YouTube Censorship Issues & Alternatives to Consider
In light of the recent censorship purge on YouTube, many of us are wondering where else to go if the platform is indeed a sinking ship for more 'sensitive' content. I've researched and tested out some other platforms quite extensively and decided to share my insights for anyone else who might be in the same boat. What it really comes down to is what your looking for and if you're a content creator or simply just looking for information that isn't subject to over-arching censorship.
My own situation is a bit more complex and perhaps requires spreading out content over a several platforms instead of centralized to one location. I don't want to overly invest in any given platform by uploading a bunch of content (which takes a lot of time in and of itself) only to have them break down in the future and require yet another migration. I'm hoping a little research now will save a lot of time in the future.
So here are the alternative platforms I will be breaking down and discussing: BitChute, DTube (which requires a Steemit account which will also be discussed), 153News.net, Real.Video (which has yet to be released), and Vimeo. We'll break them down in that order and consider many things such as:
• Censorship concerns.
• Monetization potentials.
• Features and functionality.
• Platform longevity concerns.
• Upload speeds and any other uploading issues.
• Being a viewer vs. a creator and additional concerns with the latter.
• Potential politics and partiality within the platform.
• Ability to get views, grow organically and the general community.
• Is it free or is there a cost?
• Any other miscellaneous considerations.
*Please bear in mind I'm just speaking from my own experience and what I've found. Some of the pros for me might be cons for you (or vice versa) and some of my cons might not even be issues for you at all. If there are any features I said were or were not part of a particular platform and I am mistaken, please let me know with a comment.
Summary: There is plenty of "truther friendly" content and it's easy to use but not a lot of features. It's a good platform for the average person that wants to to simply upload and/or watch; no complexities like DTube/Steemit. It's created by a small team who says their goal is to minimize censorship and they appear to be true to their word so far as it's heavily dominated by alternative media and "truther" content at this time.
Technology Used: Peer to Peer––Decentralized.
(I don't pretend to understand these sorts of things, but here is a Wikipedia article describing P2P technology)
No playlists or organization; not even playlists for history, liked videos or any "watch later" options. This is extremely frustrating for someone in my situation who has a lot of videos and who likes organizational options. In addition, the navigation is also lacking; there is no sidebar with menu options, playlists or video history.
The communication is limited. There's no messaging system or channel threads, only communication through video comments.
The interface seems a little crude for me but this is just a vanity issue and others might not care or may even like the look. You can choose between a dark/light theme.
The name ain't great; anytime you have to say the word "bitch" within a platform name is automatically going to lose you a few points lol. Again, just a random vanity issue due to the namesake; not a big deal.
Videos can be flagged. This could be seen as a good or bad thing depending upon your perspective. I'm not sure exactly what happens when videos are flagged or if there is an appeal process.
I'm unsure what the magnet feature does, it sends me to a broken link when I click it and appears to be useless.
The search is not good. I searched for a particular video in Google and it came up on BitChute in the Google results. When I searched for the same video using it's title (word for word) in BitChute, the video did not even come up at all! That is a major issue. Perhaps the search will be fixed and improved upon in time, but this presents some pretty large-scale issues for those looking to have their content found both organically and from people specifically looking for your work and searching you out.
I tried to upload a video and it took a very long time. I ended up cancelling the upload, but the upload time didn't seem to be much different than the other platforms under discussion.
There are no privacy settings, at least none that I could find. This is a big problem if you want to test a video and not have it be public just yet, or if you want only select people to be able to view your video. This could cause problems if you use subscriber based programs like Patreon; I'm just speculating on this though as I don't have a Patreon service set up.
There's no means of monetization. You might need to rely on a Patreon account or donations for income on your content, and if there is indeed an issue as address in the previous point, well...you get the picture. Apparently you can 'mine' crypto-currency using a mining app that is part of the BitChute platform; more information here. I can't image anyone getting very much monetization from this but I have not tried it personally.
BitChute uses Disqus for video comments. The only reason this could be seen as negative is that they apparently do some form of data collection. Read their terms here. This is a larger company so I'm not sure if potential censorship issues could arise from their end of things in regards to A.I. targeting key words etc.
BitChute will not save your spot when you close a video, unlike YouTube. To be fair, I haven't found any other platforms that do this. It's more of a luxury feature, but it can be annoying to have to re-locate the place where you previously stopped watching during a 2-3 hour video.
The creator's message is anti-censorship; you can find it here. This is what they say:
"We are are a small team making a stand against Internet censorship because we believe it is the right thing to do. We do need your help and every dollar counts and is very much appreciated."
The videos that are trending in the "All" | "Popular" | "Trending" categories are predominately what I'd consider to be "truther" friendly videos, or alternative media content. This is definitely a huge plus for people that are already part of this community or looking to join and expand in it. This would seemingly be more conducive to build an audience organically, but there are some who have complained that organic views and community building have been challenging so far on BitChute; I'd image that the search engine issues could play a part in this.
It has the features of being able to speed up or slow down a video. I really don't ever use this feature, but it is available.
You can download videos. Some might call this a con if you are a creator and don't want your videos downloadable. I had to "control-shift-click" (on a Mac) directly on the video screen to access the option to download; you can even screen shot the current frame along with some other minor options.
There is an email support if you have issues. I haven't had experience with the support team so I can't comment on their helpfulness. This email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
There appears to be unlimited uploads and it is free to use. There is no option for paid upgrade to access more features as far as I can tell.
The videos play pretty decently. I haven't had many issues. You can also edit your comments, in case you typed something stupid. 😜
It's very easy to sign up and get an account; I had mine up and running in under 2min.
While not having playlists of any kind, a positive byproduct of this is that no one can browse your viewing history. I'd personally prefer a 'history' playlist but allow for it to be hidden from the public.
It's a newer platform so there is room for growth and improvement.
Apparently there is a way to link with your YouTube channel and get your videos automatically uploaded on your BitChute channel. I've heard of people having various degrees of both success and frustration with this function.
Miscellaneous Comments/Conclusion: I'm not sure if there are any longevity concerns here but for now it seems like a stable platform that is growing. Since the creators seem to be allowing free speech and minimal censorship, I'd say that it's current foundation would have a lowered risk for these sorts of issues to crop up in the future; the only concern is with Disqus' potential for censorship and shadow banning. The lack of organization puts me off from uploading any of my own content at this point in time. If you're a more serious content creator BitChute might not be the most attractive, especially with the 'no playlist' issues or lack of monetization potential. I'd either pass on BitChute or at the least email the support team and ask what the future plans are for either of those features being added. As for the mixed reviews about getting organic views on uploads, I suppose the only way to find out is to give it a try.
Summary: For simply being a content viewer, DTube is a decent platform but you must have a Steemit account to comment and upvote. Signing up with Steemit can be a bit complicated. If you are only looking to view and comment on videos as opposed to creating them, then it's not as much of a problem; all the complexities of the Steem crypto-currency will be of minor importance if you are not trying to create content or build a following and/or monetize. If you're a content creator then you will have a lot more to think about and perhaps some more intricate politics to deal with when becoming invested in the world of Steemit/DTube. I will do a secondary breakdown on Steemit, but for this section we will mainly focus on the features of DTube.
Technology Used: Blockchain––Decentralized?
(I don't pretend to understand these sorts of things, but here is a Wikipedia article describing blockchain technology)
No video playlists or organization. Unlike BitChute, however, there is a history playlist and a "watch later" playlist. Again, extremely frustrating for people like me who have a lot of content with specific categories and multi-video series' that need separate folders for ease of navigation.
You can't make videos private or unlisted and you cannot delete your videos. This becomes problematic if censorship does end up taking ahold of Steemit (which might be a future concern which I'll address in the Steemit addendum). If you have a video you end up realizing isn't very good, or revealed a bit too much personal information, or even if you attacked someone and now you feel it was unwarranted, it will remain forever in the blockchain no matter what (as far as I understand it).
I have a computer with an older OS system and I cannot view DTube at all using it. That older OS I use is Snow Leopard which is considered to be quite ancient now in 2018, but regardless if you have an older OS you might not be able to even view DTube videos so if you do go make a test run and see. My newer Mac and iPhone are up to date so there are no issues viewing DTube with them.
You must deal with the politics of Steemit which I'll touch upon in the next section.
Upload time can be very long and often fail. When I first started uploading on DTube I had a 2.5Gb video fail 4 times after hitting 100%, only to have the next phase crap out. This was a waste of about 3-4 hours of my CPU usage. Since then I've had varying degrees of success; it started uploading videos roughly 80% of the time, which was an improvement, but since the latest update I've been unable to upload anything. I've been using Firefox 59.0.1 and even tried Safari and the latest Google Chrome; no luck whatsoever which basically renders DTube useless for me right now. This is extremely frustrating when you have many videos and it takes forever to upload; for now it has turned me off to uploading anything but a small collection of more recent work––if I can even upload at all due to my current issues.
Steemit/DTube seems to be in the BETA state, so it has a long way to go.
Not much "truther" or alternative media content trending on the main pages, in fact none at all. It's mostly people spamming or talking about crypto-currency. I personally don't really care much at all about crypto-talk, so if you don't either rougly 50% of the content currently on Steemit will be pretty much useless to you. There might be censorship issues down the road for "truthers" despite the blockchain allowing for videos to remain indefinitely; more on this when we discuss Steemit politics.
There's limited communication. Similar to BitChute, there's no messaging system or channel threads; only communication through video comments.
All comments and activity (not including video watch history) are easily accessible to others viewing your channel. This becomes problematic in regards to censorship when potential 'flaggers' with an agenda (i.e. people with nothing better to do in their lives) are searching out content to suppress. They can easily filter out your activity, read everything you've ever posted as a comment or a reply to see if you make any comments "naughty" enough in their eye. They can also see what you've upvoted and if it doesn't fit their agenda––well––they could make you a target. This, in my opinion, is a MAJOR issue; there should always be a way to keep all of your commenting/upvoting activity private outside of being visible on the actual videos and Steemit posts you've interacted with. People say that this helps weed out spam but I'd rather have spam/anonymity and no censorship vs. no spam/anonymity and censorship; it's like saying mass surveillance helps get rid of terrorism... right.
You cannot edit any video info (or comments for that matter) after 7 days. This is extremely annoying for me in case I need to update something in the video, add additional commentary, or correct something. This would typically be done in a Steemit post in which the video is attached to, but not being able to change anything after 7 days is pretty lame in my book; it creates a host of problems for people who like to be thorough and not have to re-post things to correct errors or give annotations and updates.
Updates??? I've seen people post updates to newer versions of DTube but they seem to require some hula-hoops to jump through just to get it installed through add-ons and other methods that me as a computer illiterati finds confusing and not worth my time to sort through. I think the vast majority of people are like me in this regard and it makes DTube––a platform already lacking in mass appeal via Steemit––even more inaccessible to the average person.
DTube, I believe, takes a decent cut from your earnings. I've read it takes 25% of the earnings on a video post and the rest is split accordingly between curators (voters) and content creators (you). So if you earn $100 on a video you'll probably end up with something like $50-60 in the end; which might seem unattractive to most. Here is an article that explains it better than I can.
What happens if you end up using copyrighted material in a video and someone takes issue with it? There is no way to take the video down, so what happens? I'll expand upon this in the cons of Steemit; because with the blog being attached to DTube videos, it makes more sense to elaborate on it in that section as there's more complexities involved.
Despite some potential censorship issues––which again, I will describe in the Steemit section––the videos and posts you make do not go away. They can only be "hidden due to low ratings." So your content cannot be completely removed and no one can delete your account––outside of them obtaining your Steemit "keys" ; specifically your "Master" key. If there were to be an abundance of "truther" content on Steemit, then it would most likely ensure that censorship would be much less likely if they were a dominant force, but this depends on the politics and the whole paradigm of "minnows" and "whales" in the Steemit community.
DTube features a sidebar for easier navigation. The only thing I don't like about it is that you must close the sidebar to click on a video to watch; unlike in YouTube you can keep the sidebar open and still interact the with main screen where all the videos are located to the right.
There is a history playlist called "watch again" where you can go back and find videos you've watched. It's also private which I think is a very good thing. My only issue is that when I've tried to remove videos from the list by hitting the "x" button or "stop sharing video" option, it disappears for a second but then takes you to the video page to re-watch––it never actually removes from your list when doing this. I found a way around it though: click on the "x" button when you are on your "watch again" or history page, then as soon as you see the video disappear use the command key (on my Mac it's command/apple 'W') to close the page quickly so you don't leave the page to go watch the video again; this is the only way I've been able to get rid of videos in the history playlist. I suppose these are the types of quirks that you'll have to deal with on a platform that's in the BETA stage.
There is a "watch later" playlist so you can keep track of videos you'd like to see in the future and not forget them.
The interface looks a lot like YouTube and for those who like familiarity, this will be a good thing. The interface is fairly sharp and I like it better than BitChute.
You can speed the videos up and down with 'right click' or 'control click' as well as download them using the same technique.
DTube seems to play decently and I haven't had any major issues watching videos.
DTube is tied to a Steemit blog; every time you post a video a blog post is created for it which gives you a lot of additional options. On YouTube, if I have additional notes, comments or resources, I have to put them in the description which must be extended to read; and it has much more limited space. With the Steemit blog I can insert all kinds of links, write a video synopsis, insert images/embed other videos and basically give all the additional information I need and then some. I really love this aspect of Steemit; it's too bad that there's so many other boons of DTube (from my perspective) that make it generally unappealing to me at this time and I'd rather not invest any more time with it until some decent changes have been made.
There is potential for monetization through the Steem crypto-currency. It's fairly complex and this will be elaborated on the Steemit section, but either way there is a potential to create revenue; through some extra steps this can be converted into US dollars. I have not done this but I believe you exchange Steem on something like Coinbase and then change it to BitCoin and in turn change it to US dollars through something like PayPal. Again, I'm not the guy to ask about this because I've never done it but I've heard that this process is how people convert their Steem to US dollars; Nathan Stoplman from @lifttheveil411 has confirmed that you can do this.
The DTube video search engine is much more functional than BitChute's.
Perhaps Steem takes off in the future, giving you a reward for investing in it at the ground level. You also don't have to invest any of your own money. You can, but most seem to not endorse the idea of buying Steem with your own pocket money unless you really believe it will take off as a crypto-currency in the future; there are some who considered Steemit a ponzi-scheme, but if you don't invest money into it then there's no financial risks if there is indeed something 'fishy' going on with it. The only thing you have to lose at this point is time, but that in many ways can also equal money that could be made elsewhere if Steemit/DTube becomes a dud.
There is also DLive, which is apparently a way to live stream using the Steemit/DTube platform. I have not had any experience with this and have read some mixed reviews about it. Either way, the option is there, so there are a lot of major video features available via a Steemit account; the functionality is what will make or break them.
Miscellaneous Comments/Conclusion: DTube via Steemit is a bit more risky for content creators in my opinion and there's several reasons as to why. Most of these reasons will be covered in the next section on Steemit itself. If you're someone who doesn't like to deal with complex systems, this is probably not the platform for you. It might be hard to get a following to come over to Steemit/DTube for this exact reason. While people can watch DTube and read your Steemit posts without an account, they will be unable to comment unless they have one. This provides a challenge if you want to grow in a community and interact with people through conversation. For now, DTube might be a decent spot to just get some of your more controversial videos uploaded and least have a home for them; but if that's your sole reason for uploading I think some of the other platforms like BitChute and 153News.net are currently better suited for this (although BitChute's search engine appears to be severely flawed at this time). DTube also could become a censorship struggle in the future depending on flaggers with nothing better to do with their lives. I have a friend with personal experience dealing with this struggle; I'll share his story in the next section. Overall, if you're not additionally using Steemit for blog posts I'd probably steer clear of DTube for a while until they make some major improvements. Steem could have the potential to take off which means there could be a high reward for investing in it now, but I'm not holding my breath, and I'd certainly advise against investing your own money into Steem unless you really understand what you are doing.
Summary: Since Steemit is directly tied to DTube, I felt like I needed to include a separate section on it because whatever politics are tied to one will effect the other. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Steemit. Obviously I appreciate it to a certain extent because it's what makes this blog post possible; on the other hand I've been a bit disappointed by many aspects of it and I'm not so sure those issues are going to change anytime soon. If you've already decided to bypass DTube then I wouldn't bother to read this section and suggest you skip over to 153.News.net next.
Steemit has a complex system of crypto-currency; there are 3 divisions: Steem, Steem Power, and Steem Dollars. I'm not going to pretend like I fully (or even partially) understand the Steemit monetary system, but I do know that Steem Power is a big part of where the political games arise. If you want a more in depth explanation of how this all works I think this article is one of the better ones I've found. Back to the point, when you have Steem Power you have more influence. If you are a "whale"––meaning you have an elite amount of Steem Power––you up-voting someone's post can give them a giant boost in earnings on their post. This might lead to sycophantic behavior where "minnows" (those who have very little Steem Power) might suck up to "whales" or people with any sort of prominence of Steem Power, and attempt to stroke their ego. Maybe the whales will bite and give them an upvote––maybe not, but this can easily lead to hollow followers, two-faced behavior and manipulation via political agendas. Translation?––more BS and less genuine behavior. You don't have to play this game and I don't know to what degree this stuff actually goes on, but the point I'm trying to make is the potential is there for this to become very prominent as the platform gains popularity. I'll expand more in the next point.
If a group of elite "whales" decide they want Steemit to be more in line with overt PC rhetoric and mainstream narratives, then they can go after posts and down-vote or flag would be deemed "truther" content and alternative media or conspiracy posts. While your posts will remain on the blockchain, they will be hidden due to low ratings and you will be suppressed. This could also deeply impact any monetary gain you might have accumulated and expected to come on a regular basis, not much different from the YouTube issues of censorship and demonetization. If you're Steemit blog or DTube videos becomes big enough to cross over into the "matrix" world of Steemit you're going to be more and more at risk for this, especially if there ends up being a predominance of people who have a disdain for conspiracy/anti-NWO content. Normally I wouldn't worry so much about this but my friend Daniel at @Activist-News has been struggling with "serial" flaggers attacking his content. He's only been on the platform a short time and doesn't even have a lot of Steem. Here is Daniel's post addressing the down-voting on his blog. Yes Daniel posts pretty controversial stuff in regards to WWII revisionism and his critique on political Zionism, but that's the fucking point of free speech. The flagger in question (Bloom) stated in a comment thread on why he down-votes people:
"Yes, he was downvoted: for denying climate science - nothing personal. I think it's appropriate to downvote posts/comments that deny well-established scientific or historical facts, examples include Holocaust denial, Climate science denial, Flat earth etc. Also I prefer to avoid discussions with deniers about the topics of their denialism, because it gives the impression there is a debate where in fact there is no debate. While some deniers are just victims of disinformation, lack education or intelligence (or suffer from some mental condition), others do it to further a political agenda or for the purpose of trolling."
So there ya go, for someone who's channel description says "professional flagger," you can probably see the problems that might arise if there becomes an army of people with this mindset to censor anything that questions the mainstream narrative and "facts." This is my #1 concern for the future of Steemit and for anyone looking to build up an audience and crypto-currency who are in the alternative media. Just imagine if that guy was a whale; how much damage he could do to channels that have been making a dent and earning some decent crypto in the process.
Instead of gaining an audience through view count and thumbs up on YouTube, it matters more who is up-voting. You could have 1000 views with 500 upvotes but they could all be by minnows with no Steem Power; you'd essentially get jack shit when in comparison to having your video viewed once when viewed and upvoted by a single person if that person were a whale––as far as I understand it at least. While I'm usually a quality over quantity type of person, in this instance I think it's a very flawed system in regards to those trying to build something of prominence in the "truther" world of social media and content creation through videos and blog posts. A lot of my YouTube videos are now being found more organically through recommended videos. This is largely due to view count coupled with whatever similar content is in the "suggested videos" of others who may have viewed similar topics. In fact, when I checked my analytics a few weeks back, 40% of the views from all my videos came from the suggested videos list. This is vastly different than 6-8 months ago when I got views only because of my appearances on shows like the Sage of Quay Radio Hour, The Higherside Chats, etc. This couldn't happen on Steemit most likely, because most of these people who would be interested in my work are not content creators with larger amounts of Steem Power. My main point is that gaining Steem by a following is a lot different than gaining a following on YouTube; you have to care more about people with influence rather than just sheer numbers like on YouTube. It kinda screws over the voice/influence of the "little guy" which I find it a bit ironic since most "truthers" say the problem is wealth/power consolidation by the elite class. Somehow Steemit is a platform that will help fight the NWO (according to many in the alternative media) yet it seems to be cut from the same cloth in terms of social structure and hierarchy: elites vs. the profane masses; the former have all the power, wealth and influence to crush anyone rising in the latter; whether that's by accident or not on Steemit, I'm not going to speculate.
There seems to be a lot of bots and other followers on my Steemit that I would call "hollow followers." Meaning, if they are at the very least, a human account, they did not follow me because they liked a post or my content; they followed me because they were playing a political game. They wanted me to go over to their account and check out their work by pretending to be interested in my account by upvoting a video; it's just a natural instinct to go and check out someone else's channel when they upvote something on yours. This might not always be the case but it seems pretty obvious to me when I go and check out these accounts who upvote me; they are posting spammy type articles on crypto-currency or some random "in the matrix" content about their top 5 favorite backpacks, burger joints, or places to travel without a single "truther" type post or comment anywhere in sight. I wasn't born yesterday, these folks don't give a crap about your content and I hate these petty and childish games to try to gain views/subs. It only results in hollow interest which is completely useless in my opinion for all intensive purposes. My advice is, if you don't like these sorts of political games, then don't play them, and certainly don't worry about making crypto on Steemit. Focus only on creating and communicating with what and who you want; don't waste time with anything else and let the chips fall where they may.
The blog format is more html/coded language; I believe it's also called markdown. I'm not super familiar with all this so I might not fully understand the terms. You must use an asterisk or double asterisk at the beginning and ends of a word/phrase you want to italicize or bold. I'd prefer to have some formatting bar like in most email programs, but there's plenty of Steemit blogs that give you the code to format your posts. Here's an article to help explain some of this.
You cannot update posts after 7 days. This is the period where earning Steem on posts ends. This makes me so frustrated and is one of the biggest issues I have with Steemit. This post itself is pretty epic. What if a link breaks down or I wanted to update an error (of which I'm sure there will be many) in the future? Well, I can't. The best I can do is to add it into a comment in the thread, but if the thread becomes overloaded with comments (fat chance of that anyways) then it will then get lost in the fray. It would be nice to be able 'pin' comments to the top of a thread like on YouTube.
There is not much for communication other than commenting on posts. No messaging system, no channel thread, and there is very little space for information/bio outside of some basic information; while the simplicity of that can be nice, there's not much else for means of communication which makes it more difficult to find ways to contact people––not everyone wants their communication or email to be public in comment threads.
The search has improved. I originally found it to be rather useless but it's gotten better. It uses Google to search, but only filters it through Steemit posts. You search for tags by using "https://steemit.com/trending/" and adding whatever tag you want to use afterwards. For example: if you wanted to search for 'conspiracy' in the tags, then type "https://steemit.com/trending/conspiracy" and it will come up.
There is no real way to request changes, no support email or main person to contact as far as I know.
There are multiple passwords or "keys" that are implemented into Steemit and it can be confusing. You might lose your password and be locked out of your account for good––or so I've heard. I've had people say there are ways around this; it's something you'll have to look up on your own time because I don't have much to offer in this regard other than to keep your password keys safe, especially the master key. Here is an article to help explain.
This is minor, and not something I'd expect, but it would be cool to have an organization option to put your posts into different folders. For example: if I wrote a series of articles on astrology, but didn't want them lumped in with articles such as this, it would be cool to have a place to put them all so someone doesn't need to cycle through all the old posts to find them. Also, if I was doing an article series on the 12 Zodiac signs, but I posted only half and took a month break to do the rest, then they'd be detached from each other in the blog timeline and much harder to find. Again, I'm an organization/efficiency freak so I'm sure 90% of people wouldn't give a shit about this––I'll blame my Moon in Virgo.
It would be nice to see your "recent followers" instead of having to remember names and sort through a giant list of people if you want to find out who's added themselves to your list in the last few weeks.
What happens if you use copyrighted images in a post/video (accidentally or not) or if you find someone using your own copyrighted materials? If you can't take the post down or edit it after 7 days, how does the issue get resolved? I suppose the only real solution is to flag the post to hide it from public view, but either way it still exists and people can find it if they go through some extra steps. With internet blogs, and the availability of millions of images, the copyright thing becomes a free for all. You're probably not going to be hunted down as a small time blogger who happens to use an image that someone has a copyright on, but if you make a lot of Steem on a particular post that someone takes issue with as a copyright owner, how does that work? Who do they appeal to if Steemit is de-centralized? This issue probably wouldn't arise very often, but if it did, I don't really understand the risks you would be taking by posting images that someone might come after you for? I believe more 'corporate' platforms hold the platform itself responsible first, and therefore the user is somewhat protected. In turn, they would just have their content flagged and eliminated such as YouTube does with copyright violations. Perhaps there are answers out there for this, but it's an interesting issue to consider nonetheless if you're looking to make a lot of posts that use images and earn Steem from them. The "Fair Use" excuse might be harder to declare due to the monetary system built into Steemit. Since I'm one to be quite liberal with my penchant for "Fair Use," it does pose as a concern to me.
Steemit has a simple layout and the design looks nice; it's simple but effective. No ugly ads or random content taking up the side spaces of the articles. It's also very easy to insert photos or embed videos, but unfortunately it only embeds YouTube, DTube and Vimeo videos as far as I can tell. Maybe there are other methods to get alternative video platforms to embed, but I haven't been able to do so.
When creating posts, what you type is automatically saved, so if you close the window by accident or need to quit your browser, everything will still be there for you which is awesome. There is a limited amount of space in the post, but it's quite a good chunk, as you can tell from the length of this article.
The Steemit post creation text box (where you create the text of your new post) is above the preview box, making it extremely easy to see the preview of what you've just typed by scrolling down below. Some formats make you click a link to see the preview and then it forces you to load another page to go back and edit some more. This method that Steemit employs is very convenient and makes typing posts pretty painless and easy.
Obviously earning money through crypto-currency is a big factor in why people choose Steemit. Go back to pro #9 in DTube section to expand upon this.
There is potential for Steemit to grow and perhaps blow up; flop or fame I suppose. Go back to pro #11 in the DTube section to expand upon this. It's in the BETA stage so maybe things will improve greatly over time and Steemit will be less complex, have more support, and have more quality features in the future.
While it appears to be not heavily censored at this time, the story I told in the "cons" section raises concerns for the future.
As I mentioned back in the DTube section, having a video hosting service and a live streaming service both connected through a blog is huge plus in my opinion. They just need to make the necessary improvements and it could be a very fantastic platform.
You don't have to pay for it's use. You could also be a blogger who just "resteems" and helps spread the word for other channels. Like I talked about with Mike Williams in Episode #8 of the P2BP Podcast, his Sage of Quay blog is built upon finding interesting videos and articles and posting them for others to read/watch. Steemit makes this quite easy and perhaps you can gain some Steem Power if people like your 'taste', even though you aren't actually creating any content yourself.
Miscellaneous Comments/Conclusion: Despite a very long list of cons, I do like Steemit, but it's not for everyone. There's enough here to make me continue to post content and if nothing else, I like the blog functions; even if there's a giant issue for me with no editing after 7 days. I found out quickly that I'm just not gonna worry about politics and dealing with the BS. I just use the platform as a place where I can direct people to if they want to read my posts. I'm gonna continue to give it some time, but I'm not allocating much effort to anything other than blog posting when I feel the urge. If you're more of an "old school" kinda person, the complexity of Steemit might be a big turn off; if you're a bit more adventurous and like innovative ways of doing things, then I'm sure Steemit is worth a go. I just worry about the future for "truther" Steemians; how censorship via politics and flagging might effect people who invest a lot of time and energy into building a fanbase and Steem income; especially when most of the content appears to be spam or "in the matrix" content that might not take too kindly to conspiracy folk trickling into the trending area or search results.
In terms of monetary potential, I'd highly advise against investing in Steemit as a place to get regular income for the purposes of paying the bills. I'd look at it as an added bonus or potential "hobby" income; a secondary source at most. If you were blogging and making videos about more mundane things, then perhaps you could be a bit more ambitious, but when considering the censorship potentials of the platform and how a targeted attack by a group of elite "whales" could easily end your Steem income in a heart beat, it's probably not a very smart idea to get overly invested to the point of sustaining your income from Steemit. The final issue to consider, even though it's kind of an extreme-worse-case-scenario, is that if you can never delete anything from Steemit/DTube or update any articles/info. Well, what happens if the Thought Police crack down and look for people posting controversial content out in public forums? Steemit will be a prime target because you can never get rid of anything or take anything back, and it's so damn easy to search someone's commenting and upvoting history..what's done is done unless the whole platform somehow crashes and dies––(not sure how that would even work). So if the West ever goes the way of the Chinese with the insane 'social credit score' system, then past comments and materials posted on Steemit might become your undoing. Either way, I'd try to remain as anonymous as possible and leave out personal data, stories and information just to be safe.