Google skewed page views to artificially create some YouTube millionaires to attract young content creators and new audiences. Not anymore, thanks to CNN, Carlos Maza and pressure groups.
Google employees used to hit schools, colleges and universities to encourage millennials to join YouTube and post videos. They made presentations of how young people with nothing more than a phone camera could make money off videos – money based on page views. It seemed too good to be true. Youtube also created some artificial millionaires to buttress their claims.
Why do I say that YouTube created artificial millionaires? If today YouTube can surreptitiously choke traffic (shadow banning) to right-leaning channels, then after Google’s acquisition YouTube could certainly have been driving traffic to
artificially “organically” grow some channels.
Besides that, YouTube does not make money, as neither do most Google services. Except for Adsense. It is a combination of creating accounting and tax evasion. Adsense is a corporate legal fiction created in multiple tax havens that the IRS and EU tax officials have refused to look closely. Every big US multinational corporation is doing the same thing. Adsense makes just enough money within the US to float Alphabet above water while secreting most of the profits away from the IRS. Adsense is more of an Irish or Dutch company than American.
YouTube Search becomes useless, as censorship decimates discoverability
After CNN campaigned against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, advertisers asked YouTube to shadow ban channels that were too opinionated or off centre. Now, Youtube search is totally useless. Old search terms do not work. Notifications do not work. Useless videos from TV channels appear like spam in the results.
Anyway, former Vox ‘journalist’ Carlos Maza waged a long crusade against a conservative YouTuber named Steven Crowder. (I put the word journalist in quotation marks because Mr. Maza says the job of a journalist is not supply the news but to censor it.)
Maza has published many openly partisan and anti-Trump videos. Crowder took him to task by giving many of his videos point-by-point rebuttals. Crowder is a comedian and he peppered his criticism with sarcastic jokes about Maza. Maza identifies himself as a ‘Marxist pig’ and has also called for violence against conservative politicians. He still took offense at Crowder’s swipes at him. Despite being a male, grownup and a ‘journalist’, he complained to Google that Crowder was bullying him. He complained to YouTube that the site was not a ‘safe space‘ for precocious man-boys like him.
YouTube reviewed Crowder’s content and found them legally safe and withing the terms of the site policy. After all, it is not Youtube’s job to protect someone from ridicule and criticism. Maza was not satisfied and went raving mad. Crowder’s channel was demonetized and censored from searches, ‘related videos’ and other places. Crowder was one of the first batch of ‘Youtube Partners’ and feels betrayed by Google.
Google-YouTube censorship deserves FTC action
Google claims it is a private company and can deal anyway it feels like with its content creators. This is not legally tenable. By making false promises and bait-switching, Google has indulged in anti-competitive and anti-consumer business practices. This invites action from Federal Trade Commission. If YouTube did not sign any agreement with its creators, it would have been legally safe but by making a contract Google has bound itself with normal business rules. It cannot indulge in censorship without proper explanation. Many class-action suits have already been filed against Youtube. One Youtuber went as far as shooting up the offices of the outfit.
Subscriptions are increasing but page views are decreasing, indicating suppression
Remember the time, when Google claimed that a programmer wrote Street Maps van code that inadverdantly collected wireless network IDs and passwords. Something similar will happen when it is discovered that Google algorithmic skewing suppressed page views to decrease payouts to content creators.
Eli, the computer guy, was another early Youtuber. He used to make lots of money from videos. He decided to become a full-time YouTuber and made investment in video and studio equipment. Now, despite having nearly one million subscribers, he gets only 1000 views on all new videos. He has also been deprived of the ability to livestream videos using some unwritten rule that his channel manager in Youtube refuses to disclose to him. Eli sometimes speaks about controversial topics. That must have upset somebody. So, some Youtube manager dedicated a few hours of his life to sit through Eli’s videos, found that livestreaming was crucial to Eli at that moment, and took away that privilege.
There are many such YouTubers. They have millions of subscribers but their channels are not recording as many views. How can this happen? With everyday, subscribers are increasing? Shouldn’t page views similarly? Who is stealing the page views if not for Google.
These content creators have been given false promises by YouTube and now their investments have been rendered useless. They abandoned their careers and their lives have been permanently ruined.
Suppressing page views has not been enough so Youtube has simply deleted or demonetized thousands of channels. Videos that have been on YouTube for years without any problems have suddenly been demonetized. If YouTube had money like earlier, this would not happen.
The new advertiser-friendly and censorship-heavy Youtube is making less money than earlier and even lesser to share with content creators. Youtube is suppressing traffic stats across the site, irrespective of the nature of the content. Everyone is suffering from low page views. This is also a clear deceptive trade practice. They have become trapped by Google. They cannot move their business elsewhere. It is time to break up Google.
CNN, Maza and pressure groups have ensured that Youtube is not a profitable site for independent content creators. This is good for millennials. While many young kids say that they want to be Youtubers, once they realise how little money they can make off videos and how dramatic algorithmic changes can affect their earnings, better sense will prevail. Young people will find real stable jobs offline. Thanks, Maza. You have unwittingly done something useful in your life.
After CNN started a campaign to ban Alex Jones from the online world, YouTube was hit with a boycott by ad agencies for promoting conspiracy videos. In response, YouTube now displays clips from TV shows in the results while videos uploaded by ordinary YouTubers have been demoted.
Recently, I was trying to find the funny video of Joe Biden posted by US president Donald Trump and found that YouTube has censored the video. In its place are numerous TV reports talking about the Trump twitter message.
If you check the results page of YouTube search, you will find a “filters” drop-down list. In this list, YouTube will allow ordering the results by “relevance” and “view count”. The default is “relevance” and by YouTube’s definition, it means TV shows are always better than videos uploaded by ordinary YouTube users. To make YouTube search work like earlier, you need to select “Video” under “Type” and “View Count” under “Sort By”.
Censored YouTube search: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=trump+trolls+biden
Uncensored YouTube search: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=trump+trolls+biden&sp=CAMSAhAB
To make this easy, I created a custom YouTube search engine XML file based on the OpenSearch standard at:
Save this file as YouTube-Search.xml and copy it to your ‘searchplugins’ directory in the Firefox profile directory.
This is not a real solution, as Google censorship is very open when it comes to Trump.
Blocks video ads too.
In this version, the script will
- disable ads, including video ads. If a video ad is loaded, a new window will be opened until an ad-free video is loaded. You will have to manually close the other tabs. I am not sure how effective it is in blocking text ads, I use a ad-blocking HOSTS file and I don’t see ads most of the time.
- pause all videos automatically. This is useful if you open multiple videos in different tabs and if they all start playing simultaneously, you will hear the biblical Tower of Babel.
- turn off autoplay button
- add an RSS link next to the channel name and in a LINK tag in the HEAD section of the HTML so that the browser can activate its RSS button (if available).
- delete “recommended for you” videos
- unhide description
- display all comments
- change profile link to videos page
- change region to US. By default, YouTube pages defaults to India and all the results are tilted in favour of Indian Youtubers. The problems with the Indian Youtubers is that their videos have low-volume voice and high-volume music. By changing to US, the video results are mostly from English-speaking countries. They are not enamoured by the need to pepper their videos with loud interludes of the same copyright-free music.
The script supports Firefox-based browser up to version 36. Newer Firefox versions should use a UserAgent (UA) spoofer add-on. YouTube loads a lighter version of the YouTube page for older browsers. This script will require the GreaseMonkey add-on to be executed by the Firefox browser.
For non-YouTube pages, I have a more generic autoplay video autostopper script. It will also work on YouTube pages if the @exclude line is removed.
This browser user js is also available at