How a Mistake by YouTube Shows Its Power Over Media

from NYTs

The email subject line that arrived at 10:19 a.m. on Tuesday carried some of the worst information a small online news outlet can receive: “Novara Media we have removed your channel from YouTube.”

Novara had spent years using YouTube to attract more than 170,000 subscribers for its left-leaning coverage of issues like climate change, capitalism and social policy. Suddenly, and without warning, that powerful distribution tool was zapped — leaving people in the newsroom wondering how the organization could survive.

“We had this ambient awareness of our dependence on these big tech platforms,” Ash Sarkar, a contributing editor, said in an interview at Novara’s one-room office inside a converted biscuit factory. “But there’s nothing like having your livelihood snatched away from you to make you feel really disempowered.”

Every hour, YouTube deletes nearly 2,000 channels. The deletions are meant to keep out spam, misinformation, financial scams, nudity, hate speech and other material that it says violates its policies.

More here.

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22 Comments

  1. Each social media platform has ‘community guidelines’ or something similar to it that allows for the regulation of what it users post on the platform. These platforms have millions of users and while software is a great tool, it doesn’t have the intelligence of a human being to make decisions outside of a ‘rule’ or code. While it would be ideal and in some cases social media platforms, like Instagram, use review teams to look at content with the millions of content being uploaded a day technology needs to be used to regulate what is being posted. Especially in the wake of COVID-19 we have seen a rise in the use of social media and social media is now the main form of communication for everything.

    As a consumer I have experiences these guidelines in terms of using copyrighted music and not giving credit which then deleted my post but I have seen many people get ‘banned’ or removed from social media platforms from what seemingly doesn’t disturb any of their community guidelines. While this is frustrating for that user, these platforms can only do so much to review the content using their guidelines. You may see messages like ‘not attempt this at home’ or ‘learn more about the COVID 19 pandemic’ which act as a way to inform the user without deleting the content. If these platforms went to less stringent guidelines it could cause a lot more spam, misinformation, hate, nudity, among other things that should be kept off of social media.

    Now in today’s world of social media it reaches a much younger audience and it is important that we are not misinforming them, or anyone, and keeping anything off social media that should be in the parent or guardian’s control of sharing. In the 21st century many lines have been blurred like social media and information can be shared instantly and once something is out there it can be ‘removed’ but will never leave the unknown world of the internet.

    Overall social media is a tricky concept and companies try to do their best when it comes to regulating what is on their platforms but with the vast majority of the world using social media no amount of man power can control it. While finding a greater balance to support the users of these platforms is ideal, companies should be strict oppose to loose when to their platforms because they can regulate what goes up but once it is up it essentially never gets delete.

  2. This article discusses how YouTube deletes millions of channels from their platform based on their rules regarding nudity, vulgar behavior, misinformation, scams, and more. However, these rules are not fully enforced in some cases and taken in full force for others. The company Novara Media was recently deleted from YouTube’s platform and the reasoning behind this decision is up for debate. Although they were reinstated due to public outcry, the reasoning for their deletion was still not made clear. Taking away such a necessary element of this company’s business for unknown reasons or a mistake is a serious issue that could have caused them a lot of revenue.
    One of the main reasons Novara thinks that YouTube deleted them was because of their far left-wing opinions and videos. Political content has been very controversial recently as the country has become more polarized than ever, in my opinion. However, I think that unless someone’s opinion is invoking harm or danger onto other people, they should be allowed to share it. Both sides of the political spectrum deserve to have a say in their opinions and companies like YouTube shouldn’t stop them unless they are diverting danger or hateful speech. In this class we also learned about information bubbles which occur when social media users get so caught up in the media they are viewing, they never see the opposing side’s opinions or media. I think that it would be beneficial for a well-rounded education for YouTube to promote both sides of the spectrum. Alleviating these information bubbles could also help the spread of misinformation rather than deleting entire channels.
    In my Information Management Systems class, we are currently learning about social media information systems and how data is collected through social media. According to this class, YouTube is one of the three main forms of social media along with Facebook and Instagram. These three powerhouse platforms hold the most users, collect the most data, and house the most information and posts. Because of this, Novara’s company’s use of YouTube as a platform must provide large amounts of revenue and traction toward their work. YouTube needs to clearly state their intentions for removing channels especially if they belong to a business or have a high following. Having rules and regulations is absolutely necessary to stop hate speech, misinformation, and more but the monitors need to stay unbiased in their decisions and be careful about what they remove. Removing something so large as Novara’s entire channel could cost them a lot and create bad press for YouTube overall.

  3. Recently, Novara Media’s Youtube channel was temporarily deleted. This action taken by YouTube was without warning and was immediately declared as an attack on free speech by supporters of Novara Media. Novara called on YouTube to reinstate its account immediately so they could once again broadcast news out to their 170,000+ subscribers. Moments like this force many companies to take a look at the situation that they are in as online organizations and it can be sobering to see how dependent certain organizations are on one another. In this case, as a relatively medium sized online news outlet, Novara Media was highly dependent on YouTube as a platform to spread their information and post their news via the internet. This is a wake up call for many similar news platforms. In today’s age, it is almost impossible to maintain full control of one’s digital footprint. This same idea holds true for firms and can be a serious problem when digital sites like YouTube attempt to control or delete certain content. In this case, it was a significant problem for Novara Media when YouTube deleted its channel. Novara Media was no longer able to post their news content and it left those in Novara’s newsroom wondering how they were going to be able to survive. This was definitely a major reality check for them and reminds online businesses how dependent they can be on online infrastructure. Many notable media organizations are very dependent on platforms like YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook and it is very difficult to spread a message online in 2021 without the use of these important social media platforms.

    In terms of business law, this could mean that there will be more legislation involving issues like this one. As is usually the case with newer environments such as the digital world, many of the laws that will come to dictate how businesses are run through these platforms are currently being written as this industry is still relatively new. In recent years, sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have grown exponentially and rose to great prominence in the digital age of our world today. In the future, it will be highly important to recognize the great power that these platforms wield in terms of spreading information. I expect laws concerning the fair and consistent spread of information through social media and similar platforms will come into play as they are written as they are necessary to ensure a fair environment and to protect free speech around the world. News and media outlets must be granted certain rights in the digital world in order to ensure that their is a level of truth, transparency, and fairness in the world of digital news and media.

  4. YouTube is a private corporation that has a list of terms and conditions that they want people to abide by. Whether or not you want to abide by them is your choice, but they will delete your channel with no hesitation. The employees who are in charge of the operations of deletion of accounts have a strict guideline to follow, the people who oversee these operations could care less if this is how you feed your family or if it is your main source of income. Top of the line companies don’t make decisions off of feelings and if they did the certainly would not be one od the biggest companies in the world. YouTube is “too big to fail” and are not worried about if you are upset that you got your personal, work, or fun channel banned from their company, they have millions of other people who are going to replace you and YouTube would gladly accept them. As I stated earlier, YouTube is a private corporation that makes decisions in their best interest and not you or anybody else in that case. Since they are a private corporation, they can push a political agenda, support a candidate of their choice also and promote him. Then comes in the question of whether or not is it fair or constitutional, the main reason this question is brought up all the time is because YouTube is “too big to fail” and since they have such a direct influence on so many people, it comes into question that they should operate in a way that appeals to all people and works around our differences. If YouTube was just some conservative small platform nobody would care to say anything related to the way they run their operations or who they ban from posting, commenting, etc. Time and time again this problem arises and YouTube is being sued for topics in relation to discrimination, or other things. Users don’t understand that this private company can do whatever they feel is right to them as long as it doesn’t physically harm anyone. YouTube has built themselves from the ground up with no help but their own, they deserve to run their company they way they want to.

  5. The rise of users on social media has drastically increased in recent years, and most significantly, during the COVID-19 pandemic. With more users on a variety of platforms, there has been a huge increase in posts and videos being uploaded to the web. However, each social media platform has their own set of rules that protect users from the violent, graphic, inappropriate videos that are being posted. With YouTube, they have set community guidelines on what is acceptable and unacceptable, but they still are deleting over 2,000 accounts a day, such as Novara. The aim of deleting accounts are “likely to increase as internet platforms face pressure from policymakers worldwide to do more to stop the spread of misinformation, racism, and illicit content.”

    As an avid social media user, I see the influencers I follow have to post on their other accounts on Instagram and Twitter that they will not be able to upload their newest videos due to community guideline violations, copyrighted music, and etc. However, in most cases it is not the actual content that is harmful, it is YouTube making accidents like they did with Novara’s channel. This is extremely frustrating for content creators because YouTube is really the only platform they can post on and gain exposure from. Many creators are forced to deal with these strict rules in order to push content out in hopes of expanding their page.

    As a consumer, I’ve seen the changes in video styles from YouTube in 2012 vs now. Previous years have allowed for morer genuine and raw content, whereas now the majority of the content posted feels very robotic and unoriginal. This is in turn to Youtube strict rules for what they will tolerate and what they are promoting.

    Social media is slowly becoming a government controlled system. With companies such as YouTube under pressure from countries such as Belarus, Russia, and Turkey from “authorities to remove opposition content and where the company does not have as much language or cultural expertise.” Having to follow guidelines such as these will turn away the genuine content that users are looking for. As a social media user, the return of looser guidelines and genuine content is what companies should be aiming to return to, not the strict guidelines that prevent them. With the sharp incline of new users on different platforms, the amount of similar content and strict guidelines is also turning away many users.

  6. The situation with Novara having their YouTube channel taken down by accident is a very tricky situation to unpack. YouTube has had a 3-strike policy in place for a very long time, so for a channel to be taken down with no warning should never happen, as they have a set standard for how they go about removing content. The easy and most efficient way to stop this problem would be to have more eyes filter what content is allowed on the platform, but as the article said, 500 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every minute, so it is virtually impossible for YouTube content to be thoroughly examined and filtered. What we can do is analyze how the problem of YouTube taking down content came to be, and the simple answer is that YouTube has just become too big of a platform. When it comes to uploading content longer than a minute or two on the internet for the whole world to see, YouTube is so far and ahead of any video uploading platform that its competitors have either been suffocated by the reach of YouTube throughout the world, or they are so small that they do not even make a blip on the video publishing platform radar. This was not the case in the mid to late 2000s, as there were many video publishing websites such as Vimeo and Blip.tv that competed with YouTube, but many factors turned the traffic in favor of YouTube. Now YouTube sits at the top of the internet and it is so big that many people turn to YouTube to get their information, But YouTube has been acting strange when it comes to the censorship of certain news articles. The article is telling the truth that conservatives in America feel like YouTube is a left leaning platform that goes out of its way to censor right wing voices, but I personally believe that it is just that YouTube has grown into a platform that cannot be controlled. YouTube needs to find a way to solve the problem of taking down content without warning and also not coming off as a partisan platform, because these situations have led to many popular content creators leaving YouTube to other platforms, the most famous being Podcaster Joe Rogan, with him citing the similar situation that Novara experienced as the main catalyst for him leaving to go to Spotify.

  7. This article primarily discusses how YouTube often deletes channels from their platform in order to keep out spam, misinformation, financial scams, nudity, hate speech, and other material that it says violates its policies. This would be fine if the channels are always deleted for good reason. However, that is not the case. Novara Media’s YouTube channel with over 170,000 subscribers was deleted without warning, and they were given no reason behind it. The YouTube channel was an integral part of the company, and just deleting it without any warning or reasoning is inexcusable in my opinion. I think that big companies like YouTube have too much power and Ash Sarkar, a contributing editor, said it best. “There is nothing like having your livelihood snatched away from you to make you feel disempowered.” Companies like YouTube should not have the power to snatch the livlihood of people and making them feel disempowered. I think that the least that they could do is inform the channel beforehand that their channel will be deleted and give a reasoning behind it so they are not completley blindslided. If the channel is notified beforehand, there would at least be some time for them to figure out what to do. While no one knows for sure why Novara Media’s channel was deleted, many suspect it is because of them voicing support for many liberal issues such as climate change, capitalism, and social policy. I do not think that YouTube should have the power to do this because essentially, they are controlling the information that the public sees. By deleting this channel, they are blocking viewers from seeing vidoes about left-leaning topics. By not giving a reasoning for deleting Novara Media’s channel, YouTube are able to get away with this without having to justify it. Overall, I think that big social media companies like YouTube have too much control in the information that is put out, and it needs to be better regulated. To start, YouTube should have to give a notice before deleting a channel, and they should also have to give a reasoning. Leaving things the way that they are put too much power in the hands of the big companies and leave the consumers feeling disempowered.

  8. While it is very unfortunate what happened to the media company Novara, it is a very common occurrence in today’s day and age television and other older forms of the media are becoming more and more relevant by the day. My own personal example is that not one time in the past year that I’ve sat down and watched the news or a TV segment that was on digital cable. Younger generations and people in general investing age turn more and more to what is perceived to mean more effective aspects of media like YouTube and social media. For this matter, even private media companies most emphasize for themselves do you have a strong president on platforms like YouTube in order to promote themselves. Before they can promote their own website or establish their own brand, they must use YouTube and hopeful media in order to get their name out there because it is the only way. The problem with that is that a gifts social media companies and YouTube basically an oligopoly over all types of news and media that gets out to the general public. Smaller media companies like Novara actively walking on eggshells trying to conform to YouTube’s mindless terms and user agreements. Normally media companies the pressure to provide a better product as far as reporting and stories when many other media companies are competing. This means that platform that they are on must have a strong emphasis on the 1st amendment to allow a healthy market for the news that way the public can decide what they want to see. This also leads to having more uninformed citizens as through YouTube’s and other social media companies’ oligopoly, it can be completely limited to what the general public can see. For example, I would say I am generally opposed to Novara’s criticisms of capitalism from a general standpoint. However, I want them to have a platform that way when I open up YouTube, I could see videos that oppose my views so then I can have the opportunity to think critically about my own views and potentially reconsider some of my own ideas. However, with social media and major platforms like YouTube’s oligopoly over smaller media companies, it is hard to see a full realm of ideas.

  9. It disheartens me to see what happened to Novara. Like many YouTubers, they have seen the true effect that unjust censorship has on independent creators, journalists, and the like. As YouTube and its parent company Alphabet (aka Google) grow as the biggest platforms for information and media, they also gain the power to be the biggest gatekeeper of information and ideas around the world. This means that if something doesn’t fit the narrative of what these platforms are trying to push, it can get taken down with no justification or reasoning behind it. There are two factors at play here that lead to videos getting taken down.

    The first being the fact that anyone can report a video if they want to (I.e. they can bring the video to the attention of YouTube staff for review). When you report – or flag – a video, it and the creator are reviewed by YouTube staff to determine whether they violate Community Guidelines. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations, and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination. This is a problem for two reasons: the person reporting the video might not have any actual claims to make besides disliking the content or disagreeing with their point of view, and also, YouTube community guidelines are ever changing so it becomes hard to know what rules you’re breaking as a content creator.

    The second factor is that YouTube staff is the ultimate decider of whether or not content is considered racist, misinformation, or harmful. In today’s political landscape, these words are becoming ever more subjective, interpreted however they like by policymakers that pressure YouTube into fulfilling their agenda. Nowadays, you can’t even watch a medical professional say something that goes against what the CDC says without seeing a banner underneath the video that says “Get the latest information from the CDC about COVID-19”. Meanwhile, the CDC has been proven wrong and changed their stances on a number of facts relating to Covid.

    The way that it should work is that ALL content should be allowed on the platform as long as there is no call to violence against anyone. There is a reason that the first amendment in the Bill of Rights states our freedom of speech, and I would argue that is one of our most important fundamental rights. If the ideas are bad, then people should be able to be given the opportunity to debate over it in the public sphere and come to their own conclusion whether it’s an idea they should rebuke or accept. This proposal is called the free market of ideas, one where there is no authoritarian figure declaring what is right or wrong, and gatekeeping information it does not agree with. One of Navara’s contributing editors, Ash Sarkar, calls for “luxurious communism now” in her twitter bio. Luxurious communism argues that technology can be used to create a post-scarcity economy of widespread prosperity. And if you didn’t understand that, it means that AI robots will fulfill all our basic needs by doing all the labor that humans don’t want to do, so humans can focus on getting fat and watching Squid Game on their couch. Sprinkle in a little socialism where wealth classes are destroyed and everyone is entitled to free everything, and you get what is called luxurious communism. Although I think this doctrine is abhorrent, I can’t imagine a world where I would ever try to shut down people from supporting and having a conversation about it. In fact, I would openly encourage such ideas to be put out for the public to talk about. I think that my arguments for why a capitalist system has a much more positive impact on humanity (and the reason why we can innovate to make artificial intelligence robots in the first place) speak louder than the communist ideology, so I feel like it should be left up to debate. But you can’t have a debate if either side is being censored. The fact that YouTube has the power to engage in such censorship and ruin the livelihoods of creators who make a living on their platform should scare everyone.

  10. Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has grown into one of the largest media providers in the world. The wide variety of content Youtube offers from its different channels and pages has put the company up there with Facebook in the upper tier of media distribution, as well as the role they play in our everyday lives. One of the challenges Youtube is facing as it continues to grow, is balancing free speech with company community guidelines. YouTube deletes nearly 2,000 channels every hour to keep out spam, misinformation, financial scams, nudity, hate speech and other material that it says violates its policies. While the algorithms Youtube uses are highly efficient in “cleaning up” the site, they often mistakenly enforce their rules against pages that were undeservingly deleted. This was the case with Novara Media when they found out their page had been deleted by Youtube.
    Like many, Novara spent years building their Youtube page into a successful livelihood, attracting more than 170,000 subscribers for its left-leaning coverage of issues like climate change, capitalism and social policy. For a lot of companies, like Novara, their Youtube pages mean everything to their business, so following the rules is of utmost importance. However, that might be easier said than done, as Youtube’s rules are often described as opaque and often arbitrarily or mistakenly enforced, leading to the unjustified deletion of many essential pages. Having your page deleted by Youtube does not mean that it is gone forever. Larger companies, with more power and capital, are better suited to challenge Youtube for mistakenly deleting their content, making it more likely that their pages are restored. However, the case is not the same for other independent journalists, activists and creators looking to have their pages restored. This is especially true in countries like Belarus, Russia and Turkey where YouTube is under pressure from authorities to remove opposition content and where the company does not have as much language or cultural expertise.
    When determining who’s at fault for mistakenly deleting these pages, it’s hard to put all of the blame on Youtube when you consider the extreme volume of content they deal with on a daily basis. Roughly 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute globally in different languages. In some metrics, Youtube is just as big, if not bigger, than Facebook, making them a giant in the media distribution industry. The scale of this content makes it impossible for it to be managed by Youtube employees, which is why the company uses a series of algorithms to police their platform. The computers are extremely effective in removing content that violates Youtube’s community guidelines, however the lack of a human element is what leads to pages being deleted unfairly. This issue is exacerbated when critics coordinate campaigns to file complaints with YouTube, triggering its software to block specific channels. This tactic is particularly common with political pages as those who disagree with their viewpoints will report them with the hopes of having the page deleted.
    Regardless of who is to blame, it is clear that Youtube has some work to do to ensure that their platform finds a balance that supports community guidelines, and protects pages that follow the rules. Youtube has grown into a media distribution giant, and with more people relying on their services than ever, it is essential that they work these issues out.

  11. YouTube deletes nearly 2,000 channels every hour to prevent spam, misleading information, financial fraud, nudity, hate speech, and other content deemed policy violations. But YouTube’s rules are opaque, sometimes arbitrary, and sometimes mistakes are made. Novara Media was deleted on the YouTube platform, but YouTube did not elaborate. Politicians claim that YouTube unfairly blocks their content. Therefore, I think that YouTube, like YouTube, should issue a notice before deleting the channel, and should also give a reason.

  12. The article, “How a Mistake by Youtube Shows its Power over the Media” explains how Youtube currently has so much control over how people receive their news and information. For the last decade, Youtube has become the largest video platform with nearly two billion users every month. According to the article, Youtube deletes at least 2000 youtube channels an hour because of misinformation, inappropriate content, and get-rich-quick schemes. However, the article explains how sometimes these rules set by youtube are falsely enforced on some channels that did not violate any of Youtube’s regulations. The Youtube channel “Norvana Media” was taken off for breaking the community guidelines, however, there was no reason in particular for her channel to be taken down. Although Youtube put her channel back onto Youtube the same day, many others who used to post videos on Youtube claim that their channels were taken off without any explanation as well. Novara’s channel also only came back onto youtube since they went out on other social media about the unnecessary deletion. Since there are hundreds of hours of Youtube video content being posted every minute globally, it is now extremely difficult to regulate everything that is posted on the social media platform. Youtube must resolve this problem involving the unnecessary deletion of Youtube channels so Youtuber’s accounts are not terminated for no reason.

  13. Youtube and other large media companies hold a massive amount of power. Youtube itself is a monopoly, and the world’s largest online video service. No other media platform on the internet brings in the traffic Youtube does. They give companies like Novara a platform to spread their message, but also often end up wrongfully deleting or censoring content on their site. Novara was deleted by Youtube after mistakenly being flagged as spam. Youtube reviews all content that is flagged on their platform, but they say that they occasionally make the wrong call. If during their review they find content that they classify as spam, misinformation, financial scams, nudity, hate speech, or other material that violates its policies, they delete it. There is a 3 strike system in place usually, but Novara was deleted with only one prior warning. This made staff members at Novara worried that their deletion was some kind of attack, like a coordinated campaign by critics of their coverage to file complaints with YouTube, triggering its software to block their channel, which is a tactic sometimes used by right-wing groups to go after their opponents. A platform as big as Youtube should not be able to have this happen, with people being able to abuse their systems to get channels taken down or suspended. These wrongful takedowns of channels on Youtube are only likely to increase as internet platforms face more pressure from policymakers around the world to do more to stop the spread of misinformation, racism, and illicit content.

    Youtube, having to monitor so much content, finds themselves entrenched in a lot of these types of free speech issues. Around the world in places like Belarus, Russia and Turkey, YouTube is under pressure from authorities to remove opposition content. And with Youtube not having as much language or cultural expertise, they often are strong handed into agreements with these countries. Independent journalists, activists and creators in these countries often get their content censored and don’t have luck getting it back like Novara did. Youtube needs to have systems in place around the world where they can regulate content in their way without being pressured by other governments and authorities. Youtube is too large of a company and handles such a large capacity and volume of content to not allocate resources into making sure channels don’t get wrongfully deleted. Content creators can’t go to other platforms like Vimeo or somewhere else because they can’t acquire more than a fraction of the viewers that they would on Youtube. Youtube owns the video media industry, and needs to be able to regulate content on their site in the right ways without leaving their users out to dry, like what almost happened to Novara.

  14. As an avid and longtime user of the YouTube platform, I could say that this article did not provide any new or surprising information that I have not already seen or heard before. YouTube has been messing up for quite a while now and it has had an effect on both their creators and viewers. So much so that significant channels have actually left the platform for a different one. YouTube’s algorithm is really the main culprit for all these errors, such as the termination of channels within guidelines and even the excessive removing of “inactive” subscribers from channels. The algorithm has also become so sensitive to what creators post that even the smallest things that are mentioned in a video could get it removed or demonetized. When I first started watching YouTube, creators had so much freedom to do essentially whatever they wanted, to actually be themselves (hence the name “you”). They were able to curse, state their opinions freely, joke around, etc. This was a time period where this platform was so enjoyable for both the viewers and the creators. However, as time went by and people became more sensitive, creators were not able to express themselves as freely. It felt almost as if they were holding back, because they usually were. Creators were essentially forced to change their personalities in order to fit within the tight guidelines YouTube created to maintain their streams of income. This was making YouTube seem more like an actual job, where people were being micromanaged to a high extent. These new rules and regulations killed a lot of channels as some of them just lost their entertainment aspect to avoid demonetization. For example, some channels’ whole entertainment component relied on cursing or just saying or doing things that suddenly triggered the YouTube algorithm. Additionally, this has been a problem across almost all social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. A prime example is Donald Trump’s social media accounts being taken down for no good reason and at the time he was the United States president as well.

  15. Social media platforms usually receive a lot of backlashes with their rules and community guidelines because social media platforms do not fully stick to their own rules. This article talks about how YouTube deletes millions of videos and channels from its platform when the videos and channels do not follow community guidelines and rules. At first, this doesn’t quite seem like a problem because social media platforms should enforce the rules they standby. The only problem is YouTube inconsistently follows its guidelines. Sometimes they will delete videos or channels that clearly violate community guidelines and rules. Other times, videos and channels will violate community guidelines but YouTube takes no action. On the other hand, there are times where YouTube will delete channels and videos even though no community guidelines are violated. The article talks about a specific case with the YouTube channel named Novara Media. Novara Media is an independent, left-wing alternative media organization based in the United Kingdom. Novara Media uses its YouTube channel to post deliver news to its 170,000 subscribers. This situation is interesting because YouTube ended up deleting Novara Media’s YouTube channel for seemingly no reason. More importantly, YouTube uses a three-strike policy in regard to its community guidelines. Therefore, three strikes in the same 90-day period will result in your channel being permanently removed from YouTube. For this case, Novara media did not even have one strike so it is very alarming to see that YouTube deleted their channel. Eventually, Novara Media got their channel reinstated after a huge outcry occurred after YouTube deleted their channel.

    This situation with YouTube is very alarming because it shows that social media has a lot of power when deciding what narratives get published on their platforms. It is still unclear why YouTube ended up deleting Novara Media’s channels but many people are speculating. Many people believe the channel was deleted because it publishes news that is very left-winged. If this is the case, then this is not a very good standard for social media because users should be able to publish their opinions no matter the political stance. Users should only be affected if they go against community guidelines and if their opinions insight specific violence. I understand this speculation but I do not believe it is true because many other YouTube channels are politically charged that do not get deleted. There are so many other YouTube channels that are right and left-winged that do not get deleted, so I believe the deleting of Novara Media was a mistake. Also, Novara media had no strikes so it makes more sense that the deletion was a mistake. Overall, this article shines a light on the issue that social media platforms have the power to regulate media if they really wanted to.

  16. Like other social media and online video platforms, YouTube is no exception to having a regulation system in order to maintain the safety of their users. In my TID #3 Initial Response, I actually discussed this system and how it works with Facebook. A platform’s ability to censor, delete, or flag any uploaded content is substantial. However, as shown in this article about the recent incident with Novara, these regulating systems have a long way to go before improving their accuracy. Digital content creators, whether they be on YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram, rely heavily on the platform’s ability to correctly review their content. Adam Satariano, the author of this article, mentioned that “Every hour, YouTube deletes nearly 2,000 channels. The deletions are meant to keep out spam, misinformation, financial scams, nudity, hate speech and other material that it says violates its policies.” This is an extremely broad description of what is and isn’t allowed to be on the platform, which is why errors such as this one are all too common. It is definitely an argument from many right-wing users that YouTube censors content that they might be interested in watching or uploading and does so less to left-wing messages. Honestly, I don’t see that as much of an argument. Novara is known for its unapologetically left-leaning videos and often covers information regarding climate change, for example. Statistically, left-leaning creators spread more legitimate information about such issues as climate change vaccination information, etc., while right-wing creators are known for spreading misinformation – so it makes complete sense that YouTube would remove more content from right-wing creators.
    Another point brought up in this article is the amount of influence that these platforms hold and their monopolistic characteristics. Novara, and the livelihood of its entire staff, was jeopardized in a matter of hours, simply because of YouTube removing their channel. No single corporation should have such total power, but as Michael Walker, the host of Novara’s show “TyskySour” explained, there simply is no alternative. This is exactly the issue of these platforms. If a company wants to migrate from YouTube to Vimeo, for example, they should 100% be able to without such a harsh effect on their viewership. In reality, this simple change would sacrifice millions of potential views, thousands of potential subscribers, and ultimately cause a plummet in their popularity. Unfortunately, nothing in this article was very surprising because similar incidents happen all the time to small and large creators alike. Although there isn’t much to do about it from the perspective of creators, it is important to take a step back and recognize that the dominant nature of a select few platforms is worth addressing.

  17. It is sad to see what happened to Novara Media. Their youtube channel is their livelihoods and youtube deleted it with no real cause. The explanation of why their channel was deleted was unclear, and it was only restored due to public outcry. When I read this, I thought about all the other youtube channels that didn’t get restored but were deleted with no real cause. Although youtube does delete thousands of channels that violate guidelines every day, they should be more cautious of what they are exactly deleting. It seems that the system is faulty. Youtube is a huge platform that everyone around the world uses, so I can understand how it can be difficult to regulate such a high platform. However, it is still on the company to find ways to regulate their videos and delete those that truly violate guidelines, so channels like Novara don’t get wrongly deleted. Besides that, another alarming issue that the article highlighted is the influence of social media. Social media is one of the most used and most influential tools in today’s day and age. With these social media platforms having the ability to essentially, somewhat regulate the content that is being uploaded. Some argue that Novara’s channel was deleted because it was very left wing, whether this is true or not, I do not think youtube should have the power to delete a channel solely for that reason. Social media has its flaws, and youtube is not the only one that is faulty.

  18. According to The New York Times, a London newsgroup called Novara had fallen victim to YouTube’s nontransparent and sometimes random enforcement of its rules. Novara had been on the video-sharing network for a few years, gaining close to 200 thousand subscribers in the meantime.
    YouTube deletes almost 2 thousand channels every hour to keep spam, misinformation, scams, nudity, hate speech, and other content that they say violates their policies. Apparently, these rules are not always straightforward, and mistakes are bound to happen. YouTube gets a lot of criticism from multiple directions; a notable example is many people who are on the right of the political spectrum in the U.S. and Europe claim that YouTube unfairly blocks them from sharing content.
    YouTube claimed to have mistakenly flagged Novara’s content for spam but did not say much else while Novara’s editors said that they were careful not to violate YouTube’s rules. Novara had depended on YouTube for a lot: 92% of their donors, an outlet for all of its content, and even use of their studio in London.
    Michael Walker, host of Novara’s show “TyskySour,” says that YouTube is a monopoly in the sense that they are really the only video content sharing platform of its kind that is widely used. “If we move to Vimeo or whatever other platform, we wouldn’t acquire the viewers.”
    This information reveals how much control YouTube has over the media; they can essentially pick the information that they want shared on their platform and they are the one giant in video content sharing. The combination of the two is concerning because it gives YouTube the opportunity to censor information that is shared through them, violating the first amendment. Chief executive of the Independent Monitor for the Press (used by Novara as its regulator in Britain), Ed Procter claims that it was the fifth time a news outlet had material deleted by YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter without warning or reason given for the removal. Procter also said that IMPRESS has real concerns about platforms that are arbitrarily acting as regulators by default and that what we saw in the Novara situation is something that we can see becoming a regular occurrence.

  19. In the article posted by The New York Times titled, How a Mistake by YouTube Shows Its Power Over Media, discusses the sheer power that YouTube has over its users. Over the years, society as a whole has seen a massive change in the way that YouTube conducts business. When YouTube was in its first couple of years, creators were allowed to put out any content that they wanted, despite what they said or what they did, as long as it was appropriate. Jumping forward to current times, creators are restricted on what they can say on their channel. Times and social norms have changed since 2009, but the policies that YouTube inflicts upon its creators are getting out of hand. According to the article, “every hour, YouTube deletes nearly 2,000 channels. The deletions are meant to keep out spam, misinformation, financial scams, nudity, hate speech and other material that it says violates its policies.” With that being said, things such as nudity and hate speech should be deleted off the platform, but in recent times, YouTube has been striking down channels that do not hold the same values as the company does. For example, if a channel were to say something that YouTube doesn’t agree with, they will take it down 9 out of 10 times.
    As a viewer myself, I most certainly believe that YouTube should protect its audience from channels that are spreading misinformation. The reason being is because YouTube has a generally younger audience and kids will not be able to decipher whether the information that they are being told is true or not. Along with that, kids typically tend to believe whatever they hear online especially when it’s coming from one of their favorite creators. With that being said, kids will be prone to believing that their favorite creator is right 100% of the time when that isn’t the case. Aside from children, social media plays a huge role within younger generations, and due to this, companies; such as YouTube, have a responsibility to protect their users from misinformation.
    When it comes to the discussion of whether or not YouTube holds power over the media, they most certainly do. As the article mentions Novara’s channel has been taken down “in error”. While computer errors do occur, I find that YouTube intentionally took down the channel as a result of the statements that Novara had made on its platform. “Novara had spent years using YouTube to attract more than 170,000 subscribers for its left-leaning coverage of issues like climate change, capitalism and social policy.” With that being said, Novara has been able to gain a substantial following which shows how they can be viewed as a major news outlet. As noted above, I believe that YouTube intentionally took down Novara’s channel for something that they said or did because it is not often that a channel with a substantial following is taken down by accident. Along with that, the article notifies how “other independent journalists, activists and creators on YouTube often don’t have similar success, particularly in countries like Belarus, Russia and Turkey where YouTube is under pressure from authorities to remove opposition content and where the company does not have as much language or cultural expertise.” As a result of the language barriers that exist and the duty that YouTube holds, I feel that YouTube will be prone to take down all content that they find to be misinforming despite the fact if they fully understand what is being said or not.
    When it comes to the legality of YouTube’s actions, it is completely legal for them to remove videos on their platform that violate their user agreement. However, YouTube has to ensure that they are acting reasonably and ethically to evade any lawsuits that may occur. If YouTube were to strike down a channel for a non-legitimate reason, or for something that is not listed in the user agreement, YouTube could face a lawsuit depending on the extent of the situation. Overall, as the years go on, YouTube will continue to increase their protection against misinformation on their platform which will ultimately lead to the downfall of many news outlets that conduct their business on YouTube’s platform.

  20. The article talks about how you tubers deleted Novara’s YouTube channel. Youtube deletes nearly 2000 channels every hour. The article “states deletions are meant to keep out spam, misinformation, financial scams, nudity, hate speech and other material…”
    It makes sense that YouTube wants to keep its platform clean. YouTube wants to be a clean video website. One of its main sources of income is the ads people put on the videos. If the video has inappropriate content the ads cannot be put on the video. Therefore they would make no money or profit.
    I would like to also point out that social media has a heavy influence on today’s news. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. For starters if there is an emergency such as a missing person or a dangerous criminal wanted, the word can get out before these people disappear. The bad thing about social media and the news it spreads is when it is misinformation. Word can spread extremely fast online. If it is false news, the wrong information can spread. And nobody ever checks to see if the word is true. Other inappropriate content such as videos with nudity or hate speech aren’t so great either. YouTube doesn’t want to become a pornographic website. They don’t want to be a platform for any hate speech either. This would make them a platform that accepts these forms of content. YouTube is more mainstream now, and this content shouldn’t be acceptable on their platform/website.
    Donald Trump was accused of spreading fake news via Twitter. There was so much controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s Twitter account. Eventually Twitter had enough and removed his account. In my opinion, these are the types of accounts that YouTube should delete. Not Novara. It is very unlucky for this to happen to her channel.

  21. Social media is taking over society as we know it today and a majority would agree. Social media opened a new job opportunity, influencers. Many people as we know put their whole lives on the internet in order to gain popularity, make money, etc and Youtube is a big part of their career. As someone who has a Youtube channel, if my account were to be deleted without any warning or no explanation, I would be as concerned as Novara. If I were to run a successful Youtube channel by putting my sweat, tears, and hundreds of hours of working all for it to be accidentally deleted, I would have flipped. In my opinion, Youtube made a grave mistake because this could have been opened for a lawsuit. According to the article, Youtube deletes thousands of channels every day for not following the guideline, uploading illicit videos, hate speech, spam, etc. So of course, an accident like this was bound to happen, but this does not excuse the problem at hand.
    As someone who is an avid social media user, I can feel the new generation rising due to the internet. More kids want to be influencers and gain popularity on the internet, which there is no problem with. But, social media platforms need to update their guidelines and make sure another accident like this does not happen again. In my opinion, social media 10 years ago was a completely different time compared to now. Videos were more uncut and true to themselves. I remember learning how to braid my hair or listening to storytimes when I was in middle school. Now, videos and users have to follow these guidelines that would strip them of their personality and their videos seem fake to me. My main concern is that children put on a facade in order to “fit in” social media rules and regulations. For me personally, I try to steer away from allowing platforms to control me, but they are probably doing it without my knowledge which is terrifying. Moreover, I believe social media platforms need to make sure an accident like this will not happen again and for their guidelines to be updated in order for users to show their real uncut personalities.

  22. I find this article to be very interesting because you find out how people make a living off of social media platforms. For example Novara spent years on YouTube and had nearly 200,000 subscribers. She was able to make a living off of it because of how popular she was on the platform. YouTube decided to take her account down and was stuck with nothing. This proves how important a social media platform can be for someone and how taking it away will impact them in a big way. According to statistics YouTube deletes 2000 accounts an hour. This may be because of violation of their user agreements. Some user agreements may include to keep out spam, misinformation, financial scams, nudity, hate speech and other material that it says violates its policies.
    I do believe if some of those violations were broke, it is right to ban an account, but some of the accounts don’t do any of that and still may get their channel deleted. I think social media apps need to do something about this problem about innocent people loosing their source of income and hard work because of their account being taken down by mistake. Norvana being able to get her account back because of a public outcry is a very good thing. But there are others who may not be able to receive the same treatment to get their account back and just have to deal with the problem and start all over.
    People may be skeptical about starting their own channel with the fear of getting their channel taken down because of previous incidents. YouTube should make a change my making sure people feel safe and comfortable about starting their own channel.

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