YouTube Continues to Persecute Itself

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by Kolby Solinsky

Editor, White Cover Magazine

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All we ever hear is how the Internet is full of frauds and amateurs. It’s not real, they say, those from the other mediums. They’re jealous of its power. They don’t understand why they can’t control it.

All we ever hear from the Today show and its cast of “Ignorance-Is-Bliss” hosts are pint-sized jabs at social media sites they don’t understand. Even worse, they refuse to try to understand them. They say it’s just for people to tell you what they had for breakfast that morning. They treat every personal vlog or blog like it’s useless. Except, follow any one of these important news people, and you’ll see that they are the ones posting such things:

 

And yet, YouTube — one of the Internet’s greatest democratizing organizations — has begun persecuting itself. They’ve stripped uploaders and programs of millions of views. They’ve called them fraudulent views. Many of them are. But, since when is this new?

from the Huffington Post:

“Lady Gaga has been stripped of 156 million YouTube views after the site cleared out stats it deemed dummied up by hackers and viewcount generators.

“The development comes one month after the YouTube pages of Sony and Universal lost 2 billion YouTube views, largely because YouTube decided that videos migrated to the company’s VEVO pages were “dead videos”. While a small portion of the views stripped from Sony and Universal were due to what YouTube calls “de-spamming the data,” the vast majority were taken away as a result of Sony, Universal and EMI’s decision to bet on VEVO.

“As NME notes, VEVO is owned by Sony and Universal Music Group.”

Funny, though, that YouTube is the one legislating itself.

Do MSNBC or FOX ever report about the millions of viewers they never actually had? What about daily papers like the New York Times or the Globe and Mail, or even smaller dailies like The Vancouver Sun or the Philadelphia Inquirer?

These papers sell advertisers on hundreds of thousands of readers every day, because that’s their outreach. That’s how far their wingspan spreads. The New York Times reports a circulation of over 2,000,000 on Sundays.

Those counts are more like their potential. They’re not real.

Do you read every article in every print edition that comes to your door? Do you really absorb all the ads that companies or businesses have paid thousands — or tens of thousands — of dollars for?

Here’s a Newsflash: Nothing we pay for is worth what we pay for it. YouTube is a more successul, effective and on-demand version of television. For some reason, though, it’s thrown itself at the mercy of its own court.

And, what about TV stations and their sitcoms, or any of their news shows?

What about sports broadcasts that are slapped on at bars and restaurants but rarely paid attention to? What about every show you technically watch, but only because it immediately follows an episode of Criminal Minds or NCIS that your grandfather threw on and then fell asleep during?

I watch a lot of bad TV, and that’s only because there’s no such thing as good TV.

Sure, there are a few primetime network shows like Community and 30 Rock that deserve the Emmys they’ll win. But, for every Community, there’s a Whitney. For every 30 Rock, there’s a 2 Broke Girls. Same with Malibu Country and Last Man Standing and The New Normal.

Most of the time, I watch these shows and think, “Wait, so somebody actually spent time writing this Pilot, and then the network actually agreed to pay them for it?”

Am I supposed to really believe these shows are loved, or are getting the hundreds of thousands — or, sometimes, millions — of views they’re reporting?

Why must YouTube monitor and audit itself?

Is that really right?

And, who is it really hurting? Lady Gaga, yeah. But, what about all the other Internet-born celebrities who will only get bigger and bigger and only deserve their worked-for fame that may now be scaled back?

Philip DeFranco? Ray William Johnson? SourceFed?

Those celebrities and their shows are cleverer, smarter, and more essential to us as viewers than any of the redundant and regurgitated blech we see on NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CNN, CTV, CBC, or Global.

Folks, the Internet is doing it right. It’s time our “traditional” media follows suit.