After a decade on the YouTube platform I’m beginning to grow concerned that in the coming years YouTube may fail. Over the last two or three years I have grown to see an increasing slant of political affiliation coming from Google, Twitter and Facebook. This more left-leaning perspective coming out of silicon valley in and of itself is not a bad thing. Creating online spaces that are more inclusive friendly and respectful is not a bad objective. What we are seeing is not a movement towards a more respectful and tolerant environment. What we are seeing in the most recent spat of drama coming from VOX media and most recently today from CNET is the opposite. Most people that are aware understand that legacy Media is dying. We are also aware that many large digital media outlets are going through severe contractions. A lot of the momentum that has led to the demise of these more entrenched media companies is coming from a large body of work that is originating in the YouTube community. The community that is producing this work is the same community that built this platform. As I see YouTube growing bolder and bolder and its desire to squash these individual voices, and attempt to enforce a reality in which their perspective is the only one that is allowed simply to appease the loudest voices of the mob and divert negative attention that drives away advertisers they are inadvertently killing the thing that has made their platform prosper.
What made YouTube grow? Was it YouTube’s amazing platform? Was YouTube the first and only site to come up with the format? No, YouTube grew to what it is today because they convinced amazing, creative, intelligent, diverse, funny, smart, silly, artistic, and so many other sorts of people to stay and come to there platform of free speech and equal access. YouTube told these creators that they had a home, and that they had the freedom to express themselves here. YouTube and other tech companies where able to convince the federal government that they where platforms of individual content creators and not publishers of content. In the same breath they where promising creators equal access to the platform they sold the government the belief that they where not curators of thought; nor publishers of ideas and hence forth should not be liable for what creators or users said on there platform. And so the golden age of YouTube began. Truth became something you could find on YouTube. A platform existed where anyone in the world that had access to the internet and a camera could speak truth and share the stories and perspectives. Slowly over time Media companies in the mainstream and in the emerging digital space began to feel the sting of the truth that comes from the lips of honest people who have no need to bow to the pressures of the dollar. CNN, MSNBC, FOX, VOX, VICE, Washington Post, New York Times, Huffington Post, Breitbart, ABC, CBS and so many others found themselves squarely in the cross hairs of Journalist, Pundits, Commentators, and Comedians on YouTube that did not need to bow to there Orwellian gatekeeper tactics. The pressure that has been applied to Google, Twitter, and Facebook has been unparalleled and largely unseen. I felt like Jack Dorsey sounded desperate like a trapped back against the wall captive at moments during the second podcast on Joe Rogan.
It is simpler to look at the actions of these companies and place all of the blame at there feet. Part of the blame lies at the feet of Conservative, Classic Liberals, and Moderates that have been sitting on the side lines unwilling to engage in conflict with people miles to the left for fear of being labeled a nasty name. It is ironic that the group that calls for the censorship of the “mean” people are the ones that use the most labels, weaponize words for a living, and use social pressure and coercion to silence there opposition while screaming at the top of there lungs, we are being oppressed by fascist thugs on the right. YouTube has fallen on there own sword bowing to the loud noise of a small band of angry voices. Voices whose sphere of influence is shrinking by the day. I have zero respect for Carlos Maza. I would never advocate for his speech to be silenced or for his ideas to be banned. If you go to his twitter you will see as many violations of the words that he says are offensive attacks from Crowder that he himself uses to describe himself or uses to call other people names. The thing that he is so upset about; he himself is doing to others. The irony of this current issue should not escape anyone. This is a perfect case of a crybully.
I see hidden away somewhere in the behavior of YouTube an arrogant belief that they are simply too big to fail. They simply are not. Nothing is too big to fail, and when this attitude begins to permeate an organization it will inevitably lead to its demise. if YouTube continues to push away creators that have made the platform, silence voice that bring a diverse spectrum to a mosaic of perspectives, and constantly change the rules of behavior to appease an un-appeasable group of people the thing that has made YouTube successful will leave.
All YouTube really is, is a platform for independent creators to share their creations and ideas. The animus for the success and size of YouTube has and will always be equal access for everyone. As YouTube continues to place obstacles in the way of access to the platform more and more creative individuals will leave and take their audiences elsewhere. YouTube is at a tipping point. They can stem the tide now if they step back from the edge. But they have to step back. If they continue to push it is just a matter of time before someone will create a new platform that grants equal access, and as creators begin to migrate off YouTube and new creators begin to start their creations elsewhere the eyes that watch YouTube and drive all the ad revenue will follow. People want something that is real. People want the truth. People do not like being deceived. And if the people realize that the dream and idea that ways YouTube no longer exist, and has moved elsewhere the people themselves will stop coming. And when the people leave; YouTube will be called MySpace.
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