YouTube Algorithm Shift Stings Independent Media

According to YouTube, it’s those darn’ algos which are destroying independent content creators on the world’s biggest video-platform, not people. However, people made the algos, right?

If you don’t understand what is this about, last month it was announced by the Google owned YouTube that vague yet abrupt changes were made to its algorithms (the software behind placing ads on your YouTube videos).

However, there were many independent content creators, ranging from the celebrity PewDiePie to talk show hosts and military analysts/IT reviewers who complained that they went out of business. The thing is, a lot of content creators saw a big drop in revenue numbers after the recent ad changes, including YouTube’s most popular channels.

The new YouTube policy has an enormous influence over the content that is made on their platform, as they basically control via demonetizing what type of content spreads further on Google (via top searches) and Facebook.

The new policy allows for YouTube’s crawlers/AI robots or whatever you want to call these opaque algos to automatically/mechanically pull the ads from YT videos which are deemed to be potentially offensive to advertisers. And the thing is, most of the time these algorithms do not work, as they suppress jokes and political satire/commentary alike, putting the free/wild internet in danger of becoming as boring as your regular TV show.

The new implementation of political correctness via demonetizing comes after YouTube/Google’s promise to “taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content.”

However, not only “racists” and terrorists are punished, but also experts and political commentators who are making a living from video-blogs on YouTube during what’s currently called the adpocalypse in the industry.

All the content you put now on YouTube is at the whim of an opaque and stupid algorithm which cannot discern a joke from hate speech and sarcasm from racism or whatever.These limitations translate in real life into YouTube demonetizing/pulling ads from content flagged not-advertiser friendly.

The new rules are less clear and stricter than ever before. To quote an adpocalypse victim, Ethan Klein respectively, the founder of h3h3:

“It’s getting so bad that you can’t even speak your mind or be honest without fear of losing money and being not ‘brand-friendly. YouTube is on the fast track to becoming Disney vloggers: beautiful young people that wouldn’t say anything controversial and are always happy.”

The thing is, what happened with mainstream media over decades, i.e. it became consolidated and controlled by a handful of billionaires/corporations, now happens to what it used to be the free online community, which was supposed to offer a platform/an opportunity for a hugely diverse group of upstarts, in order to challenge/change the corporate “patriarchy”.

But now Google started to gobble up and control everything, including YouTube and together with Facebook, they’re so dominant that they’re basically a duopoly when it comes to digital advertising. There’s no alternative if you want to make money on the internet, it’s their way or the highway, i.e. you’ll have to steer clear of “potentially objectionable” content, but that means you’ll have to please robots, not real people, as the robots (algorithms) are the ones getting offended .