Youtube Heroes and change of service terms, my response.

So I've not been using my blogger a lot, at all since December 2015 to be exact, and that's simply laziness on my part, and I intend to fix that. I've updated it with a whole load of my review videos, the blogs themselves are live but still need some more editing, which is far from perfect and certainly acceptably as they stand but I do intend to do something about them as soon as I can.
But for today I wish to discuss Youtube Heroes and change of service terms.

Not necessarily in that order.

I've made a video on today's topic, some might call it a podcast even. If that's the right term, then it's my first :)



So today I want to talk about a fairly major issue which I'm sure anyone involved in youtube in any way shape or form has been following for a while now. During this last month we have seen a change of service and and the Youtube Hero video presentation, both of which have divided opinions greatly amoungst youtubers. Both the stars and some of the smaller channels have made videos about this, and casual users alike have expressed their opinions in the comments, and on twitter and all the other usual suspects. Some in complete favour, some outright against the changes, others accepting and dismissing different parts of the changes, Which is their right, not everyone is going to be completely in agreement or disagreement on anything.



There are good things in the new terms, but some of the terms are so vaguely phrased it could mean ANYTHING. And it just seems to be based on what they know, or at least think they know their advertising partners do and don't want their ads attached to. Break any of the new terms and your video WON'T be monetised.
Your not allowed to discuss drugs, presumably they mean recreational not medical, but some clarification would be good on this.
Discussing Wars is not permitted, but it doesn't state if it means current Wars, historical Wars, or even fictional Wars. Sexual humour is a no no, which means I assume you won't be able to make videos that feature double entendres. Good look making a retrospective review on any number of classic British comedy TV shows and movies then.
Violence, you got to wonder if this will affect MMA reports or Martial Arts instruction videos going up as well or even gun review or weapons based channels.
Videos featuring swearing, bad language and/or harassment will prevent monetization. And in this day and age the definition of harassment some people subscribe to seems to mean "they disagree with me and I don't like they don't agree with me". Which is frankly kind of sad when you think about it. But that takes me onto some of the other terms. 

Political conflict. 
Natural disasters.
Sensitive subjects.
I've not listed them all, but the list is short and sweet and very poorly defined. And it seems to suggest that youtube doesn't want people to discuss anything that might fall into the category of
"they disagree with me and I don't like they don't agree with me." But that's a topic for another time.

And then we get to the Youtube Hero video.....


Now youtube is owned by Google and Google has a motto.


"Don't be evil"

Now I'm not saying that they are trying to be evil, or that they are evil, I just think they are misguided, but other people certainly seem to think they are shooting themselves in the foot with this one.
The video is meant to be cheery and friendly, but in so doing, giving what's it's trying to do, it kind of feels like it's trying to hide something that is sinister. As many people have pointed out the whole system of gaining abilities feels like a video games levelling up system. And some of the features covered here don't seem to be available to any moderators the channel owners may have setup already.

Angry Joe has covered this already:





But doing so has apparently caused this video to be demonetised.


And Boggie2988 has covered some of the good points as well as the bad:



While Emma Blackery has parodied the video and it's repercussions rather accurately too:


( None of these videos have been linked to with any permission of the owners BTW. But I'm sure they will appreciate the view ;)  )
So you can probably see how the youtube heroes project has people worried about the future of youtubers, the content creators themselves, and youtube itself. Because a recurring theme I'm seeing is smaller youtubers stating they will go to other video sharing platforms. And there are some out there. And also calling on bigger youtubers to do the same.
And if bigger youtubers DID start setting up shop on other platforms and closed down their youtube accounts because they can't make money from them anymore, their fans would go with them, simply because they are their fans and want to follow them, they want the entertainment they subscribed for.

Ever wonder why big name movie stars that have worked with a certain studio for years jump to another studio? Why the same is true for TV stars that have been with a major network for years do exactly the same and go to a rival network?

It's because they've had much better deal given to them. And right now, with Youtubes Heroes project, the only people that are going to get a good deal, are trolls.

Yes, ONLY the trolls will benefit from this as they are the only ones going to get what they want. Because if they get to be a "Hero" they can team up with other trolls who don't like a certain youtuber and do Everything They Can, to get that channel taken down. Either by youtube itself or by the creator saying, "Ok, enough is enough, I can't work with all these false claims, false take downs, fake strikes, I'm out."

Youtube's loss is the drawing power of that star, they lose ad revenue, another platform might get a new star draw adding to their appeal, or they might not if the creator decides to call it all off alltogether. But the trolls give each other virtual high fives and go on to target their next victim.

Lather.
Rinse.

Repeat.

So, do I think there's any kind of solution? Well the youtube heroes project could be implemented but with safeguards and proper oversight. It's unlikley they'll scrap it as they've undoubtedly spent a load of money on it already.

Imagine you have someone who loves say medieval history but hates sports. And they decided to go and check videos on a sport (why you might ask? Good question I say.) and they don't like what they see in the comments or even the video itself. The comment might actually be totally innocent in itself as far that video might be concerned, but might use language or make reference to something the "Hero" doesn't like, so they remove the comment. Or they even flag the video to be taken down because of something they didn't like on it but which is still allowed under the terms of service. 
And the same could be true for a sports fan going into a history channel or someone of a certain political stance checking out a video made by someone with the opposite views and so on and so.
Well as I see youtube could just go as far as allowing a channel owner to select their own Heroes who would only have access to that channels videos, that way the Hero can't abuse that power at all outside of the channel they are assigned to.

Simple.

Easy. And we've got to assume youtube has been smart enough to know people will try to abuse this system and reject potential "Heroes" or even revoke their status if they turn out to be a blatant troll. After all plenty of people who join up will be doing with the honest best of intentions.
But in general though, outside of the Heroes issue, Youtube could limit access to certain videos that are flagged in a certain way so more adult or mature material can only be accessed if you have a youtube account that has your age confirmed. That way people who are just casually surfing youtube and have no profile at all, or aren't the right age, can't be exposed to anything like that. And those that do want access to that material can still get access to it. And those that don't want to see it can just avoid it. I don't like drama channels, don't get the appeal of them one bit. But I'm not about to go calling for them to be taken down. I just avoid them.
And there is a reason we have age restrictions setting on our video settings. Right? Now the videos that are flagged in this way could even have some warnings on the thumbnail and maybe even the title to make sure everyone's aware of the type of content it contains. You know, like the PG and R ratings the MPAA has or the age certificates for movies we have in the UK.
That way the video can still be monetised, so youtube get's paid, the creator get's paid, the advertiser has their ad seen and everyone is happy.
Except the one person who doesn't like that kind of content and has either not seen the warnings or just chose to ignore them.

Comments

Popular Posts