Complete Music Update reported that Thom Yorke compared online service providers (such as, I would imagine, certain…ahem…ISPs) to the great powers in WWII who trolled the world stealing art. Here’s the quote:
I do not have the solution to these problems. All I know is that [tech companies] make money with the work of many artists who do not derive any benefit”.
He continued: “They continue to say that this is a time when music is free, film is free. It’s not true. Service providers make money. Google. YouTube. A lot of money, like trawling the ocean, taking everything. ‘Oh, sorry, this was yours? Now it’s ours. No, no, we’re joking, it was always yours’. Our work has been seized. It’s like what the Nazis did during the Second World War. Indeed, they all did it during the war, the British also: steal the art from other countries. What’s the difference?”
Naturally, this rather interesting analogy quickly became marginalized and ridiculed as “Thom Yorke likens YouTube to Nazis”. Not what he said, but don’t let that stop anyone. Chanting about Google apologist Mike Godwin (who, by the way is passing himself off as a music industry expert these days), etc., etc.
But since they brought it up, let’s see if the content on YouTube matched the reporting that twisted what the artist actually said.
We have been on this story for years–YouTube is packed with neo-Nazi or racist bigotry that Google helps to find a substantial audience. How about this one:
Notice–this one is a great example of how YouTube’s most common excuse for profiting from bad stuff falls apart. People who like bad stuff will (a) find it and (b) give it a thumb’s up. Do you think that people who are not looking for KKK recruiting videos will search YouTube for or find this video or the hundreds if not thousands like it?
Then there’s this one by an artist who seems to be very popular with the bigot set:
Notice–this video has had over 30,000 views since it was posted barely a month ago.
Here’s a few more with the same problem. You have to ask yourself just how heartless and amoral people have to be to let this go down.
And it goes on. If you want to do the cross check, you can use this list from the Anti Defamation League called “Bigots Who Rock” and try searching for the band name on YouTube. The results are unnerving.
So now we have skinhead racists, neo-Nazis and jihadis using YouTube for community building.
Maybe Thom Yorke was closer to the truth that people seemed to think.