Another year – another YouTube scandal that leads to advertisers pulling ads… and by extension, creators getting punished. This time it’s about child endangerment, which is already against YouTube’s policies and they just have to enforce things better. I for one enjoy when spammy trends get shut down on this platform. I’ll enjoy these stupid “YouTube Challenge” videos no longer dominating the platform as much as I enjoyed the Reply Girls getting shut down earlier in the decade.
But every time something like this happens and advertisers back out, even if you agree with the actions taken, creators end up hurt. Sick of YouTubers seeking alternate forms of monetization such as in-video ads, merchandise, or Patreon plugs? They’re in this position because YouTube’s ad revenue sharing system has gotten worse over the years, and these scandals haven’t helped either. Perhaps if there were a way for YouTube to take action when these things are brought up without losing major advertisers and giving the struggling traditional news media a big story to play clickbait FUD games with, things would be better for the little guy on this platform.
But until that happens, we have to dissect exactly how much a struggling sect of businesses is projecting their own incompetence onto YouTube, a new media entity whose entire history is one of struggle, particularly when it comes to money.
So YouTube isn’t doing a good enough job policing itself from bad actors, eh traditional media? Pot, meet kettle. It’s a coin toss if I try to read the news online these days if your site designers haven’t hid the comments section. If it’s visible, I can count on some hateful axe-grinder posting off topic political stuff or some spammer telling me they can make all kinds of money working from home.
I’ve seen this with newspapers, radio stations, local TV stations, and cable news stations. If it’s traditional media, if there is a comments section – it gets abused. Period. You know, the very thing these people are breaking huge stories about YouTube over?
Where’s the policing of your comment sections, traditional media? Bonus points for when all of this “hiding the comments section” stuff goes away if I try to follow traditional media on Facebook.
If you want to talk about a lack of moderation of comment sections, try following traditional media on Facebook. In that environment, the uniform design means there are always comments sections visible in plain sight of every post or post summary in your feed. Let me guess, this is where some bureaucrat in one of these companies will say “we can’t control that because it’s on Facebook’s end” instead of hiring social media moderators to enforce things via the existing Facebook interface. That’s what’ll never come up in these news stories about how “terrible” YouTube is, by the way. What would it take for YouTube to ramp up enforcement to satisfy these thrill-seeking journalists? Better yet, are the accusing organizations a better role model than YouTube?
The majority of my experience with traditional media has shown quite clearly that this is NOT the case. While I often find out about these advertiser-repulsing scandalous things on YouTube for the first time when these stories are published by traditional media, I’m rather familiar with not being able to follow ANYTHING on Facebook without having to tune out hateful axe-grinders or spammers. In Connecticut, if a news story in my Facebook feeds is even slightly political, it’ll be a venom-spewing-fest in the comments. This extends, by the way, to non-political stories that in any way mention what it’s like to live in Connecticut. It usually goes something like this…
“If you want to have a beautiful flower garden every Spring, here’s what it’s like living in Connecticut and trying to do this.”
“Living in Connecticut SUCKS!!!! LIBERALS KEEP TAXING US TO DEATH!!!! CONNECTICUT SUCKS!!!! I’M SO GLAD I HAVEN’T LIVED IN CONNECTICUT FOR 15 YEARS!!!”
A humorous example, but a relevant one. If traditional media wants to scream and wail about how YouTube isn’t doing enough to police itself, they’d do well to look in their own backyards at the sewer swill their social media presence often resembles.
In the meantime, expect Creators to continue being hurt by this bitter slapfight. Advertisers leave, revenue drops, creators either have to leave, scale back their content, or incorporate more revenue-generating things that people trying to watch their videos usually hate.
…but don’t expect the blame to ever worm its way back to the traditional media folks who pick these fights…