Anonymity, identity, implications, and solutions

ericv00

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EDIT: OH NO I'VE HAD A READING COMPREHENSION FAIL, YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT A HYPOTHETICAL EPISODE HYPOTHETICALLY MOCKING WOKE CULTURE NOT NEW STAR TREK ITSELF I HAVE DUNKED IN MY OWN HOOP. I APOLOGISE.
Well, I'm glad you double-checked. I hope you understand the point I was trying to make.

Countless times in my life, I've watched people make a lot of assumptions about things people say instead of working to read all of the nuance or seeking clarification. I do really appreciate every instance where someone takes that extra time.

I'm completely lost. How the heck did we get from doxxing people to representation and wokeness?
It's not. It's essentially still about gatekeeping, which was part of the OP. Believe it or not, up to this point (I'm still reading the replies after this) the thread is still on topic!

I would like to state I am NOT a normie. Let's not resort to name-calling here.
"Normie" is not an insult. It is a term for quainter, simpler folks with some form of innocence, much like "child-like curiosity" isn't insulting one's maturity. Haha!

But yes, it should still be used to describe people accurately.

@Ratatattat I'm pretty busy at the moment, and a glace at your post leads me to think I will need some time to read and digest it, so I can't respond at the moment. I just thought I would stop in for a sec because I saw the unedited Iron_Brew response in my email notifications and wanted to express that a mistake had been made.
 

gstv87

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(side comment about the "gatekeeping" subject)
I just recently read that twitter will be banning (or maybe just restricting?) adult content under the premise that it's not kid-friendly.
MANY people brought up the case of Tumblr going deserted after they also banned adult content.
Twitch also collected their share of backlash for the same reason.
LOTS of people brought up the point of non-kid-friendly content being shown to kids, where kids don't have anything to do in that website in the first place.
that was the discussion: "We're doing this!" -> "This doesn't work because of *all of these precedents*", same response, across the board.

you can't successfully gatekeep anything by removing content, or by interrogating every newcomer like you're the CIA.
if the newcomers still want to sabotage your place, they will.
(/end of side comment)
 

Touchfuzzy

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Then my own response, which leans so heavily into it because it's abundantly clear what's being talked about but also kind of skirted around in some ways. Honestly (and I mentioned this buried in my long novel of a response lol), this topic came to my mind more than once while reading the OP.
Of course it is what the opening post is about. I'll just say that due to having a little more information about posters than most people in this thread, that I was able to easily find other accounts at other sites that the OP has.

I'm not going to reveal who he is elsewhere, because he clearly wishes to keep some level of anonymity on this site, but if you see his posts elsewhere, all the between the lines stuff you read into the opening post is exactly what you think it is. This is 100% him being mad at "woke" people.

Also, his whole claim that this "isn't about him" I also think is a lie, based on things that have happened with some of his other creative works.
 
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I saw the title, thought it'd be a serious and genuine discussion about the lack of privacy online...and I see it's yet again devolved into certain people complaining about "woke sh*t."

If some of you are so focused on the fact that gay people [not explicitly them, but does it matter?] actually want to see gay characters--Wow, what a concept! It's as if storytelling is derived off of what already exists!--instead of the fact that Google is selling your data to adverts, I can't take you seriously in a debate: If I can take you seriously at all. There's a reason people unironically say "touch grass", chances are what you're complaining about regarding bad actors or people "being loud and annoying" is explicitly an online problem.

Don't twist my words or assume I'm for harassment and leaking private info due to what I just said above, because I'm not. I'm trying to make a point how it's beyond annoying that I see the same complaint everywhere, word for word, when it's literally a non-issue.

TL,DR; marginalized people consume content, too. And have opinions about it. And want to talk about those opinions. Just like everyone else. Wild, I know. /s

Anyway, I'm not sure it's really clear that you're talking about internet privacy when it sounds more like you're fearmongering about something irrelevant or not automatically equivalent to that.

And that gatekeeping thing? Really put me off. I wish you worded it differently, like "it's important to have boundaries online" or something, but I worry you may actually think gatekeeping is a good thing. I don't know about anyone here, but I don't think it keeps you any safer online to unironically be the guy or gal or whatever that's like "you can't buy x merch because you need to actually watch x" or "only TRUE FANS do xyzlmnop"
 

ericv00

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Of course it is what the opening post is about. I'll just say that due to having a little more information about posters than most people in this thread, that I was able to easily find other accounts at other sites that the OP has.

I'm not going to reveal who he is elsewhere, because he clearly wishes to keep some level of anonymity on this site, but if you see his posts elsewhere, all the between the lines stuff you read into the opening post is exactly what you think it is. This is 100% him being mad at "woke" people.

Also, his whole claim that this "isn't about him" I also think is a lie, based on things that have happened with some of his other creative works.
Wait wait...

So in a thread about cancel culture, anonymity, and gatekeeping, you unironically snooped around other sites to find 'dirt' on someone in order to trivialize their expressed concerns?

Yikes.
 

Twempie

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This is 100% him being mad at "woke" people.

Doesn't surprise me in the least.

Wait wait...

So in a thread about cancel culture, anonymity, and gatekeeping, you unironically snooped around other sites to find 'dirt' on someone in order to trivialize their expressed concerns?

Yikes.
If you can't even use separate screen names, it's not digging to find dirt, it's just following your online footprint. Part of online anonymity is acknowledging where your online footprint goes, hence why I encourage people to use different names or switch their usernames out semi-regularly every 2-5 years.

For example, I know you've previously watched the following videos by Sargon of Akkad:
  1. This Week in Stupid (05/11/2017)
  2. This Week in Stupid (08/10/2017)
  3. This Week in Stupid (20/08/2017)
And these two videos by AronRa:
  1. 14th Foundational Falsehood of Creationism Pt1
  2. 14th Foundational Falsehood of Creationism Pt2
I also know you have reviewed "Ourpets Ball of Fury Cat toy" & "Three Dog Bakery cookbook: Over 50 Recipes for All-Natural Treats for your Dog" and through that last review, I now know you either actively or used to volunteer at your local animal shelter. You also commented on a Matrix Resurrection blog & on the forum "MindRomp" you posted a thread where you encouraged other users to share their own personal works of visual art.

This isn't me attempting to intimidate, stalk or spook you and this wasn't even from me "snooping" or trying to "dig up dirt" about you. This was three minutes with your username and google. I'm an advocate for online anonymity and it wasn't until someone dox'd a friend of mine a few years back that I realized your username is a huge factor in how easy it is to find out someone's personal details.

If you want to remain anonymous online, your best bet is to semi-regularly change your username or use a name so obscure/generic that googling it will bring up non-information. If you google my screen name, you'll get information about a borough from the border town I grew up in - even though I no longer live there. People shout and scream about "Internet anonymity" but then have the same online handle since they were 13. This stuff matters.
 

ericv00

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Doesn't surprise me in the least.


If you can't even use separate screen names, it's not digging to find dirt, it's just following your online footprint.
Yes it is. Imagine trying to make excuses for this.

Now let me illustrate something:

Part of online anonymity is acknowledging where your online footprint goes, hence why I encourage people to use different names or switch their usernames out semi-regularly every 2-5 years.

For example, I know you've previously watched the following videos by Sargon of Akkad:
  1. This Week in Stupid (05/11/2017)
  2. This Week in Stupid (08/10/2017)
  3. This Week in Stupid (20/08/2017)
And these two videos by AronRa:
  1. 14th Foundational Falsehood of Creationism Pt1
  2. 14th Foundational Falsehood of Creationism Pt2
Correct. Is it relevant to my contributions to this conversation? No. So why did you bother? See below.
I also know you have reviewed "Ourpets Ball of Fury Cat toy" & "Three Dog Bakery cookbook: Over 50 Recipes for All-Natural Treats for your Dog" and through that last review, I now know you either actively or used to volunteer at your local animal shelter. You also commented on a Matrix Resurrection blog & on the forum "MindRomp" you posted a thread where you encouraged other users to share their own personal works of visual art.
Not correct. Someone with a similar screen name has.

It might surprise you to know that same and similar screen names can be used by different people. I have several that I attempt to use when I try to set up an account somewhere. The reason I have several is because they are often already taken. This is not an uncommon phenomenon.
This isn't me attempting to intimidate, stalk or spook you and this wasn't even from me "snooping" or trying to "dig up dirt" about you.
It absolutely is. There is no relevance to my activity (or perceived activity) elsewhere to my contributions to the conversation here, or any of my activity on these forums. Yet you decided to go trawling for it. This is absolutely gross and says a lot more about the people doing it than the people they do it to.

This is the culture many of you are setting in this space. If you didn't think someone's 'dirt' should be used as a tool, you wouldn't bother looking for it.

Mind you, there is a reason I put 'dirt' in quotes. Different people consider different things to be unsavory. Much like someone could be gay, but find themselves as part of a group that takes issue with such a thing. I think most people here would not consider being gay a problem, but in the right context, it can still be used as a tool to ostracize, intimidate, trivialize, and indeed, cancel. These types of actions should not be supported.

This thread leaves out these traits deliberately, but many here are still determined to suss out a political affiliation, especially as a sign that someone is in the 'other' tribe. Some even trawling for it elsewhere. If you have a valid contribution to this conversation, there is no need to use those types of tools.
This was three minutes with your username and google. I'm an advocate for online anonymity and it wasn't until someone dox'd a friend of mine a few years back that I realized your username is a huge factor in how easy it is to find out someone's personal details.
Neat. And instead of holding to a principle that this sort of activity is bad, you decided to participate.
If you want to remain anonymous online, your best bet is to semi-regularly change your username or use a name so obscure/generic that googling it will bring up non-information. If you google my screen name, you'll get information about a borough from the border town I grew up in - even though I no longer live there. People shout and scream about "Internet anonymity" but then have the same online handle since they were 13. This stuff matters.
Yeah, it matters because people go trawling for material. It's also important to lock your door when you leave your house, but if you don't lock your door, it doesn't mean the person who sneaked into your house to take or tamper or otherwise violate your privacy didn't do wrong. I don't go stealing things out from people's houses or cars in order to teach them a thing about locking doors. I also don't try to use that material to try to invalidate someone's observations, opinions, or concerns they express.

Now, do I care that someone might find out what youtube videos I watch? No. Do I care that someone wishes to specifically go snooping around the internet about me. Yep. Am I unaware that some people do? No.

You did not make a point or make yourself look good here.
 

Twempie

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You did not make a point or make yourself look good here.
The discrepancy in your average post length says otherwise.

How's Seattle this time of year?
 

Touchfuzzy

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Wait wait...

So in a thread about cancel culture, anonymity, and gatekeeping, you unironically snooped around other sites to find 'dirt' on someone in order to trivialize their expressed concerns?

Yikes.
Part of my job here is to make sure the forums don't boil over. And part of that is making sure that if there is a perceived hotspot, I do what I can to figure out the full context of what is going on. Just like I check to make sure that IPs don't indicate it is a duplicate/sock puppet account. I saw the email he signed up with and googled the username on it.

What you see as dirt, I see as CONTEXT.

Pretending that the things that have happened to a person outside this forum are unrelated to the context of what they are saying here is naïve. He is of course trying to hide behind his anonymity for plausible deniability. "Oh it isn't really about me, I'm just concerned about other people". A person's beliefs are core to why they will say the things they say.

Also, I did not reveal anything other than the context that I found. I did not reveal a username, I did not reveal what his other creative works were, not even what medium they were in. I just added the context so that people could actually know what he is really saying rather than have him pretend it isn't.

Also, I didn't actually say anything about it in the thread until after so many of you argued that finding out if people actually belonged or were bad actors trying to harm the community was so crucial. If identifying bad actors in the community is so important, then surely a quick google search isn't a big deal. And keep in mind, I'm not banning him. I'm not even giving him a warning point. I'm just making sure people know what they are dealing with so they can make their own decision.

I mean, you could find me on other places on the internet too if you really wanted to by googling my screen name (though not all accounts with this screen name are me). I wouldn't care. Mostly because I don't hide who I am. And not just talking about my name. I'm talking about I don't hide my beliefs from people. Everyone can make their decision about me for who I actually am, not who I pretend to be.

If you have to pretend to be someone else to fit in, then you don't actually fit in. If you feel the need to hide who you are, not your name, address, etc, but what your beliefs are, then perhaps you should look at why you are doing that.
 
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Iron_Brew

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"H-hey don't look at me being a bigot elsewhere - judge me for the bigoted things I say here! Except don't, I can say what I want and there should never be consequences!"

I dunno. I think there's a difference between a mod making sure people aren't being exposed to toxic bigots and people digging up old, irrelevant content to beat people with things they'd no longer endorse or have grown beyond.

Also, it feels like the height of irony to demand censorship/that people don't reference your own content while also demanding people respect anonymity in the name of freedom of expression.

As something of an aside and as a final thought: Between OP and the new discourse happening in this thread, it feels like some people on this forum really need to start respecting other peoples' time by not posting dissertations every time they have something simple to say.

As I (and a far wiser, cleverer man) said before: Brevity is the soul of wit.
 

smallgamedev

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honestly a lot of this could be avoided by just realising that the internet is essentially a massive open forum and basically nothing posted there is ever really private. the advice given on keeping different usernames for different places is a Good Idea. just because you think you are anonymous does not mean you actually are.
 
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Wow I just missed the "L+Ratio" XD

Edit due to an afterthought: In all seriousness, if you're not gonna change your name, then the least you can do is not be a dingus online, in a public space.

People don't want to tolerate rude or negative behavior? Imagine my shock! /s
 

Trihan

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As it turns out Trihan is apparently a Bangladeshi boy's name, so I think I'm good. XD
 

Hadria

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I'm not going to enter the debate about if searching the online footprint of someone, or bringing what they watch on YouTube is more or less ethic, or relevant to the context of the discussion, however regarding what is being said, I honestly feel almost everyone who says "I'm in favor of internet anonymity" is saying a statement as empty and hypocritical like saying "I'm against world hunger", in the surface the idea is nice, but people are just not going to do anything, or go out of their way to back it off, and this is because people, be it for laziness, convenience, or simple technical ignorance about how it works just doesn't give a real damn about their anonymity or privacy on the internet.

To name an example I would say a huge amount of people (including myself) makes use of Discord, however, discord keeps track of every word you type, and keeps it even after you delete your account, which should make people suspicious (working around the right to be forgotten law, which is supposed to prevent exactly this), specially after you know of the history behind the app, and it's author, but we don't give a damn because it's a convenient app.

Another example would be that since some years go, people just automatically accepted every cookie any page threw at them, with all the vulnerability that supposes to the so importantly claimed anonymity and privacy, and even today, after every website is warning you about them people just click "accept".

I won't get started on the Terms of Services we accept left and right, what I want to say with this is that it is easy to open our mouth, and claim how in favor you are about this while we hypocritically give all our data and privacy just for the sake of convenience, just to complain afterwards about some randoms on the internet finding the information we openly leave open for anyone to search (regardless if we think the act of doing so is more or less despicable). Privacy and anonymity is OUR responsibility as users on the internet, and is OUR job to keep it if we want to, so, if we don't want anyone to find information about whatever we do on the internet, it falls to us to make it happen, after all dealing with our online footprint is our responsibility.
 
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ericv00

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The discrepancy in your average post length says otherwise.

How's Seattle this time of year?
This isn't me attempting to intimidate, stalk or spook you and this wasn't even from me "snooping" or trying to "dig up dirt" about you.
Odd choice of words, then.

If you have to pretend to be someone else to fit in, then you don't actually fit in. If you feel the need to hide who you are, not your name, address, etc, but what your beliefs are, then perhaps you should look at why you are doing that.
Odd then, that I do duplicate usernames in different places. It's almost as if I don't hide. I did, however, think it was interesting that you performed the sort of thing you did in this kind of thread and used that in place of engaging in the topic at hand.

And already the material presented about a search for me is used to trivialize posts I've made instead of engaging with the conversation as presented.

I mean, if you all are okay with this practice, by all means. I don't think it is particularly on-the-level, and, frankly, gross. And I think this sort of thing is kinda what many of you objected to when it came to certain aspects of the gatekeeping conversation. If you wish to build this culture, that's on you. I don't think it is a very healthy one.

For me, it's all good to know. I know I can't expect to get as much of a genuine conversation as I would hope.
 
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I honestly feel almost everyone who says "I'm in favor of internet anonymity" is saying a statement as empty and hypocritical like saying "I'm against world hunger", in the surface the idea is nice, but people are just not going to do anything, or go out of their way to back it off, and this is because people, be it for laziness, convenience, or simple technical ignorance about how it works just doesn't give a real damn about their anonymity or privacy on the internet.

To name an example I would say a huge amount of people (including myself) makes use of Discord, however, discord keeps track of every word you type, and keeps it even after you delete your account, which should make people suspicious (working around the right to be forgotten law, which is supposed to prevent exactly this), specially after you know of the history behind the app, and it's author, but we don't give a damn because it's a convenient app.

Another example would be that since some years go, people just automatically accepted every cookie any page threw at them, with all the vulnerability that supposes to the so importantly claimed anonymity and privacy, and even today, after every website is warning you about them people just click "accept".
With all due respect @Hadria , I don't agree with the notion that you can't criticize something because you regularly consume it.

People use Discord or Twitter or what have you as a livelihood, often as part of their job or career. They don't exactly have the choice to decline the use of cookies or anything like that that would outright deny access to the service; would it be nice if these companies didn't snoop so much into our data? Sure. But remember why we're in this mess to begin with. Not because of us consuming content, but because of the people creating the content that are abusing their influence and power.

Besides, as the wise ones said, "b*tch and you shall receive". MLK's birthday wasn't made a national holiday because the US Gov't felt like it, but because people pushed the issue.

Edit because I skimmed over the bit I wanted to bring attention to: What caught my eye is that you state what I think is a disingenuous generalization, that "almost" anyone who brings up issues such as this is hypocritical because "they don't actually care, it's all bark and no bite"... how dogmatic. And very, very doomer.
 
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Touchfuzzy

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Odd then, that I do duplicate usernames in different places. It's almost as if I don't hide. I did, however, think it was interesting that you performed the sort of thing you did in this kind of thread and used that in place of engaging in the topic at hand.

And already the material presented about a search for me is used to trivialize posts I've made instead of engaging with the conversation as presented.

I mean, if you all are okay with this practice, by all means. I don't think it is particularly on-the-level, and, frankly, gross. And I think this sort of thing is kinda what many of you objected to when it came to certain aspects of the gatekeeping conversation. If you wish to build this culture, that's on you. I don't think it is a very healthy one.

For me, it's all good to know. I know I can't expect to get as much of a genuine conversation as I would hope.

When someone makes a giant post that he says is about one thing, but has massive undertones about being about something else, I'm going to take the 5 minutes to learn a bit about the person to try to inform what I do next.

I find this better than assuming the worst. I'm doing nothing but taking him at his own word about what his beliefs are.

Also, there has been discussion of it actually being a good idea to try and remain some anonymity, and also extra steps on how to do it. I just disagree with quite a few of his opinions on it and find that his actual actions outside this forum point to the reason he is having problems isn't related to anonymity, it is that he can't get away with doing whatever he wants online with no consequences.
 

Hadria

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With all due respect @Hadria , I don't agree with the notion that you can't criticize something because you regularly consume it.

People use Discord or Twitter or what have you as a livelihood, often as part of their job or career. They don't exactly have the choice to decline the use of cookies or anything like that that would outright deny access to the service;

First let me clarify since I might have expresed myself wrong, I'm not saying that you can't criticize something because you consume it, I think that consuming something is important to build up an opinion and have bases to build a critique (see I would make an awful critique if I criticize a movie without having even seeing it). What I'm arguing is the FACT that when it comes to taking action, people often (for a lot of various reasons, most of them very valid, as work reasons you mention), end up willingly giving up part of their privacy and anonymity away, and that reason makes these people (in which I myself I'm included) hypocrisy when trying to argue that they want anonymity and privacy on the internet.

would it be nice if these companies didn't snoop so much into our data? Sure. But remember why we're in this mess to begin with. Not because of us consuming content, but because of the people creating the content that are abusing their influence and power.

I partially disagree. Sure, companies abuse their influence and power, and I agree with you up to this point, however there are things that fall outside and inside our influence and what we can and can't do as an individual. We ourselves, individually, can't change twitter, discord, and other media policies, but we can decide what to use and what not.

I agree there is people who have to use certain platforms for work reasons, but I think you will agree with me there is even more people that decide to make use of these for personal reasons, and that is their choice as individuals, as such, the acceptance of the terms of service of the platform and apps is their responsibility.

Besides, as the wise ones said, "b*tch and you shall receive". MLK's birthday wasn't made a national holiday because the US Gov't felt like it, but because people pushed the issue.

Before I was talking as individuals, now as collectives. Almost every system that has been ever changed in history, was changed by people that were taking part in that system (see slavery, for example), as such.

As collectives, we must, and should support whatever is in our interests, however, this doesn't mean we don't have to recognize ourselves first individually, it's easy to blame the government and companies for not protecting your internet identity while scrolling down to accept on every installer and clicking accept on every cookie popup.

Edit because I skimmed over the bit I wanted to bring attention to: What caught my eye is that you state what I think is a disingenuous generalization, that "almost" anyone who cares for an issue such as this and talks about it is hypocritical because you assume it to be largely all bark and no bite...how dogmatic.

Well, I would gladly love to receive any information pointing to the opposite, and I would also love to be wrong, but sadly you just have to see and how many people use these platforms, and how many of these users, which in some way or another have their privacy and personal data compromised by companies are actively supporting internet privacy movements. However, this is beyond the point.

What I was meaning is that if you ask people about if they support internet privacy I think we can all agree that there is a consensus that people would be in support of it, however when it comes to it there is a surprisingly low amount (tho I would admit there is a bit more awareness since a few years ago to now) of people that actually take their time to keep control of their online footprint, read their ToS, and check the permissions they are giving to certain apps and websites.

At the end of the day you can (making use of the expression of the wise ones) ""b*tch and wait until you receive" but in the meanwhile it is our responsibility to do our part, and b*tching without doing it while waiting is just being hypocritical about it.
 

gstv87

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the lack of privacy online
privacy is not lacking.
it's just the people bypassing it intentionally, unwillingly, accidentally, or outright unknowingly.

that, on one hand.
and on the other, people dealing and trading with the products being advertised to them, even if unknowingly, effectively catering to that practice of tailored advertisement.

let me tell you a story... this happened to me, not long ago, it's 100% true (or at least, the actions I took)
one day I was doing my routine work in programming and design, and put up a playlist of Hans Zimmer on youtube. Wasn't my arrangement of videos, it was a random playlist I found, from a composer I know and like, so I put it up.
I was going through The Rock, Gladiator, Interstellar, Inception, Pirates, etc... until I came to The Lone Ranger.
I was startled by the piece (it's the overture of William Tell, classic TLR piece), I switched to the browser tab, and was like "Oh, I haven't watched this one! I didn't know it was Zimmer's"
so, I let it play, it was indeed Zimmer's work (a few familiar flourishes here and there), and I started looking for the actual movie to watch.
I put up the movie, watched it through in one sitting, and (no spoilers) the movie ends with that Zimmer piece: it starts AT the end, goes back in time, tells the story, then resumes where it left off, THEN plays the music, and the piece itself scores the whole final sequence which is a train chase.... the train goes all around the desert, and back to the station. Double full circle, brilliant writing. That's the movie.
The next day, I got back to youtube and find a related video in my right hand side feed: "Train museum of somewhere, fueling a steam locomotive of some year".
I instantly recognized the video: I had already watched it, I knew what it was about, but hadn't found it in my related feed for some time. Later I would discover that the channel hosting that video had uploaded a new one for a new locomotive they had acquired so I figured "Ah, ok, the channel is active, so youtube flags this video as *my* reference to *that* channel so that I would go check it out, since I'm not subscribed to it".
In my head, that was solid database cross-referencing at work. No foul play suspected, on their end.
Some time later, in a totally unrelated topic, I find a video about a British floating museum. An old steamer they had restored and was open to the public. The video itself was the head engineer showing his work, how the machinery operated, etc.
I left a comment in there, referencing Scotty from Star Trek: "Cap'n, if we poosh these engens too hard she's gon'ta blo, sir!". Like that, intentionally broken, referencing Scotty's accent, because it reminded me a lot of him.
As I was leaving to do something else, I actually joked about that line, in a loud voice. I actually spoke out the line, mimicking the accent, because I thought it was funny.
Then I left, closed the tabs and didn't go back to youtube for a number of hours, or even the next day. No foul play suspected here either, because I had previously watched videos about old submarines and ships from WW2, so I put it under the same related category.
When I got back, in my front page, right at the top, I find a video about a musician: "Playing tuba with helium gas".
Didn't suspect a thing at first, because I had also watched the memes of "inhaling helium" videos that make you speak like a chipmunk, so I figured "Ah, ok, this is related to those videos. I bet the tuba will sound like a trumpet".
I put it up, I didn't have my headphones on at that time, so I scrolled down to where I saw the guy actually playing the tuba, skipping his spoken intro. Put my headphones on, hit play, and sure enough, the tuba sounded like a trumpet, just like I had expected.
Then I let the guy do his outro.... and what was his accent?
"If we poosh this engens too hard she's gon'ta blo, sir!"
YES, no joke, he was SCOTTISH, right the day after I make that very comment, in broken Scottish, in a video about an engineer that reminded me of Scotty. Without ever mentioning the word "Scott" at all.
Then it hit me: "OH, THAT is why I got the video about the train the other day! The movie features a TRAIN! And I just spoke out the line about Scotty! The mic is open!"
Third time, and nail in the coffin: I was watching the then latest episode of Hawaii 5.0, in the same website where I watched that other movie.
In that episode, there's the sister of Steve McGarrett, the protagonist. The woman only shows up in 3 episodes total, across 10 seasons of 20 episodes each. This was one of them.
She has a very particular scene, that adds absolutely nothing to the plot, except the point of telling the viewers "This girl learned how to think like her brother". Nothing more.
The scene in question is her following a bunch of thugs to a house, and losing track of them. She calls her brother, Steve comes in, and she says "I'm sure there's a stash of something here, I found these shady people moving something here, but I can't find the door". So, Steve takes a look, analyzes the building, discovers a fake wall, and through a fake wardrobe there's a door, and behind it, voilá, secret room. That's the scene.
Some hours later, youtube, main page, "Recommended for you" feed: "How to make a hidden door behind a wardrobe"
Yes. Specifically. That one scene that has nothing to do with the plot of a series spanning 10 seasons? That one scene, specifically, is picked up by youtube and contrasted against a bunch of videos I had already watched (because, I had. I recognized the channel they were featuring) to then be presented to me as I open the website. Tied to the same website where I had previously watched another thing that also connected to a shady very specific coincidence.
At that point I had no doubts that my feed was being tracked somehow, so I went to the browse options, switched everything to manual, cleared cache, cleared youtube's options, cleared everything.... then went to youtube again, and the main page was literally blank.
Absolutely NOTHING was there. They had no idea what to recommend me.
Since then, the main page has been filling up progressively with content (I guess, as youtube learned how to do that) but to this day, they haven't recommended me anything I would usually consider "of my liking".
They seem to be recommending me things that are popular in my area (as I can tell by the style of music, names of famous youtubers and snippets of local TV shows), figuring that "Hey, you live here, you might like THIS, like everyone that lives here!)
I no longer bother clearing it, as doing so would further refine my preferences on youtube's database.

I don't know how long that might have been going on, but I'm sure that was just me clicking "ok" at all the notifications about youtube changing their policies.
Of course I never authorized anything (that I know of!), and I'm sure youtube wasn't making those connections specifically, but in not-knowing how to operate the website I had unwillingly enabled that to happen.
I have since then been watching my traffic and footprint for any remotely related coincidences I could find, but so far the scope seems clear. Obviously this doesn't include the random ads that youtube puts at the beginning of videos, most of which are handled by adblock, although it sometimes lets through the title of the video, that I can track to my location through some remote references. And I can't do much against my email address being shared through websites, because no way I'm gonna make a new email account every time I log in somewhere. All I can do is not-use my real email for that ;)

and parallel to this, the story that I'm sure NOBODY will believe, no matter how much I swear it's true, about how I was *thinking* about something, and then youtube recommended me something related to that.
one example: I was working with polyurethane in my patio, away from any computers, having told nobody about it, being totally alone, then finding a related video about "cutting polyurethane with hot wires".
that's one of those... I have a bunch, all equally as creepy, that I still can't explain.
The one remote explanation I can find, was that someone else spoke the word "polyurethane" (which is different in Spanish!) after finding my work, the computer picked that up, and added it to the feed.
Still doesn't account for *all the others* that were spoken by nobody at all.

The points that are on me for being lazy and not having a good antivirus or firewall, I can own. The others, I don't know.
 

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just 1 more then I'm done with these sheets *tears of joy*
Im free today . finally have some time to continue coding . yes!
Regret that I wasn't able to actually finish my igmc entry in time for the actual igmc. Will probably just offload it as a standalone thing.
I'm a master in procrastination and have finally decided to educate people in this art in a seminar in Calais. Please don't come. I won't be there.

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