YouTube Censorship


Video streaming services have come a long way from YouTube’s first upload in 2005. In 2020, we have the power to stream cat videos, TikToks and learn how to file our taxes all at the click of a button. We can search for virtually anything and find at least a few results for just about any topic. The ever-changing plethora of content on streaming sites like YouTube has created the need for review and possible removal. YouTube has policies regarding what can be posted and what is subject to censorship. This all makes sense when instances of nudity and physical violence arise, but another part of YouTube censorship is view removal. Simply said, if a YouTube video gains too many views in a certain amount of time, the views can be removed or lessened to better represent the number of views that the video got. This poses a huge problem for widely popular creators. People have figured out how to use software to increase the view count on videos and boost their visibility on the recommended page of YouTube or other streaming sites. Deleting a couple thousand views on a video that surpasses a million views in a day makes sense. For example, YouTube deleted over 67 million views on BTS’s “ON” music video. The video was on track to beat their other music video “Boy With Luv” but the new policies kept them from achieving this. View counts for widely popular streamers shouldn’t be affected because they are already gaining money from advertisements so however many view-bots are being used for those videos, subtracting a huge amount of views barely makes a difference. Companies choose which channels to advertise on based on view count and since channels as big as BTS would have a large following for advertisements anyways, erasing 67 million views which were most likely not entirely view-bots is counter productive and keeps them from beating their own records. There is nothing on YouTube’s policy that says they will delete views if they suspect the use of view-bots. However, there are instances of this happening as seen in the “ON” video. This unfair use of censoring should be taken down especially since YouTube’s policies do not reflect this as a regular occurrence. Censoring some videos is necessary to protect the integrity of streaming sites. However, censoring views is counter-productive and prevents artists from seeing how many views they actually amassed rather than the views that YouTube assumed they gained. Artists cannot gain success if their views and their achievements are being censored on YouTube and other streaming sites. This is an issue that is hardly talked about but is beginning to interfere with awards and statistics for charts.