After years of centralization of photosharing, OpenPhoto wants to give control back to users.
The growing centralization of the Internet -- manifested in our increasing reliance on "The Cloud" -- threatens the nature of our relationship with the technologies that shape modern life. The user interface changes that invariably enrage some contingent of users are just a trivial edge of the total space that describes the consequences of relinquishing control over our software to large commercial enterprises. There are entire categories of larger consequences.
Some are the kinds of low-probability, high-consequence risks that James Fallows wrote about in his November 2011 article on his personal experience with his wife's hacked Gmail account.
Others are higher-order in nature, such as the way companies like Facebook and Google deal with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. There's also the issue of algorithmic censorship, which can take distinctly non-obvious forms.
The video, likely known to most readers, features Cortright mundanely clicking through the stock effects of a $20 webcam, gazing bored into the screen of her computer, trance playing in the background. Far from offensive content. The violation lies in Cortright's use of keywords. The video description contained 733 keywords, ranging from "tits, vagina, sex, nude, boobs" to "san francisco, diego, jose, puto, taco bell, border patrol, mcdonalds, KFC, kentucky fried chicken, trans fat".
Andy Baio investigates another vector on which emerging art and culture are colliding headlong with proprietary services and broad legislation. YouTube's necessarily automated and algorithmic enforcement of copyright simply cannot make distinctions about fair use, and as a consequence is in some sense destroying the notion altogether. Mashups, remixes, and cover songs are routinely taken down with very little recourse for users.