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Taming the YouTube Monster

Don Marti recently shared how he's cleaning up his YouTube experience. I had a similar setup for handling Facebook, back when I was still on there.

It might seem an extreme option, but as Don notes:

YouTube is not in business just to show you the videos you want. The more that viewers pick their own videos, the more market power that popular video creators end up with, and the lower the share of ad revenue that YouTube can capture. The secret of the YouTube model is to commodify the content by artificially driving viewers away from emergent stars…even if that means that the side effect is promoting more bleach-drinking videos or white power videos than viewers actually want.

In the long run, regulation will need to complement the technology here. It will be easy for YouTube to change their site around to make extensions and tips stop working. Drink your bleach and like it, we’ve got a market to dominate! Right now, there is a lot of focus on the technology and regulation to enforce people’s right to block transfers of their data between sites. But there is also going to need to be some protection of the right to turn off automated promotion/commodification of behavior within a site.

In the short run, we'll just have to take steps to starve the monster of the data and clicks it craves.

(While I don't use Firefox these days, I'm trying out the Enhancer for YouTube in Vivaldi, and initial results seem good.)

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