This week I found myself in a position where I could no longer see any use in Youtube. I've been an avid and loyal user of the site since the beginning of 2008, many know me through the site from my cycling videos but I also uploaded guitar playing and some efforts at film making.
So what do I mean by "The spirit of Youtube is dead"?
The fact is the site was set up to be the individual's videographer website, where anybody could upload films and face to camera comment, where fans of special interests could show the world their hobby. Slowly in the past 2 years it has moved so far away from that to be a very strong commercial entity - I don't mind businesses having Youtube "channels" (just a video webpage in reality), but the spammers were all over the site.
You'd try and report this and Youtube would not care, and certainly would not remove.
Then there were the copyright issues. Far too many people that I know have found their own video used without permission within other Channels. People were trying to trade off other's names to set up advertising revenue. This affected everyone/everything from Indiana Jones the movies, to the little guy playing an amazing riff on his guitar.
Now you could forgive this to some degree if it was simply a fan thing, but it wasn't. It was and still is a concerted effort to make money from someone else's hard work. I believe several photography people have been badly affected as an example. You complain to Youtube and weeks later see that the video is still there, some were lucky and did have the duplicate taken down, but most still remain.
Votebot attacking or hacking is common. In reality there is no sense in having a "down thumb" rating system on this or any other site. Such systems are always abused by the petty and the ignorant. And I admit I have found myself clicking the icon in true Colosseum style when I really found something objectionable (eg offensive material where people laugh at other's pain). However votebotting goes further - poorly rated video is removed from sight when you search for a subject or look down the side panel for a related film - software creates multiple ratings (and this can be abused for ratings and up-ranking too) so eventually the video slides down and down until it can no longer be seen. Votebotting creates the impression to Youtube's system that multiple people are ranking the video rather than one malicious person.
I have reported several votebot attacks on myself and several videos I have seen on the site and they have done nothing about it. I know many thousands of users have also reported this issue.
Misinformation is rife, too. With people making videos suggesting people have rights that they do not in a given place, and "educational" videos set up that are contrary to scientific fact. It is disturbing, its not always the religious community doing this either!
It is still fair to say that you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet. Thankfully most "facts" are easily countered via official sources often present on the internet.
Trolling is rife, too. I have often laughed at many of the ludicrous comment left on my own videos, but there gets to a point when it starts to overshadow the emphasis you're trying to make - instead of focusing on the issue in hand people become distracted by the idiots being abusive or making shit up. It ended up a waste of my time to delete and block, delete and block - only to discover this troll has set up a new account. Its no longer as if the mantra of ignoring them is valid, they simply don't care.
Again, complaint to Youtube is ignored.
I would end up turning off ratings, and in some situations comments. But then they'd spread their love around like an over-amorous monkey. I told a few that they were simply wasting their own time but the truth is they waste our's too.
Youtube, by giving too much freedom to trolls to abuse others, is ignoring its own community guidelines. One complaint I made about a troll who was obsessed with finding me and threatening me (I never release personal information) received the reply from Youtube that "this does not breach our community guidelines". A perverted response.
A comment left after I removed my videos said "Trolls 1- Downfader 0" but the truth is the trolls won a long, long time ago and Youtube has been fully complicit just as Facebook and Twitter were.
Youtube now puts profit before it's users, and the move to Google+ has stirred everything up once again. I don't want to use my real name on the site, you idiots. I don't want to sign in to two accounts and be constantly asked "would youlike to comment as downfader2 today or your email address?" Duh!! The complaint from Youtube that "this makes everything simpler under one system" is false - everything was automated to start with, hence you were able to ignore everyone's concerns.
They are more obsessed with constant facelifts of the website rather than putting their efforts in tidying up the problem areas...
This is why I uploaded the above video. It would be amusing if others created the same. Its no serious campaign but it does take up 300mb of their hard disk space. If Youtube were actually improved maybe I would reconsider, but for now I reaffirm - the true spirit is indeed dead.