YouTube

I can’t think of any better example of the very best and very worst the modern internet has to offer than YouTube.

On one hand it’s an extraordinary place. I’ve found so much joy in exploring and learning from the incredibly creative people that use YouTube as a place to share their work. I have no problem saying that what I have seen on the site has shaped a big part of who I am and what I do today. I think many young people today would agree.

On the other hand, YouTube is an absolutely horrible place. The vast majority of videos are garbage pumped out by “people” who simply don’t give a shit. The algorithmic recommendation system silos people into ever more specific boxes. The top-down moderation is often appallingly heavy-handed and conservative in service of maintaining a corporate liberally-normative culture.