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Misc Rants

My Problem with YouTube: Protip, It Has Nothing To Do With "You" Anymore

I've been on YouTube ever since the early days of the website prior to being sold off to Google. At the time, I ran a small YouTube Channel along with my cousin where we did live action skits and voice over parody of TV shows and vidya cut scenes. A lot of the content on the early days of YouTube was entirely homebrew. Generally, videos that got a lot of views got them for a good reason. You would generally watch a channel not because they were popular but because you enjoyed their content. There were so much interesting stuff back in the old days of YouTube such as parody videos, gaming videos, voice dubbings, YouTube Poops (edited/corruption of media in a comedic fashion), conspiracy theories, softcore stuff, Saddam's execution, some groups garage band performance, and all sorts of great, edgy, entertaining stuff that was different from the usual stuff that you would find anywhere else like television. Most of the content creators on the platform weren't trying to make money or try to push some clickbait for views. It was all for fun. Overtime, there would be more controversial changes that completely ruined a perfectly fine UI. As much outrage as some of these changes were, they were to pale in comparison to what the site will become after Google acquired YouTube.

To be frank, I used to like Google as a search engine. It was a very minimalist search engine back in the day compared to other competitors. There was no bloated search results or any sort of dumb site effects. I wasn't aware of the spyware issue until later on but other than that, Google was the go to search engine for the time. To have a company like Google (who also had their own video hosting site called Google Videos that never took off) didn't seem all that concerning at first. Maybe there will be more quality of life additions down the line with new owners.

Some stuff most YouTubers take for granted now such as high quality video uploads were implemented and while those changes can be objectively declared a good thing. The same cannot be said for the various other changes such as removing the star based rating system, implementing the failed Google+ feature and making users require their full name and personal info which is used as the username rather than a proper username not tied to your personal info. There was the harsh crackdown on videos with copyright infringement strikes and bans, censorship of material that is too edgy or unfit for Google's agenda (which was accelerated even more over the political climate of the last couple of years), and probably the worst decision ever implemented on YouTube: hosting big name users and corporations such as news agencies, celebrities, big tech robber barons, political hacks, and anyone deemed acceptable by the mainstream standards and promoting them over the common content creator. Certain kinds of content were promoted more than others and the end result is now you have channels that are all too similar with the same clickbait thumbnails and content. It's all so bland now. Occasionally, you'll find a good channel here or there but you'll have to swim through so much awful content that is promoted by whatever broken algorithm the YouTube team at Google, Alphabet, whatever these corporate hacks call themselves these days, implemented on the site.

Alternatives to YouTube aren't all that great either, sites like Bitchute are all political and at this point, I am getting rather sick of the political theater interfering not only in my online interactions but also in my personal life. But that's a rant for another time. There really isn't another platform that hosts homebrew content by content creators, for content creators. Ideally, without the ad revenue model that creates preference for certain videos that overshadow more interesting ideas. As long as there isn't a strong competitor to YouTube, this new wave of corporate content will continue in their favor. You could argue the same for the internet as a whole, which has become so centralized and control by oligarch tech corporations, they have become more powerful and influential than most dictators could even dream of becoming. This is why it's so important to host your own sites, either on Neocities, or by hosting on your own or rented server. The less people rely on these awful sites like YouTube, Facebook, or any of the big internet giants, the less power and influence they'll have over our lives, both on the internet and potential in the real world.

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