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Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Controversial Opinion on Controversial Opinions on YouTube

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - No more controversy on YouTube?

I don't know this from experience, but I've heard there are some issues YouTube creators are having with the service. Specifically, YouTube has these new ADVERTISER-FRIENDLY CONTENT GUIDELINES that allegedly try to sanitise controversy and make things politically correct. Fortunately, this seems to affect people on a bi-partisan manner, with victims ranging from banned sources such as The Young Turks to people against social justice warriors. (Perhaps they'll go after anti-feminist Karen Straughan, who I will now consider some sort of bad person for never advertising or acknowledging her interview with KoopaTV, which subsequently resulted in no one reading it.)

The guidelines themselves are reportedly not new. What is new is that YouTube is being more transparent in what is and what ain't acceptable content if you want money on your videos. In other words, the official story is that the same policies are in place as before, except YouTube is being more up-front as to why. Their communication is improving. 

Apparently, people are frustrated with transparency. They must therefore love (President Barack Hussein) Obamacare! That was a law that was purposefully created to obfuscate and have a lack of transparency for a huge political advantage. That is, according to Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber.

YouTube isn't even trying to have such a political advantage!

People think there is a problem with demonetising ANYTHING on the basis that it chills freedom of speech, since people equate being compensated with being able to have widely-distributed views. If giving more money to diverse thoughts will encourage more diverse thoughts, then it follows that taking money away from diverse thoughts will reduce the amount of diverse thoughts.


Consider that this is all happening because of the advertisers, not because of YouTube. That means you have the claim of freedom of speech on one side, to the right for advertisers to discriminate on the other. What do I mean by that? I mean that advertisers have the right to choose who to advertise with, and should be able to pick and choose for any reason. The right to discriminate is paramount. Without it, you're forcing the advertiser (or the cake baker, the doctor, the teacher) into a kind of slavery. We already know from YouTube's admission that brand advertisers can have granular control over what kind of content they want to be associated with, after all.

YouTube Advertiser Friendly Content Guidelines controversial topics First Amendment freedom of speech association scale YouTubers
Hopefully by the end of this article, this clip-art makes sense.
(I made it in about two minutes.)

You are not truly taking away freedom of speech for two reasons. One, the speech is still present, and can still be widely disseminated without making a third party pay for it against their will. Two, there are other revenue streams you can have with willing participants to keep your content business going.

That said, YouTube can easily be doing actions of their own accord without advertisers, which is acceptable because they have their own terms of service. YouTube's parent company, Google, which also provides the blogging platform and domain name that KoopaTV utilises (and that disclaimer does NOT AFFECT the contents of this article or our opinions!), has removed content from KoopaTV before. Without notice to us. No transparency. We really did not appreciate it. We didn't even have any sort of advertiser revenue relationship. Had Google and YouTube implemented the transparency policy they have right now, we would've at least felt a little better because they would have actually TOLD US that they removed our content, instead of having to find out on our own.

YouTube community guidelines don't cross the line common-sense rules image icons
These are YouTube's community guidelines. They're pretty reasonable.
Hey, they even say YouTube is a platform for free expression!

The tension between advertisers and media is far from unique to YouTube. It's the traditional situation with the dinosaur media, as well. It's why the mainstream media is so bland and appeals to the lowest denominator, and therefore why you need the Internet to get real information. However, the advertisers are still the same group of people and still have the same wants and needs, whether you're on the television or in HTML5.

I do not believe that we are doomed to a culture of bland political correctness because YouTube's advertising partners do not want to have to deal with such things like “Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use and abuse of such items” or “explicit language or imagery in your title or thumbnail.” As mentioned, the guidelines haven't changed, and the advertisers haven't changed. The only thing that has possibly changed is that enforcement appears to happen more often, but that may be a function of you now KNOWING that enforcement happens. Or maybe they put a bit more investment recently into enforcement just to let people know they have a renewed attention to the issue.

Remember: YouTube WANTS content on their platform. In the end, they are aware that they have to cooperate with all of the involved parties and come up with a mutually beneficial solution. I think this is a lot better of a policy than the non-notification one from before, and detractors need to consider the rights of advertisers. The ENTIRE right to freedom of association is at stake, compared to a small nerf to freedom of speech. 

If you really want to still be controversial somewhere, KoopaTV welcomes your hot-button opinions on issues. Just check out the Guest Posts page for how to set that up. ...However, just like YouTube, KoopaTV will not pay you for your contribution. Additionally, this article was brought to you by a request from a reader. You can submit requests as well (or more requests if you're the same reader) by going to this page! KoopaTV publishes content every weekday for FREE, proving the point you can have free speech without third parties picking up your tab.


  1. Youtube has always been a great platform for anyone to express themselves. It's the reason why Youtube is becoming more popular than cable television. Where else can you watch great videos such as these?

  2. Not a Nintendo PR video as a topic!

    Very good points you make here, it's definitely a two-way situation for YouTube, they're not just charitably hosting whatever videos for folks. There's responsibility at stake.

    ...Hey, I read that interview with the anti-feminist person! I just never comment.

    1. It may not be a Nintendo PR video, but it is about YouTube. Just makes you wonder where we'd be without it. Vimeo?!

      Yeah, YouTube has the classic multi-sided platform situation where they're supposed to be arranging a win-win between the two sides (well, there's at least three: Content creators, advertisers, and the one I did not talk about — viewers.) but the two sides are finding reasons to butt heads.
      Remember, YouTube itself doesn't produce anything besides a database/search software/algorithm. Other than that, their entire job/business/proficiency is supposed to be encouraging more and better content creators and more and more advertisers. So this controversy is critical to their business model! These decisions? Important.

      Not only did the interview not get comments, but it really did get the lowest view count of any article since, uh, two of the E3 2016 live reaction logs. And those have an excuse to have low counts because there was multiple logs published on those days.

      Thank you very much for commenting, though. :)

  3. hentai makes me happy

    1. See Ray's comment to learn what a decent comment looks like.

    2. So I should suck up to you?

    3. I didn't say that's the only forme a decent comment could take.
      I meant it in a “the content relates to and interacts with the content of the article.” way.

  4. This whole situation is really convoluted.

    Seriously, would it be cool to have a company advertise a video on how their product is a rip-off and much more?

    On the other side of the spectrum, however, we have people who want to share a voice on the platform, yet they rely on advertisers to keep their channel stable.

    In my opinion, these guidelines make sense, and it's only emphasized on monetization, not much of using the platform as a means of communication. YouTube is still, as stated, "...a platform for free expression," but it primarily relies on how it's used.

    Also, apologies for not commenting beforehand. *Engagement is often taken for granted.*

    1. To be fair, the same company being talked about in the video doesn't necessarily have to be the same company bankrolling the video. Company B might be funding someone ripping on Company A. Wouldn't that be nice?

      But, yes, I would be totally opposed to these guidelines if they restricted the video's existence at all. But they don't do that, and the content creators trying to equivocate monetisation and existence are trying to pull a fast one on the truth.


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