YouTube Messed Up - Again

YouTube has made a number of bad decisions following the Logan Paul controversy, including a new one made just yesterday.

In the aftermath of Logan Paul's Aokigahara Forest video, YouTube demonetized him, removed him from a YouTube Red project, and temporarily suspended him from posting videos. All of this came over a week after the video was first posted. YouTube also gave him a mere one strike toward permanent removal, despite the absolutely disturbing content of the video in question.

According to a new policy set in place on Tuesday, January 16, YouTube will be demonetizing any channel with less than 1000 subscribers at the end of the month of January. This seems like a good move following the mass influx of content creators with the shutdown of Vine in 2017, as it would ideally push up and coming users to make better content more frequently, but this isn't the case.

Many channels create videos for niche audiences, and niches within those niches, meaning that even though they are putting out high-quality videos with a great frequency, there simply isn't a huge audience for them to begin with. However, it is these people with the smaller channels that are more likely to rely on the monetization of their videos.

For example, there is one user that I follow who cannot work because she is physically disabled and relies on income from her videos in order to contribute to her household. However, because of her niche market (somewhere between makeup artists and kpop fans), she only has roughly 500 subscribers and will likely lose her monetization at the end of the month.

Some may think that YouTube is just a hobby, and for some it is, but over the last year or so, I have seen firsthand how quickly a few videos a week can turn into a livelihood. I follow a channel called ReactToTheK, which is run by a couple of music students at the University of Rochester Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.

They react to kpop songs from the perspective of classical musicians and give fairly comprehensive breakdowns of the music itself. Just in the last year, I have watched this channel grow from a few reactors to an entire cast and expand to include guested appearances by musical professionals and informative videos on the basics of music theory. This is a particular skill that these students have and that they share and it has garnered them quite the following.

Obviously, YouTube has the ability to grow from a hobby to a livelihood and as a result, many people rely on the income it provides them. Demonetizing small channels is a bad move for YouTube to make.

But they obviously aren't interested in listening to their viewers, since they're already expressing that they'd like to continue working with Logan Paul.

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