I know it’s been forever since I posted anything here. I’ve been caught up with other things and trying to slowly get the channel back at a normal pace. I’ll still try to post here when I can, but so far the blog is sort of being thrown on the back burner.
Anyway, what I wanted to talk about today is a bit of a continuation to the last topic I had covered on the channel. In case you’re unaware, that would be the situation surrounding what certain people have started referring to as “TimeGirl.”
Now, I could go on and explain the whole thing–but it may be a better idea if you just give my videos covering it a quick watch since I’m bound to leave out certain details. It’s only around six minutes in total, so it shouldn’t be too painful to sit through.
The reason I wanted to discuss it a little more here is because in these two videos I stuck to facts and theories and completely left out my personal opinion on the matter. My videos didn’t need to be muddied with my two cents.
As you know, once the time was coming close to running out, the stream cut off. This was exactly what everyone was expecting to happen since that’s normally how these things play out. Either it’ll cut out right before the end, or time will expire and nothing will happen at all.
The interesting thing here is that the group behind it claimed that they were going to play it though until the end, but simply couldn’t because of repeated bans on Periscope. What would have happened when the clock hit zero? I have no clue, and I’m not sure if the group has commented on it as of yet.
So, who exactly are these people? They call themselves Black Elephant, and their VK account claims that they do “stream experiments.” The whole TimeGirl situation was supposed to be a social experiment on how social networks handle these sorts of situations. The group wanted to point out how the sites would opt to ban the content to save their reputation rather than try to help the victim.
Before I continue, I want to add that I’m going off translations here since the group doesn’t speak English. So, either the translations weren’t that great, or this group has their heads way up their asses.
Again, this post is meant to be about my personal opinions on the matter–so if you happen to disagree with me it’s totally fine. I’m just going to come out and say that this really wasn’t an experiment by definition. This came off much more like a performance piece at best. As an experiment, however, it seems that they were pushing for the results they wanted to see.
My first question is this: What did they (or anyone) expect? People complain left and right about banning inappropriate content on the internet. Does this not fall under that category? Now, I’m not saying that I agree with these people–I’m just pointing out that it seems they’re always willing to bend the rules in their favor. Second, I think it’s important to note that social media sites are not the police. While I was keeping track of the stream, countless people claimed that they had reported it to the authorities. Of course, given the nature of the event there probably wasn’t much information to give to begin with. Whether or not the authorities did “enough” is up for further debate, but that’s really up to you guys to decide. As I said, Black Elephant choose to call out social media sites in this case–so that’s what we’re going to focus on.
To say that YouTube and Periscope banned their stream to “save their reputation” is completely preposterous. These are companies, and they operate as such. Again, they are not the police. The most they could do is help aid the police by providing whatever information they can, and they do have that available whether or not the stream was actually kept live.
With all this being said, I find Black Elephant’s thinking to be a bit backwards. Even if we were taking this from a “holding a mirror up to society” perspective, they still haven’t accomplished much. Someone in my last video about it said something along the lines of “Well, they kind of exposed how sick and twisted people can be–including you, ReignBot.” The thing is, nothing had been “exposed.” Sure, there were some sickos in the chat cheering it on, even asking the people behind it to rape the woman–but at the same time, there were countless people behind the scenes trying desperately to help her. People reported it; tons more expressed their disgust towards the situation. I fail to see how this made “society” look bad. I’m sorry, but this isn’t real life Black Mirror.
So, what exactly did Black Elephant achieve here–at least from my perspective? Well, most people were cautious about the stream while it was going on, but also incredibly skeptical at the same time. That’s no surprise, especially with the amount of staged prank and social experiment videos on the internet these days. Of course, that’s not enough to say that something like this could never happen. It can, and most likely will very soon. We’ve seen countless murder videos online, and just last month we had the Easter shooter incident take place. A man by the name of Steve Stephens streamed himself live claiming he was about to kill someone before promptly walking up to an elderly man and shooting him in the face point-blank.
So, what did viewers of Steve’s broadcast think? Did they believe him? Some probably did, while others didn’t. Of course, this isn’t the only event of this nature to ever be streamed to a live audience via the web. Live streaming is easier than ever–all you need to do is pull out your phone and press a button. Despite this, people wouldn’t be very quick to believe anyone claiming they were about to do something horrific. We’d rather mentally retreat, telling ourselves that this person is merely seeking attention or something along those lines.
As I said, there have been many YouTube pranksters exposed for staging their videos–including the ones they’ve converted into social experiments. Because of this, most people generally write them all of as fake. People were already skeptical about TimeGirl, and I can promise you that they’ll be way more likely to shrug things off the next time something like this happens.
From my perspective, all the group achieved was wasting people’s time, energy, and resources while also solidifying people’s skepticism towards these sorts of events. To put it simply, they cried wolf–and yet they seem completely oblivious to this fact and seem to be patting themselves on the back.
This “experiment” was unethical on many, many levels and ultimately pointless.