Tuning out YouTube? (Non-fiction)


There’s a YouTube Walkout going on from 12/10 to 12/13 to protest YouTube’s changing their terms of service.  Great American Satan explains:

They’ve dropped some fucking egregious new terms of service, promising to delete any channel they deem commercially unviable. Since the videos disproportionately affected by this are producers of LGBT and progressive content, you know what this is really about.

Marcus Ranum writes more YouTube’s problematic aspects:

The ad-stream feeds into the unpleasant reality that it sells time to be a political platform. I.e.: whoever has money for ads now has a platform. So much for the early internet idea of making data equal. Thank corporate capitalists for that. Meanwhile, they can figure out how to deliver the ads, bill them correctly to their originator, but can’t be arsed to ban the ones that are obvious bullshit. That gives politicians wiggle-room to wring their hands and whinge about how their important message needs to be protected but the other guy’s needs to be silenced.

New FtB blogger Abbey adds some good points too:

Businesses are generally conservative, big business more so, ergo “sensitive topics” is… queer rights, sex workers’ rights, BLM, climate change, etc. Anything challenging the patriarchal status quo. Meanwhile, stuff that doesn’t make them uncomfortable – which includes transphobic and homophobic “jokes”, “race realism”, anti-semitglobalism, and so on –falls obviously under “free speech”.

I’ve active on the Internet since the early 1990s.  (Anyone remember ISCABBS?)  I remember concerns about the threat of the then rising commercialization of the Internet to the free exchange of information.  What is going on at YouTube is an example of what many back then feared could happen.  For the most part, I don’t expect YouTube to ban videos that they feel don’t earn them enough money.  Instead, I expect that they’ll continue to remove videos and ban users that bring negative attention to YouTube.  Consider the size and reach of YouTube, and its parent company Alphabet, that can be a problem.  Especially for marginalized voices in our society. I wish I had the answer, but I do acknowledge the problem.