The Problem With Youtube | Teen Ink

The Problem With Youtube

April 16, 2021
By Anonymous

Youtube is one of the most used apps for entertainment and education, but its rules and poor communication have oppressed content creators for a long time. The beginning age of the platform was great. Creators produced content that was enjoyable to viewers. Now, nothing is the same. Large corporations and misleading thumbnails have taken over the top of the trending page, and the content creators that built the site are forgotten. Youtube doesn’t care about its content creators anymore.

The problem a lot of Youtubers have stems from COPPA, known as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. A New York Times article talks about how Google was fined $170 million for collecting data from minors and monetizing it for ads, leading COPPA to be more strictly enforced. The problem lies with how Youtube will sometimes forcefully choose whether or not a video was made for children and enforce these rules by COPPA whether intended by the creator or not. In videos made for children, the comment sections also are disabled, removing the only direct source of communication between the creator and the viewer.

 Another recent problem has been with copyright claiming. Originally, this process was intended for the community to hold creators accountable for using content that isn’t theirs. However, this system has been abused for many months with zero repercussions, leading to Youtube creators losing money or even getting their videos blocked. Channel owners such as Glenn Fricker from an interview with The Verge state how they do actually have contacts at Youtube, but they get no information on how to deal with these unfair copyright claims and are forced to give up the money from that video.

One of the biggest forms of income for content creators on Youtube is through ad revenue. Forbes states how Youtube channels aren’t monetized until they join the Youtube Partner Program, where they have to hit 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of views in 12 months. This means that small creators don’t get ads on their videos until they hit that goal. As of 2021, this policy now has a change so that channels that don’t meet these requirements still get ads on their videos but they don’t get the money from the ad. Smaller creators don’t even have any option to stop their viewers from viewing these ads.

If left as is, Youtube will turn into a downward spiral in popularity in the future years due to their unfair rules and their inconsistencies. I think that the sole problem comes from communication. If Youtubers have designated contacts/representatives to voice their questions or concerns, it would be a big step in the right direction towards helping creators.

The author's comments:

Youtube is something that I've been using as a form of entertainment for a long time, and to see how poorly its creators are being treated is the reason why I wanted to speak about this topic.

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