Even if you aren’t a parent, you’ve no doubt heard about the many disturbing videos being disguised as content for children.
James Bridle has done some digging and found that a lot of this content appears to be algorithmically generated. It’s not (only) trolls.
It’s a bizarre and, possibly unintentional, side-effect of the exploitative nature of Silicon Valley capitalism and the fact that children are, by their very nature, among the most easily exploited people in the world.
What concerns me is not just the violence being done to children here, although that concerns me deeply. What concerns me is that this is just one aspect of a kind of infrastructural violence being done to all of us, all of the time, and we’re still struggling to find a way to even talk about it, to describe its mechanisms and its actions and its effects.
Read the rest of the essay, Something is wrong on the Internet, for a fascinating and disturbing look at the world of creepy children’s YouTube videos.