The nightmare videos of childrens’ YouTube

James Bridle – whom you might know from his autonomous trap for self-driving cars – on the dangers of leaving your children on YouTube unattended:

Writer and artist James Bridle uncovers a dark, strange corner of the internet, where unknown people or groups on YouTube hack the brains of young children in return for advertising revenue. From “surprise egg” reveals and the “Finger Family Song” to algorithmically created mashups of familiar cartoon characters in violent situations, these videos exploit and terrify young minds — and they tell us something about where our increasingly data-driven world is headed.

As he says (*):

If you have small children, keep them the hell away from YouTube.

Having two young children myself I can confirm what he’s saying. Don’t believe it still? Here, watch Peppa Pig making cocaine pancakes, which is only a few recommendations away when watching an “official” Peppa Pig episode.

(*) This is exactly the same message that my former employer Small Town Heroes – who make apps for children such as Ketnet Junior, amongst other things – have been saying during all of their pitches.

How Art Can Transform The Internet

Maybe the aesthetic value of internet art is measured by its ability to help us see the internet, just as as a novel can help us see language.

I really like the mentioned “rainbow effect” which we can see in satellite images, as it gives us an insight in how exactly satellite imagery works (which is, mapping aficionado as I am, something right up my alley):

Fast moving objects, such as aircraft, when seen in satellite imagery often show ghosting or a ‘rainbow effect’. This is caused by the way satellite cameras work taking several photos in succession using different wavelengths of light. The separate images are later combined to produce the full colour images we see in Google Earth. If anything moved between shots then we see an image for each of the three primary colours in slightly different locations and usually a fourth, slightly higher resolution image, in grey-scale.

The effect looks like this:


Linking back from the internet to art, it inspired James Bridle to create his “Rainbow Planes”: