By John Vibes
YouTube alienated a large portion of its audience this week by demonetizing all of their smaller content creators. In an email sent out to millions of independent artists, musicians, and journalists, YouTube informed them that they were no longer eligible for advertising revenue on the site because their channels were simply not big enough.
The site now requires a minimum of 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of viewed content, automatically disqualifying a large chunk of their creators from monetization.
Below is an email that the company sent out to up-and-coming YouTubers:
These higher standards will also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing which can hurt revenue for everyone. Though these changes will affect a significant number of channels, 99% of those affected were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90% earning less than $2.50 in the last month. Any of the channels who no longer meet this threshold will be paid what they’ve already earned based on our AdSense policies. After thoughtful consideration, we believe these are necessary compromises to protect our community.
The company also said that the change in policy was intended to “prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube.”
However, having a small channel does not make someone a “bad actor;” in fact, some of the worst and most inappropriate content has come from the whales of YouTube, not the little fish. It is also important to mention that with this new policy, if a smaller channel has a video go viral overnight, and suddenly reaches the threshold, they may not be able to monetize this potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This certainly ends up helping YouTube and hurting independent media.
But this should be expected.
As The Free Thought Project reported last year, a group of whistleblowers from YouTube claimed that the company has allowed at least 100,000 predatory accounts to leave inappropriate comments on videos with no repercussions as “YouTube’s system for reporting sexualized comments left on children’s videos has not been functioning correctly for more than a year.”
The moderators, who are referred to as YouTube’s “Trusted Flaggers,” are charged with flagging inappropriate content and reporting the users who are violating the platform’s policies. However, they claim that in many cases, the accounts they report face no consequences. These accounts have millions of subscribers and these videos have hundreds of millions of views, and many of them would be unaffected by this change.
Many smaller YouTubers are placing the blame on the likes of Logan Paul or PewDiePie who have made headlines with insensitive and racist material. Although, whales like PewDiePie have no problems with the new rules, as it wipes out some of their competition.
Can I just say that today @YouTube decided to remove monetization options for small creators and then expressed that they’d be willing to work with Logan Paul again. I don’t know if it gets more blatant than that. 🙂
— Kat Blaque (@kat_blaque) January 17, 2018
“Dear YouTube creator, because Logan Paul pissed off our advertisers, we’re demonetizing your channel until you reach new standards that, according to our metrics, you’ve already reached.
Have fun with that!”
— Dr. NerdLove (@DrNerdLove) January 17, 2018
— Paige McKenzie (@hauntedsunshine) January 17, 2018
As annoying as it is, that THIS is YouTube’s response to the Logan Paul thing. Or at least it seems like it. I’m with you, it shouldn’t be an issue to not to monetize before you hit these numbers.
— pewdiepie ? (@pewdiepie) January 17, 2018
Youtube is now punishing new/smaller creators in response to the logan paul incident. I had a feeling this would happen and others would feel the backlash of his mistake, it’s a shame. pic.twitter.com/xh0YidXxPG
— RyansAverageLife (@RyanAbe) January 17, 2018
This is a devastating situation for may content creators, but luckily there is a solution on the Blockchain. Many of the YouTubers who have become disenfranchised with the site are moving their content to DTube, which is a decentralized video hosting platform where users are paid in cryptocurrency for “likes” and comments.
As the big dogs shoot themselves in the foot, a revolution in social media is happening on platforms like DTube and Steemit. The dinosaur social media platforms are losing their relevance as we expose their censorship and subservience to special interests like the advertisers who have access to all your personal data. If you truly want to be a part of the next step, we invite you to join Steemit today. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. John is currently battling cancer, and will be working to help others through his experience, if you wish to contribute to his treatments consider subscribing to his podcast to support. This article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.