YouTube Discussion Thread

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YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by thephandommenace » Mon May 08, 2017 6:05 pm

Hi everyone!

I'm really interested in talking about YouTube. A lot of these topics may fall into the socio-political category, for which we already have a thread (topic170.html), but I thought it would be cool to have a thread specifically for YouTube: the company, site alterations and policies, YouTube 'culture' and trends, controversies, thought-provoking topics centered around the site and its content creators, and so on.

I thought if a YouTuber posts an interesting, thought-provoking video that touches on topics much broader than themself, it would be useful to post the video and our thoughts here. That way we can discuss various content creators' and our opinions related to the site in one place.

Here are some starter discussion topics:

- Content Creator/Viewer relationship
E.g. showing vulnerability in your videos, stalkers, an obligation to appreciate your audience, the multiple sexual allegations that sparked a network-wide discussion about consent and abuse of power
- From 'casual' to 'corporate' - the shift in the YouTube atmosphere
When did YouTube 'change' from free, adless content with fun viral videos to a massive multi-million dollar industry and a celebration of YouTube personalities? Has this put people off YouTube? Does this harm new/ upcoming channels? Does the algorithm screw over/ favour certain groups of creators? Are YouTubers 'celebrities'?
- YouTube 'drama'
- Are YouTubers 'hardworking'?
- Quitting YouTube
(Examples Bryony, Chris, Charlie McDonnell, Liam Dryden... I know some haven't technically 'quit' and Liam's recently come back after a long hiatus, but they all noticeably shifted away from the website.)
- Copyright claims/ Fair Use
This is old news, but I rather enjoy two channels called I Hate Everything and YourMovieSucksDOTorg. They (among other significant YTers, but they were the ones to bring it to my attention) have had to battle with numerous unfair copyright claims against their videos even though their videos fall under Fair Use. If you watch the whole sorry Cool Cat/Derek Savage saga, you can see how blatantly easy it was for these unfair strikes to harm IHE's channel and how little regard YouTube seemed to have for contacting him before suspending/deleting his channel with no warning.
Last edited by missemma on Mon May 08, 2017 11:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Thread name changed from 'YouTube News & Culture Discussion Thread'



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Re: YouTube News & Culture Discussion Thread

Post by lefthandedism » Mon May 08, 2017 9:11 pm

This is a great idea, and I was thinking about something related just yesterday. Could we also include in this thread interesting press pieces about YouTube? For example, I saw this in the New York Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/07/busi ... pinch.html

While most of the article covers stuff we're familiar with, I thought this quote from Hank Green was interesting:
Mr. Green, who helped launch a nonprofit called the Internet Creators Guild to protect and guide people in the industry last year, said it would be helpful for YouTube to disclose which channels and categories had been most affected by the recent changes, and whether the shifts were being driven by the platform or advertisers.

“The great thing about YouTube, the thing that has made it such a powerful, creative ecosystem, is that you can be getting a relatively small number of views and still be making a good amount of money, which can help you keep it going to do weird and new and creative things,” he said.

While Mr. Green expects the situation to rebound as advertisers return to YouTube’s lucrative audience, he expressed concern about the possibility they may limit themselves to large, established channels.

“The great promise of YouTube is the potential for this to be an important job, for there to be more professional, independent creators than coal miners in the U.S.,” Mr. Green said. “If we’re just going to remake TV and put all of the power to make money and distribute content back into the hands of a few people, then burn it all down.”
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Re: YouTube News & Culture Discussion Thread

Post by thephandommenace » Mon May 08, 2017 9:35 pm

LeftHandedism wrote:This is a great idea, and I was thinking about something related just yesterday. Could we also include in this thread interesting press pieces about YouTube? For example, I saw this in the New York Times:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/07/busi ... pinch.html

While most of the article covers stuff we're familiar with, I thought this quote from Hank Green was interesting:
Mr. Green, who helped launch a nonprofit called the Internet Creators Guild to protect and guide people in the industry last year, said it would be helpful for YouTube to disclose which channels and categories had been most affected by the recent changes, and whether the shifts were being driven by the platform or advertisers.

“The great thing about YouTube, the thing that has made it such a powerful, creative ecosystem, is that you can be getting a relatively small number of views and still be making a good amount of money, which can help you keep it going to do weird and new and creative things,” he said.

While Mr. Green expects the situation to rebound as advertisers return to YouTube’s lucrative audience, he expressed concern about the possibility they may limit themselves to large, established channels.

“The great promise of YouTube is the potential for this to be an important job, for there to be more professional, independent creators than coal miners in the U.S.,” Mr. Green said. “If we’re just going to remake TV and put all of the power to make money and distribute content back into the hands of a few people, then burn it all down.”
Interesting press pieces are definitely welcome! Sorry, I should have clarified. Any kind of news/ articles/ blogs/ videos/ opinions to do with YouTube would be great.

That was an interesting article too - that sounds so utterly stressful, to be dependent on numbers and stats on YouTube as your source of income, only to have YouTube be shady and silently demonotize videos without explaining why. I don't agree with some of the tags they seem to deem as 'inappropriate' either, such as 'sex', 'satanic', 'depression', 'LGBT', any kind of word that is not universally accepted as a 'safe' topic. One, YouTube's making a political statement in demonitizing videos with these words, two, they're still playing ads over these videos but getting 100% of the revenue so that doesn't match up with their argument that the tags deem the video 'non-advertiser-friendly', three, why not just match up suitable advertisements to those tags? If the tag says 'LGBT' then LGBT-friendly companies can direct their ads there. And so on.

Not to mention the stress of staying relevant and keeping your audience entertained so that you can keep your numbers up and continue to keep YouTube as your full time job.

I believe YouTube is shady and isn't concerned with fixing its ways because it doesn't have any real competition. If there were another video-hosting site on the same scale as YouTube in number of users, there's no way they'd be able to get away with some of the things they do, otherwise everyone would just migrate over to that other site.

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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by lefthandedism » Tue May 30, 2017 3:06 am

This is a rather lightweight piece from a Public Radio show about business:

How do YouTube stars make money?

Not much actual news, except this depressing statistic:

""For the creators, they’re making very little money from those ads," said David Craig, a fellow at the Peabody Media Center and a professor at the University of Southern California. "They used to make upwards of $20-25 per thousand views, but over time, that number has collapsed as the platform has grown in scale.”

Now, Craig says, YouTube creators make more like $1-3 per thousand views, depending on the type of content."

WTF, YouTube.
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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by twix » Tue May 30, 2017 7:16 pm

I rewatched this the other day & it's still interesting at face value of course but these days i'm also struck by how disgustingly optimistic we all were in 2007/8 about youtube as a democratic outlet for personal expression. (at the time of the talk, wesch hadn't thought of youtube terms of becoming corporatized yet, but imo it'd already started)


Wesch also did a followup of sorts in 2009, specifically on the politics of authenticity:



Edit: embedding issues

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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by lefthandedism » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:45 am

Not even sure where to put this, but this is an article about YouTuber fanfiction, and a show based on it on a network I never heard of. Apparently, Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, and Smosh (both of them) are in it. Hard to tell from the article what exactly is going on.....

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/21/arts ... llide.html
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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by fondsmiles » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:42 pm

LeftHandedism wrote:Not even sure where to put this, but this is an article about YouTuber fanfiction, and a show based on it on a network I never heard of. Apparently, Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, and Smosh (both of them) are in it. Hard to tell from the article what exactly is going on.....

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/21/arts ... llide.html
hmm, wow, this is interesting. I am not quite sure how to feel about it, both the article and the series. It repeatedly says it doesn't want to make fun of fanfiction and RPF, but it also - kind of does, by turning stories into parodies of themselves.
what makes me a bit uncomfortable is the thought that people might think of this as bringing fanfiction to something "bigger", that this series is validating something that was previously just weird. and, that fanfiction needs that, that validation by maybe more traditional creators. because, in my opinion it does not. fanfiction is not there to be validated by anyone but the community it is written for.
making it into a series like this - it is an interesting thought, the clips seem funny, and yes i would thrive at my otp's acting out fanfiction about themselves - but that also is probably the entire point: to catch highly dedicated fans by "playing into what they like", and that sits a bit weird with me. also the fact that it only portrays the a bit ridiculous, the funny and the fantasy side of fanfiction, but doesn't account to the deeper things behind it (like, actually very good stories that may influence the lives of readers. this is a thing, i've read plenty of those stories).

i immediately thought about whether deppy have been asked if they want to join in on the series. the holy trinity, but also smosh are in it, that's some big ships about big youtubers, i can't believe that phan wouldn't have been at least thought about whether to include.
(but, if they've been asked, i am pretty sure they'd always always deny such a request, for so many reasons)
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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by twix » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:57 pm

A Buzzfeed article by Victoria Sands titled "How YouTubers Like Zoella Capitalize On The Self-Care Movement"went up yesterday. It's much better than the clickbaity headline would have you believe, and it's about lifestyle gurus, specifically Zoella and Ingrid Nilson, and how they and their viewers navigate the intersections of mental health, capitalism, and gender.

The author doesn't take her analysis as far as I would have liked, but this part was really great:
This new focus on the more real, intimate side of girlhood has been largely rewarded by viewers and corporate partners alike. But what makes young women in particular so poised to take up this conversation, and ultimately profit from the interest of their (largely female) audience? For one, demonstrating high levels of personal and emotional intelligence is a prerequisite for being an idealized vision of a successful young woman. Many of these emerging trends in pop culture — yes, even in niche YouTube videos — indicate society’s intense interest in women developing a heightened awareness of the self. Feminist theory has long held that women practice self-surveillance (and therefore self-discipline) because of the immense pressures they face. From the expectation that girls know their specific body "type" (curvy on top! petite! pear-shaped!) to find the ideal jeans fit, to the myriad wellness and self-help circuits that focus on turning inward to find healing, to the health and diet fads that are rooted in self-diagnosis and self-treatment, girls and women are believed to find success through knowing and monitoring themselves intensely. The question is, if more and more gurus are turning inward, seemingly more interested in taking care of the self, then how do they continue to encourage other people to buy products that are largely focused on outward appearance?

That’s where their established position as beauty experts comes into play. Buying products is one thing — but buying the right products signifies self-knowledge and the ability to care for oneself. Retail spending is blended with political and social freedom, something girls’ studies scholar Anita Harris calls a “linking of neoliberal ideologies about individual choice with a distorted kind of feminism.” Girls’ ability to make purchases is often seen as empowering, in its display of personal wealth amassed and its demonstration of knowing oneself best. The young women on YouTube have deftly manipulated this ethic to their advantage. There are only so many videos one can make about eyeshadow palettes or bubble bath before finding a new narrative through which to talk about them.

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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by somethingsketchy » Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:58 pm

I'm seriously tempted to get a YouTube Premium subscription now that it's available in my country. Does anyone have any experiences of YouTube Red or YouTube Music? Is it worth the money in your opinion?
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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by MythicalPinkTrashCan » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:02 pm

somethingsketchy wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:58 pm
I'm seriously tempted to get a YouTube Premium subscription now that it's available in my country. Does anyone have any experiences of YouTube Red or YouTube Music? Is it worth the money in your opinion?
I've been using YTRed/Premium since Oct 2016 (To watch Rhett and Link's Buddy System) and I've tried to cut it to save money and I feel like I'm gonna die every time I have to watch a pre-roll. I've never made it longer than two weeks. We use family plan (which is technically a Google Play Music family plan) which is about $16 a month. It was hard to make the switch from spotify to google music at first, but once I built back up my playlists, I haven't gone back.

I also have two kids and being able to download videos on the ipad and bring them to work with me is so helpful (kiddos come to work with me, so they need something to do for 4 hours)

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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by alittledizzy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:00 pm

I've had the same experience as Mythical; I've been using YTRed since not long after launch and I can't go back to watching pre-rolls. It also just makes me good that I know I watch an above average amount of small creators and they'll all get their share of money from watching me, which wouldn't happen if I didn't have YTRed since I would use adblock otherwise.

Speaking of general youtube discussion; Tanacan. What a shitshow?! Anyone else been following the aftermath?

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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by MythicalPinkTrashCan » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:45 pm

alittledizzy wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:00 pm
Speaking of general youtube discussion; Tanacan. What a shitshow?! Anyone else been following the aftermath?
ooooo yes I have been. dashcon all over again

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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by somethingsketchy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:08 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, @MythicalPinkTrashCan & @alittledizzy!

After watching some review videos, I decided to take the free 3-month trial to see if this is something I want to pay for in the future. I'm actually not that bothered by having to watch adverts (except if I'm watching ASMR videos), but I love that I can now exit the app or close the screen to save my phone battery, and the sound will keep playing. Also, the option to download videos on your mobile device is something that I can see myself using, except that I don't actually travel that often.

The thing that bothers me the most is the price, which is 16€ (£14/$18.5)/month in Finland, without an option to have YouTube Premium without YouTube Music even though the opposite is apparently possible. I'm not totally opposed to giving up Spotify (10€/month) for some other service, but at the moment I am very satisfied with it, and YouTube Music isn't necessarily what I'm looking for. I don't watch music videos, and apparently your YT Music history mixes with your regular video history, which is a dealbreaker for me if it's not changed because I am very particular about my subscriptions and recommendations. It's also not possible to scrobble from YT Music to Last.fm, at least yet, and I really love my stats. :(

I'm going to use the trial for watching as many YouTube Originals as I can, so I'd gladly hear recommendations for good ones if you've got any.

Re: Tanacon, I've been following the aftermath more closely than I followed VidCon. I don't know how I'm supposed to feel about this. On one hand, I feel really bad for the people who paid actual money to go there and got nothing in return, but on the other hand, the Schadenfreude is real.
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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by alittledizzy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:31 pm

I feel really bad for the people - but I honestly don't get all the defending of Tana herself. I'm sure she didn't intend on anyone getting scammed, but her making this event the same weekend as Vidcon was entirely her trying to have her little tantrum and throw a middle finger up at them. She could have easily taken her time and done due diligence to make sure she knew how many tickets she was selling, what capacities were, and that she was offering an event that everyone would a) get into and b) enjoy.

Though I do also think the appeal to her was leeching off Vidcon's guest list, and maybe without that it would have only had a few hundred to make a couple thousand attendees to begin with. But a smaller event would have given her a chance to get her feet under her with event planning in general before she just went full in, which probably would have just benefited everyone.

Here are a couple videos I watched today:


(starting at 7:52)


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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by somethingsketchy » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:27 am

This vlogger called Swell Entertainment filmed what it was like at the event and also talked to other guests, vendors and even security.

I'm still confused about how the idea that there were 20.000 people outside the venue originated. Did the number come from Tana herself, or has a more reliable source confirmed that there were indeed that many people in the queue? I don't doubt that there were far too many people for the TanaCon staff to handle, but it's hard to believe there were 15.000 extra people outside the TanaCon venue when VidCon had maybe 30.000 visitors over the weekend.

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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by alittledizzy » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:25 pm

Ooh, thank you for linking to that @somethingsketchy. I went to her channel and it looks like she just posted another video that's more of a sit down recollection.


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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by obvsly » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:11 am

Shane Dawson published the first part of his 3-part mini-documentary about Tanacon. I was wary about it at first as I'm not quite a fan of Shane, but honestly, it's a good video with great storytelling and editing work. Now I can't wait to watch the other two parts.

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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by kavat » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:52 pm

obvsly wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:11 am
Shane Dawson published the first part of his 3-part mini-documentary about Tanacon. I was wary about it at first as I'm not quite a fan of Shane, but honestly, it's a good video with great storytelling and editing work. Now I can't wait to watch the other two parts.

This is really like a reality show at this point. Part 2 was just posted. It's just clear that no one new what they were doing, at all.
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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by alittledizzy » Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:47 am

So far Shane's videos are just making me aggressively irate that a 19 and a 20 year old somehow put themselves in the position of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars for fans because, why? No one wants to say no to Tana? Tana thought the Magical Convention Throwing Fairy was gonna grant her every wish and she'd show that big bad Vidcon?

If she wanted anyone to take her seriously she'd have found a legitimate, well backed events company to help her and took her time planning it. But now it's a shitshow of a scam convention that all parties (Tana, the company, and Shane) are gonna continue to turn around and profit off of with monetized videos about the ~drama.

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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by obvsly » Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:05 am

The saddest thing is nobody knows how they're going to fix this. Finding who's at fault is the easy part (answer: everyone involved in the planning.) I personally don't think they can refund all attendees and there's no way Tana can personally pay for people's accommodation and traveling expenses like she said on Twitter. It's the case of her making empty promises again and again without thinking it through. This was what got her into trouble in the first place (like telling people to just come over from vidcon without having tickets and promising a gift bag worth quadruple the price of a ticket.) It's sad. Just sad.
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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by alittledizzy » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:57 am

I know the whole Tanacon fuss has kinda died down but I saw Evan's video today and I gotta admit, while he's not my favorite, this is exactly the video on this whole scandal that I wanted to see. Shane's trilogy was a total disappointment and a fluff piece meant to absolve Tana. Asking the 'hard questions' does nothing if you don't actually make them answer and then just tell them you love them fifty times instead.


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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by kavat » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:09 pm

I think the important thing to remember, and that Evan mentions as well, is that Shane is not a journalist. He makes entertaining vlogs and videos about conspiracies and his series was just a combination of that. It wasn't a documentary and it shouldn't be treated like it by him or anyone else. It might be interesting to see an actual doc in a year or so when there's some distance and we can how it all fell out with refunds etc, and made by someone with some distance to Tana and the event.

Everyone has been raving about Shane and his videos the past weeks so it's nice to see someone question him (and let's be real, it gave Evan a lot of views since it was such a hot topic for like a week). I have my issues with Evan as well (like how he made assumptions about dnp in his latest vid) but he doesn't shy away from stating his opinions.
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Re: YouTube Discussion Thread

Post by fieldoflovers » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:20 am



Lindsay Ellis did a video on manufactured authenticity and basically what sells on youtube and while there are a lot of interesting topics that she touches on, throughout the video I kept wondering how Phil views the increasingly corporate yet "authentic" youtube that's emerging. There's also been discussion on youtuber burnout and I would love to hear Phil talk about that as well. He's been someone whose successfully made a living off of youtube, without ever having that breakdown moment and that's commendable but ya know, what's his secret? how has he navigated this changing landscape of youtube?

My Phil thoughts aside, I really loved the How To Cake It example mostly because I have watched that channel a lot, in recent videos I definitely was put off by the amount of calls to action but ultimately Lindsay is correct in stating that Yolanda is "authentic" and I'd much rather support her and buy her book than Man About Cake. Man About Cake's production team being miccd up felt like a betrayal and that may seem extreme but unlike with reality shows that everyone knows are overproduced and fake, youtube is supposed to not be that. I thought about Buzzfeed's Tasty series, because they're being doing behind-the scenes types of videos where you can get to know the host and see their failed attempts at whatever food they're making at it humanizes them. Suddenly to a youtube viewer they aren't a big corporation and its like I'm supporting friends when I'm really not. I kind of guilty doing that, there are smaller food channels on youtube, that are authentic and real and talented people I could be watching instead and yet I'm buying into the authenticity they're selling. I feel kinda guilty tbh.

I don't exactly have anything else to add but I'll the quote she ends on here because I think it's v/relevant. "It takes a lot of labour to appear as authentic"
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