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This week Ben walks us through his thoughts on posting to YouTube in 2020. This includes a rundown on the various issues the site has had since it’s founding. As an animator he remembers the Reply Girl situation of 2012 that resulted in a change in the algorithm to favor watch time, as Ross O’Donovan, AKA RubberNinja explains in his 2014 video:
Other animators weighed in at the time to this video, some sharing their opinions in part 3 of Josiah Brooks, AKA Jazza’s documentary The RISE of INDEPENDENT ANIMATION:
In late 2016 there was the Adpocalypse where advertisers pulled away once they realized their ads were appearing before offensive content and YouTube sloppily demonetized channels trying to win them back. Hank Green of vlogbrothers explains it and shares insight into dealing with it:
ElsaGate followed, where it was revealed weird videos were being suggested to children featuring Disney characters like Elsa from Frozen, Spiderman from Marvel, and repetitive songs.
A community of creepy people time stamping seemingly innocent videos of children and similar incidents raised concerns.
2018 saw changes to the Partnership Program, adding requirements for who is eligible for monetization based on channel stats.
Ben would like to take this opportunity to commend Channel Frederator Network and how well they treated their members, particularly the smaller channels who stood to lose their membership in the fallout of these changes.
Then, at the end of 2019, YouTube announced they would be rolling out new rules to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in the new year. This was in response to them having to pay $170,000,000 to the FTC to settle previous violations and to protect themselves moving forward. Videos were to be labeled “for children” or “not for children” and creators could face fines of $42,530 per infraction. Explanations of what made content “for children” or “not for children” were purposely vague, resulting in wild speculation and false information. Roberto Blake and lawyer Ian Corzine explain how both YouTube and the FTC handled the situation and how it could have been done better:
Hearing people from the FTC compare it to shooting fish in a barrel, where content creators are the fish and YouTube is the barrel, does not exactly instill confidence.
Lastly, Ben discusses other posting platforms, like heir to Vine’s looping throne TikTok, and IGTV which started supporting horizontal videos and recently removed the button nobody was using.
Here’s to experimenting, making mistakes, and breaking things in 2020.