Provo company creates program that filters online content

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  • dennisne Lehi, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 4:51 p.m.

    Why would someone want to hack / break the technology? Its a win/win. The streaming video company gets more viewers watching the video which means both it and the video producer make more profits. And it costs them nothing to obtain these profits. Heck, they ought to be advertising VidAngel in appropriate demographic regions -- e.g., Utah, the Deep South, India and the Middle East ( areas where laws have significant restrictions on what can be shown in movies).

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    OK. I spoke too soon. Appears the comments from those who disagree with the posters who disagree with the technology are pretty well mannered.

  • Deseretina Murray, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    All I hear from this is: I'd like to participate in modernity, but without the challenges or discomfort often posed by artistic expression. We are less peculiar, and more straight up weird here in Utah.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    @ My2Cents

    Voice recognition systems are now sophisticated enough to recognize almost any word. All videos have an audio stream. Run it through a voice recognition system and you can mute any word you want and that code cannot be broken.

    Video imaging systems now recognize faces easily. Put that technology to work and you can recognize any body part (within reason). Such technology could easily block all porn, nudity,etc. Again, this can be handled after the video stream has been buffered and before it has been displayed.

    Again, this is not censorship. I have the right not to consume garbage. I don't buy garbage at the grocery store. I do have to clean up some veggies and cut rotting spots out of fruit I pick from my own garden and trees. This does the same thing to the media people consume.

    I refuse to install any Google product on my computers. I am looking forward to seeing this on other platforms.

  • Larry Chandler CEDAR CITY, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    @one old man: You said "A constant flow of garbage into our living rooms and computers is a violation of the Constitutional rights of people who don't want it." Um, no. Are you saying you have the right to tell other people what they can broadcast or post online? You do not have that constitutional right. You do have the right not to watch something or to turn it off.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    Old man: "Just watch -- comments here will soon be blasting "liberals" for opposing this kind of thing. They will call it "censorship" and a "violation" of our Constitutional rights."

    Are you saying the Liberals will be calling it "censorship" and a "violation of our Constitutional rights"?

    If so, you're probably right that they will get blasted...

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    Sally: You feel that allowing someone to make their own choices is “scary”? This company does not seek to control anyone. Rather, they are placing that control in the hands of those who should have it. Why are you so worried about what others do or do not want to view in the privacy of their own home? You wouldn't know what they are or are not viewing and editing, it has zero effect on the original owner of the film, so why do you care?
    Posters so often say "If you don't like it, don't watch it". I agree. So, how is using technology to fast forward or mute through unwanted content any different than using the remote to do so? You don't know who is or is not doing that, either.
    Do you also feel that if people watch ANYTHING on TV they must watch ALL of it or they shouldn’t be allowed to watch any of it? Maybe we need to outlaw the fast forward and mute buttons…
    To me, this idea is the perfect fit for those that choose to have a say in what they see.

  • NorthLights Payson, Utah
    Aug. 21, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    TheOneandOnlySallyOMalleyIm50: I can understand the artist's desire to maintain the integrity of the original work. My husband often prepares gourmet meals, only to watch in dismay as our son picks out and discards the mushrooms. But here's the thing - once a movie has been offered to the public for consumption, what is the harm in letting people consume it in a manner that makes it appetizing to them, especially in the privacy of their own homes? It's not as though this one person is demanding that the filmmaker leave all of the mushrooms out of the dish to begin with.

    Besides, I personally believe that there are times when a filmmaker will throw in one use of bad profanity just to be sure of a PG13 rating instead of PG so that the film will be taken more seriously. I remember when that word would have caused the movie to be rated R. Removing that one expletive is unlikely to damage the mood of the film. I guess I'm not a big fan of mushrooms myself. :)

  • mjkkjk Nowhere, 00
    Aug. 21, 2014 11:25 a.m.


    Why in the world would a team try to "crack" this technology? If someone doesn't want it, they simply won't install it. If I install this plug-in, it's because I want the services it provides. Why would I then install someone's hack so that I can subvert it? This isn't some firewall meant to protect vital data.

    Try telling your anti-technology story to the countless organizations that exist today because they have used technology in creative ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their organizations. Try telling Walmart that their game-changing data mining techniques had nothing to do with where they're at today.

    Nicholas Carr tried your argument (see his book titled, "IT doesn't matter"). He has since changed his tune.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    If it is necessary to filter a movie to watch it. Then do not watch the movie filtered or not.

  • Jakey Lehi, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    MaggieMom, the VidAngel group have posted a comparison of VidAngel and Clearplay here on the VidAngel blog.

    TheOneandOnlySallyOMalleyIm50: I don't know what to say, except that I know that what I watch and listen to has an effect on my mind and how I see others. What I watch changes me. It affects me. I've experienced it.
    It's not a neutral experience: it's inspiring or degrading. It affects my relationships with family. I want to have positive things in my life.

    I do understand what you are saying about not damaging the artistic integrity of a piece, but I disagree that altering the content to make it more appropriate is going to substantially change how the viewers see the piece of work or understand it.
    That is possible, but I don't think that is what is going on here: this is highly targeted slicing of content, probably noticeable but not in a way to alter the plot of a film.

    Fially, I don't think my opinion of a film is going to change because I saw it edited. That's just silly. I'll respect it for what it is.

  • Red San Antonia, TX
    Aug. 21, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    I support this type of product.

    We need to get the sleaze out of the movie industry. It's pathetic.

    also, we need to get ourselves out of the house and into the wild more.

    Movies are lame. America is overweight and uninspired.

    Go ride your bike America!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    I'm sorry, I made a mistake when I typed: But in my own experience, it's really the conservatives who support this type of device.

    The word SUPPORT should have been OPPOSE.

    Ooops. My bad.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    Just watch -- comments here will soon be blasting "liberals" for opposing this kind of thing. They will call it "censorship" and a "violation" of our Constitutional rights.

    But in my own experience, it's really the conservatives who support this type of device.

    Be that as it may, you mark this "liberal" up as one who supports filtering. We need a whole lot more of it. Not less. A constant flow of garbage into our living rooms and computers is a violation of the Constitutional rights of people who don't want it.

  • Randon Saratoga Springs, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    My2Cents, This concept can't be broken without changing the foundations of how all video works and that just isn't happening without breaking all video players. There is timecode in all video. This company is watching the movies and marking all of the places where the video needs to be muted or skipped. Because all video has timecode, it's a VERY basic function of being able to use things like fast forward and mute after that. These guys are simply taking advantage of what makes the video and there really isn't any type of filter, just instructions of what to do at specific time codes in the movies.

  • TheOneandOnlySallyOMalleyIm50 United Kingdom, 00
    Aug. 21, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    What a potentially scary product and what censors like Harmon never understand is that in seeking to control things, they actually have the opposite effect (in the long run) then they intended. Sanitizing and altering someone else's vision and art is not only dangerous it is also dishonest. Key elements of plot and content--even with a so-called disclaimer--could be lost or skewered and isn't it better to let people decide for themselves the merits of someone else's creative work based on the "entire" thing and not some moralists' narrowed viewpoint of it? An adult should decide what their underage child should or not should not see, but in presenting something that is not fully realized or potentially disjointed and taken out of context says more about the adult's questionable morals than anything a fictional motion picture or televised program ever could.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 2:23 a.m.

    The problem is with all these so called high tech IT is they are not as smart as they think. In 30-60 days this app will be rendered useless when intelligent teams break his code and bypass his filtering app. Technology is only temporary and no job in technology is permanent because no one can keep up with the changes fast enough, not even computers which have to be programed every time a single I or O is changed.

    For this reason technology is not a sustainable industry of benefit to the economy or business or jobs. Jobs in technology is a smoke screen for the mind, its the air pollution of the mind and economy. And the mind can't be scrubbed or cleaned or filtered like tangible particulate matter.

    Its impossible for individuals to keep up with intangible changes to manipulate data or make it life so simple the individuals don't need a mind to even function. Sometimes its best to keep the mind functional by making people have to think by using archaic brain power and common sense using the accumulation of math, science, physics, and language stored in the brain.

  • MaggieMom 84107, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:01 p.m.

    Isn't this the same thing as ClearPlay's filtering for streaming movies?