Yesterday I wrote a piece on censorship and a few minutes ago @acidyo handed me this related video in a chat where a prominent Youtuber (PaymoneyWubby) was given a strike for "inappropriate content" after reviewing another Youtube channel's content. I thought it is worth a few moments to think about and write on.
The reason for removal given:
- Youtube isn't the place for nudity or sexually provocative content
Remember that this was a review of content on another Youtube channel that is still operating and available.
As he says, his channel will always be under-promoted, locked down and his channel growth comes through Reddit and word of mouth. The Youtube response also says that additional strikes will result in harsher measures or account termination. PaymoneyWubby then mentions that he thinks it bothers them that he finds content on their platform that they don't want people to see and that this video will likely end up on another platform anyway.
He bring up a couple interesting point too such as:
- he believes he didn't violate their terms of usage
- he hopes Youtube will overturn their decision
- you think you have control over your channel but Youtube deletes the biggest video
- if he didn't have copies his work would be gone from existence
- Youtube picks and chooses favourites
- support content creators in other places
- he hopes that Youtube make it clear what is suitable
There are so many parts to this all, but do you see the issues with some of these things? A content producer who has developed and built their work up, created a space, a brand and maintained an audience and has likely made a great deal of money for Youtube in various ways, can be demonetized, deplatformed and threatened whenever the central authority decides they no longer like what is presented. And then, he has to hope the decision is reversed, hope that that they improve their guidelines.
Now, what is his audience's opinion? This is what the centralized platforms so often ignore, the free-market of consumption and purchase decisions we the audience make. What they are doing when they remove content (the video had ~3 million views) is making a decision on what they think is appropriate and not appropriate for us to watch.
This is why Steem and dApps
What many people rarely recognize is that what Steem is a content delivery system that runs parallel to the internet content systems that most know. It can do all of the same things (given development) but provides a host of other benefits that users and consumers can leverage in various ways to benefit from and protect their voice and content.
For example, when it comes to terms of usage and what is suitable for Steem, it is almost completely up to the discretion of the contributor with the consumers the ones empowered to raise or fall. Content is coded, timestamped and distributed to many points so that it is censor resistant and uncontrolled by any centralized authority.
No one can be cut-off
One of the largest powers the centralized platforms has is the ability to not only cut off a voice, but ostracize them from their community overnight - a community the have worked hard to build and create a relationship with a community that wants their content. On Steem, even if one interface or application decided to censor or ban a user or, if that platform discontinued its service for whatever reason, that user can move over to another platform, keep the fan base connected and informed in carious ways and, not necessarily lose income because of it as consumers are the ones that are providing from Steem, not Steem itself.
A place to breathe free
I wrote another piece the other day about Steem acquiring users by supporting communities and this is what I mean by it. The community need not be like the supporting the banned Tumblr accounts, it can be a community that surrounds a Youtuber. What people forget is that while the contributor is demonetized, their consumers are cut-off from content they enjoy and demand simultaneously. It is like having your favourite show axed because of not enough viwers except the amount of viewers doesn't matter on Youtube to the consumer, they are there for the content itself.
Steem not only offers a home for contributors but also for the audience that supports them. The audience then is empowered to make decisions on who they support and if they like the content and the contributor is willing, no one can take that relationship away. It is a much more pure form of deal as it is directly between 'buyer and seller' without a middleman filter to decide what either are 'allowed' to do - and take a large cut to boot.
While there will be an increasing number of algorithms that come into play to filter content, it will be done at the application level and not at the blockchain level. What this means is that while one interface might hide content, another can choose to show it and not only that, there is an increasing range of applications and tools that can develop more and more views of the information stored on the blockchain. This means that while one application might filter some content, another can empower that same content and monetize it heavily.
In the case of Tumblr's material for example, it is completely possible to have a dedicated application that looks and feels just like Tumblr but is immutable and open for usage while another application decides not to show any of it. This means that communities can form around content type or topic while all residing on and leveraging the same infrastructure. If one point fails, it can be replicated somewhere else easily.
And the income?
Ah, that is the beauty of the system isn't it? As not only is it possible to earn on the platform, it is possible to reward on Steem too and, it can come out of a pool of replenishing resources instead of mere direct payments. This is something that empowers contributor, consumer and community as it creates an ecosystem and economy that supports content development, consumption and freedom of content purchase. If one wants to support a creator, they can, if one wants to support a genre or community, they can, if one wants to build an entire system that provides opportunity to a niche content type, they can. It is all available, it is all shareable, it is all free.
Even the transaction transfers across the globe between users is free and no one takes a cut. Send 10 steem to your favourite user and, they will receive 10 Steem. Of course, one can also vote on their content and reward them directly out of the pool as well as taking a percentage of the value themselves.
Diversity of thought
Another massive benefit of Steem many discount is that it provides a complete range of options for diverse content types and this will improve even more over time. While someone might game on Twitch, vlog on Youtube and blog on Medium, it means that they have to go through the process of building and maintaining separate communities and the chance of leverageable overlap is smaller.
On Steem, one can have a pool of supporters who can at their own discretion choose which content they support. They might love the gaming but not care much about reading the blog so, they can scroll on through their feed of users they follow and be provided mor of what they like. In time, applications will add additional filters to further refine and customize these views at the user level.
A change in delivery
The world of content delivery through "free" platforms that make us the the product is ending and more and more we are seeing the move from free to freemium and and subscription based models that cut out middlemen. This has been happening for a couple years already now but it is just starting to gather momentum and the movement that links supplier directly with buyer is going to more and more leverage blockchain technology and tokenized currencies that provide the economy to back content creation.
Steem allows for all of the different content mediums to not only exist together in the same ecosystem but, monetize them seemlessly across all areas. A podcaster who writes and gives talks can have the entire pool of their material put into the eyes of their audience without having to cross between delivery systems, without having to trust centralized authorities on all of the different platforms not to cut them off.
Lately we have seen that once one major platform makes a move to demonetize, the rest follow suit. This is because that on all of the major platforms, it is the same media houses, advertising houses and large advertisers providing the income. If they want a person gone on one, they want them gone on all.As a content creator, that is a very restrictive, manipulative and oppressive system.
Steem is a distributed ledger, an account of data and information and by design is resistant to all kinds of centralized authoritative attacks on information restriction, containment and concealment. This is not just important for those who want to speak their minds, it is important for those who want access to information without it having been sanitized for them by a group with an agenda.
Supporting the we of us
In the end, Steem, blockchain and cryptocurrencies will look, operate and perform much like we are already used to with applications and contributors doing much of the same but, underlying it all will b a system that is fundamentally different because, no one can stop it, no one can control it, no one can make the decision. It will take many of us.
We have all heard that on the social platforms, we are the product and this is true. As horrible as that is, the more sinister side of it is that while we use them, support them, create for them and rely on them for our information and incomes, we need them more and more.
However, the more we need them, the more disposable we become.
Rather than fighting for reviews of bans and more clear rules, it is time that we as the products and the buyers start creating places that are designed for us and free for us to be who we choose and, consume as we choose. Whether investor, develop, contributor or consumer - Build on Steem.
[ a Steem original ]