Solidarity and monitization
July 27, 2019 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Attention YouTube: The Clock is ticking! The Youtuber's Union (started by Jorge Sprave, previously) has combined with IG Metall (Europe's largest union) to demand fairness from Youtube.

Vice: The YouTubers Union Is Not Messing Around
Lindy Beige:Will YouTube kill my channel next? "Every month I get a check from Google and I have no idea what determines that."
Monetization and the YouTubers Union (by Mefi favorite Gun Jesus) also introduces the announcement with some editorializing (talk from union officials starts at 4 minute mark).
posted by 445supermag (13 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for posting this. I hope they are able to wring concessions out of YouTube/Google/Alphabet/whatever. That would be great.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:57 PM on July 27, 2019 [4 favorites]

The EU has been an effective reality check for Silicon Valley despite the GOP coup in the US.
posted by Bee'sWing at 2:03 PM on July 27, 2019 [13 favorites]

It's so absurd that they need to form a union and exert this kind of pressure just to find out what the fucking rules are. They're not even trying to change the rules (yet), they just want to know what they are!
posted by tobascodagama at 2:40 PM on July 27, 2019 [8 favorites]

Presumably Google, because everyone tries to game their search algorithms, just makes everything top secret by default. The people worried about AI taking over the world must be relieved by how bad the Google moderator bots are.

"Come with me if you want to ha ha good pun, what is the URL?"
posted by Bee'sWing at 2:53 PM on July 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

(And before anyone starts in about how the way YouTube does things now is necessary to remove white supremacist content from the platform, I want to point out that I watched a video about the new Wolfenstein game and the auto-playing "Up Next" video had a title about the Wolfenstein games being bad for "Westernkind". The current rules do exactly jack shit for stopping white supremacists.)
posted by tobascodagama at 2:54 PM on July 27, 2019 [12 favorites]

Still, a YouTuber's Union would be pre-infiltrated by Fascists... never a good sign.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:51 PM on July 27, 2019

Worse. It would be pre-infiltrated by zombies.
posted by spitbull at 7:47 PM on July 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Unionization of free-to-post content which allows media conglomerates to post as well (aka network TV) will be busted by content and viewership provided by said organizations.

Unions work because they have the power to hurt the bottom line of the corporation. You tell me, if 50 - heck even 5,000 1M+ viewer YouTubers suddenly stopped posting and viewing... how much would YouTube's bottom line be hurt? What would the bots recommend in place of new content by a niche content creator?

I am pro-union... but this is about 10 years late to the game to make an impact.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:00 PM on July 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

This isn't about high-viewer youtube channels threatening to boycott. Even for the very top 1% of youtubers, that wouldn't cause a notable dent in youtube's activity or income. They're not threatening to strike - instead, they're planning on using the differences between US and European consumer protection laws.
The union IG Metall has a clever idea to get YouTube to actually accede to these basic demands. It hopes to use Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to improve their working conditions. ... If the case can be made that YouTube's categorizations for creators constitute personal data, then the list of demands by FairTube would have to be met in full, Silberman said.
Technically, the end result would only affect European youtubers, but the hope is that it would provide leverage for other youtubers.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:00 PM on July 27, 2019 [7 favorites]

I remember the early 2000s, when it was pretty difficult to share videos (or even photos!) with other people. Platforms like YouTube came along and made the process free and easy. Then at some point, the indie professional content creators took over and started making careers out of it, which brought along all the typical complaints/demands people have of their income source (be that a corporation or a freelance existence—there’s almost always uncertainty).

I guess they have a point that they provide value to YouTube with their constant stream of new content, but my gut reaction is that it’s the other way around—we’re lucky there is this amazing platform for putting yourself out there and getting instant worldwide reach. I’d never want to rely on it as my main income source, though.

As an aside, I’m a bit afraid we’re in a golden age for free or reasonably priced entertainment content on the internet right now, and it’s all going to start getting walled off in order to continue increasing profits, or just shut down entirely. I hope the people in charge are invested in keeping platforms alive, as the valuable resources they are, rather than just trying to squeeze dollars from them.
posted by mantecol at 10:32 PM on July 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

Landlords magnanimously allow people to live in homes that they couldn't purchase for themselves. That doesn't mean tenant's unions shouldn't exist.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:40 AM on July 28, 2019 [5 favorites]

Platforms like YouTube came along and made the process free and easy.

because we paid them to do that. and they made tons of moolah. now they are just renting all the way to the bank. give us back our internet.
posted by eustatic at 6:14 PM on July 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

I might be weirded out a lot less by this if it didn't come from the corner of Youtube where they mostly talk about firearms.
posted by dominik at 5:11 AM on July 30, 2019

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