Gaming the system

Brian Koerber, Mashable, Oct 23, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I love YouTube but what I don't love are advertisements on YouTube. That's because they convert the platform from being about user-generated content to commercial publication scams designed to game the system - or worse. This time I'm afraid it's worse. The starting point is this article on Mashable and describes cases where "you press play and at first your screen fills with recognizable cartoon characters and cheesy music — but things take a drastic turn when Elsa and Spider-Man arm themselves with automatic weapons." It's actually a lot worse than that. I watched a number of the videos from this channel (which also appears on YouTube for Kids) and found numerous violent and disturbing images. This is not amateur content; it is commercially produced and makes liberal use of things like superhero icons and Disney princesses. This is what happens when social media is converted into mass consumption: the abuse soon follows.

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