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A new low for AC?


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#1 Offline Manitobant - Posted October 17 2021 - 8:18 AM

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NOTE: i will be locking this thread if it gets out of hand, please don’t start too much drama. I intend this to simply be a discussion about how what AC is doing is not okay.

AC has officially started making ant colonies fight for views, going against everything he stood for in years past. It is not just cruel, but a shame upon our hobby. I remember how he used to say that the golden rule of antkeeping is that you should NEVER combine colonies, but here he is doing just that.




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#2 Offline futurebird - Posted October 17 2021 - 10:12 AM

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He's a full time "YouTuber" and to some degree I blame the general structure of YouTube for this. It pushes everything in the most crass possible direction.  (It's also why all of his videos are just nonstop "and you'll NEVER guess what happens NEXT" making a story that could take 3 min take 15... You gotta fill out the length. )

 

His primary audience are children.  Many of whom are probably curious about ants and want to try keeping them, but it takes creativity and time to make content that holds attention and violence is an easy out. I could already see this was inevitable with the whole focus on fire ants, ants biting his hand, giving ants HUGE food that makes for general gore and gross out shots.

 

The thing is, it IS possible to make content that is super popular without literally resorting to bread, circuses and gladiator pits. Look at "Snake Discovery" or if you want to see insects fight Ants Kingdom Asia films them in the wild and narrates the whole thing and each video is better than the last. Heck, I have an "ant war" video of pavement ants... I don't see the point of doing this with pets. It's so easy to observe in the wild. And you learn more since you aren't forcing something to happen. 

 

Personally, I'm still learning video editing and camera work, and I don't know if many people will ever be into my "aren't ants cute and relaxing to watch" stuff ... but it's nice that a few people seem to like it.

 

So, maybe, rather than just being disappointed that AC didn't grow into a different kind of creator, one with more focus on education, and really sharing and growing the hobby we could also just mention some of the creators we do like. 

 

Ant Lab

Nordic Ants

Ants Australia 

Aesthetic Ants 

Horace Zeng

 

There are so many!

 

But, I would be lying if I didn't admit that this makes me a little sad. I remember when the channel was small with no production values and just being caught up in how much this guy loved ants and how much he wanted to share that with others. I thought: "wow, he's just like me!"

 

Really, I think it's best to just ignore him. He's not the worst person on youTube, a site with all kinds of bad content and exploiters. But he is very disappointing. I wanted to be a part of the kind of audience he wanted. I still wish I could think "wow he's just like me and loves ants so much" But, these videos just aren't for us... not anymore than "Finger Family" or unboxing channels that try to make kids want to buy toys are. He's just another junk TV producer trying to keep the eyeballs in place. Not a job I envy. Not a job I want. 


Edited by futurebird, October 17 2021 - 10:27 AM.

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#3 Offline DaAnt - Posted October 17 2021 - 10:16 AM

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Yeah, he cares about his views and subscribers more than the ants.


Edited by DaAnt, October 17 2021 - 10:20 AM.

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#4 Offline futurebird - Posted October 17 2021 - 10:32 AM

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Yeah. It's too bad. Also, when people who don't know much about ants find out I have colonies they are like "oh have you heard of Ants Canada?" and I just give this awkward smile/grimace and try to change the subject because I know what a weirdo I'll sound like if I start ranting about the guy... and I am nearly always ready to rant about the guy. 

 

And that's not so great is it?

 

I'm going to just let go of my disappointment. And be happy about how much fun I'm having with the colony. It's silly to be an adult mad about a gross out channel for kids that's cruel to pet insects and doesn't teach respect. Our whole culture is like that. He's just a mirror. Instead I'll share ant keeping with my students in an afterschool club. (I'm a math teacher but I help with science clubs.)


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#5 Offline Antkeeper01 - Posted October 17 2021 - 12:06 PM

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Yeah and the sad thing is in the poll in the comments the results were 8 to one meaning that bc his viewers are idiots most if not all, of those poor colonies will die.


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#6 Offline mmcguffi - Posted October 17 2021 - 2:55 PM

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I mean, I can think of several threads -- even recent ones -- where essentially the same things is attempted with the premise of experimenting

 

At the end of the day, this video still educates people on how ants can and cannot form super-colonies along with beautifully shot video. The aesthetics of the narration and writing are not to my taste, but clearly these videos have a wide audience


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#7 Offline Antkeeper01 - Posted October 17 2021 - 3:36 PM

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I mean, I can think of several threads -- even recent ones -- where essentially the same things is attempted with the premise of experimenting

 

At the end of the day, this video still educates people on how ants can and cannot form super-colonies along with beautifully shot video. The aesthetics of the narration and writing are not to my taste, but clearly these videos have a wide audience

the difference between these people and ac are AC is doing this for the subs and views whereas these people are doing this as an experiment


1X Pogonomyrmex occidentalis 40-50 Workers

1X Solenopsis molesta 10 Workers (mono)

Ants I Want: Crematogaster sp, Camponotus Sp., Ponera Pennsylvanica, Mymercocystus sp.

 

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#8 Offline DDD101DDD - Posted October 17 2021 - 5:22 PM

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I mean, I can think of several threads -- even recent ones -- where essentially the same things is attempted with the premise of experimenting

 

At the end of the day, this video still educates people on how ants can and cannot form super-colonies along with beautifully shot video. The aesthetics of the narration and writing are not to my taste, but clearly these videos have a wide audience

the difference between these people and ac are AC is doing this for the subs and views whereas these people are doing this as an experiment

 

How does that affect its education content, if the education is taken only from what we observe happening and not what AC says?


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#9 Offline B_rad0806 - Posted October 17 2021 - 5:38 PM

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Mans really copied Fortnite :facepalm:


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#10 Offline futurebird - Posted October 17 2021 - 6:17 PM

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I mean, I can think of several threads -- even recent ones -- where essentially the same things is attempted with the premise of experimenting

 

At the end of the day, this video still educates people on how ants can and cannot form super-colonies along with beautifully shot video. The aesthetics of the narration and writing are not to my taste, but clearly these videos have a wide audience

 

But this is kind of a big difference between the kind of content that teaches that animals are toys vs. research and learning. It's is to some degree about how you approach it. Consider that experiment where they glued stilts to ants and also amputated ants legs to stumps and found out that ants basically navigate by counting steps in a particular desert species. It was an important and kinda neat experiment even if it was a little mean.

 

Compare that to making a "funny viral video of mutilated ants that can't find their home anymore" An extreme example in some ways, but tone matters. 

 

It's not as simple as "never do X" the why, the how, etc. all inform if it's worthwhile or not. 

 

I don't find AC worthwhile. IDK if he's still "helping the hobby grow" ... feel a bit more like just making videos for a general audience. Which is fine.  Like I've over explained. I have feelings about this because I feel like my expectations for where it would go were dashed. I don't think anyone is saying to send him hate mail, or put him in "bad ant video jail" It's just frustrating. And I think if you can see the issues with the tone maybe we are closer to being on the same page than it seemed at first. 

 

And you know? Maybe he'll change again. Maybe when the hype dies down the things that got him in to this will become important again. I would welcome that. This isn't so bad that I can't forgive and move along, in fact it's not "big" at all. Just a symptom of what I hate about YouTube and mass media generally. 


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#11 Offline mmcguffi - Posted October 17 2021 - 8:50 PM

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 Consider that experiment where they glued stilts to ants and also amputated ants legs to stumps and found out that ants basically navigate by counting steps in a particular desert species. It was an important and kinda neat experiment even if it was a little mean.

 

 

Was it though? What was important about this research? I'm not familiar with this specific study, but on it's face it doesn't strike me as significantly more important that what was on film here. Ants Canada was trying to combine ant colonies -- something many, many people have attempted to do, and like I previously posted, has been proudly documented by Formiculture members. Maybe he'll be the first to learn that his chosen specific species can be polygynous or pleometrotic -- It seems to me that maybe his greatest sin is simply tackiness



#12 Offline SYUTEO - Posted October 17 2021 - 10:55 PM

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Many people tried convincing AC not to do that in his community post and that his Camponotus species is VERY likely to be monogynous and someone I replied to seem to not understand the video and still said they are polygynous :facepalm:. Even worse, everyone wanted him to keep them together and see what happens, this will very likely lead to an ant war and at least he didn't put in colony 7 as that will 100% lead to a war (even if he didn't put colony 7 in this would still lead to a war). It seems like AC needs to know more about Camponotus before putting them together.


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#13 Offline futurebird - Posted October 17 2021 - 11:14 PM

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It's a massively important study with implication in mathematics, ecology, neurology and many more areas. Arthropod minds are tiny and yet they produce immense complexity and solve nontrivial problems. Modeling how ants navigate has implications in computer science as well. 


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#14 Offline Chickalo - Posted October 18 2021 - 11:09 AM

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I'm boutta explain how YouTube works and how it ties into this.  Get ready for wall text:
 
Youtube algorithm wants two things, 1.)  To get videos that will interest said viewer, and 2.)  To keep the viewer watching said video (both get into AC's habits, 1 causes him to make clickbait-y titles and thumbnails, 2 causes him to over exaggerate things and make drama).  To get this, it will look at things, such as views, viewer tension (the length said viewer was watching the video for), the like to dislike, and what said viewer was watching before.  Less obviously, there's:  Closed Captioning (since YouTube can make it's own CC, if the video says a keyword a lot, such as "Dream", it will come up in searches), the first couple of sentences in the description (notice how they come up in google searches?), what other viewers have clicked after watching the video, etc etc.  We don't need all of the information.
 
Now, most content creators put that in mind.  Looking at examples popular on YouTube:  Dream SmP uses story telling and suspense, Beluga uses comedy and Discord, TheOdd1sOut used comedy, story telling, interesting animation, and relatable moments.  Now let's look at AntsCanada, he uses suspense, drama, and story telling.  It's targeting towards kids.  Actually, it's easy to see patterns, most people start watching AntsCanada, the tension and drama helps keep viewer tension while teaching people basics.  From there they use more informational channels, AntsAustraila is usually the next largest mainstream channel.  Honestly, I see AntsCanada as the starting tutorial, gives you the basics as you learn more later on.
 
A real life example is how I could tell my friends all about the wonders of, say, social parasites, "Wow the Lasius claviger queen goes-" "Did I ask?"  Ie, they won't care.  Let's say instead I go like, "She will go into their homes, kill off all of the children and smear their scent on her body, becoming an impostor hiding within plain sight," now I have their attention.
 
Everything was fine, sure others had problems with his use of drama, but that's just his style to keep tension between the viewers.  There's only one real problem I have with this video.  One person doing it, okay fine, it's not really civil but you do you I guess.  However, this man is an influencer (technically).  Now it's well known kids will literally copy behaviour patterns in people they idolize or too fit in (ever heard of trends?).  As of now, he has 4.27 milllion subscribers.  I'd bet the vast majority of them are children in adolescence, maybe 8 to 12.  Many people who either have younger relatives or work with younger children will know, superiors have a massive influence on children.  One week in of being a CIT at a camp and a lot of the younger children have copied my vocabulary.  It's like a monke see monke do kind of thing.  Now, let's say 75% of his subscribers are in that age range and look up to him (I'm assuming a random percentage).  That's over 3 million kids who might want to replicate this, not counting the kids who still watch him but can't subscribe for parental reasons maybe. 
 
As AntKeeper01 pointed out, there's a literal 8:1 ration of yes to no. Though that's a good point to it showing an outcome, Mmcguffi, there's still a week for children to combine their beloved colonies.  Futurebird said to ignore him, which is good enough for the more intermediate-experienced group (usually 13+) because they will learn that the majority of the community agrees; AntsCanada isn't the best source.  The others may or may not have access to that knowledge.  Nobody really points it out on YouTube, and it's not like they've found other social's to look at ants on.
 
To wrap everything up, I'm going to say that YouTubers will be YouTubers, the best you can do is try to help out as many of the "misguided" as possible I guess.  Time to shut up-

Edited by Chickalo, October 18 2021 - 11:12 AM.

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#15 Offline DDD101DDD - Posted October 18 2021 - 1:25 PM

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To be fair, I don't think I've seen someone actually try this yet and document it well, so let's see how it turns out. Much of research is driven by profit anyway, I don't see why we should treat this differently if we just ignore all the extra, useless stuff he puts in his videos.


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#16 Offline DDD101DDD - Posted October 18 2021 - 1:29 PM

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As AntKeeper01 pointed out, there's a literal 8:1 ration of yes to no. Though that's a good point to it showing an outcome, Mmcguffi, there's still a week for children to combine their beloved colonies.  Futurebird said to ignore him, which is good enough for the more intermediate-experienced group (usually 13+) because they will learn that the majority of the community agrees; AntsCanada isn't the best source.  The others may or may not have access to that knowledge.  Nobody really points it out on YouTube, and it's not like they've found other social's to look at ants on.
 

 

Doesn't he say that other people shouldn't try it?


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#17 Offline mmcguffi - Posted October 18 2021 - 2:01 PM

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Much of research is driven by profit anyway

 

As a biological researcher, I can assure that research on ants is possibly farthest thing from a "profit driven" pursuit lol

 

pharma != basic science research


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#18 Offline Leptomyrmx - Posted October 18 2021 - 2:12 PM

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Yeah, I haven't said anything on this thread yet, but to put it bluntly, bruh why are you doing this AntsCanada.

You were just kinda cringe before but this waaaaaaaaaaaaay is worse.

 

 

 

As AntKeeper01 pointed out, there's a literal 8:1 ration of yes to no. Though that's a good point to it showing an outcome, Mmcguffi, there's still a week for children to combine their beloved colonies.  Futurebird said to ignore him, which is good enough for the more intermediate-experienced group (usually 13+) because they will learn that the majority of the community agrees; AntsCanada isn't the best source.  The others may or may not have access to that knowledge.  Nobody really points it out on YouTube, and it's not like they've found other social's to look at ants on.
 

 

Yes, uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuusually 13+ is more experienced.

idk if I can call myself experienced or not, there needs to be some sort of test to measure your ant IQ. it's hard to tell if someone's experienced or not online.

I am under 13 though.


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Leptomyrmx is my name, not the title btw : P

I comment on 10 year old posts, kindly deal with it :]
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#19 Offline DaAnt - Posted October 18 2021 - 3:10 PM

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Yeah, there should be an ant IQ test.  That would be cool.


Edited by DaAnt, October 18 2021 - 3:11 PM.

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#20 Offline PetsNotPests - Posted October 18 2021 - 3:47 PM

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After AntsCanada attempted to feed his "beloved" ants human snot, I thought for sure that it wouldn't get dumber then that. I guess I was wrong. 


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