Monday Rants: YouTube

I’ve written this twice now, but because the first version was so long I decided it was best to shorten it. Anyhow, Google really needs to take another look at their comment moderation tools. I’ve said it before, a long time ago, but I didn’t think I’d be revisiting this annoying topic again this soon.

Correct me if I’m wrong—but did Google not do away with that ridiculous “neutral zone” theory? I remember back when Google+ was just rolling out (and even then there were probems with their “real names only” policy where people with uncommon names were being locked out and support, for whatever reason, just wasn’t helping them) that there was an introductory video explaining the concept of blocking vs muting. I’m still looking for it because I’ve recently had to mute somebody for doing some serious concern trolling and I want to make sure I haven’t falesly remembered it.

I know, Google has always favoured the tired “just ignore them” and “you can lock someone out of your house but if they visit your neighbour all you can do is leave” approach, so the likelihood of them actually changing anything (within the next 5 years) is slim to nil, but this is such a universal feature that I’ve come to expect it to be available on any internet platform: block a user and they’re invisible to you across the site. I’m secure in the knowledge that they cannot interact with me via that account, and I’m not tempted to interact with them. For Google to turn that around and put the blame on users for not having enugh wilpower to “ignore them” is a slap in the face. It would be different if you were paranoid enough to unblock someone to see if they’d been talking about you behind your back.

When you block someone on Facebook, their comments and profile become invisible to you unless you unblock them, and unless your profile is made public, they can’t see/interact with all of it when they log out either. Twitter blocking seems to work by blocking access to that person’s tweets, forcing a mutual unfollow, and otherwise making it impossible for them to message/interact with you on that account. From the looks of things, it’s not even that easy to block someone on YouTube because you have to make sure you’re doing it through both YouTube AND Google+, and some profiles don’t have a visible link to any Google+ page.

Another popular argument for keeping the block feature “as-is” is free speech, and that blocking can be abused in the name of censoring unwanted opinions—sorry? Blocking a user doesn’t have the potential to be used as a means of real censorship. If one user feels like “censoring” another, then it wasn’t a conversation worth having. My point is this: if blocking is to be marketed as a tool to prevent users from being harassed, it should function in a way that doesn’t undermine that goal. Blocking should always hide a user’s posts from the person that blocked them and limit interaction with that user on both sides.

Anyways, (unrelated) you may have noticed that my poem-a-day streak was interupted, and I may return to it soon.

Until next time,



Monday Rants: Body Positivity

One thing I don’t understand is how the body positivity movement is so often criticized as promoting unhealthiness.

The whole point is you shouldn’t have to hate yourself or your body, and we should never send the message that it’s only okay to love yourself IF you make a reasonable effort to be healthy.

It’s especially hurtful when a person who claims to have your best interest in mind—but does not know you and has no interest in ever speaking to you again outside of that conversation—criticizes you as a person because they feel you’re not doing enough (based on how they perceive you at that time). It’s a drive-by comment and not as productive as we’re lead to believe. If you truly love and care for someone, you should invest in them. Don’t say things like “I’m selfish and want to keep you around longer” if you’re not even going to show up.
When we hear somebody say that they like themselves for who they are, and they accept their body for what it is, why do we assume they aren’t making an effort to better themselves? “There’s always room to improve” is a true statement, but should never be a knee-jerk response to self-love and acceptance.

This is an issue that’s important to me, and I hope I’ve made some sense to somebody.

Until next time,


Monday rants: Carwash

Today’s Monday rant is about something I hate with a burning passion: soft-cloth car washes!

To be honest, I hate any sort of carwash. I have autism (diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when that was still considered a separate entity, albeit under the autism umbrella) so that may be a factor, but being stuck in a closed space that’s getting blasted with water and slapped at with a giant heavy cloth is noisy and frankly, terrifying. The only thing that could make it worse is if there were a wasp or a hornet stuck in the car with me.

On top of all that, as soon as you take a hose to your car, it always rains. What is the point of that? You’ve just wasted soap, water, and effort.

That’s it for today, though I could carry on for hours!


Monday rants: Twitter

To get myself in the habit of writing and sticking to a routine, I’m going to try something: every Monday I’m going to rant about something. To get started, today’s rant will be about Twitter.

I had a Twitter before, and got rid of it. Why? Because aside from auto-tweeting posts from my portfolio/blog, I don’t think I used it very much. A couple of times I got into small arguments (which was a dumb move in my part, and in hindsight a handful of those people weren’t wrong) and it felt like there was no point.

Fast-forward to now, and I’ve signed up for another one. Why? Because after using Instagram for a short period (a couple of months?) I’ve actually been engaging with people and making more positive connections. Then I started thinking: is this what I was supposed to be doing on Twitter the whole time?

Cue awkward moment of realization, it probably was.

So, once again, I’m going to conduct a social experiment and unleash myself upon the unsuspecting internet. Hopefully now that I’ve had time to reflect upon my past actions and overall lack of filter, this experience will be a better one.

Until next time