2017 wasn’t kind to YouTube. Well, if we’re being real here, the last few years haven’t exactly been forgiving either.
(Mostly) Wholesome Content
The tenets of YouTube haven’t really changed since the site launched in 2005, and began to attract attention around 2008 or thereabouts. YouTube has always been a hub for people to express themselves, whatever that means to them.
A few good words to describe the early days of YouTube? Innocent. Wacky.
The presence of “bad” content has certainly always been an issue (this is the Internet, after all), but it was much less of a concern back then.
The Evolution of Dance, the Numa Numa guy, David After Dentist, Charlie Bit My Finger: just a sampling of some of the wholesome videos that put YouTube on the map.
Hobby or Job?
A website originally fueled by homemade videos, YouTube gradually began to transform into a platform for creators. Generally speaking, those who were so-called “one hit wonders” fell to the wayside (sorry, Numa Numa guy), while others dedicated themselves to making videos consistently and with style.
To put it simply, YouTube became a job for some and stayed a hobby for others.
Even after 10+ years, a handful of these OG YouTubers have massive and loyal followings. John Green and his brother Hank, the former a famous young adult author (The Fault In Our Stars, Turtles All The Way Down, etc.) and both creators of Crash Course, Sci Show (educational Youtube channels), and the annual YouTube convention VidCon, are certainly included in said handful.
A website originally fueled by homemade videos, YouTube gradually began to transform into a platform for creators…”one hit wonders” fell to the wayside, while others dedicated themselves to making videos consistently and with style.
Others, like Jenna Marbles and Shane Dawson, are less education and more mindless entertainment. Not that that had any effect on their success.
And somewhere in between are people like Philip DeFranco, who has been informing the masses and providing a voice of reason since YouTube’s infancy. DeFranco’s show is as close to neutral news as we’ll ever get on the interwebs, and his positive spin is an added bonus.
Many of these creators make a living through YouTube, which when it comes down to it is quite a feat in itself, however becoming full-on famous was only an occasional occurrence.
Fast forward to the last few years and the landscape of YouTube at least looks somewhat similar. The layout isn’t too different, though it seems more often than not content from people you actually want to hear from doesn’t show up in your subscription box.
There are definitely more ads, especially when you consider that YouTube had very little advertising in earlier days.
…YouTube is still a platform for creators. However, nobody knows exactly what that word means anymore.
The aforementioned OG YouTubers are still toiling away, doggy-paddling in a sea of slimey and slippery material. Every once in a while a major brand throws them a life preserver in the form of a sponsorship, but demonetization is an ever lurking threat.
Despite all of this, YouTube is still a platform for creators. However, nobody knows exactly what that word means anymore.
While there have been countless YouTubers recently under fire for a whole slew of reasons, and it’s sadly inevitable that there will be more, none are as toxic as Logan Paul.
The Toxicity of Logan Paul
YouTube used to be known for its wacky content, but sensationalism seems to be the new wacky.
By now, most people are familiar with the goings on of Logan Paul.
If this is the first you’re hearing of Logan Paul, just know he’s the brother of Jake Paul, disgraced Disney Channel star and fellow douche nozzle. He first offended the entire country of Japan with what he would call “silly antics” (throwing stuff at cars as they drove by, for example), and consequently offended the entire world when he posted a video featuring a dead body that he found in the famous Japanese suicide forest called Aokigahara.
Not to mention, he also put said dead body in the thumbnail of his video. On purpose.
You can’t make this shit up, people.
It goes without saying that Logan Paul is a scumbag, plain and simple. On top of that, he’s an embodiment of the de-evolution of the site we’ve come to know as YouTube.
Paul might have posted his abomination of a video, but YouTube didn’t take it down in a timely manner. The video violated major guidelines and rules set by YouTube itself, yet it was Paul who took the video down initially.
Clearly, YouTube is in the red in this situation as well.
YouTube used to be known for its wacky content, but sensationalism seems to be the new wacky. With an influx of people like Paul jockeying for fame and funds, unlike the days of old where pride and developing a sense of community drove creators, YouTube has become a network chock full of money-grubbing wannabes.
And that’s putting it nicely.
It’s up to new creators to not only speak out against those who perpetuate negativity and destructive clickbait…
Thankfully, there are still channels on YouTube that are dedicated to their craft and consistently put out quality content. It’s up to new creators to not only speak out against those who perpetuate negativity and destructive clickbait, but to counter the garbage that the Pauls of the world pump out with genuine creativity.
All is not lost, but YouTube needs to do some serious housekeeping if they want to move forward.
It’s pretty obvious who they should clean out first.