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tv   The Media Show  BBC News  August 21, 2021 4:30pm-5:01pm BST

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there had been some crowds as well. there had been some violence reported, but this was very sporadic they said and the mission had not changed. the us mission is the airport and the evacuations, noncombat evacuations is their primary operation. they said they were going to get as many people out as fast as we can. there is no detail of any security threat. and the intelligence assessments as well. they were in regular communication with the taliban concerning access and security around the taliban. on the taliban, there have been a number of top lines that have been coming out to us. the taliban are reporting that they are making progress in forming they are making progress in forming the government. the co—founder is now in kabul. mullah baradar. they are saying that they are making progress in forming a government in afghanistan. they are ensuring that
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security across the country since taking the capital last weekend is secure. the taliban official also said that security risks could not be ruled out at kabul airport. where thousands gather each day trying to leave. they went on to say that the taliban are aiming to improve the situation and also to provide a smooth exit at the airport over the weekend. we've also had a pick—up date from observation from our correspondent there. they said there appears to be less taliban operatives on the streets. more on this shortly. in the meantime, here in bbc news it's the media show.
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but have the tables turned in favour of the individual? can we all make cash with our latest musical composition or the recipe we lovingly demonstrate if we're a little bit smarter about it? well, websites like patreon offer fans the ability to pay their favourite artists and writers directly. tiktok and facebook have started offering cash to the most popular creators. so, is there money to be made in the so—called creative economy, and how worried are the big beasts, facebook, youtube, tiktok, about the competition and who's moderating all of this online? well, let me introduce you to our guests. sam yam is the co—founder and now the chief technical officer of patreon. in a few sentences, sam, give us a flavour of what patreon actually is and what it does. thanks for having me, julian. patreon is effectively a platform for creators to get paid in an ongoing sustainable way to their community, and in return,
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their community gets access to exclusive content, access to the creators and in many cases, a safe environment for their community. we'll expand on that in the next 25 minutes or so. becky flint is a social media influencer and founder of pepper studio, a social media marketing agency. how do you spot the next big youtube or tiktok star? i think the really important thing to remember about social media is often, we're going there to see unpolished is better, almost. we're looking for things that are relatable and almost, kind of, more attainable than the typical celebrity, and i think that's the secret. chris stokel—walker has written books about youtube and now tiktok as well. with tiktok in mind, chris, to what extent has it been the year of tiktok 2021? because it seems to have come out of nowhere. it has. nobody can be a beneficiary. of the pandemic i don't think, julian, but tiktok has done that survival a little bit better. - in march 2021 alone, _
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we spent as much time on the app as we did from the stone age until today, so that _ gives us an idea just how much we are addicted i to all those creators. that's quite a statistic. including a weekly newsletter. before that, she covered tech. we are going to hear the words creator and influencer i suspect quite a lot in the next 25 minutes. what's the difference? so, this has been a huge topic of debate for some people. for me, i really think they're interchangeable. i think a few years ago, we would have said instagram influencer and a youtube creator, but i think creator has become the more preferred word now but i don't think there's a huge difference between them. it really refers to someone who has a following online and is creating content. let me stay with you for a moment on the status quo and what we might be changing from. say for the sake of argument, someone has an instagram
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following of 100,000 people. how is she or he making money based on those 100,000 at the moment? the most common way by far is sponsored content, so that's promoting a product in an instagram post or in a story, so that's by far the most popular way people make money, but creators have really branched out. they're, you know, teaching online courses, starting podcast, selling merchandise, so there are a lot more ways to monetise but sponsored content is still number one by far. that status quo until at least fairly recently wasn't necessarily going to make a huge amount of money, was it? it depends. it really depends. some people i talk to have a small niche following that they can really convert into buying things and they can make money so it really depends on the creator. let me bring you in on youtube, tiktok, either of those and again you're creating and influencing and let's interchange the words
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again — how much money you potentially making? | so, there was a study done in 2016| of several million youtube channels that found that basically- from advertising revenue alone, so that is the adverts that you see before, | during, the videos that you watch a meeting for instance, _ 96.5% of people there did not get over the us poverty line, - they did not make enough money to even earn a living of that but, i as she said, there are lotsl of other ways that you can. there is the sponsored content. and you have the opportunity also to do collaborations, off—line events. - events off the back of their online influencer— community, so many different places. youtube and tiktok of course also starting now to - directly monetise people. but that 96.5% figure, that's quite telling, isn't it? it is. i think this is a really broad ranging subject and... -
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some have an awful lot of money and they have the have—nots - who are most of us when it comes to create a space and i think that. tiktok in particular by trying - to develop a new way of doing this where they try and monetise as many people as they canl by giving them a little bit, but there are always - different platforms, _ not least patreon as well who are, kind of, offering. other alternatives. a sort of way of spreading _ out your eggs in many, many baskets. becky, let me talk to you a moment about when you were a youtube influencer as a teenager under the name becky cruel, i think. and you did a lot of material which was watched and widely followed particularly injapan. here's a clip of some of it. she sings injapanese and english.
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so, how much money were you making out of us at the time, roughly? it's difficult to say because what happened was i started youtube before ad sense even existed so the intentions behind created content back then were very different. we weren't going in and seeing people with mansions and massive houses and cars and things like that. we were just going to youtube to create and be part of the community. but you couldn't rely on it for a steady income? no, i mean, luckily i was at school so i still had my parents supporting me, but even though i was making my youtube videos and my case was a little bit different because the content i was making wasn't fully monetiseabull. it contained copyrighted music which actually i didn't own the rights to and had to look elsewhere in terms of, as we've talked about, diversifying your income streams with regards to social media so merchandise, fan funding, models such as patreon and other kind of things like that.
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so, chris, going back to you if the majority of people are not making much, if any money out of this approach at least at the moment, how do the social media companies make money out of what people are posting? well, they make money out of our attention. - we are engaged with all of these creators, we find them very - interesting and like to develop into their lives. _ i used to watch becky _ when i was younger and from that, basically, they have our attention so they serve adverts _ against that in many instances. you can buy an advert on youtube |that costs an awful lot of money, | you can buy an advert on tiktok that will be slotted into the feed - of videos that you see. those things cost an awful lot. of money to buy for businesses and the money that they makej from that is basically ploughed into profits for the platform. youtube makes billions of dollarsl in advertising revenue every single year off the back of, i essentially, free labour of millions of people. i was going to say,
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it is unpaid labour, isn't it, by those of us who are posting stuff? it is, but then, - there's the opportunity. why do people want to become celebrities is the question, - and that is because there is a with this minute noti 0.01% or 3.5%, i suppose, - chance of actually making it big and striking it rich and getting - those million—dollar mansions that becky was talking about. i don't think you're asking the right person about the celebrity idea, but i see where you're going. sam, i wanted to come to you about patron in a bit more detail now. that is to an extent meant to change at least some of it as i understand it. you launched it back in i think it was 2013 with a university friend. he was a musician but was only earning tiny sums on youtube. was that how the idea began, to try listening differently here? yes, i mean, even for myself personally i had studied... jack and i met in college because we were in a creative dorm. but i had studied 15 years of classical piano.
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my college essay was about how my mum chopped off part of my middle finger in a door hinge but then i continued studying music and played in carnegie hall. but i didn't decide to music is my career because at that time certainly you had to be the absolute best to even consider a possible path forward. this was your life. and i think nowadays what's fascinating that the internet is that you can connect with these subpockets of communities directly with your fans and get monetised. we've talked about how the majority of folks even in the youtube study aren't necessarily making a living, but what we're seeing now is there is absolutely a change in behaviour understanding that consumers are willing to pay for content that they care about and because they particularly care about specific creators, so that's why it's called the creative economy versus what you have with a gig economy. it's not commoditised. the specific creator that you care about is the one you're willing to support. and your platform is not
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just musicians, is it? we have all kinds of creators on our platforms, musicians, journalists, people do photography, humans in new york who document the plight of everyday humans, inventors, all kinds of folks who are able to connect to their community. how do the payments work if i put something on your platforms, who is paying what to whom? it's the direct connection you have with your fans and your community who want to support both he was a creator and to get access to the exclusive content you are making. so people who want to know more about you because they have heard one thing you had put on your platform and like it, they will invest, if you like, and hope that as a result of doing so they will hear more? absolutely. i would also say what's happening in the whole ecosystem as there's
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been a easy access to creation and democratisation. so, you look at tiktok, it's so easy now to create any piece of content and everyone has the chance to make it viral, and that's become more and more true as these tools become more advanced. effectively, you have all of these people who want to learn how to become creators and they look up to these are the creators to and find that supporting them allows them to get deep into this craft. within that model, is there a monthly subscription option for those who want to go down to that route? yes, patreon is primarily about sustainable funding, so most of the options provide creators allow for a sustainable recurring monthly revenue. so, they know what they're going to get each month and obviously, you're taking a cut of that, otherwise you won't be able to run it. yes, we take a cut out of the revenues that come through. compared to many other platforms, i would say our take rate to substantially smaller. can you put a figure on what you take? it ranges depending on the options.
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to our platform, patreon, depending on the options it's anywhere between 5% to 8%. are you offering attractions to those coming onto your platform, sponsorship, marketing those kinds of things that might be a further attraction for them? we have added plenty of features like merchandising that others mentioned are some of the options creators have today. the key piece of patreon is nothing here is exclusive and you can take in all these monetisation opportunities even as you are building up a membership sustainable revenue stream in our platform. and you're obviously building up numbers. do you know how many patrons they are at the moment? yes, we have over 8 million paying patrons as of last month when i last checked. we also have over 200,000 creators that are getting paid every single month right now.
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how big an impact do you think patreon is having, has already had? yes, i think it works for certain people. i spoke with a creator recently who makes 80% of her income through channel memberships and patreon channel memberships and she said that really works for her because she doesn't want to do sponsored content and push ads in front of audiences and people content. other people say they don't want to take any money from the audience and they like the ad model, so it really depends on the creator. some have seen success and some haven't. if you have a traditional outlet or what might be regarded as one like a newspaper or a broadcaster, how do you see the arrival of a concept like this? is this something to be wary of? is this something to try and work alongside? i don't know if it's wary of. i think we're seeing this really interesting thing happened now where somejournalists are going independent and have really big twitter followings and loyal audiences
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and are going off on their own and joining sub—stack. so i think that's something to watch the for traditional news but i don't know that patreon is really necessarily a threat to news outlets. what of other social media companies, though? we've seen launches of quotes "content creator funds" by facebook, by tiktok. is that what they're trying to deal with now? they're suddenly thinking we need to do something different here? yes, i think tiktok and the pandemic havejust been such big drivers of this. tiktok has totally appended the creator ecosystem. as sam mentioned, they had made it so easy for the average person to go viral and garner a big audience and i think that social media platforms are realising that creators drive a lot of engagement and trends, and it's not enough any more to just give them a place to grow an audience. they need to offer them better features and ways to get money, and besides youtube which used to be the only game in town, there wasn't a way to earn directly from social media networks
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until the last year or so. becky, what do you make of these new developments? i think there is a really growing trend of creators who are trying to kind of, almost regain the connection between themselves and their audiences without the platform because at the end of the day, it's really hard to trust the platforms. you know, changes are being made every single day to the algorithms, how our content is being served to our audiences and is often done in a very hard to read, almost like black box algorithmic way, which is hard to decipher and decode and you often second—guess yourself and what you're doing. am i doing something wrong, why are my views not flowing very well any more? it can take a very big toll on your mental health as well so i think opportunities for creators to, kind of, regain that connection with their audience in a real direct way is something that's going to be really beneficial going forward. we have talked about making money via social media but of course,
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for every well—intentioned musician, there is someone perhaps with slightly darker motives. i have been speaking to cath, who is a reporterfrom the bbc panorama programme who has been investigating a new kind of criminal, the fraud influencer. fraud influence is someone who has a large following but the difference is the engaging content they are putting out there is fraud. they are promoting this glamorous, criminal lifestyle and sometimes even _ using social media to sell criminal services, fraudulent services. now, you looked into an influencer called tankz. how many followers does he have online and what of those followers seeing? he has over 150,000 followers across different platforms. tiktok, instagram, snapchat, twitter, and he posts these day in the life videos, day in the life of tankz,
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day in the life of a clicker, a slang word for fraud and you can see him glamorising fraud, wielding large amounts of cash and multiple bank cards and on into them he is selling manuals, methods he calls them, and how you can commit fraud. you bought some of these manuals, these guides, to have a look at what was on offer, so what did you find? i can't go into too much detail because we don't want to teach people how to commit fraud! fair enough. but it came in the form of a cloud storage link, and you click on it and find various step—by—step guides on how to exploit weaknesses in the systems of online retailers, banks, a guide on how to defraud the government's universal credit scheme. he also provided you with links to websites where you can go and buy people's stolen personal information, known as fulls. we can hear a little bit
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from your panorama now. i'm a london scammer, i see it, i want it, i click it. this is the sound of tankz, a fraud influencer, who posts on youtube bragging about scams while keeping his true identity hidden. he has more than 150,000 followers across various social media platforms. tankz and others like him are openly trading takes on defrauding individuals, companies, banks and even the benefit system. now, these fraud influencers use a whole array of different social media platforms, so what did those platforms say when you told them about tankz? i've got to look at my list because we contacted quite a few social media platforms. we contacted twitter, instagram, facebook, snapchat, youtube. they'll say they don't allow for content on their platforms and in relation to tankz per se, his accounts and those
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respective platforms barring twitter and youtube, they've been taken down. let's get into the nuts and bolts of your investigation to an extent because there were some good old—fashioned journalism going on here. how did you first come across these fraud influences? 0k, well, i might not look it, but i'm quite young and like a lot of young people, i... you've got a few years advantage on me, let's put it on that way! i hope so! i spend a lot of time on social media scrolling through snapchat and i kept noticing the fraud posts popping up on my feed and it turns out i'm not the only one because as part of this investigation, i went to my old school to speak to some 16 and 17—year—olds. they said they were seeing the same thing, people glamorising fraud, selling methods on how you can commit fraud, and that's how i came across it and it turned out i'm not the only young person who has seen this kind of thing. and in the documentary,
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we see you exchanging messages, even phone calls with some of the fraudsters. did that mean using burner phones, fake social media profiles to make sure that you were protecting yourself? yes, so there were times when i was walking around with several burner phones with burner sim cards and multiple fake identities online and fake profiles. the fraudsters remain anonymous and we were doing the same thing to protect ourselves. i know you tracked down the person who seemed to have been tankz and his own social media posts seem to have let you there. what did you spot there? so, that's the problem for these fraud influencers because part of being an influencer means showing your life online and tankz showed a bit too much online. there were little clues in his videos which helped us track him down. for starters, one video gave us
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a glimpse of his car number plate, which we were able to search official records and identify as a grey vauxhall corsa. another video showed a distinctive patterned carpet which we linked to a student accommodation block in wembley. the next step was to go to that student accommodation block, wait for the vauxhall corsa to arrive and take pictures of tankz. in terms of his name, that was an old ebay account account called we are tankz and when you look at the cell information you can see the real name of the ebay seller, luke josef. that name appears once again in an apple music track copyrighted to luke josef. but it's tankz singing. all of these clues put together makes us believe that tankz may be a student from london by the name of luke joseph. so, having put all this close together, what did you then do with the results of the investigation? are police, for example, now pursuing some of these fraud influencers?
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in terms of the police, i'm not sure what they're doing. that's definitely one for them. speaking to me a little earlier about panorama hunting the social media fraudsters which is available at now on iplayer. online fraud is big at the moment. there is the fraud we have just heard about, in locations in the shooting in plymouth in the last week or so about radicalisation online. what are the social media companies doing about this just now? they're focused on content - moderation and this is a perennial problem because for as long i as they have been social media platforms that have been issues to content consumption. - youtube, tiktok, instagram, facebook, twitter, all- of the above use a combination of either computer technology, j artificial intelligence, j which basically combs through what you say, _
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what you like to try and find out, you know, inappropriate words - and things like that and try to take them down and also human moderators. this is the human side of social media as we pay an awful lot. of poorly contracted, _ poorly paid workers to try and deal with some of the messes - that we have on social media. they have limited success in taking down some of this content - and that's just simply - because there is a torrent of it. this is a massive fire hose full- of information that is being posted every single day and it is difficult to keep on track although - journalists like us often - try to keep the more honest than they are. how does patreon tackle this particular issue? it is interesting mentioning the human moderation and we do want to take a human outlook on this and we don't necessarily want to be the arbiters of what art is or isn't and we believe in a diversity of opinions. but as i lead, you know,
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insult and explaining what patreon was at the very beginning we also want us to save community so i think for us there are certain types of behaviours that are very explicit. actually, i thought initially when you're talking about fraud it was committing fraud against your community. sometimes, you know, telling them to pay you in order to get financial independence or something like that. but for us in particular there are certain things around hate speech all around bullying or doxxing when you expose someone's address that are just lines that do not support any sort of safe community. i know you've recently gave evidence to a select committee enquiry at westminster about this and about influences? what did they want to know? it's really great that the government is taking more interest in influences on social media in general and this was an enquiry into influencer culture, and they wanted to investigate the power of influences on social media, how does influencer culture operate and also crucially about regulation, in particular with advertising as being, kind of, a few occasions over the past ten years, i would say, since influence in marketing and advertising with social media has emerged
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that we have had a few incidences where people have got in trouble, and this is the crucial thing that i think connects all of this is the internet and social media and influencer culture itself is moving so quickly that the rules really haven't been written yet. we're playing catch—up game where everything has to happen before we then decide how do we want to regulate it and how do we want to enforce it, and so these conversations being had in parliament at the moment hopefully are going to give us a little bit more concrete direction into how we can make the internet a safer and fairer place for everybody. that is all we have time for today, so thank you very much to all of our guests who have taken part in the media show. sam yam. co—founder of patreon, thank you. kaya, reporter information, becky flint, youtube influencer and found of pepper studio, author of tiktok boom, chris stokel—walker. china's dynamite app in the superpower racer social media and earlier, we heard from a reporter from panorama.
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we will be back at the same time next week with the media show. thank you very much for watching and goodbye. hello. there is some rain to come as it finishes its way eastwards through the uk. showers for northern and eastern reaches of england into the small hours but for many it is a dry story. some lingering cloud across the hills and coasts, but clearer skies already making quite good ingress to with the rest of the uk. will set us up well for seeing more
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sunshine certainly then we saw on saturday through sunday. just a chance of that sunshine could feed some isolated but persistent thundery showers through parts of northern england through sunday afternoon but sunshine will equate to more warmth for sunday and through the week ahead, it looks like there is more fine weather to come.
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this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at 5:00pm. the pentagon has said the us remains in regular communication with the taliban, but there has been no change in what it describes as the enemy's situation despite extensive security threats. chaos and panic outside kabul airport, as the us advises its citizens not to travel there until they are asked — because of security threats outside the gates. senior taliban figures — including the group's co—founder, mullah baradar — are in kabulfor talks about establishing a new government. there have been clashes between australian police and anti—lockdown demonstrators in sydney and melbourne.


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