Friday, July 12, 2019

Article focusing on Hong Kong protests explains YouTube demonetization of political content on independent channels

Will Ormeus has a valuable article on Medium explaining “Why YouTube Keeps Demonetizing Videos of the Hong Kong Protests”.

The article explains that YouTube started pulling back from allowing ads on edgy videos in 2017.  The recent demonetizations on June 5 were the latest step.  It seems as though YouTube doesn’t care a lot that a violent video of a protest is offered to show its news value;  advertisers presume most visitors are dumb and don’t care about context.  The Maza-Crowder mess seems to matter less all the time.

But the article also notes that YouTube seems to allow ads on news content from large companies, following the model of broadcast and cable television. This puts independent creators at a serious disadvantage.

The article notes that indie creators can SuperChat, selling memberships, finding their own sponsors, selling merchandise, or patronage sites (like Patreon and Subscribestar, which have run into issues with “conservatives”).

The article plays down the political bias aspect, but it is true that independent channels are more likely to be conservative, or at least be hostile to some aspects of progressive politics like indentarianism and intersectionality. 
Independent speakers can try offering more less political content like science videos (as long as it is not discredited material like antivax).  Climate change will probably be monetized (although the denial stuff is problematic), and power grid resilience may be a good issue. Or try basic science – the mathematics of elementary particles in physics and quantum theory. Sometimes medical material may work.  Harvard undergrad John Fish keeps most of his channel non-political with material on how to succeed in college, especially in reading large volumes of material and in technology problem solving, and yet he never seems to have to go even near the speech codes. It would be possible for independent creators to merge and form smaller LLC-like companies to have content that is varied enough to pay for political content. Subverse seems to be doing this.
It remains to be seen if the “free speech” channels like Minds (and gab) will attract a large and varied enough base to be viable in the long run (and not simply concentrate the extremists). 

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