Quick Tutorial: Deleting Your Data Using Google’s “My Activity”

UPDATE (May 1, 2019): A Major New Privacy-Positive Move by Google

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Since posting The Google Page That Google Haters Don’t Want You to Know About last week, I’ve received a bunch of messages from readers asking for help using Google’s “My Activity” page to control, inspect, and/or delete their data on Google.

The My Activity portal is quite comprehensive and can be used in many different ways, but to get you started I’ll briefly outline how to use My Activity to delete activity data.

Some words of warning, however. You cannot revoke deletions once they’ve been made, and deleting your data on Google can negatively affect how well those services will perform for you going forward, since you’ll be moving back toward “generic” interactions, rather than customized ones. So do think carefully before performing broad deletions! (I know that I’d be lost without my YouTube watch history, for example …)

OK, let’s get started.

First, go to:


If you’re not logged into a Google account, do so now. Once you’re logged in, you can use the standard account switcher (clicking on the picture or letter at the page upper right) to change accounts.

What you should now see is a reverse chronological list of your activity when logged into that Google account, which you can scroll down starting with Today and working backwards.

If you click on the three vertical dots (henceforth, “the dots”) at a Google service type entry (e.g. Search), you can choose to expand the detailed entries for that level for that date, or delete those entries. If you click on the dots on the Today bar itself, you can choose to delete ALL of the activity entries for Today.

The real power of the My Activity interface comes into play when you click in the upper Search/Filter “by date & product” area.

After you’ve done this, you can activate the search bar by clicking in the bar and typing something, or (my personal preference) by unchecking “All products” further down.

Now you can search for activity entries filtered by product type and/or date as you’ve specified. To avoid over-deletion, I strongly recommend not selecting many product types at the same time! (When you click on specific products, the “All products” entry will automatically be unchecked.)

Once you’ve selected at least one specific product type, the Search bar will activate and the “perform this search” magnifying glass icon at the right of the bar will turn dark blue.

You can type queries into the bar to find specific entries, or you can just click on the magnifying glass without a query to list all entries for the selected Google products. If you haven’t changed the “Filter by date” settings at the top to narrow down the dates, the search will cover the default “All time” activity list for those products.

The scrollable page that results from such queries is similar in structure to what you saw for the earlier page that started with Today, and you can interact with it to get more details or delete entries in the same ways.

But look again at the top Search bar now. If you click on the dots at the right of that white Search bar that appears after a query, you’ll see that you now have a “Delete results” option.

You wanted power over your data on Google? Well, you’ve got it. Because if you click “Delete results” it will remove EVERY activity result from that query (or from an empty query entry that lists all results for the specified products). That can mean deleting every activity result from all of the selected products, going back to the relative dawn of time.

My Activity gives you extraordinary power over what sorts of activity data will be collected for your Google accounts, and as we’ve seen the ability to delete data using a variety of parameters and searches. It’s quite a technological work of art.

But again, be careful before invoking these powers. Remember, you can’t undo My Activity deletions. Or to use an old film analogy that many of you might recognize, if you’re going to use powerful incantations like “Klaatu barada nikto” — make damned sure that you pronounce them correctly!


More Regarding a Terrible Decision by the Internet Archive

Yesterday, in A Terrible Decision by the Internet Archive May Lead to Widespread Blocking, I discussed in detail why the Internet Archive’s decision to ignore Robots Exclusion Standard (RES) directives (in robots.txt files on websites) is terrible for the Internet community and users. I had expected a deluge of hate email in response. But I’ve received no negative reactions at all — rather a range of useful questions and comments — perhaps emphasizing the fact that the importance of the RES is widely recognized.

As I did yesterday, I’ll emphasize again here that the Archive has done a lot of good over many years, that it’s been an extremely valuable resource in more ways than I have time to list right now. Nor am I asserting that the Archive itself has evil motives for its decision. However, I strongly feel that their decision allies them with the dark players of the Net, and gives such scumbags comfort and encouragement.

One polite public message that I received was apparently authored by Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle (since the message came in via my blog, I have not been able to immediately authenticate it, but the IP address seemed reasonable). He noted that the Archive accepts requests via email to have pages excluded.

This is of course useful, but entirely inadequate.

Most obviously, this technique fails miserably at scale. The whole point of the RES is to provide a publicly inspectable, unified and comprehensively defined method to inform other sites (individually, en masse, or in various combinations) of your site access determinations.

The “send an email note to this address” technique just can’t fly at Internet scale, even if users assume that those emails will ever actually be viewed at any given site. (Remember when “postmaster@” addresses would reliably reach human beings? Yeah, a long, long time ago.)

There’s also been some fascinating discussion regarding the existing legal status of the RES. While it apparently hasn’t been specifically tested in a legal sense here in the USA at least, judges have still been recognizing the importance of RES in various court decisions.

In 2006, Google was sued (“Field vs. Google” — Nevada) for copyright infringement for spidering and caching a website. The court found for Google, noting that the site included a robots.txt file that permitted such access by Google.

The case of Century 21 vs. Zoocasa (2011 — British Columbia) is also illuminating. In this case, the judge found against Zoocasa, noting that they had disregarded robots.txt directives that prohibited their copying content from the Century 21 site.

So it appears that even today, ignoring RES robots.txt files could mean skating on very thin ice from a legal standpoint.

The best course all around would be for the Internet Archive to reverse their decision, and pledge to honor RES directives, as honorable players in the Internet ecosystem are expected to do. It would be a painful shame if the wonderful legacy of the Internet Archive were to be so seriously tarnished going forward by a single (but very serious) bad judgment call.


A Terrible Decision by the Internet Archive May Lead to Widespread Blocking

UPDATE (23 April 2017):  More Regarding a Terrible Decision by the Internet Archive

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We can stipulate at the outset that the venerable Internet Archive and its associated systems like Wayback Machine have done a lot of good for many years — for example by providing chronological archives of websites who have chosen to participate in their efforts. But now, it appears that the Internet Archive has joined the dark side of the Internet, by announcing that they will no longer honor the access control requests of any websites.

For any given site, the decision to participate or not with the web scanning systems at the Internet Archive (or associated with any other “spidering” system) is indicated by use of the well established and very broadly affirmed “Robots Exclusion Standard” (RES) — a methodology that uses files named “robots.txt” to inform visiting scanning systems which parts of a given website should or should not be subject to spidering and/or archiving by automated scanners.

RES operates on the honor system. It requests that spidering systems follow its directives, which may be simple or detailed, depending on the situation — with those detailed directives defined comprehensively in the standard itself.

While RES generally has no force of law, it has enormous legal implications. The existence of RES — that is, a recognized means for public sites to indicate access preferences — has been important for many years to help hold off efforts in various quarters to charge search engines and/or other classes of users for access that is free to everyone else. The straightforward argument that sites already have a way — via the RES — to indicate their access preferences has held a lot of rabid lawyers at bay.

And there are lots of completely legitimate reasons for sites to use RES to control spidering access, especially for (but by no means restricted to) sites with limited resources. These include technical issues (such as load considerations relating to resource-intensive databases and a range of other related situations), legal issues such as court orders, and a long list of other technical and policy concerns that most of us rarely think about, but that can be of existential importance to many sites.

Since adherence to the RES has usually been considered to be voluntary, an argument can be made (and we can pretty safely assume that the Archive’s reasoning falls into this category one way or another) that since “bad” players might choose to ignore the standard, this puts “good” players who abide by the standard at a disadvantage.

But this is a traditional, bogus argument that we hear whenever previously ethical entities feel the urge to start behaving unethically: “Hell, if the bad guys are breaking the law with impunity, why can’t we as well? After all, our motives are much better than theirs!”

Therein are the storied paths of “good intentions” that lead to hell, when the floodgates of such twisted illogic open wide, as a flood of other players decide that they must emulate the Internet Archive’s dismal reasoning to remain competitive.

There’s much more.

While RES is typically viewed as not having legal force today, that could be changed, perhaps with relative ease in many circumstances. There are no obvious First Amendment considerations in play, so it would seem quite feasible to roll “Adherence to properly published RES directives” into existing cybercrime-related site access authorization definitions.

Nor are individual sites entirely helpless against the Internet Archive’s apparent embracing of the dark side in this regard.

Unless the Archive intends to try go completely into a “ghost” mode, their spidering agents will still be detectable at the http/https protocol levels, and could be blocked (most easily in their entirety) with relatively simple web server configuration directives. If the Archive attempted to cloak their agent names, individual sites could block the Archive by referencing the Archive’s known source IP addresses instead.

It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see how all of this could quickly turn into an escalating nightmare of “Whac-A-Mole” and expanding blocks, many of which would likely negatively impact unrelated sites as collateral damage.

Even before the Internet Archive’s decision, this class of access and archiving issues had been smoldering for quite some time. Perhaps the Internet Archive’s pouring of rocket fuel onto those embers may ultimately lead to a legally enforced Robots Exclusion Standard — with both the positive and negative ramifications that would then be involved. There are likely to be other associated legal battles as well.

But in the shorter term at least, the Internet Archive’s decision is likely to leave a lot of innocent sites and innocent users quite badly burned.


The Google Page That Google Haters Don’t Want You to Know About

UPDATE (May 1, 2019): A Major New Privacy-Positive Move by Google

UPDATE (April 24, 2017):  Quick Tutorial: Deleting Your Data Using Google’s “My Activity”

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There’s a page at Google that dedicated Google Haters don’t like to talk about. In fact, they’d prefer that you didn’t even know that it exists, because it seriously undermines the foundation of their hateful anti-Google fantasies.

A core principle of Google hatred is the set of false memes concerning Google and user data collection. This is frequently encapsulated in a fanciful “You are the product!” slogan, despite the fact that (unlike the dominant ISPs and many other large firms) Google never sells user data to third parties.

But the haters hate the idea that data is collected at all, despite the fact that such data is crucial for Google services to function at the quality levels that we have come to expect from Google.

I was thinking about this again today when I started hearing from users reacting to Google’s announcement of multiple user support for Google Home, who were expressing concerns about collection of more individualized voice data (without which — I would note — you couldn’t differentiate between different users).

We can stipulate that Google collects a lot of data to make all of this stuff work. But here’s the kicker that the haters don’t want you to think about — Google also gives you enormous control over that data, to a staggering degree that most Google users don’t fully realize.

The Golden Ticket gateway to this goodness is at:


There’s a lot to explore there — be sure to click on both the three vertical dots near the upper top and on the three horizontal bars near the upper left to see the full range of options available.

This page is a portal to an incredible resource. Not only does it give you the opportunity to see in detail the data that Google has associated with you across the universe of Google products, but also the ability to delete that data (selectively or in its totality), and to determine how much of your data will be collected going forward for the various Google services.

On top of that, there are links over to other data related systems that you can control, such as Takeout for downloading your data from Google, comprehensive ad preferences settings (which you can use to adjust or even fully disable ad personalization), and an array of other goodies, all supported by excellent help pages — a lot of thought and work went into this.

I’m a pragmatist by nature. I worry about organizations that don’t give us control over the data they collect about us — like the government, like those giant ISPs and lots of other firms. And typically, these kinds of entities collect this data even though they don’t actually need it to provide the kinds of services that we want. All too often, they just do it because they can.

On the other hand, I have no problems with Google collecting the kinds of data that provide their advanced services, so long as I can choose when that data is collected, and I can inspect and delete it on demand.

The google.com/myactivity portal provides those abilities and a lot more.

This does imply taking some responsibility for managing your own data. Google gives you the tools to do so — you have nobody but yourself to blame if you refuse to avail yourself of those excellent tools.

Or to put it another way, if you want to use and benefit from 21st century technological magic, you really do need to be willing to learn at least a little bit about how to use the shiny wand that the wizard handed over to you.



Prosecute Burger King for Their Illegal Google Home Attacks in Their Ads

Someone — or more likely a bunch of someones — at Burger King and their advertising agency need to be arrested, tried, and spend some time in shackles and prison cells. They’ve likely been violating state and federal cybercrime laws with their obnoxious ad campaign purposely designed to trigger Google Home devices without the permission of those devices’ owners.

Not only has Burger King admitted that this was their purpose, they’ve been gloating about changing their ads to avoid blocks that Google reportedly put in place to try protect Google Home device owners from being subjected to Burger King’s criminal intrusions.

For example, the federal CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) broadly prohibits anyone from accessing a computer without authorization. There’s no doubt that Google Home and its associated Google-based systems are computers, and I know that I didn’t give Burger King permission to access and use my Google Home or my associated Google account. Nor did millions of other users. And it’s obvious that Google didn’t give that permission either. Yet the morons at Burger King and their affiliated advertising asses — in their search for social “buzz” regarding their nauseating fast food products — felt no compunction about literally hijacking the Google Home systems of potentially millions of people, interrupting other activities, and ideally (that is, ideally from their sick standpoint) interfering with people’s home environments on a massive scale.

This isn’t a case of a stray “Hey Google” triggering the devices. This was a targeted, specific attack on users, which Burger King then modified to bypass changes that Google apparently put in place when word of those ads circulated earlier.

Burger King has instantly become the “poster child” for mass, criminal abuse of these devices.  And with their lack of consideration for the sanctity of people’s homes, we might assume that they’re already making jokes about trying to find ways to bill burgers to your credit card without your permission as well. For other dark forces watching these events, this idea could be far more than a joke.

While there are some humorous aspects to this situation — like the anti-Burger King changes made on Wikipedia in response to news of these upcoming ads — the overall situation really isn’t funny at all.

In fact, it was a direct and voluntary violation of law. It was accessing and using computers without permission. Whether or not anyone associated with this illicit stunt actually gets prosecuted is a different matter, but I urge the appropriate authorities to seriously explore this possibility, both for the action itself and relating to the precedent it created for future attacks.

And of course, don’t buy anything from those jerks at Burger King. Ever.


You Can Make the New Google+ Work Better — If You’re Borg!

Recently, in Google+ and the Notifications Meltdown, I noted the abysmal user experience represented by the new Google+ unified desktop notifications panel — especially for users like me with many G+ followers and high numbers of notifications.

Since then, one observer mentioned to me that opening and closing the notifications panel seemed to load more notifications. I had noticed this myself earlier, but the technique appeared to be unreliable with erratic results, and with large numbers of notifications still being “orphaned” on the useless standalone G+ notifications page.

After a bunch more time wasted on digging into this, I now seem to have a methodology that will (for now at least … maybe) reliably permit users to see all G+ notifications on the desktop notifications panel, in a manner that permits interacting with them that is much less hassle than the standalone notifications page permits.

There’s just one catch. You pretty much have to be Borg-like in your precision to make this work. You can just call me “One of One” for the remainder of this post.

Keeping in mind that this is a “How-to” guide, not a “What the hell is going on?” guide, let’s begin your assimilation.

The new notifications panel will typically display up to around 10 G+ notification “tiles” when it’s opened by clicking on the red G+ notification circle. If you interact in any way with any specific tile, G+ now usually considers it as “read” and you frequently can’t see it again unless you go to the even more painful standalone notifications page.

Here’s my full recommended procedure. Wander from this path at your own risk.

Open the panel on your desktop by clicking the red circle with the notifications count inside. Click on the bottom-most tile. That notification will open. Interact with it as you might desire — add comments, delete spam, etc.

Now, assuming that there’s more than one notification, click the up-arrow at the top of the panel to proceed upward to the next notification. You can also go back downward with the down-arrow, but do NOT at this time touch the left-arrow at the top of the panel — you do not want to return to those tiles yet.

Continue clicking upward through the notifications using that up-arrow — the notifications will open as you proceed. This can be done quite quickly if you don’t need to add comments of your own or otherwise manage the thread — e.g., you can plow rapidly through +1 notifications.

When you reach the last (that is, the top) notification on the current panel, the up-arrow will no longer be available to click.

NOW you can use the left arrow at the top of the panel to return to the notification tiles view. When you’re back on that view, be sure that you under NO circumstances click the “X” on any of those tiles, and do NOT click on the “hamburger” icon (three horizontal lines) that removes all of the tiles. If you interact with either of those icons, whether at this stage or before working your way up through the notifications, you stand a high probability of creating “orphan” notifications that will collect forever on the standalone notifications page rather than ever being presented by the panel!

So now you’re sitting on the tile view. Click on an empty area of the G+ window OUTSIDE the panel. The panel should close.

Assuming that there are more notifications pending, click again on the red circle. The panel will reopen, and if you’ve been a good Borg you’ll see the panel repopulate with a new batch of notifications.

This exact process can be repeated (again, for the time being at least) until all of your notifications have been dealt with. If you’ve done this all precisely right, you’ll likely end up with zero unread notifications on the standalone notifications page.

That’s all there is to it! A user interface technique that any well-trained Borg can master in no time at all! But at least it’s making my G+ notifications management relatively manageable again.

Yep, resistance IS futile.


Collecting Examples of YouTube Hate Speech Videos and Channels

I am collecting examples of hate speech videos on YouTube, and of YouTube channels that contain hate speech. Please use the form at:


to report examples of specific YouTube hate speech videos and/or the specific YouTube channels that have uploaded those videos. For YouTube channels that are predominantly filled with hate speech videos, the channel URL alone will suffice (rather than individual video URLs) and is of particular interest.

For the purposes of this study, “hate speech” is defined to be materials that a reasonable observer would feel are in violation of Google’s YouTube Community Standards Terms of Use here:


For now, please only report materials that are in English, and that can be accessed publicly. All inputs on this form may be released publicly after verification as part of this project, with the exception of your (optional) name and email address, which will be kept private and will not released or used for any purposes beyond this study.

Thank you for participating in this study to better understand the nature and scope of hate speech on YouTube.


“Google Needs an Ombudsman” Posts from 2009 — Still Relevant Today

Originally posted February 27 and 28, 2009:
Google’s “Failure to Communicate” vs. User Support
Google Ombudsman (Part II)

Greetings. There’s been a lot of buzz around the Net recently about Google Gmail outages, and this has brought back to the surface a longstanding concern about the public’s ability (or lack thereof) to communicate effectively with Google itself about problems and issues with Google services.

I’ll note right here that Google usually does provide a high level of customer support for users of their paid services. And I would assert that there’s nothing wrong with Google providing differing support levels to paying customers vs. users of their many free services.

But without a doubt, far and away, the biggest Google-related issue that people bring to me is a perceived inability to effectively communicate with Google when they have problems with free Google services — which people do now depend on in many ways, of course. These problems can range from minor to quite serious, sometimes with significant ongoing impacts, and the usual complaint is that they get no response from submissions to reporting forms or e-mailed concerns.

On numerous occasions, when people bring particular Google problems to my attention, I have passed along (when I deemed it appropriate) some of these specific problems to my own contacts at Google, and they’ve always been dealt with promptly from that point forward. But this procedure can’t help everyone with such Google-related issues, of course.

I have long advocated (both privately to Google and publicly) that Google establish some sort of public Ombudsman (likely a relatively small team) devoted specifically to help interface with the public regarding user problems — a role that requires a skillful combination of technical ability, public relations, and “triage” skills. Most large firms that interact continually with the public have teams of this sort in one form or another, often under the label “Ombudsman” (or sometimes “Office of the President”).

The unofficial response I’ve gotten from Google regarding this concept has been an expression of understanding but a definite concern about how such an effort would scale given Google’s user base.

I would never claim that doing this properly is a trivial task — far from it. But given both the horizontal and vertical scope of Google services, and the extent to which vast numbers of persons now depend on these services in their everyday personal and business lives, I would again urge Google to consider moving forward along these lines.


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Greetings. In Google’s “Failure to Communicate” vs. User Support, I renewed my long-standing call for an Ombudsman “team” or equivalent communications mechanism for Google.

Subsequent reactions suggest that some readers may not be fully familiar with the Ombudsman concept, at least in the way that I use the term.

An Ombudsman is not the same thing as “customer support” per se. I am not advocating a vast new Google customer service apparatus for users of their free services. Ombudsmen (Ombudswomen? Let’s skip the politically correct linguistics for now …) aren’t who you go to when search results are slow or you can’t log in to Gmail for two hours. These sorts of generally purely technical issues are the vast majority of the time suitable for handling within the normal context of existing online reporting forms and the like. (I inadvertently may have caused some confusion on this point by introducing my previous piece with a mention of Gmail problems — but that was only meant in the sense that those problems triggered broader discussions, not a specific example of an issue appropriate for escalation to an Ombudsman.)

But there’s a whole different class of largely non-technical (or more accurately, mixed-modality) issues where Google users appear to routinely feel frustrated and impotent to deal with what they feel are very disturbing situations.

Many of these relate to perceived defamations, demeaning falsehoods, systemic attacks, and other similar concerns that some persons feel are present in various Google service data (search results, Google Groups postings, Google-hosted blog postings, YouTube, and so on).

By the time some of these people write to me, they’re apparently in tears over the situations, wondering if they should spend their paltry savings on lawyers, and generally very distraught. Their biggest immediate complaints? They don’t know who to contact at Google, or their attempts at contact via online forms and e-mail have yielded nothing but automatic replies (if that).

And herein resides the crux of the matter. I am a very public advocate of open information, and a strong opponent of censorship. I won’t litter this posting with all of the relevant links. I have however expressed concerns about the tendency of false information to reside forever in search results without mechanisms for counterbalancing arguments to be seen. In 2007 I discussed this in Search Engine Dispute Notifications: Request For Comments and subsequent postings. This is an exceedingly complex topic, with no simple solutions.

In general, my experience has been that many or most of the concerns that people bring forth in these regards are, all aspects of the situation considered fairly, not necessarily suitable for the kinds of relief that the persons involved are seeking. That is, the level of harm claimed often seems insufficient, vs. free speech and the associated rights of other parties.

However, there are dramatic, and not terribly infrequent exceptions that appear significantly egregious and serious. And when these folks can’t get a substantive reply from Google (and can’t afford a lawyer to go after the parties who actually have posted or otherwise control the information that Google is indexing or hosting) these aggrieved persons tend to be up you-know-what creek.

If you have a DMCA concern, Google will normally react to it promptly. But when the DMCA is not involved, trying to get a real response from Google about the sorts of potentially serious concerns discussed above — unless you have contacts that most people don’t have — can often seem impossible.

Google generally takes the position — a position that I basically support — that since they don’t create most content, the responsibility for the content is with the actual creator, the hosting Web sites, and so on. But Google makes their living by providing global access to those materials, and cannot be reasonably viewed as being wholly separated from associated impacts and concerns.

At the very least, even if requests for deletions, alterations, or other relief are unconvincing or rejected for any number of quite valid reasons, the persons who bring forth these concerns should not be effectively ignored. They deserve to at least get a substantive response, some sort of hearing, more than a form-letter automated reply about why their particular plea is being rejected. This principle remains true irrespective of the ultimate merits or disposition of the particular case.

And this is where the role of a Google Ombudsman could be so important — not only in terms of appropriately responding to these sorts of cases, but also to help head off the possibility of blowback via draconian regulatory or legislative actions that might cut deeply into Google’s (and their competitors) business models — a nightmare scenario that I for one don’t want to see occur.

But I do fear that unless Google moves assertively toward providing better communications channels with their users for significant issues — beyond form responses and postings in the official Google blogs, there are forces that would just love to see Google seriously damaged who will find ways to leverage these sorts of issues toward that end — evidence of this sort of positioning by some well-heeled Google haters is already visible.

Ombudsmen are all about communication. For any large firm that is constantly dealing with the public, especially one operating on the scope of Google, it’s almost impossible to have too much communication when it comes to important problems and related issues. On the other hand, too little communications, or the sense that concerned persons are being ignored, can be a penny-wise but pound-foolish course with negative consequences that could have been — even if not easily avoided– at least avoided with a degree of serious effort.


The YouTube Racists Fight Back!

Somewhat earlier today I received one of those “Hey Lauren, you gotta look at this on YouTube!” emails. Prior to my recently writing What Google Needs to Do About Hate Speech, such a message was as likely to point at a particularly cute cat video or a lost episode of some 60s television series as anything else. Since that posting, however, these alerts are far more likely to direct me toward much more controversial materials.

Such was the case today. Because the YouTube racists, antisemites, and their various assorted lowlife minions are at war. They’re at war with YouTube, they’re at war with the Wall Street Journal. They’re ranting and raving and chalking up view counts on their YouTube live streams and uploads today that ordinary YouTube users would be thankful to accumulate over a number of years.

After spending some time this afternoon lifting up rotting logs to peer at the maggots infesting the seamy side of YouTube where these folks reside, here’s what’s apparently going on, as best as I can understand it right now.

The sordid gang of misfits and losers who create and support the worst of YouTube content — everybody from vile PewDiePie supporters to hardcore Nazis, are angry. They’re angry that anyone would dare to threaten the YouTube monetization streams that help support their continuing rivers of hate speech. Any moves by Google or outside entities that appear to disrupt their income stream, they characterize as efforts to “destroy the YouTube platform.”

Today’s ongoing tirade appears to have been triggered by claims that the Wall Street Journal “faked” the juxtaposition of specific major brand ads with racist videos, as part of the ongoing controversies regarding YouTube advertiser controls. It seems that the creators of these videos are claiming that the videos in question were not being monetized during the period under discussion, or otherwise couldn’t have appeared in the manner claimed by the WSJ.

This gets into a maze of twisty little passages very quickly, because when you start digging down into these ranting videos today, you quickly see how they are intertwined with gamer subcultures, right-wing “fake news” claims, pro-Trump propagandists, and other dark cults — as if the outright racism and antisemitism weren’t enough.

And this is where the true irony breaks through like a flashing neon sign. These sickos aren’t at all apologetic for their hate speech videos on YouTube, they’re simply upset when Google isn’t helping to fund them.

I’ve been very clear about this. I strongly feel that these videos should not be on YouTube at all, whether monetized or not.

For example, one of the videos being discussed today in this context involves the song “Alabama Nig—.” If you fill in the dashes and search for the result on YouTube, you’ll get many thousands of hits, all of them racist, none of which should be on YouTube in the first place.

Which all suggests that the arguments about major company ads on YouTube hate speech videos, and more broadly the issues of YouTube hate speech monetization, are indeed really just digging around the edges of the problem.

Hate speech has no place on YouTube. Period. Google’s Terms of Service for YouTube explicitly forbid racial, religious, and other forms of this garbage.

The sooner that Google seriously enforces their own YouTube terms, the sooner that we can start cleaning out this hateful rot. We’ve permitted this disease to grow for years on the Internet thanks to our “anything goes” attitude, contributing to a horrific rise in hate throughout our country, reaching all the way to the current occupant of the Oval Office and his cronies.

This must be the beginning of the end for hate speech on Youtube.