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.
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 they were all purged, that is) to the general public, while Biden 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. 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 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?