As Censorship on Social Media & Content Platforms Grows, Opportunities & Frustrations Arise
Content creators are facing increasing rates of censorship on social media and major content platforms, but is the crackdown opening a door for new content platforms?
Rising Anger Among Content Providers
Many content creators have expressed their frustration with the monetization practices of YouTube. Hosts associated with InfoWars and NRA TV have claimed that the platform is promoting “censorship” of right-wing voices–when in fact, all portions of the political spectrum have seen specific videos become demonetized.
Frank Espinoza had his YouTube and Twitter accounts suspended after posting a video of himself shooting a cardboard cutout of David Hogg and saying, “You want to push society to a civil war? I’m going to show you what a civil war is going to look like, David.”
Frank wore a “Make America Great Again” hat, stirring a Twitter response from fellow Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Sarah Chadwick.
If you take a cardboard cutout of a teenage shooting survivor and use it as target practice, you should not have a gun. https://t.co/F8oCsDRPWq
— Sarah Chadwick (@Sarahchadwickk) April 12, 2018
After being suspended on social media, Espinoza stated to Newsweek, “I’m a performance artist, I wanted to see the trajectory of where this [Internet censorship] was going.” Despite his claims of censorship, YouTube directly outlaws content like the video he posted:
Twitter also has a similar policy:
Due to the serious potential for offline harm, we have a zero tolerance policy towards violent threats. Accounts found to be posting violent threats will be permanently suspended.
This incident comes after a woman opened fire at YouTube headquarters due to her videos becoming demonetized on the platform. Advertisers have become increasingly more involved in the placement of their ads over the past year–yet, the private company is dealing with criticism from those who feel entitled to monetary compensation, regardless of whether their videos meet policy requirements.
Future Platforms For Content Providers
Verasity is a blockchain video sharing platform that will attempt to help advertisers, creators, sponsors and viewers work in a mutually beneficial ecosphere. While rules for content will still exist, those who are simply looking to monetize off of malicious and threatening content will quickly find revenue streams on new-age platforms to be non-existent.
Verasity’s model allows for advertisers and sponsors to communicate directly with content creators and negotiate, which is something not currently available on Facebook or YouTube.
Creators will also be able to invest in the growth of their channel by selling off a portion of future revenue. This level of freedom along with communicability with investors is unheard of for small independent creators.
It’s unlikely that this model will eradicate bigoted and threatening content on video sharing platforms, but it will help to move the digital space in a direction where there isn’t an incentive to publish such material in the first place.
What is likely is Facebook and YouTube altering their business practices in order to compete with innovatory, successful alternative video sharing platforms. With the number of individual content creators currently not being compensated for their work, there will be a place for platforms that allow ethical creators to monetize quality content.
Is There Room In The Market?
Combined, YouTube (76 percent) and Vimeo (15 percent) account for over 91 percent of the current online video market share, with YouTube holding a practical monopoly for independent creators hosting their videos. The addition of further platforms in the vertical will allow for better services for both advertisers and creators alike.
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Walter, Very interesting article. I am very aware of the censorship issues with YouTube and others, but I did not know there were any alternatives on the horizon. Thanks for sharing that.
From a journalist standpoint, I don’t believe there are really issues concerning content moderation. Violent threats wouldn’t ever be acceptable on TV or in person. However, well meaning (and ethical) content creators need alternatives where they can make money off their work. Thank you for the comment.