Something is wrong on the internet – James Bridle – Medium

well, this is simply horrifying.

tl;dr: this post is a deep dive into bad children’s videos on youtube. bad as in violent, and bad as in scammy because their purpose is to get ad revenue.

A friend who works in digital video described to me what it would take to make something like this: a small studio of people (half a dozen, maybe more) making high volumes of low quality content to reap ad revenue by tripping certain requirements of the system (length in particular seems to be a factor). According to my friend, online kids’ content is one of the few alternative ways of making money from 3D animation because the aesthetic standards are lower and independent production can profit through scale. It uses existing and easily available content (such as character models and motion-capture libraries) and it can be repeated and revised endlessly and mostly meaninglessly because the algorithms don’t discriminate — and neither do the kids.

the author also talks about how the platforms are complicit.

tangent: i just saw this thread