The amount of content creators and consumers that have announced they miss the “Old Youtube,” are
growing everyday. Being someone who grew up watching videos produced by Smosh, beauty gurus who were still doing hauls from Ulta and being a paid creator was virtually unheard of. I also find myself missing what could be considered the golden age of Youtube.
The media platform seems to have been taken over by clickbait and sensationalized videos, although this comes as no surprise due to its exponential growth in the past several years. With more and more individuals hopping on the site to consume content, an equal amount of creators have tried to start up their own Youtube “career.”
This is not meant to somehow attack the idea of Youtube being a job, because I personally love the idea of creators being able to share their work with others and be compensated for such. I simply mean to focus on the new crop of creators whose sole purpose of creating a channel is to manufacture viral videos and make money.
At first this seems like a frivolous issue, but the snowball effect of creating content purely out of greed quickly turns ugly. Just in the last year Youtube has been plagued with issues of creators posting videos that display child abuse, anti semitic remarks and questionable bodily gore.
Within the last month these problems finally reached mass headline news concerning the infamous Logan Paul. Paul is a popular creator for the site, known also for his time spent on Vine crafting short skits and videos documenting his day to day life.
On December 31st Paul posted a video of him and a group of his friends exploring the Aokigahara forest, more commonly referred to as the “suicide forest” at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan.
The dense forest is known to be the location of many suicides, complete with warning signs to ward
off tourists. While filming, Paul and his group encountered the body of a deceased male who appeared to have recently hanged himself.
Paul continued to film this body, making distasteful remarks and actions. This content was filmed, edited and uploaded to Youtube by Paul and remained on the site for just over a days time, until after coming under fire from critics and fans alike, he took the video down himself.
While I personally find this type of content to be a desperate cry for views based on distasteful and
salacious actions, I find Youtube’s inaction to be the bigger issue. Their sorting and flagging of inappropriate content and comments has become almost embarrassing in the last few years, even when they roll out new algorithms to solve the issues.
Youtube also faced major backlash over their innaction on the incident and their public statement saying they would have “more to share soon” about ensuring “a video like this is never circulated again.”
Paul and his video perfectly encapsulate the two major issues I have with the current state of Youtube: creators who only care about financial gain and its ineffective reviewing and monitoring system.
While I understand the site is moving forward by implementing a manual review of their top trending videos and being more cautious about ad placement, I do not know if this is the proper reaction.
In theory they are great, but why make such changes if the platform could instead simply act more harshly with punishment to the few who use their site improperly.
I would rather see Youtube crack down and make bold moves against content creators like Paul, if their videos violate rules. Take down the video. Freeze the
Do something that really takes a stand against disturbing content instead of apologizing to users and
promising better in the future. Maybe then the platform could eventually get back to its roots and get back to the “Old Youtube” we all miss.