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I Deleted My YouTube Account

Google's Clean Design is a part of its marketing communication

I deleted my YouTube account. I will no longer be watching any videos on YouTube or through embedded YouTube players. On Nov. 18, 2020, YouTube sent out a change to their terms of use. In it, they stated that they now reserved the right to place ads on any video they saw fit. If the creator of the video wasn’t in the YouTube Partnership Program (YPP), he or she would not receive any part of the ad fees for that video. YouTube would take all the money and leave the creator with nothing.

YouTube sets the parameters for creators who can be in the YPP. In 2018, I was among the creators who was kicked out of the program because I did not meet the minimum requirements of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of annual views. At the time, YouTube said it just wasn’t profitable to monetize those smaller accounts. The 2020 proposal is an admission of greed and prevarication on their part. The videos are worth monetizing now, but they still aren’t worth paying the creator for. This is akin to a record company deciding not to pay a songwriter because her records didn’t sell that much and she doesn’t have that many fans. Sure, you don’t make another album with that artist, but you still pay royalties (which is what YouTube is calling the money earned by YouTubers now, a small but subtle change for tax purposes).

Unfortunately, I still have YouTube videos embedded on my website. I don’t have the time to remove them all, but I will do so as I come across them. I will also be moving toward using Google products less often. This includes Google search, Google maps, and Gmail. The process to divest myself of exposure to Google will be long and arduous. They control all my passwords through Chrome, my business email, and my Google ads on my original websites. Google and YouTube are the top two search engines in the world. Still, when a company proposes to make virtual serfs of its poorer community members, we need to stand up and tell them to take their medieval lord-thinking to another space. Creators are not peasant farmers for YouTube and Google to use to increase its wealth and holdings

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, but I cannot in good conscience continue to use YouTube knowing my participation is being used to make the rich richer while denying the people who the work any sort of fruits for their labor. #DeleteYouTube

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