Ahh YouTube comments – the perennial cesspool of people who think they’re oh so important that merely having an internet connection automatically makes them into a Siskel, Ebert, or Roper. 2016 has been a banner year for such lunacy as I’ve received some of the most insidious harassment in the comments sections ever.
I’m not talking about trolls blowing up in my face either. Only the rookies do that nowadays. These days if your goal is to make people mad on the Internet there are far more subtle ways of making people as mad as possible for as long as possible before they catch on and do something about it… at least until some blubberspined la-la chides them for blocking, etc., trolls in the first place. I did a video on this earlier, but let’s save some time here, plus list the alibis that the newer types of trolls can use to point fingers away from their own malice:
- Traditional Trolls – They blow up in your face – you ban them. NEXT.
- Covert Trolls – Are civil most of the time but blow up in your face cyclically hoping that you won’t notice that every X comments they get toxic with you. Their alibi is “everyone has bad days from time to time.” This doesn’t excuse the outbursts though. Their pattern is right out of the Cycle Of Violence for domestic abuse.
- Passive-Aggressive Trolls – Rather than blowing up in your face overtly, they’ll be like sandpaper trying to walk that fine line between appearing to merely disagree with you and flat out insulting you. Their alibi is that they’re merely trying to discuss things with you, but sometimes prodding them reveals they only know enough about their source material to pick a fight with you and they don’t believe in jack squat. 😛
This year has seen a mix of all three of these, usually stemming from and revolving around my tech videos – those things I should allegedly always make and NEVER EVER EVER make anything else – EVER. Among some of the more extreme examples were comments like “*Goes To Subscribe* ‘This Is Not A Computer Channel Per Se’ *Scoots Away From The Subscribe Button*” as though it were nuclear Armageddon if they didn’t click a button. Ooooooooooooooooooooooh. So scary. 😛
This nonsense continued until I made a video while on vacation in September saying explicitly that my channel is not a computer channel. It’s a multimedia-focused personal recreational variety channel – just as it has been for the last 10 years. BOOM. Crap Views. No matter what.
Previously tech videos would approach the half grand mark without lifting a finger, though sometimes with toxic comments along the way. Now – it’s an event if these videos everyone allegedly wants break 200 views. All of this with 3,400 subscribers by the way. I remember when I could get 80 views with 75 subscribers in 24 hours. Hence my disgust with YouTube’s systems.
Am I really supposed to believe that a single vlog (read: SIDE SERIES) offended away a massive chunk of my audience? Are people really that prissy and overly hypersensitive? I think not.
As depressing as this has been, there’s a completely logical explanation for this, and it’s the same as the explanations given for why restaurants shouldn’t cave to fearmongerers like the “Food Babe Army” and change ingredients in their food due to activist outcry. The rationale was that the people that restaurants caved to weren’t customers anyway. I think that applies to what has happened since that vlog in September as well.
When people thought they could get me mad, they posted toxic comments and stuck around just to see how many ways they could get a rise out of me. Supposedly, they wanted tech videos. However when I shut them down by stating that my variety channel will include a lot of tech even though it’s not officially a computer channel, that eliminated their options so they had no reason to stick around.
Thus, they left, and in doing so proved that they were never interested in tech videos as much as pestering me as much as they possibly could. Technically, I win.
Now imagine if you ran a YouTube channel and you thought this vocal minority who leaves when you slam the door on their harassment was your guide to what content to create. Imagine the rollercoaster where you think you’re making what people want and things keep drying up over and over again because you’re caving to people who aren’t really your fans instead of having fun making what you want to make in the first place?
I don’t need YouTube comments to know who my real fans are. My real fans watch what I upload, don’t get prissy about the channel being a variety channel, and contribute watch time and views, even if they do so silently because like me most of the time they really don’t want spend the time typing out a comment when they can just click Like or move on to the next video they want to watch, especially if the next thing they want to watch is something I uploaded. 🙂
YouTube issues aside with channels getting buried, unless you’re a commercial entity with a channel page, your content will sink or swim like anything else, but in the event you get sunk for whatever reason, at the very least you should have had fun while doing so. Blubberspines who think they have to cave to commenters all the time can’t say the same as they blindly trust that everyone in the comments sections really mean what they’re saying as opposed to just pulling comments out of their ass. 😛