The demise of YouTube is a sad and backward story about a platform turning its back on the independent content creators who helped build it up in favor of promoting legacy and corporate media outlets. They do this primarily by:
- Manipulating search algorithms to artificially boost content from channels they label as “authoritative” while burying other content that would have been found organically.
- Controlling where money flows by revoking monetization from smaller, independent content creators for absurd reasons.
Next Level Shadow Banning
YouTube gets caught shadow banning channels and videos all the time now. However, they really took this shady practice to another level. On September 30, 2019, Steven Crowder published evidence that YouTube was shadow banning his channel only in the United States. He and many others warned that if they could do this to him, the largest conservative channel on the platform, they will do it to anyone. Sure enough, less than a month later, in what is perhaps the clearest example of election interference, YouTube was caught doing the exact same thing to Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic presidential candidate and current US congresswoman.
There are many instances of creators being demonetized on YouTube en masse, but there are two examples that stand out quite a bit.
In the beginning of 2017, an advertiser boycott triggered what came to be known as the Adpocalypse when YouTube caved to the boycott by demonetizing a massive amount of channels of all kinds. Additionally, YouTube raised the eligibility requirements for the Parter Program so that YouTube could, in their own words, “ensure revenue only flows to creators who are playing by the rules.”
In June of 2019, after a Vox employee claimed YouTube profits off of “hate speech”, YouTube caved and tried to appease him by demonetizing dozens of channels that they claimed contained “hate speech.” This came to be known as the Vox Adpocalypse.