#WTFU Can Go Further: How To Make YouTube Better

Pay attention to this, kids. It’s important.
Source: Emaze.com

I’ve been wanting to talk about this ever since I first learned about it last week. And yesterday, I had a good reason to do so.

For those not in the know, a recent trend among Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube users has had people voicing their outrage over unwarranted copyright strikes by spreading the news about victimized channels who have lost their monetization rights or have lost their channel entirely with the hashtag #WTFU.

No, that’s not the college dedicated to teaching people how to call out stupidity that I’m trying to establish. WTFU is short for “Where’s the Fair Use;” fair use being a caveat of copyright law that allows the use of short clips of copyrighted material for the purposes of criticism, education, news, and parody/satire.

However, many people have had their content removed, many times with no warning, despite being well within the protective rights of fair use. The proliferation of #WTFU was started by Doug Walker; aka, The Nostalgia Critic after he and his friends/co-workers at Channel Awesome had a strike file against them that cost them monetization rights and the ability to upload videos over 10 minutes long.

Walker’s incident is not isolated. Many other channels have suffered similar fates including I Hate Everything, H3H3, and – just yesterday at the time of posting this – Team Four Star among others.

Now, I like the idea of a United YouTube Entertainers Guild (I’ll work on the name) dedicated to protecting innocent producers. However, I feel that #WTFU supporters should take it upon themselves to go further. While protecting the innocent, we should be actively punishing the guilty.

What do I mean? Well, YouTube has a laundry list of standards of practice that they demand that anyone uploading footage. If we really want to make this a better place for entertainers we should be proving that by calling out the people you violate those standards while ALSO protecting those that play by the rules.

For instance, why is it that YouTube says is against sexually explicit content, but allows channels like Prank Invasion to objectify women by groping their asses so hard you could almost see up her pooper if they weren’t in bikinis?

Why do they attack people protected under fair use when sub-par ‘reaction’ channels Like Jinx are allow to upload full videos unedited with almost no actual substantial commentary?

Why do they tell us to not use hateful speech or threats, but extremist lunatics like Josh Feuerstein can insult and belittle Non-Christians and gays while waving his gun on camera and preaching about a “Christian Holocaust?” (Please note that I’m not linking to any examples of the above-mentioned people’s work because the worst thing I could do to dignify them is to increase their view count)

If we really want to improve modern media, then #WTFU can only be the start. We need to let YouTube know that we want good people to be left alone while pointing them in the direction of the real threats to good taste and basic human decency.

To that end, I encourage you to start a similar trend I call, “How Are You On YouTube?” Every time you see someone violating the YouTube standards without any consequence, flag the video and share a link to the offending channel via Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #HAYOYT to encourage others to do the same.

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2 thoughts on “#WTFU Can Go Further: How To Make YouTube Better

  1. hmm… i really dont want to twist your words, but i thought i was reading an article that was talking about how lousy unfair takedowns were, then moved on to propose more ways to lead to unfair takedowns?

    im sure that wasnt the idea you started with. when you said “protect the innocent… but also punish the guilty” i was hoping you were going to talk about something like boycotting the companies that issue fraudulent takedown notices, not creating new youtube thought-police. overzealous content flagging happens already: wtfu is (not wrongly) focusing on the most painful aspect of that problem.

    • I might have been unclear, I admit. I’m trying to say that only focusing defending the channels that are unjustly taken down might make us look like we’re acting on narrow-minded self-interest – i.e. protecting our business/favoring creators – to someone on the outside looking in. I understand that overzealous flagging is a problem and I do want people to be mindful of that. But I also believe that, in all fairness, we should be looking for the kinds of people that make copyright holders and YouTube moderators nervous and strike happy in the first place.

      I don’t want a “thought police.” I want a fair police. You’re free to say or show anything you want as long what you’re saying/showing and how you say/show it as long as it isn’t harmful and follows the rules that we’ve all agreed on.

      Side note: I find that consumer boycotts don’t have the same effect as they once did years ago, hence why I don’t recommend it as a strategy. Boycotts only seem to be effective when they involve investors pulling their funding and even then it doesn’t always work.

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