to make sure that it can make as much money as possible by keeping “harmful” content away from people spending money. However, as a result of the new scheme, YouTube content providers like Bloodbath and Beyond and similar horror themed channels were suddenly denied the ability to make money off their channels without any ability to appeal YouTube’s decision.
Well, how could something like that happen? Why would horror movie review channels get pushed into the same category as racist propaganda or terrorist videos? No one seems to know. YouTube did send out new guidelines that were supposed to make the site’s new content policies clear but apparently really didn’t.
And it wasn’t just horror movie review channels that were demonetized. Some channels that discussed political issues and apparently used “offensive” language were hit. Some video game channels were hit, too.
So what the hell is this really all about? How could something like this happen, especially with a website that’s been around for over a decade and has become a beacon for free speech and a platform for people all over the world to express themselves? How did the offended advertisers not know what they were getting involved in from the beginning, and why did YouTube not figure out how to handle this “offensive content” stuff earlier? Why the sudden panic?
I don’t know. But, in the end, it’s ridiculous. It ends up hurting people who aren’t doing anything wrong (I’ve met the guys from Bloodbath and Beyond and they’re awesome horror movie nerds), it ruins YouTube’s reputation as a platform for free speech, and it just makes everyone involved lives’ harder. Hopefully, YouTube’s alleged fix for the issue will actually fix the issue and the people getting fucked over by this don’t have to go through this kind of thing anymore.
Why does everything have to turn into bullshit at some point? Why? Jesus Christ.
And now for this week’s honorable mentions…
–Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, the getaway driver in an alleged plot to rob a house in Oklahoma, for claiming that she “understands, to an extent,” why her three friends were shot dead while attempting to burglarize the home. What does “to an extent” mean? You helped your three buddies try to rob the house. You “thought” no one was home. And your three friends ended up shot dead by someone who was likely terrified because, shit, there were masked and armed people inside of his house. What is there to misunderstand here? Ms. Rodriguez, you deserve no sympathy beyond what the court decides to give you. You are not a victim in this scheme. You’re a participant. Please, rot in jail.
–The people involved in the Atlanta bridge fire, for being involved in the Atlanta bridge fire. At the moment, only one person has been charged with setting the fire, a Basil Eleby, but there’s a chance that there were others (two people were charged with trespassing and could, once investigators are through investigating, be charged alongside Eleby). Regardless, setting a massive fire deliberately and causing massive damage to a major bridge in a big American city is just… well, it’s horrible. What the fuck, man?
-Disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, for asking for immunity in order to testify to Congress in the ongoing Russian probe. Now, plenty of people ask for immunity in order to testify, but Flynn’s request ends up looking worse than most requests because, back during the Presidential election, Flynn said that “when you are given immunity that means you’ve probably committed a crime.” So did Michael Flynn commit a crime? Is he letting everyone know something ahead of time here?
–NBC and Fox, for fighting over the right to bring back the recently cancelled American Idol. Why? The show hasn’t been gone that long. If the show absolutely needs to come back, why not wait five years or so? Where’s the demand for this show, especially on NBC, the home of The Voice? Thankfully, the deal isn’t going to go through at the moment, but, still, why not try to make something new as opposed to bringing back something that hasn’t been gone that long?
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