Youtubers Union Weekly Update 3, 25th March 2018
This week we have seen Jörg's meeting with YouTube bumped back to the 28th of March. Don't worry though, the reason for moving it back was to allow more time to go through Jörg's, entire list of questions. Really it is a good thing, it means more of our issues will be heard, Don't forget to take a look at Jörg's post on Facebook where he posted the questions and add any suggestions you think are relevant.
We have also seen a huge change to YouTube's gun policies. You can read Jörg's post here. Again this sees YouTube censoring people, and no prior discussion or notice. Creators are going to lose their livelihoods now, they will be forced to adapt their whole business strategy here, or might just get banned since their content is already against the new guidelines. Personally I feel that as such a large platform YouTube has a moral obligation to support free speech, something many people have pointed out is that it has no legal obligation here, it is a private platform and can host whichever content it like. I'm no lawyer, so not qualified to contest the legal position but I do contest the moral one. YouTube is big enough that is should aim to represent everyone, not just people who agree with its own world view. If content is legal it should be allowed. This lead to Jörg's first call to action on 23rd of March which I recommend you check out if you missed it.
If you are not a fan of Philip DeFranco, I suggest you check out his March 23rd video. The first story he talks about is related to YouTube policy changes and the example he gives demonstrates excellently why YouTube banning things can be a problem, even if you agree something should be banned. If you are not a fan of Phil the story is talked about right at the start of the videos, as well as some lesser known policy changes for YouTube concerning music.
In a response to YouTube's changes in their firearms policy many channel owners have been moving their content to other sites, which includes PornHub. This was noted in a BBC article which makes brief mention of Jörg Sprave but does not directly mention the union. Jörg laid out quite clearly in his Facebook post earlier today that moving to Pronhub was not an acceptable option.
Why PornHub isn't the solution - for now.
Several YouTubers have gone to the PornHub sites in order to avoid censorship on YouTube. While I can understand the reasoning, for me that is not an option. For three reasons.
1. Creators are YouTube partners, not users. Google and us creators have built the platform together. It is not THEIR platform, it is OURs. So we need to fight for our platform instead of giving up. Moving to any other platform is admitting defeat. I am not ready to do that, as we are just at the beginnings of the fight.
2. PornHub may not appreciate gun and weapon videos either. It is an ad site for commercial hard core porn videos. This does not mean that they are tolerant towards ANYTHING. Not everyone who loves porn also loves guns, and vice versa.
3. I do not want my channel to be associated with pornography, simply because my channel does not have anything to do with it. Therefore PornHub isn't an option for me.
Now that may change in the future. In case we lose the YouTube Wars (I think we are at the start of exactly that) AND in case the owners of PornHub start a new, separated website just for guns and weapons, then this may be an option as they clearly have the infrastructure and the cash.
But I don't really think this will happen. Their biz model is based on the fact that much of their free content is teasers and people pay for the full videos on the homepages of the advertisers. I don't think this model works for gun channels.
Later today we had something slightly more positive. We have seen a boost to numbers taking our membership to over 13k. Jörg challenged members to produce a virtual membership card, as well as submit other ideas. Take a look at his Facebook post and submit your ideas in the comments.
Thanks for all the effort guys, United We Stand!
David "BigMonMulgrew" Mulgrew