For years, YouTube has been a platform for creators to express themselves and gain an audience. However, YouTube has been recently receiving backlash for its algorithm.
Although YouTube itself hasn’t been profitable to Google, according to a Business Insider article written in 2015, Youtubers themselves have found varying success through this platform. Despite their predicament, YouTube is the most popular video service out there.
But with the introduction of algorithms, YouTube has received many criticisms on what videos they choose to remove or demonetize.
The number one complaint has been how YouTube cares more about companies than their creators. To fix the issue of advertisers not wanting to be associated with a specific content, YouTube created a content ID algorithm. This algorithm content IDs specific videos that they think violates their policies.
One example is YouTube content ID-ing LGBTQ+ related videos. These videos might not display mature content, but have been restricted because the algorithm targeted videos related to LGBTQ+ content. Though YouTube did apologize and fix the issue, it does show the problems with content ID.
Another complaint involves YouTube striking and redistributing monetization of a video that uses clips from a video made by another company. These videos were considered fair use (such as using clips from a movie for a review), but were flagged by larger companies for using their property.
Creators have also accused YouTube of not communicating with them properly. YouTube does not publicize these changes well, with people only learning after being affected by demonetization and content ID strikes on their videos. YouTube only commented on such changes once people start noticing.
But couldn’t creators just find another platform to put their videos on?
That is one option, but YouTube has a monopoly on video production; competitors like Vimeo and Dailymotion just don’t have the same reach. Moving away from YouTube could result in loss of viewers and revenue as there is no better alternative.
All in all, YouTube’s algorithm is not only hurtful to creators but is causing problems for the company itself.