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Thread: Elsagate

  1. #21
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Huh. Was it a boarding school? I'm just wondering how you avoided them out of class.

    But if your goal is to keep them as sheltered as you were, I definitely recommend @TeresaJ's approach, and don't let them have unsupervised internet access until you're ready for them to lose that innocence. Ideally, they wouldn't have internet access at all until they were literate, had read a couple hundred books of their own volition, and mastered the five paragraph essay. But that's just me making a SWAG about internet preparedness.

    Remember when everyone was going to the video store to see the penises on the Aladdin DVD case? Simpler times.
    Not a boarding school. Out of class, I had few friends, most of whom were really good people(save for the pot smoking 13 year old who ended up becoming a coke dealer and holding his best friend in his arms as the friend died from a stab wound...but in that friendship I mostly functioned as his conscience...so I drew him to good things more than he exposed me to the bad). Also, I understood early on that my freedom as a kid was going to be proportional to how well I demonstrated the maturity to handle that freedom. So I usually asked my parents about the things I was curious about...be it drugs or drinking or sexual stuff or whatever else...so even if I was exposed to/by peers, I was not also informed by those same experiences...which probably helped me to tune them out as it was appropriate. To this day I sort of have the opposite of a radar for people who are high or drunk...I just don't notice it, for the most part...my version of social obliviousness...a whole section of bandwidth that just hovers outside my awareness until it is explicitly pointed out to me.

    I always thought the Aladdin stuff was a bit of a Rorschach effect, until I went to animation school in my 20s and met actual animators who were disgruntled and repressed in such a way that they actually did that sort of thing on purpose...it was sort of shocking to realize that those were actual penises put there by actual animators. I was looking at the CV of one of my instructors on the school's website...he was the most disgruntled, depressed, cynic that you'd ever meet...a tall, lanky guy, with black hair, black framed glasses with a weak prescription, and pasty white skin that looked like it had never seen natural light before...he always wore a tucked in button up shirt with a bowtie...and his last work prior to animation was working for a suicide hotline. Cracked me up to learn that. (Classical) animators are a messed up bunch.
    So many things I was/am naive to...
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

  2. #22
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    I just don't like the idea of having to exert control over my kids in order to censor them from the general content of life...I don't mind protecting them from particular things...but to have to be on constant watch so that I can suppress access to things seems like a losing battle...because it's just running interference.
    Staying off of the internet until you're an adolescent? what's denied is desired, with kids, isn't it? I want to foster good choosing...not dependence on me choosing.
    ...but for that, the internet has to be opening/widening/expansive...not tunneling, filtering, and targeting...
    I do pay close attention...but I will expose my kids, still, I think.

    I'm curious what even motivates people to star in the stuff...
    ...I think if I understood it better, I might feel better about empowering my kids to understand what it is and why it is bad for them...but right now, it's just confusing to me...so that doesn't fly.
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

  3. #23
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Growing up with access to information is one thing. But we aren't talking about just kids, we're talking toddlers. We're talking about a generation of parents who hand their kids a tablet computer, internet access and then leave them to it. I think that's irresponsible parenting, and blaming Google for not blocking such content is failing to take responsibility.
    When I was a kid I would wake up early to watch Saturday morning cartoons. I used to watch them after school too, along with stuff like the power rangers and other kid-oriented programming. My parents didn't need to worry about me having access to the TV because they could trust that the networks weren't going to broadcast shocking content they wouldn't want me exposed to. It would absolutely make sense to blame the networks if they broke that trust, and the FCC fines the shit out of people for doing that. If you're going to promote your content distribution platform as being for kids then you should follow a similar standard.

    Now, we can argue about whether it matters that kids get exposed to some of this stuff and that's an old argument. What's more troubling here is that we don't seem to be able to control this. If Google, the top tech company on the planet, can't make a video app for kids without having it be overrun with disturbing content that they and their customers don't want there, how can we expect individual parents to do any better at curating the internet?

    Kids should be able to use the internet in a safe manner without constant supervision. It is an amazing resource and it would be a shame for parents to only have two choices: cut the kids off from it completely, or accept that they might be served any kind of content with no standards.

  4. #24
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pensive_pilgrim View Post
    What's more troubling here is that we don't seem to be able to control this. If Google, the top tech company on the planet, can't make a video app for kids without having it be overrun with disturbing content that they and their customers don't want there, how can we expect individual parents to do any better at curating the internet?
    There's a lot more to what your saying than this glossing rhetoric admits to. Parents aren't an app. They are fully capable of screening what their kids watch. It's completely doable. Clearly there are many who aren't. Likewise, Google could have hired a team of content reviewers and held all uploads to their "Kids" subsection provisional until after confirming it met with community standards for TV broadcast for children in the regions the videos were going to be displayed. They didn't.

    It is controllable. It hasn't been controlled, and will never be controlled until at least one of those two things comes to pass.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  5. #25
    malarkey oxyjen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    There's a lot more to what your saying than this glossing rhetoric admits to. Parents aren't an app. They are fully capable of screening what their kids watch. It's completely doable. Clearly there are many who aren't. Likewise, Google could have hired a team of content reviewers and held all uploads to their "Kids" subsection provisional until after confirming it met with community standards for TV broadcast for children in the regions the videos were going to be displayed. They didn't.

    It is controllable. It hasn't been controlled, and will never be controlled until at least one of those two things comes to pass.
    Unrealistic and untenable solution. Kid gets old enough to go to other houses unsupervised and overnight. Kid has friends at school with a smart phone. Etc.

    I know your theoretical position may not change, but as a purely practical manner each parent can only guarantee their own oversight. Most parents think that if they have gotten the YouTube kid's app they have done what they need to do to filter questionable content.

  6. #26
    Homo siderius Sistamatic's Avatar
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    Brave new world, isn't it.

    First, a disclaimer. I have never been and never will be a parent. @stigmatica is, hands down, the best parent I know, and he had times where he had no fucking clue what to do. I mean even in an ideal environment, there's pressure on a parent to make good decisions....a long term sustained pressure unlike any I'll ever know. "If I fuck this up, I will fuck up a whole person and everyone they ever come into contact with may suffer for it."

    I read my dad's paperbacks of playboy style cartoons when I was about 6. I didn't get the jokes, but I got that I was not supposed to be seeing them. I took Dad's science fiction books off the shelf and never got in trouble for it, but somehow I knew to hide this one. I don't know what part of my 70's experience with no internet and fewer tv channels than I had fingers clued me in to the fact that I was not supposed to be seeing the things in this book. I think it was the fact that it exposed body parts I knew were not supposed to be exposed.

    I got busted anyway, and when there was a minor furor combined with me not being the one in the most trouble I realized not even Dad was supposed to see that book.

    But that doesn't compare to this scandal. I think it is possible I might have had less strength to endure some of the things that I went through in my life if I'd had to watch the hero from my comic books, Wonder Woman, portrayed as a sexual victim over and over, especially if that victimization was perpetrated on her by "the good guys." Or maybe I'd have grown up angrier and less trusting of men. I don't know. I think characters can be powerful influences on what kind of person a kid wants to become. The characters of our childhood help to determine the character we try to build in ourselves. Stories are important.

    But I grew up in a different world, and, to a lesser extent, so did my nieces, and my nephew, @epistemophiliac. For the most part, when I wonder what effect the internet would have had on me as a kid, I think it would have broadened my horizons and let me know I had options other than the ones laid before me. I grew up angry as hell at the world for trying to shoehorn me into a role that was wrong for me, never realizing how free I actually was to choose my roles. I might have become an astronaut or something if it had ever once occurred to me that things like that were on the table at all. But I didn't have the internet and all I knew about the world was what the grown ups and other kids told me. All my media was tightly controlled. There was nothing subversive in my school library. I had to learn about all the things my parents protected me from the hard way. For all it's problems, I think the internet would have been a net positive for me.

    I don't know if I'm talking out of my ass here as a non-parent who doesn't understand the complexities of implementation. I would probably aim for a long slow gradual progression toward total freedom (achieved at maybe about 16) to choose content with the aim of them being aware of what they need to avoid and why, so that when they see it, they are at least aware enough to mitigate the way it makes them feel, and so they are still in my sphere of influence when they first have to handle it. I'd shoot for an atmosphere where, if they ran across something horrible, we could laugh about how awful it was together, thus reducing it's power. Making unavoidable things too taboo only makes them more powerful and less likely to be discussed with an authority figure. They are going to be exposed to crazy shit eventually...and I would want to have a hand in how they handled that. My actual implementation might not go as planned, ha. It'd probably go a lot like Mark Watney's plans...blow up in my face repeatedly, forcing me to rework the problem. But that's what my initial plan of attack would be.

    I think Google could do better. Maybe it isn't possible for them to be perfect, but I think better is doable. And if people must stop letting their kids watch YouTube kids (because surely right now they must), and if that hits Google in the wallet, I think they'll probably be motivated to find a way.
    Insults are effective only where emotion is present. -- Spock, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" Stardate 3468.1.

    I'm not avoiding socializing I'm helping socializing avoid me! --MoneyJungle

  7. #27
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxyjen View Post
    Unrealistic and untenable solution. Kid gets old enough to go to other houses unsupervised and overnight. Kid has friends at school with a smart phone. Etc.

    I know your theoretical position may not change, but as a purely practical manner each parent can only guarantee their own oversight. Most parents think that if they have gotten the YouTube kid's app they have done what they need to do to filter questionable content.
    You're misunderstanding what I said.

    I offered two solutions. The one you've objected to involved all parents being on board and screening their youngster's viewing. Properly implemented then kid won't have friends at school with a smart phone.

    Since we're talking about sheltering the kids though, it's still controllable even in the case where it's a single family solution. Don't want to risk more permissive parents fucking things up? Kid doesn't sleep over at other houses. Worried about school? Home school. I mention this because I've met a fair number of people whose parents managed to protect them from TV until late adolescence.

    For the most part, home schooled kids were easy to spot in high school (when many made a switch for socialization purposes) or college. They had good posture, lacked a whiff of cynicism, and generally gave the impression of being a wobbly legged foal because they hadn't been through the grist mill of public education. I cite their existence as evidence that it is a plausible, if difficult solution.

    Granted I've personal experience with failed attempts at homeschool sheltering, but in that case, they weren't really being homeschooled. They just weren't being allowed to go to school and were otherwise permitted to run amok because the whole situation was FUBAR. Those kids grew up practically homeless given the state their house was in wasn't what most would consider a habitable dwelling.


    As for trusting Google's app, clearly that was a dumb mistake, but then, many people seem to think that advertisement means a product has been vetted as functional and safe. These are important illusions to dispel.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  8. #28
    Aporia Dysphoria Dirac's Avatar
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    To me the argument about whose job it is to do something about this is easier to think about if you compare it to something like eg bleach. Sure, it's the job of the parents to make sure that kids can't get the bleach and drink it; but it doesn't seem like too much to ask bleach manufacturers to not make the bleach look delicious.

  9. #29
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    My approach in general isn't to completely prevent him from ever encountering things I don't approve of but to limit his exposure as much as possible. He watches movies and cartoons at his preschool - at both of his preschools. Not every day, not all the time, and not unsupervised, but it's still more than I would prefer. I know that he'll be exposed to technology in school. I'm a little disappointed it started so early.

    Right now my kid's just four years old. I know that my influence will wane. I think that encouraging critical thinking and open lines of communication is going to be huge. And teaching him that no he doesn't need to keep up with the Joneses. I cannot fathom why a kid would ever need a smart phone.

    Judging the culture of what sort of school I send him to is going to be a major part of my decision making... Sheltering vs socialization, I don't under-value socialization. I only hope that I'll have options I can feel good about.

    //not so much a response to anyone in particular as it is thinking out loud
    Too bad, Lady Une. You were far too lenient.
    As a soldier, yes. But as a civilian I lived an austere life.

  10. #30
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Google is hiring 10,000 reviewers to clean up YouTube
    The company isn't just banking on more human intervention, however. Its machine learning algorithms have helped remove more than 150,000 videos from YouTube since June that depict violent extremism.
    Wojcicki said 180,000 people would have had to work 40 weeks to assess the same amount of content.
    It's an arms race. Google vs the millions of people in developing countries who are getting access to the internet and the tech to make videos. I get the impression that if those people can reach US audiences they can make US money (that is to say, it's probably more worth it to them in places where incomes are usually lower).

    And of course, if Google is successful then we'll have another issue in deciding how much power these people should have over the type of content that gets served to us as adults. For example, the controversies over Facebook promoting or suppressing certain US election-related content.

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