Over the last 15 years, YouTube has radically changed from its inception. Given that the nature of technology (and society at this point) is unquestioned progression, rarely do we dwell on what once was in the digital realm. With the links provided below, we can observe the gradual shift away from user generated content, and the drift towards traditional media powerhouses. From here, we see how the independent user has been silenced and how a hobby done for fun has turned into a cut throat business.
September 28, 2006
features seemingly random videos from independent users, and features independent "active channels." While traditional media reported somewhat on the buzz the site was generating publicly, the MSM had not bothered to really establish a presence on their themselves.
November 13, 2007
is one year after Google acquired YouTube. Promoted content that was curated for the homepage is clearly defined.
November 14, 2009
HD videos are introduced, "spotlight" content is given top priority, but there still are miscellaneous recommended videos, and a "popular section." The five star video rating system video is phased out for a “like vs dislike” system the same year.
December 25, 2009
YouTuber MeiAids hacks YouTube's front page and alters numerous video thumbnails. No Internet Archive entry for this event exists in the Wayback Machine.
March 24, 2011
YouTube debuts a video on its copyright policies in a collaboration with the Happy Tree Friends
. Essentially it is a crackdown on remixes and seeks to belittle fair use policies, not that those ever mattered in their eyes, they could care less if independent remixers are crushed by false claims from money making media giants such as Viacom.
March 16, 2012
still has a selection of miscellaneous user content on the homepage. Featured content is to the side and clearly defined.
May 15, 2013
is when the platform began its transformation into the antithesis of its founding values. Verified accounts, TV shows, and ads are the predominant homepage content now. From here, the individual user begins to be suppressed. Moderately customizable profile pages are done away with,
as the ability to select custom backgrounds, layouts, and color schemes is replaced with a standard layout
that limits users to a banner image and profile picture.
In November of the same year, Google+ is forced onto its users, without signing up for the failed social media platform, your account privileges are severely limited. Additionally, Google+’s integration overhauls the way comments are prioritized. Users raised concerns about the Google+ policy that forced users to reveal their real names.
June 14, 2017
Videos are selected brands and content from monetized partners of the site that have a well-known presence outside of the Internet. Independent content is nowhere to be found. Professional news, movie trailers, and sports highlights. Uses the layout and curated content stream we still see in use as of 2019.
December 31, 2017
Influencer Logan Paul uploads a video of himself exploiting the corpse of a victim of suicide in Japan's Aokigahara forest. Despite this incident generating international outrage, Paul recieved a slap on the wrist. His Google Preferred advertising was revoked, and he recieved a channel strike (a penalty that only lasts three months before resetting) yet he is still a staple of the site and uses it as a promotion to accumulate wealth through alternative means. In fact, every year since the incident he has steadily increased in popularity and wealth.
As to why he was not removed entirely from YouTube, CEO Susan Wojcicki stated it was because he lacked "three strikes." She went on to say "we can’t just be pulling people off our platform... They need to violate a policy. We need to have consistent [rules]. This is like a code of law.”
Many users have been striked or banned from the website for far less rational reasons. It is in this moment YouTube loses all semblance of a soul. The basics of morality are tossed aside to accommodate inexcusable actions. Susan Wojcicki claims to be listening to the users, but her refusal to listen to over 700,000 users who made the effort to sign a petition to have him banned
and the larger general public's disgust demonstrates she both lies and lacks a heart.
April 3, 2018
“Around 12:46 p.m. PDT, a shooting occurred at the headquarters of the video-sharing website YouTube in San Bruno, California. The shooter was identified as 38-year-old Nasim Najafi Aghdam, who entered through an exterior parking garage, approached an outdoor patio, and opened fire with a Smith & Wesson 9 mm semi-automatic pistol. Aghdam wounded three people, one of them critically, before killing herself.”
Nasim took out the frustrations many YouTube users have in the most direct form possible. She was a victim of a site that began resorting to shady tactics to stifle her growth and voice
She knew the dangers of YouTube’s unchecked powers, and tried to put them in their place.
Imagine being so hated as a utility that memorials form outside YouTube HQ memorializing the true victim of this event. I simply lament I could not leave a flower for Nasim. Any chance one gets to make the elites and technocrats fear, they must seize it (in Minecraft, of course).
Curious how they managed to take down all of her social media and even her own website instantly after the crusade, it’s almost as if these utilities collude with each other?
“BE AWARE! Dictatorship exists in all countries but with different tactics! They only care for
personal short term profits & do anything to reach their goals even by fooling simple-minded people,
hiding the truth, manipulating science & everything, putting public mental & physical health at risk,
abusing non-human animals, polluting environment, destroying family values, promoting materialism &
sexual degeneration in the name of freedom,..... & turning people into programmed robots!
"Make the lie big, Make it simple, Keep saying it, And eventually they will believe it" Adolf
Hitler... There is no free speech in real world & you will be suppressed for telling the truth that is not
supported by the system. Videos of targeted users are filtered & merely relegated, so that people can
hardly see their videos!
.There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site,
your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!”
-Nasim Najafi Aghdam
May 1, 2019
The last remnants of YouTube’s “broadcast yourself” slogan is scrubbed from the site. It was well known before this that the individual user is secondary to the profitable mainstream media that latched itself onto the platform and asserted their control over it.
September 4, 2019
"Google LLC and its subsidiary YouTube, LLC will pay a record $170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that the YouTube video sharing service illegally collected personal information from children without their parents’ consent."
Alphabet Inc reveals YouTube's revenue for the first time, with 2019 seeing an estimated $15 billion USD. YouTube was initially purchased for $1.65 billion USD in 2006. I guess that wasn't enough for them, as of June 2021 their terms of service update now gives them the power to place ads on any and all videos, including channels that do not qualify for a monetized partnership program. These video makers will not see a single cent of that revenue.
The totally impartial staff
at Alphabet Inc begins the practice of “fact checking,” which has become a big tech industry standard at this point. This technique of narrative controlling rose to prominence during Covid, and as I predicted it became a precedent that ushered in the era of "creating context."
It was then expanded to the 2020 US Presidential Election, but prior it was utilized on broad searches related to controversial topics (such as 9/11). When searched on YouTube, users are prompted with a friendly in your face reminder that the government totally did nothing wrong or at the very least sketchy, because the US government would never harm
or lie it’s own citizens,
obviously. It is curious seeing what and who they decide to “fact check.” In the olden days it was the Church that would be the arbiter of “truth” and now it is self-serving corporations. What happened to using common sense and not believing everything you read on the internet? They should at least start fact checking all those “my uncle works at Nintendo” people I see on /v/ smh…
January 20, 2021 As Biden was sworn in a heavily fortified Washington DC,
YouTube similarly fortified its commitment to meddling in public discourse. Overall the White House YouTube account is a very odd one, I have never seen the recommended videos section operate in this manner where only a small selection of videos from said account is pushed to the user. I suspect this is to mitigate any recommended videos that would criticize Biden.
Speaking of mitigating criticism of the “most popular President in US history,” have to love that in the US “democracy” the comment section is turned off on every single White House upload. First amendment be damned. I’m inclined to believe this is done by the White House account, rather than YouTube. “It’s our government operating on a private corporate platform, they can do what they want, right??” (On rare occasion, they fail to turn the comment section off for a brief period, and it never fails to deliver some good jokes about Biden’s career as a politician…
YouTube has been known to intervene on like/dislike ratios, I’ve witnessed corrections to it occur in real time. This is typically in response to what they consider targeted “spam,” such as in the case of the YouTube Rewind. They doubled down with these tactics on The White House account, with their altering of the dislike ration even gaining mainstream news attention.
The justification again is to remove spam, and like all good tech companies, they refuse to be transparent with its users on how YouTube decided which engagements fall under spam, and which are legitimate. Some argue that it was direct reflection of the company’s support for Biden’s administration. The argument can be made for both these being true, as I imagine they would not done the same if this occurred to a non-left candidate. Again, it goes back to the rules simply being unbalanced in terms of enforcement.
A prime example of this double standard is YouTube’s diligent fact checking/removal of any sources raising concern over the integrity of the 2020 election. Where was this same level of concern when people falsely equated Russian based online psyops to Russia literally
hacking the voting machines/election?
I think it is really telling that the Trump administration, which faced a constant barrage of mainstream media criticism, echoed and fueled by the Technocrats, left their comment sections open (before the accounts were all purged, that is) to the general public, while Biden's adminstration refuses to allow open engagement.
April 15, 2021
This is equally bit terrifying as it is hilarious. CEO Susan Wojcicki essentially gave herself an award for “Free Expression” in a virtual Freedom Forum Institute ceremony sponsored by YouTube. And if that’s not sketchy enough, Esther Wojcicki, Susan’s mother, is an active member of the “Freedom Forum’s” council.
I’m sure this was an impartial decision made with all the years of deleting, demonetizing, and shadow banning videos and comments in mind. This is gaslighting at it’s finest. They stifle free speech for years and then have audacity to tell us they’re the good guys. If you want a good laugh, check out the comment section on the official video of Susan’s acceptance speech.
May 28, 2021
YouTube is experimenting with removing the dislike button’s function entirely (again.) While this has been ongoing since March, I was forced to participate as a Guinea pig as of today. Curiously, I noticed this feature first be imposed on the US White House account on my end a day prior (May 27).
So what’s the justification for this change of operations that they will inevitably roll out? ”We've heard from creators that the public dislike counts can impact their wellbeing, and may motivate a targeted campaign of dislikes on a creator’s video.”
“Creators,” right? Are you sure it’s not because of how badly the YouTube Rewinds, every US White House video, and toxic corporate propaganda gets ratio’d and called out by the people? I mean we all know truly how attentive YouTube is to it’s userbase, even popular users struggle to get any feedback from the staff.
It’s minor changes like this that signal we are moving more towards a less free and transparent internet. They restrict our right’s as users because they want total control over our discourse, our ideas, our very being. Combine that with algorithms and you have the perfect tool for molding people.
Been trying to find more information on this, I guess some YouTubers were asked to fill out this survey, with most questions being asked making it feel like they are either completely ignorant to how bad things are they simply don't care. Anyone who has actually used the site knows how bad these issues are.
June 2021 YouTube can now monetize any and all videos, including channels that do not qualify for a monetized partnership program. These video makers will not see a single cent of that revenue.
June 30, 2021
I got my ability to view and contribute dislikes back.
July 12, 2021
"Sundar Pichai [Google CEO] says free, open internet under attack." The nerve of him of all people to make such an accusation while being one of the forerunners of undermining Internet freedoms and impartiality. His centralized control of information may just be one of the biggest threats humanity faces moving forward. While he does make some points I agree with, such as his dismay over "many countries around the world restricting the flow of information and drawing much more rigid boundaries," he fails to realize what is prompting this. The world watched and took note when social media banned Donald Trump and other politicians, and these foreign leaders realized that they should not surrender their national sovereignty to a US based technocracy. At this point it is no longer a debate of keeping the Internet free, but rather a debate of who will ultimately have the power to censor what. Pichai seeks to undermine these nation's, and replace their will with "a collective think tank
that plots the course forward."
July 16, 2021
White House press secretary Jen Psaki expresses support for more extreme Internet deplatforming. While she is merely a press secretary and not a policy maker, one has to wonder if this was a line fed to her or influenced by policy makers. Could this be a hint at what's to come? In the eyes of these people, my writing of YouTube, Google, Twitter, etc not being free and open sites would constitute as misinformation, so I guess that means a ban should extend to my neocities website?
I can't help but worry that the next logical step would be implimenting verified ID a requirements for opening a social media account,
that way you can simply be banned from the entirity of the net. The slippery slope is not a fallacy, anyone who says otherwise has a short term memory. The uninformed public is welcoming increased censorship with open arms,
because it has been sold as a progressive cause. The elites don’t even have to pay for lobbyists anymore, repeat nonsense like this enough and have the technocrats continuously amplify and it’s only a matter of time before it will become the popular consensus because no one will have any chance to view the opposing viewpoints and legitimate concerns.
July 23, 2021
Google is hindering user accessibility and their overall function, what else is new? Not only will a large portion of unlisted YouTube videos (pre-2017 uploads) now be locked behind private status, but unlisted Google Drive links will break in a similar fashion as well. "Moreover, they will come with a maximum possible 50 shares, all of which will require logging in to a Google account in order to access the Private content
...Active users have the opportunity to opt out of the change for both video and file links. However, people using these links from unused, inactive or abandoned accounts may be out of luck." Google is complicit in locking media/information behind an impenetrable wall, all to address "security concerns," yet the cynic in me finds it odd how having a Google account to accsess these new unlisted videos equates to extra security, seems they just want more people opting into their tracking. I imagine there are people who use unlisted videos as a way to easily send older relatives videos they don't want others to see, and now they'll have to jump through some extra hoops to see their granddaughter's graduation ceremony. Wouldn't it be an epic prank if someone stole all of Wojcicki's photo albums and locked them in their basement?
October 7, 2021
YouTube has removed the ability for climate change deniers/skeptics to monetize their videos. Even as someone who believes that the climate change crisis is a real and tangible issue, I still disagree with this way of going about things. There needs to be transparency in research and open debate. The scientific method is not immune to being perverted. The way in which the scientific academic journals are run incentivizes reaching certain outcomes, no matter what the cost is. Also consider The Washington Post's
2016 opinion piece "The media is ruining science."
"The main problem with scientific studies is not how they are conducted; it’s how they’re consumed. Both the general public and members of the media alike tend to treat studies as if they’re infallible. If a newspaper or a politician cites a newly published scholarly work, rarely do we ever hear someone challenge it."
With this change in policy, legacy media tightens its grip on the scientific narrative, leaving less room for anyone to question it. While the upside is that this will deter grifters piggy backing off of climate change denial, it is a similar slippery slope that YouTube went down with Covid-19 skeptics. First it was the removal of monetization incentives, and then it was full on bans. Big Tech's handling of Covid continues to be the catalyst for censoring opposition. At this point who are people supposed to believe anyways? The established elites who traded our freedoms for their economic gain amidst a lockdown? Or the faceless average Joe "conspiracy theorists" in the comment sections of videos who have predicted the last two year's worth of clown world bullshit to a tee? Am I really supposed to believe the corporations and federal government care about me more than my fellow man?
October 19, 2021
Is it just me or has the advertisement situation on YouTube gotten worse? I am continuously served back to back ads that are unskippable for the first 15 seconds. It is becoming all the more tiresome as these ads are appearing over everything due to the June 2021 ToS change. At this point I won't be surprised when I'm inevitably served ads on something like the Budd Dwyer suicide tape.
October 27, 2021
Another season, another pointless big tech hearing in the swamp of DC that will go absolutely nowhere. As a result of the leaked FaceBook files regarding it's impact on the political scene and health of children,
Congress is once again pretending to be outraged so they can get some sound le epic sound bites of them pwning tech CEOs in order to maintain relevancy (Ted Cruz, that devious snake, is quite good at this tactic.)
So once again we have primarily FaceBook in the hot seat with other social media companies (including YouTube and TikTok) set to take the stand to make the same argument as always, "we're nothing like FaceBook so don't worry." Shifting criticism is the best they can ever be bothered to use as a defence. While FaceBook (and it's Instagram division) are far worse for the self esteem of children than YouTube, YouTube has been far more greedy in how it treats its under aged users. Remeber when they were hit with that $170 million dollar settlement with the FTC
after being busted for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)? Or what about the bizarre world of ElsaGate the persists unchecked to this day?
Again, that settlement with the FTC is not the same as your "elected" officials being bothered to take action (not that we should trust them to pass anything remotely beneficial for the public). Big tech is keen to the political machine, many have snatched up primarily high level US Democrats for their boards
while funneling unrivaled amounts of money into elections, as "Facebook and Amazon are now the two biggest corporate lobbying spenders in the country."
Joshua Melvin of the International Business times grimly summarized what to expect from these hearings; "[FaceBook] has previously been hit by major scandals that did not translate into major new US legislation aimed at regulating social media." YouTube's settlement with the FTC does not count either, that was a settlement (not legislation) that served as a way to cheaply way to cover their asses for the time being. Everyone knows they're monopolies, everyone knows they're practices are bad for our wellbeing, yet nothing will change. Give it enough time and it'll only get worse, the real question is if/when will the breaking point be? I'm not very optimistic given big tech assisting in covering up genocide hasn't been enough to wake the western world up.
November 10, 2021
Sometimes I hate being right, but I suppose the writing was on the wall. You look at all these news sites removing comment sections, YouTube shadow banning comments, messing with the order in which they appear, and at some point you're just left wondering what the next step will be in stifling user voices? YouTube has completely done away with publicly viewable dislike ratios (this policy change is set to take full effect later today.)
They have rendered useless a core function of the site that has been in place since its inception.
YouTube claims that its “experiment” in which it removed some user’s ability to see dislike ratios proved “successful” (this is the same experiment I was unwilling put through from late May to late June.) You may be asking, what constitutes this experiment as being “successful” in their eyes?
“In short, our experiment data showed a reduction in dislike attacking behavior”
They cite some sources in their press release, yet for the life of me I can’t find any links to what they’re referencing. Maybe I am inept at navigating the page, but YouTube (as are other social media sites) have always been very secretive about the ways in which they manipulate users and run their algorithms. I doubt they actually shared the results, or ever will.
“The company says this still lets well-meaning viewers leave private feedback to content creators or use dislikes to tune the algorithm’s video recommendations.”
Dislikes do nothing to impact the algorithm, as YouTube merely counts it as general engagement. By removing the ability to see dislike counts, viewers will be more susceptible to auto recommended click bait.
YouTube’s main claim to justify this was that it was done in order to mitigate targeted harassment of smaller channels. Fine, that does happen on occasion no denying that. So then answer me this, why not limit this feature to channels that have not reached a sub threshold (let’s say 100k subs or perhaps a video with over 100k views.) Why does a multinational corporation or world government deserve to have YouTube save face for them? All of the YouTube Rewinds were horribly ratio’d, as were controversial ads and any video out of the Biden White House. They should not be immune to criticism, even if it is something as trivial as an online dislike. Most of these types of accounts have already turned off comments, so all a user can do to directly interact with a video is like it.
“But we’ve seen that when creators choose to turn off likes/dislikes on their videos, they can be bullied and harassed for their decision”
And come to think of it, how does this even help with uploader morale anyhow? Uploaders can still see the dislike ratio privately, so in a way this type of “harassment” is still viable for bullying right?
“As part of this experiment, viewers could still see and use the dislike button.
But because the count was not visible to them, we found that they were less likely to target a video’s dislike button to drive up the count.”
They say that users could still “use” the dislike button? Without the ratio being publicly visible there is no real use it serves. While the uploader can still see the dislike ratio, do the type of people uploading lucrative clickbait actually care about their ratios? Of course not, the dislike button is used as a warning from one user to another to stay away from subpar videos. The dislike button is essentially the “close elevator door” button of the internet
(which if you didn’t know doesn’t actually do anything when pushed.) Its only purpose is to give the illusion of user control/feedback.
RIP dislikes, who knows perhaps comment sections will be removed next? Wouldn’t put it past them. As a final send off at least I get to do this.
You know what?
YouTube is irredeemable.
No point in exposing it, like beating a dead horse right?
Go to Vidlii or something else that doesn't suck cut corporate cock like this shithole site.