Useful Tool to monitor the AltRight: Youtube Auto Transcripts

I'm writing this in English because I think this may be relevant, I haven't seen this Idea anywhere and I follow this topic (as you might know) quite closely. (I'm not in any „inner journalistic circle“ toolwise though, I know they prove many skills I don't, but maybe they didn't think about this particular technique because it actually breaks copyright law. Still, when I google „AltRight Youtube Auto Transcript“, all I see are unrelated YT-Clips and postings featuring the phrase „I have transcribed“, which suggests manual transcription by hand. However.)

One reason why the AltRight is so „underground“ is Youtube. Most Mainstream-Commentators, Journalists and also Bloggers have no real knowledge of the going ons or are part of that community, minus Motherboard and a few others. Because of that, they miss a lot of the communication that is going on and because of that, they miss, what and who the AltRight really are and what they actually think.

I follow the Youtube-Channel of Tara McCarthy, a medium-known AltRight-Youtube-Semi-Activist, who seems to be mainly interested in partisan philosophical White History and it's actually interesting in a dark way. Mainly, she interviews prominence from the Far Right and the AltRight about their Philosophy, with some few centrist figures in the mix. I wouldn't say I like her, but the talks are deep and informative and it's no bullshit (except, you know, the usual stuff about race and women and more or less all clichés are true about them, they just superficially overpainted the aggression of the right with a new, internet-based cultural expression [and then they reintroduced aggression and violence thru the backdoor with the Proud Boys (who are, interestingly, not really that connected to Youtube, as it seems), but we'll talk about them later]). But they and she's philosophically serious about it, I accept that, and I'm always interested in the philosophy of the people I oppose. So.

She has a 1 hour interview with Richard Spencer and if you want to know what the AltRight are about, watch it. There he talks about the Things that inspire him and this guy actually dreams about, because this is speech between tribal connected people, not the PR-Talk of Milo called „How To Destroy The Alt Right“ which is bad enough. From there we get the best insights into their thinking, but that's not the point of this posting.

The point is, that this interview will go completely unnoticed by the press. Because it's on Youtube and it's not a Hitpiece on PewDiePie with Clickbait-Potential, but a mid-known AltRight-Semi-Youtube-Activist only some of their thinkers know and who's only losely connected in their media-network. She doesn't give talks, goes to Berkley to „take a stand“ or riles people up with toxic spew, she's just a promising student on Youtube – with a twisted mind, if I dare say. And her tribe is winning for the moment.

Therefore it is interesting, to actually read, what these people might have to say, and not leave these thoughts in the epithermal space of the spoken word. Enter Automatic Youtube Transcripts.

The Trick is fairly simple and requires only minor tech skills. Download the video, reupload it to Youtube, and follow these steps:

1. Go to youtube.com/upload and upload your video file. If you have an MP3 audio file, you may use a tool like Windows Movie Maker, iMovie on Mac or FFMpeg to convert the audio into a video file before uploading to YouTube.

2. Wait for YouTube to completely process the video. The machine transcriptions may not immediately become available after uploading the video.

3. Open the YouTube video page in Chrome and look for the CC button in the player. If it exists, the transcribed audio can be downloaded as text.

4. Press F12 on Windows, or Option+Cmd+J on Mac, to open the JavaScript console inside Chrome Developer tools and paste this code:

if(yt.config_.TTS_URL.length) window.location.href=yt.config_.TTS_URL+"&kind=asr&fmt=srv1&lang=en"

It will open the transcribed text of the uploaded video in the current browser tab as shown in this short video. Save the file with a .html extension and double-click to view the transcription in plain text.

The „average American English speaker engaged in a friendly conversation speaks at a rate of approximately 110–150 wpm“ while we read with an speed of 200 words per minute which tops at 1000wpm for overachievers. This way we can catch up with their culture, fast and easy, and hammer them accordingly. (Ofcourse, the clumsy mechanism of re-upload, Console-Fuddling nixes that speed-advantage and even reverses it, but, well. And if this is already a common trick for reporting on this subculture or there is an even simpler, well known Trick, I'm sorry for wasting your time and I hate myself now. But if it's not: You're welcome.)

Also: I've applied this technique to Tara McCarthys Interview with Richard Spencer and I know I break her copyright by publishing this. Sue me.

In it, at Minute 8:40, she asks him kinda nervous, what a New Left would look like, that would, too, turn back in time and to „pre-communist russia“ and to violence, „like full on communist… death camps, you know [laughs]“, he actually answers „Death Camps for cuties, I guess. [Wink Wink Nudge Nudge]“. That's the kind of person Richard Spencer is: Flirty with good chunk of genocide.

Here's the unedited .TXT // I can play this game too.

I know that if this trick is not known, this could lead to heated debates about copyright, youtube, privacy, transcriptions, free speech and boundaries. If the debate get's too heated, I'll take the file down. I don't want to piss anyone off – and at the end it's all about ethics in journalism.

[update] Reality sometimes synchs in weird ways it seems. Poynter: This tool, made by college students, will save you all that time you spend transcribing.

two guys from Dublin City University actually reached out to me a week ago and shared a tool they made for automatic transcription. It's called Scribe. […] It’s just a website. You go to the site, you enter your email address, you upload the audio, you pick what language it’s in, and then press submit. When it’s done transcribing (it took about 10 seconds for 5-minute recordings,) they email you a link. And that takes you to another section of the Scribe website with a rich text box where you can edit it. It also has the audio on the page and you can listen again to make sure it’s accurate.

Haven't tried this out yet, but this seems far more useful. You can download YT-Clips as Audio with a Gazillion Websites out there or with tools like JDownloader.

[update] Unfortunately, at least for the moment, Scribe only allows autotranscript for mp3s of up to 10 minutes (due to „traffic at the moment“), which is unsuitable for many of the more longform debates going on on the AltRight.

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