Is it possible to hack YouTube?

bitsTwitter blocks possible hack-and-leak reporting, Youtube now blocks more QAnon videos


As one of the last platforms, Youtube has now decided to crack down on QAnon conspiracy myths on its own platform.

The central sentence from the YouTube statement is: "Today we are taking another step in our efforts to curb hatred and harassment by removing more conspiracy-theoretical content that is used to justify violence in the real world." That naturally raises the question : Why now and not much earlier?

The main focus of the public debate so far has always been on Facebook, which of course bears a great deal of responsibility. However, one should not overlook the fact that Youtube has also become number 1 for all conspiracy ideologues through its mechanisms for further education television and that conspiracy traders are used successfully.

The New York Times offers the highly recommended podcast series "Rabbit Hole - What is the internet doing to us?" For this topic, in which the mechanisms of YouTube and the strategies of conspiracy ideologues to use the mechanisms are described.

Kevin Rose, the NYT journalist behind the podcast, puts the latest move from Youtube in an article: YouTube Cracks Down on QAnon Conspiracy Theory, Citing Offline Violence.


Another topic is also relevant at the moment: The New York Post published an alleged investigative story about the son of Joe Biden, who has been the Trump administration's favorite enemy for some time and around whom many conspiracy myths are built. The allegedly leaked emails are said to come from a computer used by the Biden campaign that is said to have been given for repair. The technician is said to have passed the content on to Rudy Giuliani. So much for the legend. Whether this is true is at least unclear because the dubious Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has his fingers in the game.

In any case, this has created a situation that many media and platforms have discussed and played through in the run-up to an election in recent years on the subject of disinformation campaigns and “hack-and-leak operations”. Twitter blocked the link to the New York Post article and Facebook limited the reach through its algorithmic decision-making systems. Are they allowed to do that? And if so, under what conditions and who actually controls it? That is controversial. Twitter is now rowing backwards and wants to rely more on warnings instead of a block in the future. This was preceded by a threat from the US regulatory authority FCC to change the liability rules for platforms because of this. More about this at Heise-Online: US authorities are planning to regulate search engines and social networks.

Patrick Beuth has summarized the debate well on Spiegel-Online: Information war in the US election campaign - leaked on the cross.

Ralf Heimann offers more meta-reporting in waste paper that is always worth reading: Leaked Hack.

The Tagesschau also has something: Twitter reacts to criticism of the blockade.

MotherJones also has a good ranking for evaluating the history and ethical issues of journalism: Giuliani and the New York Post Are Pushing Russian Disinformation. It's a big test for the media. "This story poses a challenge to the American media: how to report an orchestrated campaign to influence the election that relies on disinformation, lewd and sensational material, and the revival of allegations that have already been debunked?"

Anyone who thinks that this is a long way off: But it also reminds of the current debate about an EU regulation against terrorist propaganda, where platforms should be able to block such articles with upload filters within a very short time, provided that secret services and security authorities initiate this.

Brief note: The bits newsletter will not be published next week because of the autumn break.

News on

The federal cabinet launched the draft for a new youth protection law on Wednesday. Marie Bröckling sums up the key points: Streaming services should create offers suitable for children.

The German regulations for the protection of minors are grossly outdated and no longer correspond to today's reality. The federal government is now making a proposal as to how Netflix, Steam & Co should label their offers according to age groups. Gangsta rap should be allowed under educational supervision.


The golden aluminum hat for absurd conspiracy myths is awarded once a year. The lateral thinking initiative has now been excluded from the vote, the founder is now taking action with a lawyer, as Daniel Laufer sums up: lateral thinking is fighting with a lawyer for the golden aluminum hat. It doesn't get any more absurd today.

The “golden aluminum hat” has excluded “lateral thinking” from the vote because of alleged irregularities. The founder of the initiative is now calling for a victory via a lawyer. Before going to court, he would have to answer essential questions about his organization - including its finances.


Kilien Vieth from the New Responsibility Foundation makes a guest contribution "Six suggestions for better intelligence control".

The surveillance controls would have to be comprehensively reformed with a new BND law. But in the current draft of the Chancellery it does not look like the big hit. Our author has six suggestions for how things can go better.

Short break music:

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What else happened:

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University have published the joint study "New Global Survey Raises Red Flags for Journalism in the COVID-19 Era" (PDF). Steffen Grimberg summarizes the study in the Taz: Facebook is a super spreader.


The Security Planner is a nice English-language platform for raising awareness about IT security topics. The Citizen Lab project is now being continued and expanded in cooperation with the Consumer Reports organization.


A study at Nature points out that countries particularly affected by the corona pandemic would have a high excess mortality: Magnitude, demographics and dynamics of the effect of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on all-cause mortality in 21 industrialized countries.


Bernhard Pörksen, professor of media studies at the University of Tübingen, describes the Fox News system, which has been dividing US society with its reporting for 25 years: anger beats truth.


I have been using OpenOffice or LibreOffice for 20 years. There was once a spin-off of the projects when Oracle took over SUN including OpenOffice and the majority of the free developer community joined the fork LibreOffice. However, OpenOffice is still the stronger brand and not all users are aware that LibreOffice is the better package. Heise-Online reports on the dispute and the history of its origins: OpenOffice is celebrating its birthday, LibreOffice says: Juchhei, we want your name.


The Haeusler family is in corona quarantine because a son tested positive. Johnny Haeusler writes on Spreeblick about many questions and the uncomfortable feeling that the responsible health department has not contacted you for a week: Corona in the house - quarantine with the family.

Audio of the day: private was yesterday - who does our data belong to?

The HR2 podcast “Der Tag” recently reported on “Private was yesterday - who owns our data?” And, among other things, on the newly published book “Machtmaschinen” by Thomas Ramge and Viktor Meyer-Schönberger.

Video of the day: Chilly Gonzales and freedom of expression

The Arte documentary "Shut Up and Play the Piano" portrays the musician Chilly Gonzales, who breaks many genres between chamber concerts, rap and electronic music and makes great music.


Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim explains in Mailab "Freedom of expression using the example of Wendler". Unfortunately, you have to explain again and again when some stray people are of the opinion that you shouldn't say anything at all (which somehow always works anyway, otherwise you wouldn't notice anything).


That is it for today. Greetings and stay healthy,
Markus Beckedahl

I am always happy to receive feedback and good advice. My email address is [email protected] I am often overwhelmed by too many emails and not all of them get answered. But I read all the mails.

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About the author


Markus Beckedahl blogged as early as 2002 in the original form of and has been developing the platform as editor-in-chief since 2004. started as part of the newthinking communications GmbH, which he co-founded and from which the re: publica conference, which he co-founded, arose. Markus Beckedahl has been a member of the media council of the Berlin-Brandenburg State Media Authority since 2010 and was a member of the "Internet and Digital Society" commission of inquiry in the German Bundestag from 2010-2013. In the time before he was once active with the Greens. He writes the weekly bits newsletter from the netzpolitik universe. Contact: Mail: markus (ett) / Telephone: + 49-30-92105-986 (during working hours) - You can also find it on Facebook: Twitter and Instagram.
Published 10/16/2020 at 6:00 p.m.