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Casey Neistat criticises youtube leaders

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One of YouTube's most influential vloggers has attacked the service's leaders, claiming they are failing many of their most popular video creators.

Specifically, Casey Neistat criticised the way the platform had made it impossible for some videos to generate advertising revenue, without clearly explaining the rules to its community.

One of his own videos - an interview with Indonesia's president - was temporarily "demonetised" last week.

YouTube has said it is listening.

"We watched Casey's video and appreciate him and the wider community voicing their concerns," a spokeswoman told the BBC.

"We know this has been a difficult few months, and we're working hard to improve our systems. We're making progress, but we know there is a lot more to do."

'Existential threat'

Mr Neistat has more than eight million subscribers on YouTube, who have signed up to be alerted when he posts. He has also struck a multi-million-dollar deal to create content for CNN on the platform.

He is normally viewed as being one of the leading champions of the site.

But in a video posted on Tuesday, he said he felt compelled to speak out because the level of upset among creators posed an "existential threat to YouTube's entire business".

The Google division began stripping some videos of adverts earlier in the year after several major brands suspended YouTube campaigns because their marketing clips had been attached to extremist content.

To address the problem, YouTube introduced an algorithm that determines which clips are "family friendly" and thus allowed to continue making money for their creators.

But Mr Neistat said the decision-making process had been badly communicated.

"There are no answers anywhere, and there's no-one telling you what's going on," he said.

"The thing that was most troubling for me... was the lack of communication, the lack of transparency on the part of YouTube."

"People are... putting the same amount of work, the same amount of energy and the same amount of expense into the content they're creating, but now they're getting paid only a fraction of what they did."

A recent decision to demonetise creators' videos about the Las Vegas shootings had caused particular ire, Mr Neistat said, since a video featuring the chat-show host Jimmy Kimmel discussing the same incident had been allowed to continue featuring ads.

"It sort of reeks of hypocrisy, and again the community felt like a second-class citizen," he said.

As a rule, YouTube prevents adverts from running on videos about tragedies.

But this does not apply to clips posted by select partners - including Mr Kimmel's employer, ABC - who are allowed to sell ads themselves rather than relying on Google to do so.

Date: Oct 19, 2017   


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