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YouTube AudioSpam: Our World Gets Uglier

We all know that public figures and the people behind the institutions we pretend are individuals promote their own interests. We know they pay others to make them look good. We know they sometimes pay others to make ugly things go away or at least look prettier to the rest of us. In fact, most of us would rather have that than the alternative: an ugly world where we see politicians promoting selfish evil agendas, companies promoting pollution and labor extortion, or governments speaking plainly when they admit that many, many people will be hurt very, very badly for some larger, more obtuse political gain.

We’d rather think they are benevolent and hard-working, and leave the ugliness for those who look more closely.

Now Google, via YouTube, is once again changing the way we communicate. Just as they severely influenced the way we plaster ads all over the content we choose to publish, and how we choose to publish what we publish (based on Google quality scores, for example) they are now forcing us to actually say what we would rather promote on the side. Yes, YouTube is now open to speech spamming, and this will forever change the way we appear in public.

If I told you that by merely saying the words “payday loan” at some point during your video, your video will appear (and rank?) for searches on YouTube (Google?) targeting “payday loans”, would you do it? Would you pay some one to say it? Previously, you had to come up with some excuse to title your video with payday loan. Now, videos containing political speeches that mention payday loans appear for searches on “payday loans”. Wow. What an innovation, eh Google? I personally just can’t wait to hear keyword spamming in audio tracks, speeches turned into audio spam, and “name dropping” taken to all new lows.
The world she is a changing again. People are going to start to mention the unmentionables, every single chance they get. Spam is about to take center stage, thanks to our often overly-literal and under-sophisticated (in a social sense) PhrienDs at Google.

One Comment

  1. Todd Mintz wrote:

    To get a necessary keyword density in a speech for “payday loan”, someone’s going to have to say “payday loan” (and analogous words) much more than once in a speech. I don’t see non-commercial speech turning commercial because of this…I actually think it’s a wonderful enhancement and hope it’s done with both video and audio (e.g. podcasting).

    @todd: Senator Edwards (in the example I linked to above) mentions at 5:02 into the video “…predatory payday lenders”.. and he repeated that phrase once more a few seconds later… all in the context of the sub prime mortgage crisis and a discussion of racial aspects of predatory lending. That was enough to get that speech to show up for a search “payday loans”.

    Google speech to text explanation 

    Friday, August 1, 2008 at 6:06 am | Permalink