Monday, January 06, 2020

More talk that YouTube wants to ban all "political" content from independent creators (??)

Will YouTube eventually “ban” all political content?

Tim Pool explained his plans for YouTube in a long thread Sunday, and at one point that is what he predicts.  He says he will support his political posts (a lot of them on “Timcast”) with general cultural news, sciences, art, etc.  But by “political” does he mean, dealing with elections and candidates and parties, or does he refer to issues (inequality) too? 

But that is what I do with my twenty blogs.  Very little of my content is candidate-related or election-related;  there is a lot of issue-related content, but these are mostly things that should be related to principles (like paid family leave, Social Security sustainability, climate change, national security, power grid, Internet safety, filial responsibility, LGBTQ equality – and that is a very loaded and variable area right now.

I’ve seen a few takes on what YouTube intends for political coverage.  One is what Tim says – shadow-banning and demonetization will lead to complete bans.  Ford Fischer and David Pakman have both suggested (with plenty of evidence) that YouTube will monetize political content from large corporate legacy providers but not independent journalists. 

Another Twitter user suggested that YouTube set up a separate site for political content and court a different set of advertisers, and then court some bigger independent channels (Pool and Fischer would fit nicely into that).  But the problem is not as many users would go to it.  A lot of users really want only games, music, toys, entertainment, and even soft core stuff.

Large social media sites, mainly Facebook and YouTube (to a lesser extent Twitter) have to deal with the notion that impressionable visitors are unduly influenced by bots and algorithmic viewing recommendations based on cookies, which fund the behavioral ads that essentially pay for the content. This is not too healthy.  They could set up preferred, vetted providers whom they interview, as the larger of these (most of whom are entrepreneurs running companies with employees and contractors) provide live content that major media miss, and provide a check on the objectivity of establishment media companies (remember Covington).
But companies are finding that it getting, in a practical sense, riskier to allow amateurs to post what they think without supervision or gatekeeping and without some sort of business purpose.  Attracting security threats could also be an issue.

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