Youtube Deep Dive, Part 2
OK so before I go on with more of my YouTube deep dive stories I want to just share something a bit… odd.
Odd comes with the job, obviously, when you navigate a site that consists of user created video content you'll see a lot of odd. Hell, that’s what these little slice of life stories are about. The odd stuff I’ve seen on YouTube and some other sites we nanny. Or bits that colleagues have shared with me.
You must understand that I work from home mostly, as I mentioned before my company is lax on supervision if you put in the hours. I have a few friends who work in the company, but its mainly people I put onto the job. People I knew beforehand.
In the whole time I’ve worked for these guys I’ve received exactly three direct messages from the company, one of them was my welcome and induction, the other responses for requests for holiday time. Apart from the usual work memos and Christmas message the only thing I’ve gotten from the company is the pay check at the end of the month.
So that’s why I thought it was strange when I received a direct email from my line manager. It was a normal work message, the actual point buried deep at the end of a couple of paragraphs about how great a job I was doing and how much the company values my high-quality work (bullshit, any moron could do this job).
“I’m a little concerned about the video you flagged in your red folder last month”
No shit so was I, I still couldn’t quite shake that face out of my memory.
Then came the weird part. The email went on about how head office wanted me to be alert for anything “similar” in the future. I was told to open a new “black” folder and drop the video in there.
It’s weird right? I already have a folder made specifically for anything illegal and its not my place or the companies place really to decide different levels of legality. I’m not even sure what they mean by “similar”, were they expecting me to seek out videos that specifically had finger mutilations?
The email went on to say that there was very little chance of “an incident” occurring again, but that it was “imperative” that anything linked to the video I’d reported was put in the black folder as soon as I saw it.
They’re the boss I guess. I just hate getting instructions that I’m completely unclear on how to adequately follow.
I’ve not put anything else in the red folder since, and don’t really have any stories about that before, believe it or not YouTube are generally up on that kind of thing. But now I’m being assigned a new category and totally nebulous instructions…
My job sucks.
Like I said before most flags I send up the line are “ambers” stuff that’s not illegal or necessarily even particularly bad just stuff that you wouldn’t show your kids. There’s a few recurring motifs however and one I would like to highlight, mainly because it’s so damn strange.
Everyone who does my job has ruin into one of the white ring videos and if they haven’t then its only a matter of time.
They’re short (2 minutes or less) videos usually stuck somewhere beyond the 90th iteration in a deep divers auto-play series. They usually start with a black screen, but I’ve seen a couple with landscapes. About 30 seconds into the video (so a quarter of the way) these white rings appear in the video, usually floating in for the sides or top. The ring moves very slowly across the screen until it reaches the centre then it expands out to the edges of the screen, when the ring fills the screen completely the video ends.
Well let me tell you the weirder part.
The next 5-10 videos I watch after always have white rings in. No matter what they are, regardless of content those white rings will flash in and out. I’ve got no idea why. I asked around one time and everyone who’d seen them (that’s basically any co-worker I’ve spoken to) gets the same thing, no less than 5 no more than 10.
In a boring job like mine any sense of the unusual gets pounced upon so whenever there’s a chance for discourse the circles will usually come up. Everyone has a theory. Ranging from undisclosed YouTube test patterns to hackers, to bizarro supernatural explanations. I don’t believe in ghosts or demons but there are a couple of compelling factors about the videos that seems to point to something outside the normal quirks in the YouTube algorithm. The weirdest being that outside of my “profession” I’ve not heard of anyone seeing one.
Maybe it’s just because we watch SO MANY YouTube videos on and off each day that we see things other people just never find (Usually a white ring video has 1 or 2 views total, no matter how long it’s been up. Which means realistically it shouldn’t be showing up in the auto-play at all)
It’s still odd though. I’ve asked friends, family, everyone I know. It’s such a hot topic of conversation at work that it just winds up slipping into social conversations in that manner that work stuff does. Like a retail worker who winds up being stiffly formal around their friends because their jobs conditioned them to it. I think I must have had this conversation with everyone I see on a regular basis and a few times with out-of-town visitors and distant cousins. No one who doesn’t work in my section has seen them, yet almost everyone who does has.
I’ve not had a chance to chase down anyone from any OTHER agencies that do my kind of work, so I don’t know if it’s JUST my company. A hacker prank directed at us. Maybe it’s one of the other deep divers fucking with our algorithm, though I’m not sure HOW you’d manage that and as I mentioned before none of us are programmers, just screen jockeys. Our job is to look at a screen and nanny content.
So there you have it, another weird-ass thing about being a YouTube deep diver. We don’t even flag white ring videos there’s nothing harmful about them but hell they are deeply odd.
I’m going to ask around my colleagues see if I can’t drum up some fun amber or even a red for you guys for next time. It’s not something we’re really supposed to do, share work like this but I very much doubt anyone from work is going to see this. I’ll keep you updated on my deep dives too, see if anything’s going in the spooooky black folder.
Till next week.
Submitted July 15, 2018 at 04:21AM by cybernix