It’s not easy being a content creator of any kind. You spend time formulating what you’re going to produce, producing it, and then putting it out in a serviceable package for people to consume. No one can make their audience like their content, which creates a constant struggle to stay relevant and appeal to your audience. This is the free market of content, and it becomes harder to succeed when companies like Youtube have secret policies and tactics they use to silence voices.
Number one conservative Youtuber Steven Crowder recently exposed Youtube’s latest technique for when the platform cannot arbitrarily remove a user. Instead of a suspension or strike the user has their reach in search limited. Their videos — even when the title is directly searched — appear low in the vastly dense search results. Crowder calls this in his video “Blacklisting”, but the proper term is being put in a “limited state.”
Attempting to hide the effect of this latest campaign against right leaning youtubers, Youtube has removed the Live Subscribe Tracker. A tool allowing users to track who subscribes, how long they were subscribed and when they subscribed. Invaluable if you think you’re latest video screwed the pooch and people are dropping your channel will no longer be available to anyone despite Youtube’s claim of transparency.
When a large channel like Crowder gets the corporate runaround where one thing is promised by the legal department only for a the company to enact a completely different policy the moment they’ve returned to their own offices/studio, what chance do you think small time creators have?
If the offense is overt, a larger youtuber may signal boost and Youtube may (and that is a strong may) do something to remedy the situation. For subtle issues like being put into a Limited States, or subscribes not being notified, or your videos not showing the search results, small channels have no recourse.
In fact, KotakuInAction 2 picked up news from YouTuber Nerd City who did a breakdown on the list of blacklisted words that YouTube utilizes in order to hide channels, diminish search results, or flag content for demonetization.
You can view the entire blacklist via the Google Docs link, which covers all 15,000 search terms.
All this will lead inevitably towards the platforms death.
Popularity is an ever shifting and often bizarre mechanism. What is popular today rarely stays popular for lengthy periods of time, let alone remain popular cross generational demographics. With the pendulum swinging backwards and the legacy media dying, Youtube has put themselves in a precarious position that will be a matter of time before the repercussions hit hard.
As companies gradually step away from “wokeness”, what need will they have for a platform that has eliminated most of its moderate and conservative voices?