ElsaGate: The Horrors Of The Web

Journalism

Disclaimer: Content can be disturbing and features explicit language. Reader discretion is advised.

A title that has gotten some coverage in recent years and its discussion is growing in popularity within the past few months, but not nearly enough.

Elsagate is comprised of disturbing content that is targeted towards children on YouTube. It features adult content, often highly distressing to the young viewers, which is able to slip onto both YouTube and YouTube Kids and bypass its algorithm.

These videos often include unlicensed Disney characters and are low-budget and poorly-acted. These “Disney” characters act strangely and perform disturbing acts, which children are able to view and be affected by. Videos include by “cartoon” visuals as well as “real-life” acting.

ElsaGate isn’t the name of a YouTube channel, rather it is the title given to videos/ channels that upload similar and connected, disturbing content aimed at children.

What makes ElsaGate content so difficult to remove is the rate in which it is uploaded.

Multiple sources have covered ElsaGate which will be documented below.

A subreddit titled r/elsagate has also been opened and includes over 46 thousand subscribers as of writing this.

The subreddit users all document and investigate the mystery of ElsaGate, and all channels that are apart of the uploading of the graphical and disturbing content.

Elsagate.PNG

The subreddit r/elsagate in which members try to uncover and discuss the mystery.

In recent months, the discussion of ElsaGate has also been reaching the mainstream. Ethan Klein of the popular H3H3 podcast, alongside famous artist Post Malone, spoke about the phenomenon in Malone’s podcast episode.

“I’ve made so many videos over time and now everyone’s like “yo H3 you need to make another Elsa[Gate] video.” I feel like I’m just beating a dead horse at this point but now the media’s starting to pick up on it,” Klein says.

According to the subreddit, it lists multiple possibilities as to what ElsaGate may be.

These are: (Each link is a direct copy from the subreddit’s post, found here.)

Cyber safety expert and former undercover online detective Brett Lee also comments on this disturbing trend.

“I’m not a tech expert, I’m a detective. But it appears this is slipping under the algorithms whereby it’s thinking that it is content suitable for children but there is some very disturbing content there,” Lee says.

youtube-elsa-train-odd-elsagate.jpg

An example of ElsaGate content. Note, see the recommended videos on the right. Source

Lee brings up how some content focuses on subliminal messages while others are more “direct” and confronting, especially regarding sexual content.

“A lot of it is subliminal, there’s common themes like children getting left behind, getting injections, getting your foot caught in the escalator — things children would be fearful of,” Lee says.

A video that explains ElsaGate and shows some content is listed below. It includes explicit language and disturbing content.

There are many speculations that large quantities of ElsaGate styled content are uploaded by AI (Artifical Intelligence) due to the speed in which the videos are uploaded.

Multiple videos also feature exact same content with only small changes. Eg a character’s clothes will be a different colour in one video compared to the next although featuring replicated content.

 

Capture2354

Media publication “The Verge” investigates the ElsaGate content.

 

Since the increasing pressure from the public for YouTube to do something to fix this issue, YouTube has commented on the ElsaGate situation.

“Over the last few months, we’ve taken deliberate steps to tackle many of the emerging challenges around family content on YouTube. We’re committed to getting this right and are increasing both human and engineering resources to tackle this ever-evolving landscape,” YouTube says.

YouTube star Philip DeFranco from the Philip DeFranco show also brings forth attention to the issue.

With the increasing pressure from both YouTube creators and concerned individuals, YouTube has been focusing on shutting down content that reflects ElsaGate concepts.

However, as DeFranco says, something must be done about YouTubes problem and more importantly, more measures must be brought forth for protecting children online.

The ElsaGate phenomenon should be a reminder for all parents to monitor what their children are consuming/ viewing online. It is also a warning for what can happen if platform creators don’t monitor and protect their consumers.

Something needs to happen to fix this problem, and soon.

What do you believe ElsaGate is? Have you heard of it before? Let me know in the comments below.

Featured Image.

Net Neutrality

Journalism

Net Neutrality by definition is the concept that all Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) must treat all data on the internet the same, and therefore any discrimination based by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication is not allowed under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Without Net Neutrality, some websites could be blocked behind paywalls (eg YouTube) and data could be slowed so it forces customers to purchase more expensive package deals for internet.

US President Trump’s FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, wishes to remove Net Neutrality.

This is a critical issue as the FCC will vote on Pai’s proposal on December 14th. To speak out with the other’s on this issue, click here.

Although this vote is happening in the USA, do not think it will not affect those in other countries- it will.

Here is a direct quote from “Save the Internet

“The internet without Net Neutrality isn’t really the internet. Unlike the open internet that has paved the way for so much innovation and given a platform to people who have historically been shut out, it would become a closed-down network where cable and phone companies call the shots and decide which websites, content or applications succeed.

This would have an enormous impact. Companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to decide who is heard and who isn’t. They’d be able to block websites or content they don’t like or applications that compete with their own offerings.

The consequences would be particularly devastating for marginalized communities media outlets have misrepresented or failed to serve. People of color, the LGBTQ community, indigenous peoples and religious minorities in the United States rely on the open internet to organize, access economic and educational opportunities, and fight back against systemic discrimination.”

To combat this threat, voice your concern. Only through the creation of awareness can this threat be swayed.

Here are a selection of sites to use to fight against the the removal of Net Neutrality:

https://www.battleforthenet.com/

http://act.freepress.net/sign/internet_wake_up_destroy/?source=what

 

net-neutrality-1000x600

This is what a world without Net Neutrality could look like. Image.

 

To learn more about the removal of Net Neutrality view the sites below:

This is the future if net neutrality is repealed; the creeping, costly death of media freedom

http://www.pcgamer.com/fcc-chairman-ajit-pai-claims-net-neutrality-hurts-the-sick-and-disabled/

https://www.cnet.com/news/13-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-fccs-net-neutrality-regulation/

If you are now worried, you should be.

Featured Image:

Animal Crossing: Pocket (Money?) Camp

Journalism

The new Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is coming out for mobile platforms (IOS and Android) in “late November”. This is the first Animal Crossing for mobile and due to the past history of mobile games as well as the new industry trends (shown here), it is quite worrying how the game will unfold.

Update: Arrived yesterday in Australia but still set for a November release in New Zealand.

The game is also free. This is the biggest draw for most players.

The biggest worry that I alongside many Animal Crossing fans have is the use of microtransactions. At the end of the trailer, it states “Optional in-game purchases available” and this is not good. I understand that free-to-play games have to have some sort of income in order to make itself financially sufficient but games often achieve this in a wrong manner and thus suffer and lose their player base.

How much will microtransactions impede the game in general?

This is my biggest concern. Animal Crossing is a game in which you play casually (or not) in which you work hard to earn “bells” (the in-game currency) to upgrade your house and get the goods you desire eg clothing, furniture. In later instalments, you were also able to upgrade your town as mayor as well.

The use of microtransactions will affect the games overall flow. The entire basis of the game will be affected.

Polygon explores this topic in their article.

Players will be able to purchase “Leaf Tickets” which either fasten up the time to build objects or are used to buy resources. Leaf Tickets can also be earned in game (but often in games with microtransactions, earning is much slower than buying (obviously)).

3eaae3cf-9fb9-4542-b42c-152c005c0056179e814e-4aa5-4951-82d9-391f0868ffac

4df00df4-8999-437b-aa0f-60f9f19a682c

A few of the responses on Twitter in relation to microtransactions.

 

One of the biggest draws for the game, however, is multiplayer. Due to the ease of playing the game on mobile, playing with friends can make the game more fun and lengthen the life of the game as well (if the game does good in reviews and has enough players playing consistently).

Players will exchange ID’s and then are able to visit the others campsite and play together.

Until the game releases, all worries are just speculations. Be sure to check the game out on release and form your own opinion.

You can pre-register for the Android version here.

Featured Image.

Updated: First gameplay video