Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Demonitized Demonization

It is hard to watch some video sharing sites nowadays.

I don't know how to put it. Political videos are demonetized. Anything with a curse word is demonetized. Anything remotely resembling anything adult humor is demonetized. A lot of creators are reporting their videos are being in a state where they are still left up, but because of site policy, they won't get paid for a view.

Could you imagine that in the world of books?

Because we don't agree with your political opinion or book's content, we decide you won't get paid.

Writers know how to bitch, I can tell you that, and that is a great thing. Never pick a fight with someone trained to bang out tens of thousands of words per day because you are never going to hear the end of it.

Mind you, this is an ad-supported model and it is different than the world of books, it does show you how fragile the ad-supported world is. When you say "ad supported content" you really mean "advertiser controlled content" - I don't know of any other way to put this into words. You fall into this lowest common denominator world where nothing can be remotely upsetting to anybody, because someone is going to make a clickbait 'get rich quick' article (or even video) unfairly linking company X to video Y.

At least with Kindle Unlimited, it is clear you pay for the service and get access to all the books participating in the program. There are no ads or advertiser supported content here. You can have political books, mature works, and anything under the sun in the program because dammit, I am paying for this and if they pull entire categories of books out of the program for some reason I can complain and then I can quit the service. But they haven't, and I have found the Kindle Unlimited service is remarkably liberal, open, and diverse. This is why I have been in it since they started.

But it is a paid service. Big difference.

But watching video-sharing creators suffer is hard for me. People honestly out there trying to 'make it' in a very fickle and competitive world of video sharing, and you just see them lose ground just for being themselves. For what they say. For their beliefs. This isn't even just a 'mature content' thing, it feels like a policy of 'family friendly' or else leave. Quit what you love doing. Don't be yourself. Watch what you say. Fall in line. Don't upset the advertisers.

I see an ad on a video-sharing site and in the back of my mind I just get the feeling the company is silently supporting censorship. The fact the ad is here at all is limiting free speech. Having ads means I don't get to see what I want to see. That creators are punished for being who they are.

It feels like a partial collapse of the ad-supported model of content sharing, or at least the chickens coming home to roost after that 'gold rush' period where the rules were lax. You see this today on blogs with advertiser programs, and how hard it is to get mainstream ads on content that is marked as 'mature content.' Nobody wants to touch the stuff, even though, yes, mature content is ranked up there in the most popular search terms year after year.

But what if there was a better world to live in?

Would I pay $9.99 a month to watch videos where there were no rules, no ads, and creators got paid a share per view? A sort of an all-you-can-watch Video Unlimited service?

Yes.

Yes I would.

Would I care that there may be mature content on this service?

No.

In fact, this is part of the reason why I would pay.

Because I am paying for this service. If you want to put account settings to be able to turn off adult content, fine, do so - but I am paying for this service and I do not need a team of censors telling me what I can and cannot see (beyond the normal IP infringement and shady content stuff, which I agree should not be allowed to make money off other people's work or otherwise illicit content). But part of the reason why I would want to be there is because there aren't any silly rules telling people what they can and can not do.

I would pay because I support those people who are out there unafraid, being themselves, and looking to make a buck in this world which feels like it punishes people for speaking their minds.

And there is that bonus of never seeing an ad again.

But I would pay for that right.

But more importantly, I support the creators out there trying to make this silly and crazy business their lives.

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