Make YouTube fix their broken system

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YouTube has long been a great place for creative types to express themselves, for people to have an outlet to vent their frustrations, to exchange ideas, to meet new friends, to learn new things and educate others, and to form a community around niche interests that may not have a big following in the real world. YouTubers, as these YouTube stars are known, come from all walks of life and started creating content for different reasons, and have created a flourishing community of diverse content and many became partnered with AdSense through YouTube, which allowed them to earn money to increase production values to create better content.

Unfortunately, over the past several years, some YouTubers have exploited and abused the loopholes in the system, and instead of enforcing their own rules and disciplining those particular users, YouTube decided to go the route of punishing all content creators through changes that have made the site increasingly hostile to small content creators,new content creators, and older established content creators who built their audience around a particular niche that's no longer supported by the YouTube algorithm. Video views have plummeted after each algorithm change and many large YouTubers that were once reeling in hundreds of thousands to millions of views per video eventually found themselves struggling to break past the triple digits, despite their videos continuing to receive mostly likes and positive feedback.

The most infamous of these changes happened in early 2018 after the infamous Logan Paul video, rather than taking action against one of their top stars, they have once again decided to take action against the entire YouTube community except for the larger YouTubers who have violated the rules. As of February 2018, any channel with less than 1000 subscribers and/or that does not earn 240,000 watch minutes per year has been demonetized, which is an inordinate amount of watch minutes for any channel with less than 20,000 subscribers, clearly favoring old media that can churn out lots of content per day, or gaming channels that often produce multi-hour long streams. This means that the YouTubers who produced shorter videos no longer have the money to put back into their channels that they once had.

Even worse than the absurd partner requirements is the ease in which a video can be demonetized, age-restricted, or even result in a community guidelines strike if a viewer with an agenda decides to flag the video. A video with the word "butt" in it can be demonetized, A video depicting any kind of science demonstration can be age-restricted, or even result in a community guidelines strike if a user decides to use the flag button as the "dislike, but more so" button. Many YouTubers have lost their accounts over such "inappropriate" content that is no more "extreme" than one of Tim Allen's mishaps on Home Improvement or a science demonstration that Bill Nye did on his children's show back in the 90's. In the past the most common kind of strike was a copyright strike when a company filed a DMCA takedown for use of their content. Now community guidelines strikes are far more common.

YouTube has the potential to once again be a great platform for people of all walks of life to create their own niche communities with their own types of users, sort of a Reddit with videos, if you will. But with algorithm changes and ambiguous rules with arbitrary rule enforcement that leads to many users being limited in what they can create, slowly forcing YouTube creators to stay within a strict set of parameters that is leading to old media slowly taking the place of organic content creators, turning YouTube into HollywoodTube, when we already have television and movies.

If you're a YouTube content creator, enjoy watching YouTubers, know people who do YouTube for a living or hobby, or simply care about free speech and free expression and don't want to see YouTube go the way of the dodo because of poor decision making, I urge you to sign this petition and share it on your social media and urge others to sign this petition.



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