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We've finally gotten around to uploading and processing The Circle of HOPE videos for YouTube. They sure didn't make it easy.

Even the tiniest snippet of something that Google's system flagged needed to be dealt with. That's why there are occasional audio and/or visual gaps to keep videos from being blocked entirely. For the most part, you can now relive the speaker sections of our most recent conference. For the completely untouched versions, we offer downloads, flash drives, and DVDs.

While working on this project, we discovered yet another level of judgment we were subjected to by Google. A number of our videos were deemed "not suitable for most advertisers." Let's be clear: we only monetize our videos so we can learn more about how their system works. In reality, we make next to nothing from their ads, just like nearly everyone else on YouTube. (They really don't like it when people reveal this, but it happens to be the truth.)

So with the information we've gained here, we can get a sense as to what Google's algorithm finds to be "objectionable" content. While this is a handy tool in discovering what are probably the better videos in our collection, it also serves as a reminder that, while advertising may be what's blocked today, the actual content could be blocked in the future. That's how labeling and censorship tends to work.

We've added text to each affected video's description as a badge of honor, and we're also listing them below. So far we've found that the videos Google doesn't like are ones with curse words in the title, any mention of terrorism or drugs, and, for some reason, a number of privacy talks. A bunch of talks with "hack" in the title were flagged, but not all of them. In addition, any talk that deals with sex was flagged, including one that Google decided to forbid for anyone under 18 (without notifying us). So we see that the actual blocking of content referenced above is already being undertaken. And we suspect the flagging is also triggered by actual content, not simply the titles.

There are also some true mysteries. We have no idea why the second half of Steve Wozniak's keynote address was flagged, nor do we have a clue as to what was objectionable about a talk dealing with depression in the geek community.

In total, we were flagged 66 times. We've linked to each of the "advertiser-unfriendly" talks below and extend our congratulations to the presenters for reaching this milestone. We can make this a fun project and try and figure out together just what it was that triggered Google in each of these talks. Please send your comments to our letters section.

And don't forget to enjoy the videos!

HOPE'S Hall of Google Shame

The Circle of HOPE (2018)


The Eleventh HOPE (2016)


HOPE X (2014)


HOPE Number Nine (2012)


The Next HOPE (2010)


The Last HOPE (2008)


HOPE Number Six (2006)


The Fifth HOPE (2004)


H2K2 (2002)


H2K (2000)


Beyond HOPE (1997)


Hackers On Planet Earth (1994)