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Digital Self-Harm Among Adolescents, a new phenomena

January 01, 2018, 09:03:48 AM by kat
In a digital age, Internet users, minors in particular, are finding new ways to 'self-harm'. Interestingly, despite the research pointing to boys being more prone to "digital self-harm", the issue, like other coverage, is given the appearance of something particular to girls ("societies progress as a whole is assessed only by its treatment of a part, that of women and girls").
Despite increased media and scholarly attention to digital forms of aggression directed toward adolescents by their peers (e.g., cyberbullying), very little research has explored digital aggression directed toward oneself. “Digital self-harm” is the anonymous online posting, sending, or otherwise sharing of hurtful content about oneself. The current study examined the extent of digital self-harm among adolescents.

About 6% of students have anonymously posted something online about themselves that was mean. Males were significantly more likely to report participation (7.1% compared to 5.3%). Several statistically significant correlates of involvement in digital self-harm were identified, including sexual orientation, experience with school bullying and cyberbullying, drug use, participation in various forms of adolescent deviance, and depressive symptoms.

Further Reading
- Men harassed online more but like, seriously, it's not about them - Pew 2017.
- Virtual Reality Assault and Developer Responsibilities.
- Normalising/desensitising violence in games. An (initial) study.
- Harassment of women now a "hate crime".
- CPS Guidelines on Prosecuting Social Media 'crimes'.
- Keeping kids safe; do more....
- Violence against males in games doesn't count... another study that 'proves' it.
- Cyber Violence Against Women and Girls - A World-Wide Wake-Up Call.

"Net Neutrality" has been hoodwinked, yet again!

December 26, 2017, 08:36:11 AM by kat
It appears with the FCC's recent announcement the "Net Neutrality" discussion has been hoodwinked, again. This time by "muh evil corporations"[1], specifically of the Cable & Broadband Service Provider variety, who, it is said, will take advantage of the situation to out-price and over-charge their customers for access. Such is the concern about this 'infringement' the likes of Google, Facebook and other Information Service Providers have jumped on the bandwagon in support of "a free and open Internet".

And no-one stops to ask "why?". Is it any wonder so busy are the social media catastrophists in threatening self-harm, or engaging themselves in Munchhausen level insanity or Category 5 hysterics, ginned up as always it seems these days by a Main Stream News narrative laying claim the World is to end because their Internet is being taken away! (by the same Corporations that own them and the network providers). Just why would all these 'media' and 'information' Corporations and Entities be so concerned about the individuals remonstrating #FirstWorldProblems so furiously?. As customers of ComCast or any number cable/network service providers, what is the individuals ability to access content to them? After all they have their own networks over which their content is distributed into which cable/broadband companies essentially plug - cable/broadband service providers are not the Internet, they are simply consumer conduits or gateways into the broader network of systems.

The question answers itself in a way. Of course media and information providers have joined the fight for "a free internet" because they benefit directly from their data being freely available ("free" as in "accessible" not "free" as in "from cost"), except when they are the ones asking consumers cough up increased subscriptions for 4k, special or exclusive content, their content.

And this is not speaking to Google, Facebook et al setting up their own "differentiated networks"[2], of the light infrastructural footprint of Mobile & Wireless providers, over which "Net Neutrality" regulations have (little to) no impact.

This makes the actual "Net Neutrality" debate one of Corporate funded astro-turfed anti-competitive sabotage; hinder the competition, who are tied to massive physical infrastructure overheads, with regulations that only apply to them, de-facto burdened BY LAW with providing minimal service whilst the late-comers to the game get the upper hand, being free to invest in new technologies and regions instead of up-keeping old crumbling infrastructure.

Any way one cares (dares) to cut it, that's not "Net Neutrality", not by a long shot.

Further Reading
- President Obama's Plan for a Free and Open Internet.
- FCC Open Commission Meeting (Feb 2015).
- Two tier Internet - Net Neutrality has been hoodwinked.
- Net Neutrality - EU abolishes mobile roaming charges.

[1] Today's Victory on Net Neutrality - "'Net neutrality' has been built into the fabric of the internet since its creation -- but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow internet service providers to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas." - except the very nature of the supply and demand market forces that BUILT the Internet have ALWAYS "pick[ed] winners and losers", it's never been "neutral" in that respect.

[2] The likes of Google (Google Fibre), Facebook (Internet.org infrastructure initiative) and other global information services being involved in the "Net Neutrality" debate motivated by developing new and more profitable markets for their products... whilst Facebook, though Internet.org, pushes the 'humanitarian' angle with their outreach, the ONLY reason for doing so is to coerce the remaining 50% or so of the Worlds population without Internet into using Facebook based services ('internet access' being the carrot to dangle)... the United States, and much of Europe for that matter, have reached the top of the bell-curve where increasingly disproportionate investment is needed to push reach beyond the 80+ percent it currently is, resources that used elsewhere will garner much greater profits and Government influence, often in poorer countries with much weaker currency valuations, making the US$ stretch even further (buyers remorse not having set in as is the case in the the USA/EU/AU where users are increasingly finding themselves subject to depression and other anxiety related disorders as a consequence of unfettered Internet use).

YouTubes adpocalypse super-secret/hidden (since removed) codes

December 01, 2017, 09:14:03 PM by kat

IMPORTANT NOTE: in the time since the videos discussing this issue went live on the 29th November, and writing the below (30th/1st), YouTube appears to have removed all traces of the 'secret demonetisation codes' from source. They can no longer be found using the search parameters outlined below. This literally (lidderally) happened whilst this post was being written (occurred some time between 29th Nov and 1st December). The fact the codes were removed without any notification or comment (at time of writing at least) could be considered odd to say the least.

• • •

In trying to get to the bottom of the YouTube video demonetisation #adpocolypse, the controversy seems to have taken a step or two into darker murkier waters, or so at least some commentators on the subject are saying, the TL:DR of which suggests YouTube makes use of super-secret hidden codes to "censor" YouTube Creators and their video content (this does not relate to/is separate from videos marked as "not eligible for monetisation"). Naturally this means doing some fact-checking.

So, do the 'super-secret codes' exit?. Yes (although the numbers are not exactly super-secret - see below, what they mean is (or was - see note above)).

Whilst all the alleged codes are time-consuming to verify a number of them can be found right-clicking a page in which a YouTube video appears and searching the html source for two markers, "excluded_ads" and "excludedAds", which can be found in two locations, both part of a script function, not just the one as described by the authors linked above.

With that said, not all videos carry the numbered tags; those that do, may not have been specifically content or ToS flagged; those that have been, don't necessarily continue to carry any if at all the tags once checked and/or remonetised (DMCA flagged videos, and those with other specific Copyright violations, don't seems to carry the tags once cleared).

The lack of transparency on this, at least in regards to the codes being 'behavioural markers' like the red-sticky spots teachers might place on a child's report card/progress report, is more than a little confusing and concerning. For example, the following video, "Easily export a map to Unity3D", has never been flagged or demonetised and yet it carries a number of the numerical tags being reported on, the critical values precede the "=";
Code: [Select]
Tag 1: "excluded_ads":"46=14_14;59=14_14;64=14_14;76=2_2_1,2_2_4",
Tag 2: "excludedAds":"46=14_14;59=14_14;64=14_14;76=2_2_1,2_2_4",

That's "46", "59", "64" and "76". These particular numbers appear common to almost all KatsBits videos, few of which have ever been flagged. So rather than being behavioural red marks, this fact perhaps hints at their likely being 'advert category identifiers'; "46" might be "personal care", or "Holidays and travel", both of which might be less valuable to Advertisers placed on education videos about Blender or content creation, so videos being tagged to identifying this incongruity makes sense.

In addition to this likely reason for some of the codes, the other half of the equation is a little more troubling because they do only appear on videos that have been flagged as "not suitable for most advertisers". For example the number "102" appears in code for the following video "Monday #imvufbx shenanigans w/ IMVU's JinxyWithMoji & CodeRodent" in addition to the aforementioned common codes;
Code: [Select]

This is where things get a little more serious because the codes, it's being alleged, appear to be policy violation identifiers, content deemed to contain "Controversial issues and sensitive events", "Drugs and dangerous products or substances", "Harmful or dangerous acts", "Hateful content", "Inappropriate language", "Inappropriate use of family entertainment characters", "Incendiary and demeaning", "Sexually suggestive content" and/or "Violence". Each 'category' is assigned a unique tag that can be innocuously dropped into page source such that the KatsBits video linked above can be flagged with "102" identifying it as containing "Inappropriate language" (at least according to the research linked to up-top).

As discussed in a follow-up chat (also demonetised at time of writing), unless the word "but" is considered inappropriate it's difficult to imagine exactly how YouTubes system works aside from it automatically flagging 'live' videos, obligating Tubers to challenge, just so the process teaches the AI something or other about content flagging/making course corrections. Even if this were true, the implications for 'marking' certain content, and users, as a matter of course regardless, doesn't bode well in any sense.

Who knows at this point...

Hey ho, to sea we go, a Pirates life for meeeee!

September 26, 2017, 04:13:27 PM by kat

A report recently discovered/forced to be released publicly, "Estimating displacement rates of copyrighted content in the EU" suggests European piracy rates don't appear to negatively affect the gaming industry as expected (note: some media outlets have made specific comment on the apparent age of the data used for this report based its being (re)published in 2017. Whilst perhaps a valid concern in some respects, the criticism however, omits(?), neglects(?) ignores(?) the reports actual 2014 publication date, as highlighted in the Copyright & Publication Notice, and the 2015 Authors Notice, all within the first few pages, and the fact that a request for access/release was sent to the European Commission, also in 2014 - this is notwithstanding large-scale studies of this nature often being historical rather than real-time).
Main conclusions
In 2014, on average 51 per cent of the adults and 72 per cent of the minors in the EU have illegally downloaded or streamed any form of creative content, with higher piracy rates in Poland and Spain than in the other four countries of this study. In general, the results do not show robust statistical evidence of displacement of sales by online copyright infringements. That does not necessarily mean that piracy has no effect but only that the statistical analysis does not prove with sufficient reliability that there is an effect. An exception is the displacement of recent top films. The results show a displacement rate of 40 per cent which means that for every ten recent top films watched illegally, four fewer films are consumed legally. People do not watch many recent top films a second time but if it happens, displacement is lower: two legal consumptions are displaced by every ten illegal second views. This suggests that the displacement rate for older films is lower than the 40 per cent for recent top films. All in all, the estimated loss for recent top films is 5 per cent of current sales volumes.

Pewdiepie, pejoratives and threats of false DMCA

September 12, 2017, 02:43:50 AM by kat

Filing a #DMCA Take-down Notice for any reason other than an infringement or misappropriation of Copyright subjects the Complainant (person issuing the Take-down Notice) to the possibility of being prosecuted for Perjury, the intentional invocation of legal process under, false or otherwise misleading pretense.

Make no mistake, Perjury is serious business because the 'Oath' that's sworn at sign-off grants authority of the governed (The People) to whatever State power is able to service the claim being made. In other words, when one party to a claim knowingly lies in the broadest sense, or intentionally misrepresents their case against another, they are siccing the full weight of the State on the other Party absent their being actual or justifiable reason or need.

As can be imagined, the State doesn't like being used like this ('punitively' or 'vexatiously') because it undermines the States standing/authority on the matter at hand (and due process more broadly), which is largely why Perjury carries such relatively heavy penalties for something that otherwise appears at face value 'harmless'; the crime isn't the 'lie' so much as the misappropriation or unjustified invocation of State power for the individuals own ends rather than the States and its exercise of Justice.

With this in mind, to be using or overtly threatening the use #DMCA as a means to solve what amount to nothing more than petty personal or political beefs, to remove content from the internet because someone said something stupid or offensive during a live-stream, is misguided and foolish a best, doubly so when the party making such claims has granted express licence for their material to be exploited[1].

So whilst it was most certainly unwise, yes even offensive, of Pewdiepie to use (a?) racial pejorative(s?) during a live-streaming. It's even more 'unwiserer' for a dissociated developer, having absolutely no connection to the game being streamed, publicly announce their intent to potentially abuse #DMCA to remove unrelated archives as a result of said event, insinuating the pejorative as the reason, whilst asking others to do the same[2] to boot. So not only is the developer toying with Perjury, they're also walking on the left-side of Twitters (and YouTubes) Terms of Service that forbids targeted harassment of users on its platform.

The whole situation is of course (of course!) not helped by the huge amount of 'fake news' and click-bait generated by outlets more interested in outrage peddling[3] than taking the opportunity to properly inform their readers about #DMCA, how it actually works, and why it should not be abused the way Firewatch developers appear to think it can.

DISCLAIMER: The above should not be construed as legal advice. It is posted as opinion/for informational purposes only. Always seek Legal advice/council prior to issuing DMCA Take-down, Counter Notices or dealings therein.

[EDIT: little bit of clarity: it wasn't the streamed games developer but someone associated with another product PDP has played previously]

Additional Resources
- Learn more about DMCA and what's required to file a Notice.
- Are 'DMCA Protected' websites & services scams?.
- You don't own that game you bought (Copyright).
- Fan Art and Copyright Infringement.
- Its a Terms of Service violation, not Copyright dispute.
- DMCA and its Failings.
- DMCA exemptions - single player games.
- Pepper and Carrott and the curious case of Copyright infringement >meow<.
- What is "FOXed"?.
- Improving Content ID for creators.

[1] oddly the game at the centre of this nontroversy was not authored by the developer making the false DMCA claim (Pewdiepie was playing another game). Even more oddly, the studio to which the individual actually belongs explicitly grants licence for the exploitation of their content - "Can I stream this game? Can I make money off of those streams? Yes. We love that people stream and share their experiences in the game. You are free to monetize your videos as well. It doesn't hurt to let us know on Twitter when you're live. We might show up in your chat!". Generally speaking then, unless the granting authority (the game developer making the threats) included a "we reserve the right to..." (or otherwise room for revocation) statement within their permission of use agreement, it would be difficult for them to prove their case (unless YouTube streamers are subject to a different licence not publicly available), especially where doing so means acting retroactively to rescinded or selectively revoked such permission. DMCA and Copyright simply doesn't work this way, to have better chance of success when enforcing their rights though DMCA, Rights Holders generally have to show they are pro-active in their efforts to establish ownership - being the Rights Holders doesn't automatically equate to 'winning'. Similarly, although it is being said that DMCA Notices can be sent for any reason this is only true with respect to those reasons being specifically related to the misappropriation or infringement of Copyright. And to be clear, whilst Lets Plays in of themselves have not been ruled (as of yet) as "Fair Use", monetisation i.e., commercial exploitation (adverts, income from Patreon and other sources) would generally nullify that defensive argument (at least at present).

[2] to be clear, the game being played/streamed was not authored by the developer threatening DMCA abuse, he was allegedly referring Firewatch, which Pewdiepie had played previously. With that said, his calls for others to join him could be considered a call for the targeted harassment, or the "brigading" of another individual, a form of abuse Twitters forbids on their platform.

[3] the headlines below are not linked to intentionally so as to not propagate fake news;
- "YouTube star PewDiePie uses racial slur" - BBC
- "PewDiePie: YouTube megastar's N-word outburst sparks developer backlash" - The Guardian
- "PewDiePie must not be excused. Using the N-word is never OK" - The Guardian
- "PewDiePie, the world’s most popular YouTuber, is back making more racist comments" - Tech Crunch
- "Pewdiepie Streams Racist Slur, Prompts DMCA Threat from Gamemaker" - Rolling Stone
- "PewDiePie in trouble once again for racist outburst" - Engadget
- "FireWatch dev uses DMCA against PewDiePie after streamed racial slur" - ars Technica
- "Firewatch dev threatens Pewdiepie video takedown, following YouTube star's use of N-word" - Eurogamer
- "Firewatch creator vows DMCA retaliation against PewDiePie for racist slur used in stream" - Polygon
- "PewDiePie uses N-word during live stream, game developer takes action" - Mashable
The above headlines would be perhaps more accurate had they included "false" when mentioning "DMCA";
- "Firewatch developer threatens false DMCA for inappropriate language",
- "Pewdiepie threatened with false DMCA over racial pejorative",
Or more acutely accurate...
- "Developers misplaced outrage over racial pejorative",
- "Should Pewdiepie be excused given the pervasive Cultural use of racial pejoratives?"
And so on... The intentional (?) lack of clarity reveals more about the political biases of outlets reporting on this story than it does about Pewdiepie's alleged racial tendencies or not.
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