The Constant Pressure For YouTube To Police 'Bad' Content Means That It's Becoming A Gatekeeper

from the this-is-unfortunate dept

For many, many years we've talked about how people were wrong to say that the internet "cut out middlemen" because there are still plenty of middlemen around. Instead, what was important was that the type of middlemen were changing. Specifically, we were moving from an age of gatekeepers to an age of enablers. And the difference here is profound. Gatekeepers keep out most people who want to use their platforms. Think: record labels or movie studios. Most people who wanted to become musicians just a couple of decades ago were not able to. Record labels would not sign them, and without a recording deal, your chance of making any money was just about nil. A few people were signed, a very few of those that signed would make lots of money, the rest would make a little money, and everyone who didn't sign would make basically nothing. The "curve" of how much money people made trying to become musicians was not very smooth. You had a few at the top end, and a giant cliff down to basically zero if you couldn't get past the gatekeeper.

But the internet changed that in a massive way. Anyone could start using the various internet platforms to release their content, to build an audience, and to make some money. There remain complaints from some that the amount most users make isn't very much, but that ignores that under the previous gatekeeper system, that amount was almost certainly zero for the vast majority of people who wished to make money from their creative endeavors. With various internet services -- Kickstarter, Patreon, Spotify, YouTube, etc. -- artists could at least make more than zero.

There has been some fear that yesterday's enablers would turn into tomorrow's gatekeepers. Unfortunately, one of the most disturbing aspects of what's happening with the internet these days is that more and more people seem to be pressuring these enabling services to become gatekeepers and to lock out smaller creators, out of this new fear that some people shouldn't be allowed to use these platforms to make any money at all.

Case in point: YouTube has recently announced new rules around creator monetization, which basically say you need to be pretty popular before you can become a partner who can monetize your videos.

After careful consideration and extended conversations with advertisers and creators, we’re making big changes to the process that determines which channels can run ads on YouTube. Previously, channels had to reach 10,000 total views to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). It’s been clear over the last few months that we need the right requirements and better signals to identify the channels that have earned the right to run ads. Instead of basing acceptance purely on views, we want to take channel size, audience engagement, and creator behavior into consideration to determine eligibility for ads.

That’s why starting today, new channels will need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months to be eligible for ads. We will begin enforcing these new requirements for existing channels in YPP beginning February 20th, 2018.

The company flat out admits that this is to stop those who somehow don't deserve to make money from getting paid, and also to appease advertisers:

There’s no denying 2017 was a difficult year, with several issues affecting our community and our advertising partners. We are passionate about protecting our users, advertisers and creators and making sure YouTube is not a place that can be co-opted by bad actors. While we took several steps last year to protect advertisers from inappropriate content, we know we need to do more to ensure that their ads run alongside content that reflects their values. As we mentioned in December, we needed a fresh approach to advertising on YouTube.

That "December" link was a YouTube post responding to the widespread controversy over YouTube star Logan Paul's immature and disrespectful videos in Japan and in particular, showing (and basically laughing at) the body of someone who had committed suicide in Aokigahara. And, indeed, many see these new changes to YouTube monetization as a direct response to the Logan Paul debacle -- even though these rules wouldn't have made a difference for Paul. Indeed, Paul's immature antics were a large part of what made him a YouTube star along with his brother (who some argue is even more immature -- and perhaps even more popular).

So, really, these changes seem to be an attempt to appease advertisers rather than YouTubers (who don't seem very happy about this). But, in doing so, YouTube takes a pretty big step from that enabler category into the gatekeeper cateogry. It's not all the way to the extreme of the record labels, of course. There are clear, stated, quantifiable metrics here. But it does move that "cliff" in the monetization scheme, such that those who are just starting out, or who just want to make a few extra dollars, won't be doing so via YouTube.

YouTube, obviously, is free to make that choice. It needs to appease increasingly angry advertisers who don't want their ads showing up in "controversial" places. So that's understandable. But, it's also... a bit sad. The power and excitement many of us felt for what the internet enabled was the fact that it allowed people to make use of these platforms to create, distribute, promote, communicate and monetize without any real gatekeepers. And that's changing.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 1:54pm

    4000 hours watch time means that smaller channels are encouraged to output quantity content over quality content. This isn't a hard goal to meet but it is degrading. 1000 subscribers is quite a bit harder though. To the point you essentially have to start pandering and promising interesting content coming soon.

    Actually, come to think of it, these new rules benefit people who want to emulate Logan Paul.

    That being said these changes do help reduce monetary gain for a lot of small bad actors who horked up a lot of questionable content last year. Although the complaint was more that those videos existed not that they appeared after beer commercials.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 2:06pm

      >That being said these changes do help reduce monetary gain for a lot of small bad actors who horked up a lot of questionable content last year.

      It is also hitting many small specialized channels in the history,re-enactment, engineering and similar disciplines.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 3:35pm

        Re:

        The biggest history reenactment channel I can think of relies on Patreon, merch, and reenacting supplies over monetization.

        The weapons guys have been exploring options from other sites besides youtube to disabling monetization entirely and relying on patreon and paypal instead.

        Youtube might feel kind of silly when their creators all start disabling monetization in favour of other options, and youtube's share of that now zero revenue becomes zero as well.

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        • icon
          orbitalinsertion (profile), 19 Jan 2018 @ 3:48pm

          Re: Re:

          That's true, but what about those who don't intend to be more or less full time youtube producers? It's more work to monetize other ways, and in some people might feel awkward (but not that many, apparently) with Patreon begging for slow or irregular work. I'm sure some just want a little help that adds up over time from ad monetization.

          I don't know, i went back to blocking ads anyway, they are so repetitive and stupid. Youtube may end up feeling kind of silly, but it seems like people and corporations frequently do something even worse when they feel that way.

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      • icon
        Richard (profile), 20 Jan 2018 @ 7:40am

        Re:

        _That being said these changes do help reduce monetary gain for a lot of small bad actors who horked up a lot of questionable content last year.

        It is also hitting many small specialized channels_

        Whilst doing nothing about big bad actors - who will now get a bigger share of the cake.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2018 @ 9:44am

          Re: Re:

          Most of the "problems" are a "we're doing something" attempt on YT's part to bring attention away from the "bad" actors that make too much money for YouTube to ban or punish.

          This is really about having the right excuse to implement stricter rules at the right time.

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    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 19 Jan 2018 @ 3:38pm

      Re:

      4000 hours watch time means that smaller channels are encouraged to output quantity content over quality content.

      That's already old hat, so it's not like lame tubers wouldn't ramp it up. It also forces non-famous tubers into content-dumping stuff they normally wouldn't, or begging for more views. I think there is a broad middle where people can make interesting content, but not at a high rate, and not with a ton of regular viewers. So yeah.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 1:57pm

    hmm it seems that this article conflates youtube (and other popular site/platforms) with the internet itself. Afaik I could still standup a youtube like site on which aspiring artists can make small amounts of money (admittedly the investment on my part would be non trivial, but the investment in google ad services framework, and youtube is also non-trivial).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 2:11pm

      Re:

      How would such a channel earn its income, without coming under the same pressure from the same advertisers and legacy content producers?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 2:56pm

        Re: Re:

        it doesn't really matter. a separate ad network could be setup .... just because you run ad in exchange for money doesnt me the advertiser own your business (all though they dont have to do buisness with you either).
        It could go say accounts can only consume 5 minutes of content a day without subscribing. Or it could take a page out of crowed funding: here's 10 minutes of an artists work, if you want a collection of say 300 minutes we need to raise $50 (or w/e). Anyhow my point was that it was not changes to the internet, but to specific platforms that effected those changes.
        I'm sure if someone actually wanted to do something like that (I don't) they could come up with lots of ways to make it lucrative while still being a predominantly enabling platform (considering that I suspect at least some of the ideas I listed above would work... and I only spent ~20s on them).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 3:03pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Vidme tried and failed to become the YouTube alternative.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 19 Jan 2018 @ 4:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'm expecting a new competitor: "Security cameras of Walmart."

            Like YouTube, anyone can (and already does) add content. They'll handle the uploading, and monetize it with your purchases.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2018 @ 5:42am

      Re:

      You would think a guy with an economics degree wouldn’t be the author of such a clueless article.

      But nope.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 19 Jan 2018 @ 1:58pm

    Instead of basing acceptance purely on views, we want to take channel size, audience engagement, and creator behavior into consideration to determine eligibility for ads.

    This makes sense, as it would fix a growing problem with YouTube:

    TV shows upload clips. Movie studios upload trailers and featurettes. News shows upload stories and interviews. It's promotional, but often worth watching.

    But more and more when you search for that content, you get endless crap. Videos with someone simply describing that content (while adding no value whatsoever), or a questionable link to somewhere else.

    Those sites generate vast numbers of views - but only for two seconds each before people curse and try the next one. That's enough to monetize them.

    Checking for audience engagement - did they actually stick around to watch the video - is needed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 2:08pm

      Re:

      >Checking for audience engagement - did they actually stick around to watch the video - is needed.

      Youtube already has than infomation, and makes it available as part of the channel statistics.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 19 Jan 2018 @ 2:20pm

        Re: Re:

        When searching for clips I can sort by view count.

        But that doesn't tell be whether they were "viewed" by folks who watched the whole thing - indicating actual content - or "viewed" for two seconds only - indicating clickbait garbage.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 2:53pm

    When has Youtube ever not been a gatekeeper? Everyone needs to dispense with the idea that private internet sites are places of free speech for anyone other than the owners and operators.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 3:28pm

    In modern Amerika... Youtube watches YOU! -- Or: Cesspools have gates, both in and out! -- Or: "Free" means "rigid controls"!

    Sheesh. I had to stop reading Masnick at "this-is-unfortunate" because implies, with his usual precision, that came about by luck, chance, some stochastic, or even probabalistic process, instead of THE PLAN ALL ALONG. -- An AC has it right, nearly as I'd put it, except lacks upper-casing and to mention GOOGLE.

    Youtube appeals to the very lowest, and has already sunk to depths just short of Roman Circus. As I've mentioned, its "stars" are now literally killing themselves with stunts.

    I'm certain that Youtube deliberately promotes the worst crap while de-ranking "conservative" or pro-American views. We have only the statements that Youtube puts out, NO way to check figures short of sending in the Marines -- which I'm for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ryunosuke (profile), 19 Jan 2018 @ 3:40pm

      Re: In modern Amerika... Youtube watches YOU! -- Or: Cesspools have gates, both in and out! -- Or: "Free" means "rigid controls"!

      i don't think that is a problem with youtube itself, more of a "let's give everyone on earth cameras and see what happens" kind of problem. Stupid people doing stupid things is not going to change soon, your post is proof of that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 3:46pm

      Re: In modern Amerika... Youtube watches YOU! -- Or: Cesspools have gates, both in and out! -- Or: "Free" means "rigid controls"!

      Your opinion of YouTube says a lot about the content you seek, because YouTube is full of all sorts of interesting informative and educational content.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 3:48pm

      Re: In modern Amerika... Youtube watches YOU! -- Or: Cesspools have gates, both in and out! -- Or: "Free" means "rigid controls"!

      You definitely sound sane.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 19 Jan 2018 @ 3:56pm

      Re: In modern Amerika... Youtube watches YOU! -- Or: Cesspools have gates, both in and out! -- Or: "Free" means "rigid controls"!

      You speak as if the groups mentioned in your last two paragraphs are somehow mutually exclusive.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Jan 2018 @ 4:00pm

      Re: In modern Amerika... Youtube watches YOU! -- Or: Cesspools have gates, both in and out! -- Or: "Free" means "rigid controls"!

      I'm certain that Youtube deliberately promotes the worst crap while de-ranking "conservative" or pro-American views.

      [citation needed]

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Jan 2018 @ 4:02pm

        Re: Re:

        Also:

        NO way to check figures short of sending in the Marines -- which I'm for

        I thought people like you were for “small government”, not “military takeovers of civilian businesses for arbitrary reasons”.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2018 @ 12:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          out_of_the_blue is against corporations... unless they make movies that require budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars, then for some reason they're suddenly permitted to use money to influence government and law.

          He's more fucked in the head than a brothel full of oral sex addicts.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 19 Jan 2018 @ 4:12pm

      Re: In modern Amerika... Youtube watches YOU! -- Or: Cesspools have gates, both in and out! -- Or: "Free" means "rigid controls"!

      I'm certain that Youtube deliberately promotes the worst crap while de-ranking "conservative" or pro-American views.

      I'm certain that by "conservative" or "pro-American" you mean extremist or alt-right views that any actual conservative would consider anti-American.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 10:17pm

      Re: In modern Amerika... Youtube watches YOU! -- Or: Cesspools have gates, both in and out! -- Or: "Free" means "rigid controls"!

      So?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 21 Jan 2018 @ 1:28pm

      Re: In modern Amerika... Youtube watches YOU! -- Or: Cesspools have gates, both in and out! -- Or: "Free" means "rigid controls"!

      "conservative" or pro-American views.

      lol

      NO way to check figures short of sending in the Marines -- which I'm for.

      Is that a conservative view? Send in the armed forces to execute a hostile takeover of a private company? I guess if by "conservative" you mean "fascist".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2018 @ 7:02pm

    The justification is total whitewash.

    Google spent a ton of money subsidizing video hosting in order to become the dominant player in the arena. I speculate that when it comes to Youtube they've been trading an operating loss for market share which is common in startups.

    Now that it is becoming clear that the carriers may not in fact be able to rape the Constitution to their satisfaction, the carriers will sit in a puddle of shit and refuse to build capacity. Then they will just charge more and more for no improvement, until real competitors show up or there's bloodshed. (Personally I'm in the: "all of the above" camp on that one.)

    The trouble comes in when you realize what the strangulation of consumer broadband markets by a few racketeering corporate mobsters and their conspirators in the senate is going to cause. The amount Google (or anyone else for that matter) will be able to broadcast into consumer homes is going to go down as consumers start demanding more and more Hi Def.

    So the margins Google expected to be there, may not end up actually being there. Their choice is to either buy more fixed edge capacity from the Consumer broadband carriers at exorbitant premiums, (in which case, even then the delivery of service is unlikely) or increase margins on the content they they host.

    I get the decision. What I don't get is the implementation.

    There is a lot of STEM content on Youtube. It gets very little traffic compared to porn and kitten videos. Its contribution to culture and discourse is much higher per MB than porn and kitten videos. By limiting across the board based on volume, what Youtube is saying that the smaller margin higher cost, higher value producers in the STEM sector, should be treated the same as the lower cost moronathon aggregation producers. They are siding with the spammers they claim to have caused this!

    If they did it based on subscriber/view ratio, that would be a different story. When an online community is fostered by a broadcaster the content tends to have a higher subscriber base per video. But they aren't doing it that way.

    The way they are doing it basically says that they want to be like Facebook, Twitter, and the dipshit brainwashing studios that got bought out by the edge carriers. You can't beat those guys by behaving like them. That game is a race to the bottom. It is no surprise to me, that this happens a month after the departure of Eric Schmidt. I seriously doubt he would have tolerated this degree of stupid.

    This decision is going to cost way more in brand dilution, than it is going to gain in revenues. It is a total dick move, and reflects poorly on the whole enterprise.

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    • identicon
      John Smith, 20 Jan 2018 @ 1:53am

      Re: The justification is total whitewash.

      Those kitten videos and other popular videos inspire those who do more 'important" things. Cops are football fans, etc.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Docrailgun, 20 Jan 2018 @ 1:31am

    Hypocracy.

    Good. Networks "gatekeep" all the time - they could sue the US government to lift the ban on tobacco ads, they could have alcohol ads all the time (during children's shows), they could sue to be able to show purient content, hard sexual situations, and so on... but they don't.

    Techdirt also keeps a gate by not having ads or accepting stories from right-wing websites. I'm sure those sites would love to plaster stories on Techdirt, but it's not allowed.

    So, complaining about Youtube limiting harmful videos is hypocracy.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2018 @ 3:01am

      Re: Hypocracy.

      >So, complaining about Youtube limiting harmful videos is hypocracy.

      YouTube is not being that selective, they are harming all small channels, good bad or indifferent.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 20 Jan 2018 @ 3:27am

      Swing and a miss

      Good. Networks "gatekeep" all the time - they could sue the US government to lift the ban on tobacco ads, they could have alcohol ads all the time (during children's shows), they could sue to be able to show purient content, hard sexual situations, and so on... but they don't.

      Maybe, and this is just a thought, they don't sue to allow porn booze and cigarettes on the tv because they know it would almost certainly get shot down, but would, win or lose, cause an absolute PR nightmare for even trying.

      Techdirt also keeps a gate by not having ads or accepting stories from right-wing websites. I'm sure those sites would love to plaster stories on Techdirt, but it's not allowed.

      Yes, how terrible TD posts what they are interested in and tries to stick with relevant ads, rather than just letting anyone post stories and ads. I'm sure it has nothing to do with only having so much time and energy to work with, not wanting to drown out the stories they find interesting with a pile of other unrelated stuff, and not wanting to annoy people with random crap/ads that have nothing to do with the site or the interests of those that run it.

      Out of curiosity, do you hold the same standards for 'those sites', expecting them to run stories and ads by anyone who comes knocking, regardless of topic and/or ideological differences, and finding them at fault if they don't?

      So, complaining about Youtube limiting harmful videos is hypocracy.

      You made an almost valiant effort, but no, it really isn't.

      TV networks are gatekeepers in the sense that they choose which content to show, but the fact that they aren't committing corporate suicide in the way you described has no bearing on that.

      TD hosts articles written by those running it according to what they find interesting and/or relevant to their interests, and anyone is freely able to submit stories for their consideration, 'right-wing' or not. If you want to say that they are a 'gatekeeper' for not posting any and all stories that anyone submits knock yourself out, but that strikes me as watering the term down practically to the 'lethal by homeopathic standards' level.

      TV networks and TD are not open platforms available for the public(besides the comment section of the later of course), Youtube was.

      YT making a decision that stands to damage a lot of it's users(and, if the example noted in the article is the driving force not even accomplishing what they claim to want) by picking and choosing which of it's users deserve to be able to monetize their submissions based upon a lousy metric is notably different, and as such there's nothing hypocricial in TD calling them out on it.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2018 @ 6:49am

      Re: Hypocracy.

      "Techdirt also keeps a gate by not having ads or accepting stories from right-wing websites."

      By and large, TD is in the top 10% of Journalism IMHO. And they deserve to be complimented on that from time to time. Not because I agree with them (which I often don't) but because they have a higher standard for verifiable substantiated content.

      Note that TD's ads are analytics driven. If you aren't getting fascist advertising, it is because there isn't fascist content. If you want to contribute around here, meet the standard. If you can't or won't, That says all that needs to be said.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 20 Jan 2018 @ 7:54am

        Re: Re: Hypocracy.

        Techdirt also keeps a gate by not having ads or accepting stories from right-wing websites.

        On this issues that Techdirt has specialised in it has a unique, thoughtful, line and stays rigidly fact based.

        In these areas it is neither right nor left wing, and in fact often criticises both conventional lines.

        In some other (more conventional, political) areas it does tend to parrot the same narrative as MSM outlets. This is a pity, I would like to see Techdirt take its best approach to everything. However there are others who do that so it doesn't matter that much.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jan 2018 @ 7:49am

      Re: Hypocracy.

      Techdirt also keeps a gate by not having ads or accepting stories from right-wing websites.

      If you’re so angry about Techdirt’s “locking-out” of right-wing websites like Breitbart, go read those websites instead.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2018 @ 9:11am

        Re: Re: Hypocracy.

        His problem is not that he cannot read right wing propaganda elsewhere but rather it is not being fed to the Techdirt audience. He expects other to force feed their audience his world view.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      The Wanderer (profile), 21 Jan 2018 @ 2:49pm

      Re: Hypocracy.

      "Hypocracy" would be a form of government - at a guess from the meanings of the elements of the word, probably something like "rule by the underclasses", which takes quite a bit of stretching in order to make something other than a contradiction in terms.

      The word you want is "hypocrisy".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2018 @ 7:48pm

      Re: Hypocracy.

      You have no idea what hypocrisy means (also, you can't spell it).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2018 @ 9:21am

      Re: Hypocracy.

      Techdirt also keeps a gate by not having ads or accepting stories from right-wing websites. I'm sure those sites would love to plaster stories on Techdirt, but it's not allowed.

      Go over to the Free Speech section and you'll see the logo of the Charles Koch Foundation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2018 @ 9:07am

    So what you're saying is that YouTube is doing what it's doing to appease advertisers, which are their life blood, and the underlying issues are more complex than they would seem at first glance? But the biggest and most obnoxious vloggers on the site like Philip DeFranco, h3h3 and more told me that YouTube is just a big evil corporation! When Philly D makes a clickbait video every other month about how YouTube is dying, he's *totally* correct and not just drumming up controversy for the sake of views and ad revenue, almost on the same level of Logan Paul, right...?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2018 @ 9:25am

      Re:

      Advertisers need to put on a pair of grown up pants and
      live in the real world .
      Philly D is more real world than MSN ,CNN , TMZ ,FOX combined .
      Youtube needs him more than He needs YT .
      He gets bigger numbers than mainstream media and they are scared.
      As soon as the next YT comes along if YT doesn't get their act together they will be right alongside MySpace .
      Its the Content creators not the Ad men who make YT YT

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, 20 Jan 2018 @ 10:07am

    Why is it anytime a corporation uses the word "protect," they're using it to excuse their own evil?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    K`Tetch (profile), 20 Jan 2018 @ 4:06pm

    It's certianly a problem for me.
    I have 2000 hours of watched time this last year, and about 120 subscribers. I deal with a lot of niche stuff - either videos based on the local high school activities (which I don't monetize) and other stuff, often long-form, including panel discussions, which only a few dozen people are likely to watch.
    By far my most popular video is one from August 2010 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRMsoeofGcI) about how P2P evidence for lawsuits are obtained for Prenda-like suits.

    Over the last 7 years I've monitized maybe 20% of my videos, and it's brought in about $130 - not a huge amount but enough to sometimes pay for some nice things, and that's now gone. Which sucks.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2018 @ 10:17pm

    "YouTube, obviously, is free to make that choice. It needs to appease increasingly angry advertisers who don't want their ads showing up in "controversial" places. So that's understandable. But, it's also... a bit sad. The power and excitement many of us felt for what the internet enabled was the fact that it allowed people to make use of these platforms to create, distribute, promote, communicate and monetize without any real gatekeepers. And that's changing."

    As "if" somehow google/youtube is in the "right". I was wondering how long it would take Mike to find a new angle for sucking google/youtubes cock before he would go ahead perform the new maneuverer in public in broad daylight. Suck suck suck Mike. Suck suck suck.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 21 Jan 2018 @ 1:33pm

      Re:

      If this was fellatio, well.. you must have had some really bad blow jobs.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2018 @ 7:49pm

      Re:

      yawn

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 21 Jan 2018 @ 11:14pm

      Re:

      As "if" somehow google/youtube is in the "right".

      I don't know how you could read this post as being supportive of YouTube's position. It is not.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        The Wanderer (profile), 22 Jan 2018 @ 4:59am

        Re: Re:

        I think the line of "reasoning" is something like "YouTube is free to make the choice -> YouTube is within their rights to make the choice -> YouTube is not wrong in making the choice -> YouTube is in the right".

        Each step seems small enough and close enough to be within the margin of error, but when you look at the whole chain, the endpoints are clearly far enough apart that the conclusion should be rejected.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2018 @ 12:37am

    I think it important to note who is doing the pressuring and I'm sad Mike didn't do that.

    It's not an ephemeral force of evil. It's flesh and blood humans with names. Who are they?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 21 Jan 2018 @ 1:34pm

      Re:

      It's flesh and blood humans with names. Who are they?

      It's unlikely Techdirt has access to the conversations between Google executives and their advertisers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2018 @ 6:51am

    When this news came out, YouTube exploded with the atypical rage often seen when change is implemented.

    Rather than listen to most of the people ranting to rant, I decided to watch videos of those very small content creators who openly discussed the issue.

    I'm not surprised many of them found the new rules better. One young lady even stated, "YouTube has given us a free platform to use for years. They're a business, and YT must adhere to the policies of advertisers, *their* clients."

    She goes on to say, "Getting 4000 views isn't as hard as people make it out. I'm small, having only 13 videos, and I made the 4000 easy. What will be hard, for the new people coming to YouTube, will be the subscribers. Getting 1000 when starting out is hard, when you're new, but this has never been easy."

    This sentiment has been spoken by many more small content creators than the loudmouths who see the news as "evil" by YouTube.

    And they're right. Getting subscribers has *always* been hard for new people, because they're competing for eyeballs on a platform offering billions of videos.

    Her final statement, which has been stated by many YTers I've followed over the years, is perfectly apt: "If you make quality content, the viewers will come in time. If you're doing this as a hobby, then you don't care about monetization. If you're looking to do this as a career, expect to play the patience game, giving you opportunities to find other avenues of revenue besides YT's AdSense or YPP."

    Again, correct. Every single YTer started out with 0 subscribers. Most have stated the patience was worth it. Others have taken a different approach (less quantity and more quantity) by using other platforms in conjunction.

    The only limit to a person's capability of earning from content creation as a full time job is devotion to do doing so.

    Turning to the article, I disagree YouTube is turning into gatekeepers. They've been gatekeepers since day 1. Pretending otherwise is foolish, because those ToS instantly makes them gatekeepers.

    "No offensive videos" or "copyrighted materials" (generalized, the full text can be read on YouTube) has been in place since Google bought YT.

    None of these rules prohibits people from *MAKING* content.

    They just made it slightly harder to earn money from it.

    The only true gatekeepers on YouTube are the idiots who make channels like Paul's successful, which tells you more about the bar of content people are watching.

    On a side note: one channel I used to watch, Linus Tech Tips, has an in-depth video of why they changed their format to presenting on YouTube.

    Go watch it.

    They're not wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 22 Jan 2018 @ 9:21am

    Remove all dangerous and stupid videos

    I think YouTube should absolutely be a gate-keeper, and to play the devil's advocate, they should also remove any videos that are dangerous, stupid, or both.

    Here's an example: the latest "stupid things teenagers do" is that teens are filming themselves eating Tide Pods (yes, laundry detergent) and then uploading the videos to YouTube so they can get their 10 seconds of fame.
    If YouTube had rules against stupid and dangerous videos, then teens wouldn't be able to upload these kinds of videos, and chances are good that most of them wouldn't eat Tide Pods to begin with. After all, many teens wouldn't do something stupid *unless* their friends were filming it.

    This kind of rule would also de-monetize all the immature and stupid crap that passes for entertainment, including all the foreign animation that pops up in the "you might also like".
    Yes, there's the argument that what one person thinks is crap could make someone laugh for days, but this could probably be overcome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2018 @ 10:03am

      Re: Remove all dangerous and stupid videos

      I think YouTube should absolutely be a gate-keeper,

      In which case they will only be able to publish what is currently a few minutes of video uploads in a year. That has always been the problem with gate keepers, they only accept for publication a very small fraction of the works submitted, which means that almost all of the creative output of the world never reaches the public.

      The benefit of the like of YouTube is that anybody can publish their creations. Also, teenagers doing stupid things is nothing new, its is just a lot more people find out about their stupidity because it make it to the Internet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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