So Youtube apparently unsubscribes people from Youtube channels. Without permission. Without even notifying them. Nothing. Just a seemingly random arbitrary goodbye to this channel that you thought was worth developing a relationship with. It’s like if Facebook just started unfriending people from your Facebook because they decided they want those people to make other friends. FYI this is not the same issue as when they deleted dead accounts in years previous. This is a delightfully new issue.
MY PRETEND CONVERSATION WITH YOUTUBE
Me (and many many other Youtube creators big and small): “You’re unsubscribing people from our videos. And not just when you do purges of dead accounts.”
Youtube: “We’re not unsubscribing people from channels. There is no glitch.”
Me: Then what is unsubscribing people from my channels and thusly lowering views and ultimately ruining my channel???
LIKELY ANSWER: Someone who worked at Youtube changed the algorithm in this draconian way, then quit or got fired and no one knows what they did or how to fix it. Apparently it’s something called “Cowboy Coding” that happens at companies all the time, like something straight out of Mike Judge’s “Silicon Valley”. So Youtube, as you’ll notice in their awkward video discussing the topic, doesn’t have a single clue what is going on. Meanwhile Youtube creators continue to work tirelessly at making their content, secure in the knowledge that a big batch of devoted fans will never see their channel again.
I have seen so many examples in the comments section on Youtube but here are a few I collected recently about my channels BlameSocietyFilms and GameSocietyPimps when I posted about the issue on Facebook:
Youtube doesn’t know what is unsubscribing people. But they are doing it. It is happening, and no one knows why or what the criteria are for an unsubscribe. Youtube has never understood or cared much about the people who make content for their website. This year we all learned they have a policy of unmonetizing videos they deem not “family friendly”. This could include actual not family friendly videos, but it also often includes videos with specific key words in the title–that don’t deserve this label. My GameSocietyPimps channel has a bunch of these videos. After reviewing our monetization history we found that Youtube has been doing this since 2012. It’s 2016. They just got around to telling us? And the requirements for “family friendly” are not clear. At all. I mean, it’s the internet man. People say fuck a lot. Just like adults do. In front of their children. Horrors!
One of the biggest problems I have with websites I use a lot like Youtube and Facebook is their lack of honesty with their policies. Youtube unsubscribes, unmonetizes, stops you from commenting on videos if you don’t watch the video for 20 seconds (another thing I recently learned), etc. Youtube, how can we possibly learn how to use your website the way you want us to if you don’t tell us what you want? Not to mention run a business? It’s like trying to run a shipping company by just guessing where to deliver packages. Give us the addresses Youtube. We want to deliver.
I was talking to a friend about Facebook recently. He said, “No one liked the video I posted yesterday except my wife!” He was not happy about it. I said, “Was it a Youtube video?” He said it was, and I explained that Facebook buries Youtube videos. They purposely don’t show them in almost any of your friend’s newsfeeds (there are exceptions) because they want you to only watch Facebook videos. How is the average layperson ever going to know that? They won’t. They’ll just stop posting videos or think that no one likes their taste in videos. They’ll think their friends don’t like them! That’s cruel, Facebook. Whose Facebook page is this? I see Aaron Yonda at the top of the page, but apparently it should just say Pawn of Facebook. I get why FB does this, and I’m not saying they shouldn’t. But they should tell us very clearly that they’re doing it every time we make a post that contains a Youtube video. And they should tell us exactly what they’re going to do with our information every time we make any post on their website. It’s called trust, and businesses need to build it with their users. I think trust between us commoners and these websites that we share our lives on is going to become a bigger and bigger issue in the future.
HEY AARON WHY DON’T YOU STOP USING YOUTUBE, OBVIOUSLY: Like it or not, Youtube is the only game in town right now if you want to make video content for the internet…and you’re not independently wealthy. Trust me, I’ve tried using other sites and driving people to them. People like Youtube and they don’t want to leave it. They get really really angry if you try to tell them to go somewhere else. Maybe if Youtube keeps not telling us what the hell is going on and keeps trying to drive people away from organic, original, authentic programming to mainstream commercials, movie trailers, and late night talk shows another website will pop up to take their place. I’ve been making videos on Youtube since 2006 and I will fight like hell to keep my channels running successfully on their platform. But it would be really nice if they would throw us a bone now and then beyond just lip service. I know they’re trying to communicate with creators more than they used to, but so far I’m not impressed. Stop unsubscribing fans from my channels Youtube. They mean the world to me.