Molloy New Media Program Director in the News

Latest Scandals Suggest it's Time to Build a Better YouTube

March 10, 2019 - CBC Radio

The first YouTube video ever uploaded featured co-founder Jawad Karim describing elephants at the San Diego Zoo. That was in 2005.

How times have changed. Today, 12 days' worth of video is uploaded to the platform every single minute. If you took the most popular YouTube video ever posted, Psy's "Gangnam Style," and played it sequentially, once for every time it's been watched, it would take you 6,000 years. In other words, there is a lot of content on the Google-owned site - and that, especially lately, is causing a lot of problems. Even though it's incredibly powerful, the algorithm that examines the content for safety simply can't always keep up, according to Jamie Cohen, director of the New Media program at Molloy University in New York. And bad actors are able to exploit that.

Scandals plague YouTube

It's been a bad month for YouTube, as it tries to manage its latest scandal. Some users have been abusing the way the platform's algorithm suggests videos, and are using the comments sections to send secret messages, which has led to allegations that links to child pornography are being exchanged via YouTube comments. Also, it has led to people highlighting sections of videos featuring children that some might find provocative, and sharing them.

To be clear, what's being shown on YouTube isn't illegal, but it is content that could be abused by some people. YouTube says it has removed the ability to comment on most material that features children in an attempt to stop the abuse. I think that's an entire TV environment that we've never planned for in the history of media.- Jamie Cohen, director of New Media at Molloy University

Ten Wild Jobs That Didn't Exist Ten Years Ago

October 18, 2018 - Vice

Tenure-track positions in the academics biz aren't exactly a dime a dozen, but according to Assistant Professor James Cohen, founder of Molloy University's New Media program, there's more demand than ever for meme Assistant Professor James Cohenscholars. He recommends a majoring in cultural studies or studying visual culture, media studies, political science, or sociology to prepare for writing peer-reviewed papers like his 2017 Communicating Graphically: Mimesis, Visual Language, and Commodification as Culture. The same year, meme scholars from Roma Tre University, University College London, Telefonica Research, and the Cyprus University of Technology teamed up to write Kek, Cucks, and God Emperor Trump: A Measurement Study of 4chan's Politically Incorrect Forum and Its Effects on the Web.

Cohen cites demand for papers like these and new institutions like Fordham University's Digital Technology and Emerging Media program as signs that the academic world is taking meme scholarship seriously. "It's like academia suddenly woke up and was like, 'Ooohh-memes aren't just funny,'" he told VICE. Judging by the extensive Twitter and Reddit threads creating and unpacking the memes of the week, there's no lack of extremely qualified potential applicants.

The YouTubers Who Teach Men How to Be Men

April 17, 2018 - GQ

Conveniently, he invested in YouTube at about the same time it was becoming the YouTube we know today-the platform that vaulted infamous users like Logan and Jake Paul and PewDiePie to relative fame and fortune. "When Google purchased YouTube back in '06, it was a lost system until about 2011," Jamie Cohen, the New Media program director at Molloy University who teaches a course on YouTube, tells me over the phone just a week after Paul's infamous "Suicide Forest" video went up. "The algorithm finally figured out that the only way it's going to profit is not through the ad systems, because ad blockers blocked billions of dollars of years, but by the influencer marketing system."

YouTube Tries to Solve its Conspiracy Problem with Wikipedia. Some Critics Cry Foul.

March 14, 2018 - KIII-TV

Jamie Cohen, an assistant professor at Molloy University in Rockville Centre, NY, said Google is basically shifting the responsibility from the corporation to the volunteers who edit Wikipedia. "If they want a true, authority for validation, they should go to the source of the information." He suggested a trusted news organization would make more sense. 

Professor Jamie Cohen, director of Molloy's New Media program, was quoted in two USA Today stories about how a fringe video became mainstream on YouTube.

Tragedy, Conspiracy and the Problem With Trending Videos

February 24, 2018 - USA Today

So it is just bad people abusing the system, or a YouTube algorithm that is based on getting the most viewers watching at all times? Jamie Cohen, director of the New Media Program at Molloy University in Rockville Centre, NY picks the latter.

"Trending is a cycle that feeds on itself," he says."It's using free labor (submitted videos) to create a platform."

7 Days from Fringe to Mainstream: How a Conspiracy Theory Ricocheted Around the Web

February 24, 2018 - USA Today

When a big news story breaks, the object of conspiracy theorists is to "obfuscate the news, because they can't defeat the story with facts," says Jamie Cohen, director of the New Media Program at Molloy University in Rockville Centre, N.Y. They "create a second point of view and it becomes news."

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