Grew up with YouTube
I’m a YouTube junkie. I’ve watched something on YouTube almost every day for the past 3 years and I’m a slow adopter.
YouTube has been around since 2005 and has essentially owned the online content creation space for video makers since it’s inception, but now it has a bit of a problem. It’s vulnerable as hell.
Not the only video site now
With new outlets like Vimeo and Watchable, YouTube isn’t the only place for these creators to go now.
Hell, instead of getting YouTube famous, people are getting famous on smaller platforms like Vine (R.I.P.), SnapChat and Instagram and then taking their short video skills to places like Watchable. One of BuzzFeed’s most popular stars now has a show on Watchable when all of BuzzFeed’s content is on YouTube! If that doesn’t speak volumes, I don’t know what does.
Terms and conditions
Not necessarily because they are disagreed with (by everyone) but because it seems YouTube has a bit of an information dissemination problem.
A failure to communicate
The communication issues between YouTubers and YouTube started back when YouTube decided to demonetize videos.
The problem was, they had been demonetizing videos for some time and just never told anyone.
If you watch Philip DeFranco’s show from 6 months ago he goes into more detail.
Then 3 months ago, YouTubers ran into an issue with subscriptions.
Some channels, despite have loads of videos were getting marked as spam.
Subscriber numbers were skewed and everyone was pissed.
People brought it to YouTubes attention and after only going through 100 accounts/channels, they found no problem.
Again, if you watch Philip DeFranco’s video, he gives you a bit more context. Essentially in both cases, YouTube responded with a tweet or piss poor video and then refused to give any interviews or more information.
Now that brings us to the current.
YouTube launched a new feature on filtering. You have two choices.
Strict or Not Filtered.
You have to OPT into the Strict but if you do basically any video with “adult language” i.e. sexy talk, cursing etc. is removed from your feed regardless of whether you subscribe to that creators channel or not.
The feature has been out for a few weeks but didn’t really get a lot of coverage until the LGBTQ community notice that many of their videos were getting filtered out.
Even ones covering completely tame content simply because it related to the LGBTQ community. Creators like Tyler Oakley had one of his videos entitled “8 Black LGBTQ+ Trailblazers Who Inspire Me” censored under the strict filter.
Stories from multiple people about their decisions to come out or changes genders are filtered under the strict category despite not being graphic in any way.
DeFranco himself shows that none of his videos would show up if the strict filter were on because of his use of language, but as he points out YouTube gives a very vague reason as to why things are removed under the strict filter.
The problem with this is that YouTube doesn’t tell its creators or the public what is defines as adult.
It doesn’t have content ratings like TV shows and when pressed on the matter, YouTube again sends out vague tweets and refuses interviews.
Playing a dangerous game
So what does YouTube’s inability to accurately inform its creator community and public have to do with it being vulnerable? Everyone knows, you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
If YouTube cannot learn to treat its users with respect by giving them accurate information before they push out new features, creators will gradually start leaving the platform for platforms that are newer and have less rules and because viewers are invested in the content made by these specific creators and not YouTube itself, they’ll have no reason to stick with YouTube.
Step it up YouTube. You really have no other choice.