Corbett Report: YouTube Is Purging Again
YouTube has been removing small independent content creators from its platform with regular purges since 2016. YouTube did another big purge this week. Independent content creators who are only on YouTube should take notice and get a presence on alternative platforms. Investigate journalist James Corbett of the Corbett Report is prepared to get purged from YouTube. His videos are available on his own self-hosted website and a number of other video platforms. Most independent creators are not even though YouTube has been suppressing and removing independent creators in favor of large corporate media outlets for nearly half a decade.
Copyright James Corbett / Corbett Report. Licensed under Creative Commons attribution.
"As you’ve probably seen by now, YouTube has engaged in another round of purging. But don’t worry, not only can you access all my work directly from CorbettReport.com, all of my videos are now uploaded to Archive.org, BitChute, LBRY and Minds.com. In addition, LBRY has now backed up the enter Corbett Report YouTube channel (and of course the entire Corbett Report Extras channel is backed up on BitChute). Oh, and I forgot to mention the IPFS backup of the entire website. Do your worst, GooTube!
"Censorship" From YouTube's Perspective
The latest round of YouTube-purges should not be a surprise to anyone, YouTube has gradually increased their censorship of mostly smaller and independent creators under guise of it being related to "community guidelines" that allow them to remove any video with no explanation. What YouTube is doing in terms of outright censorship of smaller channels, as well as de-monetization of smaller content creators, something that's probably killed more small creators than they've kicked off their platform, may be morally questionable.
There is one very simple truth that's usually not mentioned by YouTube content creators or YouTube critics even though it's essential to understand what's going on with YouTube: YouTube and their parent company Alphabet (GOOGL) is a for-profit corporation.
Google bought YouTube for a hefty $1.64 billion back in 2006. It ran at a deficit for a decade until YouTube begun regularly mass-purging content creators in 2016. YouTube generated $8.15 billion dollars in 2017. That grew to $11.15 billion in 2018 and the 2017 figure nearly doubled to $15.1 billion in 2019. Alphabet's total revenue, including YouTube, was $161.8 billion in 2019.
$15.1 billion is a lot of money.
It may look like YouTube is all about censorship these days, and that's what it is if you look at it from a layman's perspective. If you look at it from a business perspective it's simply a matter of ensuring that the most profitable content get the most eyeballs. That's why mainstream "news outlets" are promoted and that's why so many independent investigative journalists have been kicked off YouTube in recent years. YouTube's increasingly blatant censorship has massively increased their profits so it's hard to argue that it's a bad business decision regardless of what you think of corporatism and multi-national corporations psychopathic quest for profit at the expense of anyone and anything, including truth, justice and moral values.
Solutions & Recommendations
First of all: Keep local backups. This is a good idea weather you're a content creator or a content consumer. Don't assume that a video you may like to re-watch will be available online five years from now. You can use youtube-dl to archive videos from YouTube and other websites. Microsoft recently purged youtube-dl from GitHub following a DMCA complaint from the Recording Industry Association of America. Most GNU/Linux distributions have binary packages available and the source is readily available places like Gentoo Linux distfiles mirrors.
Some content creators who have been kicked off YouTube have complained that "All my work is gone!". If you create a video and you throw the video project file and the source material and the video you rendered away after uploading it to a video hosting platform then that's on you. Storing hundreds of videos does take space and re-uploading all of them to an alternative platform is time-consuming, but at least you have that option if you keep local copies of your work.
Most older computers have six SATA connectors on the motherboard. A base system that can be used as a NAS can be had quite cheaply. HDD's is another matter, that's a cost you would have to swallow. Configuring software raid on any Linux distribution using mdadm is quite easy, it is something anyone can do. Power-draw isn't a concern if you turn it off when you're not copying files to or from it. There's also external HDDs if you don't have room for a NAS or three.
You can use free software like PeerTube to create your own video hosting platform.
Secondly: Don't put your eggs in one basked if you're a content creator. YouTube is the by far biggest video hosting platform but it's not the only one, there are plenty of free alternatives. There's also a somewhat more expensive alternative: You can use off-the-shelf free software solutions like PeerTube to create your own video hosting platform. Luke Smith is one Linux-focused video creator who is trying that option with his own PeerTube-based video hosing platform at videos.lukesmith.xyz. A decent server with a gigabit Internet connection will cost you anywhere between $50 and $100 per month, so this isn't a great alternative for content creators who want to make money, not pay money to have people watch their content. That brings us to our last point..
Videos do not make themselves. Content creators spend a lot of time and, in many cases, a lot of money on equipment, travel and other costs. Don't expect independent reporters, documentary film makers, political commentators or anyone else to produce high quality videos at a loss for very long. Everyone needs a roof over their head and food on their table. The economic flag has to be addressed somehow. The larger and successful tech-channel on YouTube, like Linus Tech Tips, are built in the core principles of being family friendly and advertiser friendly. YouTube used to be willing to slam advertisements on anything. That's changed and YouTube is making record profits because of it. Don't expect any content that is, for whatever reason, not advertiser friendly to be created unless you support content creators who are making the content through donations or other means like purchases in "merch-stores" and things like that. The same applies to alternative video hosting platforms. BitChute is currently trying to raise $30,000 per month (that's $360,000 per year) to keep that site alive. It's a fair chunk of change, yet it's a drop in the ocean compared to YouTube's operating budget.
Remember this when you use any site that's funded by advertisements: The advertisers are the customers and you are the product. The content is just a means to get the product (consumer ad-views). Anything that's not advertiser friendly will either be suppressed or removed on websites that are not funded by donations or other means. That's how it is regardless of any obvious moral problems with the way that works.