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devils
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« on: June 30, 2023 @668.81 »

As someone who consumes an embarrassingly large amount of Youtube videos, I was thinking about the current environment on the site...

It's strange, since it's not exactly a «normal» social media site, but I do believe the current version of the site embodies all that is wrong with social media. Lots of weird, genuinely predatory people getting a lot of fans and making half-assed apologies when the truth comes out, the fact that you have to post often to be properly seen... so much of it is influenced by monetization IMO. I understand the fact that people need to get paid, but... when the site stopped being about fun and started being about money, it got so, so much worse.

The worst part is that the way the Web is structured now, even if a proper Youtube alternative were to exist the problems would probably end up being the same.

IDK, I guess I've been feeling nostalgic for that era of Youtube where people could just upload rants about Twilight or something with terrible mic quality. I've heard of Youtube alternatives, but none of them seem to be worth the server costs and eventually fall out of style. It's pretty sad, I think!

Anyone else feel this way? Either about Youtube or any other site?
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grovyle
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2023 @697.01 »

I've violently trained the youtube algorithm to show me none of that stuff, and I've mostly succeeded. I do get caught up in drama videos once in a while, but I don't take them too seriously and am able to jump back to other stuff quickly. I'm happy with what I watch and I don't think it has any bad repercussions in my mental health or whatever.
That said, even if I don't see it, I'm sure youtube has lots of problems. I saw a meme recently of how awful it is to see the youtube home page when you're logged out, tried it on my tv and.... yeah.......... if that's the starting point to the algorithm, I can see how it's hard to stay away from videos that just aren't nice, in one way or another. I started using youtube regularly around 2014, and it was wayy different back then, so I think I had an easier time curating my experience (and now getting recommendations based on that) than someone would have if they tried to do it now.
I also don't know of any alternatives but I'm not searching for them either, tbh.
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2023 @746.67 »

Yeah, I feel the same way about YouTube these days. It's unfortunate that it's all about money now, but I could certainly point out some channels that are still doing things just for the fun of it. What comes with the money aspect is repetitive content, or content that has to be rushed because the creator is in a position where if they don't make something in a certain amount of time, they won't make enough money, which is very sad.

And besides that, in order to make YouTube even remotely enjoyable I need to use ad blocker and Unhook. I only just found out about Unhook recently and it's been a GODSEND. You can remove everything YouTube recommends to you entirely, but really I just use it to get rid of those end cards at the end of videos that cover up the last part of the video?!?!?! Who's evil wicked idea was that?? Anyways, besides YouTube some of the alternatives have had moderate success like Dailymotion or Vimeo, but they still don't come close.
 
 
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devils
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2023 @810.97 »

I've violently trained the youtube algorithm to show me none of that stuff, and I've mostly succeeded. I do get caught up in drama videos once in a while, but I don't take them too seriously and am able to jump back to other stuff quickly. I'm happy with what I watch and I don't think it has any bad repercussions in my mental health or whatever.

YOU... Teach me how to tame the darn algorithm...



And besides that, in order to make YouTube even remotely enjoyable I need to use ad blocker and Unhook. I only just found out about Unhook recently and it's been a GODSEND. You can remove everything YouTube recommends to you entirely, but really I just use it to get rid of those end cards at the end of videos that cover up the last part of the video?!?!?! Who's evil wicked idea was that?? Anyways, besides YouTube some of the alternatives have had moderate success like Dailymotion or Vimeo, but they still don't come close.   

Oh my goodness, thank you for talking about Unhook... just installed it and I'm already glad!

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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2023 @861.28 »

It feels commercialised compared to what it was back in the late 2000s. Youtube used to feel like just a space for people who really wanted to make videos and just express their creativity.

Now it's full of clickbait thumbnails and titles, and people just pump out videos to get a drip of that sweet sweet ad revenue. Lots of shocked faces, exclamation marks and arrows pointing to something, usually completely unrelated to the video itself.
With titles like "Look at what happened here?!?!?!?!", like fuck off... It's just insufferable, and clickbait remover and using clients like Freetube only does so much.

I barely watch Youtube videos any more. Any videos I really enjoy I download and dub them to tape to rewatch there.
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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2023 @899.61 »

I don't know, I mostly watch video essays. I don't watch any of the clickbait stuff and it's not in my recommended either. Generally I don't really care for Youtube personalities because... as mean as it sounds, I don't really care about them as people that much. I just wanna learn cool stuff. When I think of social media I can't stand, Youtube is not there, instead Twitter and Tiktok are.
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2023 @920.94 »

Youtube has been a hallow shell for at least 7-8 years now. Authentic and passion driven content is still made by some, but it has to fight with content farms and the algorithm in order to get views. It's a damn shame that many talented and passionate creators can't get the fame they deserve because their content doesn't draw in as many views as content farms. If it keeps up I can see myself stop using Youtube through Invidious because of the increased focus on content farms.
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grovyle
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2023 @103.91 »

YOU... Teach me how to tame the darn algorithm...

I'm thinking as hard as I can and I think the steps were something like
  • Identify what I want to watch and SEARCH for it, like actually using the search function. It's like doing the motion of throwing a ball to a dog when you're not really holding a ball, youtube will go "OH HEY THIS ONE LIKES THIS TYPE OF CONTENT!!!" and show you more of that. Repeat with different things so you don't end up with a thousand ramen recipes
  • If you're ever bored/have to kill time, just go on the youtube recommended page and tell it you're not interested in the videos you're not interested in. I'm talking about half an hour of this, refreshing and swiping, refreshing and swiping. A pain in the ass but I SWEAR it helps
  • DON'T stay hovering over videos you know you won't like so that it starts playing the video over the thumbnail. That counts as having watched it to the algorithm
  • Every video you think you'll like but don't have the time to watch, put it in a playlist. It can be the watch later one (I do this, it's over 400 videos long lmao) or it can be another random one. Youtube will recommend videos based on the ones you have on your playlists from time to time

But I guess it really depends on what kinds of videos you want to watch. I don't watch clickbaity videos, but I do watch a ton of video essays and booktube, which is kinda huge in the site rn so there's a lot for the algorithm to recommend. If you're into more obscure topics in which not many videos are made, I guess there's less videos you'll find interesting in the site overall, and even less will get recommended.

Time for a thread on favorite youtube channels maybe????? In the hopes of curating our own experiences in the hellsite????????
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devils
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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2023 @191.92 »

@grovyle Thank you so much for the tips! Gosh, I had no idea that simply hovering would get me stuck in a loop... Eurgh.
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2023 @820.94 »

The worst part is that the way the Web is structured now, even if a proper Youtube alternative were to exist the problems would probably end up being the same.

I'll have to add more to this. What you say about how problems would still exist in alternatives is how I feel on a lot of alternative social media, ie mastodon and uhh, I forgot what the Reddit alternatives are called. How would those alternatives not fall back to toxicity or harmful feedback loops seen in their mainstream predecessors? How would they be more real social and not fake social media social? To me, they look like a remake of mainstream media but with the ability to make a private community such as Mastodon's instances with slight differences in moderation due to their decentralized nature. Perhaps I'm not getting something about those forms of social media though, I know one of my friends are more into Mastodon. This is of course why I am coming to forums, blogs, and Neocities now. :ok:

I've violently trained the youtube algorithm to show me none of that stuff, and I've mostly succeeded

Yes! Youtube's algorithm at least seems to be trainable for me as well ; p. If I put my heart into it I could probably really curate a better experience on Youtube, but it does require active filtering/blocking and the decision not to click on something that looks catchy or clickbaity. Basically, if you start watching a bunch of videos with like, 10 viewers, you're going to get more videos from smaller youtube channels. Ex: My friend started a channel on drone footage and when I looked at her content I'd find other low-viewed videos about roads, drones, etc. Or if you start watching RPG content from smaller YouTubers you'll see more of it.


Though this does lead youtube to show me videos I've seen before in my feed all the time instead of finding new related content.
If you're into more obscure topics in which not many videos are made, I guess there's less videos you'll find interesting in the site overall, and even less will get recommended.
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2023 @836.88 »

I forgot what the Reddit alternatives are called. How would those alternatives not fall back to toxicity or harmful feedback loops seen in their mainstream predecessors?

I think analyzing the point when specific social media sites started to become worse is beneficial; usually it has something to do with more ads, user unfriendly design to serve more ads, becoming walled, being bought up by big companies, and the sheer volume of users.

I can't speak for all of them since there are a few and especially with Lemmy, it is obviously up to the instance hoster to enable and disable some stuff as well as defederate from some other instances, but a lot of Reddit alternatives (even the ones not trying to be) can avoid a lot of this toxicity by
- (many) being FOSS and the goals and accountability that comes with it
- not belonging to a social media giant/large corp (yet?)
- much much smaller user size
- not having to rely on ads or having to please shareholders and incentivizing growth, therefore being able to listen to what users want or leave things as is, instead of always trying to pull more users, serve more ads, get more people to sign up for premium etc. (instead usually it is volunteers, donations, etc.)
- design choices discouraging toxicity and prevent specific dynamics from developing

On the last point, one site that is especially good with this is, in my opinion, Tildes. Their design philosophy is very intentional, down to the placement of specific UI elements to create more friction. More friction means more intention, less doomscrolling, less addiction, less instant posting before thinking, and filters out specific groups of people you'd rather not have. One such thing is the comment box being at the bottom of the comment section, not the top, and strongly suggesting every app for Tildes being developed by volunteers keeping this intact. It is supposed to encourage reading replies before just adding on. Can it be circumvented? Sure, you can get to the bottom of the page with a key press. And would this scale well, with millions of users and a huge comment section of thousands of users? No. But right now, it works.

I think it all adds and begets each other; if you are a big social media giant pleasing shareholders, you want more users because more users create more content, and more content means more people stay and engage; those are more people to get into subscriptions or pro plans, more people to serve ads to, which means more money from advertisers and happier shareholders; and to keep that up for record profits each year, you gotta get that user growth even when the quality of discussion at some point drops down by sheer number of people. To do so, you might use dark patterns, or use design favoring outrage, one-liners and discourse for most engagement over long form posts and positivity. The community doesn't grow organically anymore, which would filter out people you don't wanna have there, and instead takes about everyone; inflammatory content is accepted because it drives engagement, which is money. You just have to toe the line between enraging everyone while not enraging the advertisers.

And a lot of this can be avoided simply by not being motivated by capitalist profits off of the site. Smaller communities spread out over the web, growing and shrinking organically, no dark patterns, filters, design encouraging positive long form content and signing off after a while all together has the potential to create a better social media.
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2023 @838.15 »

What you say about how problems would still exist in alternatives is how I feel on a lot of alternative social media, ie mastodon and uhh, I forgot what the Reddit alternatives are called. How would those alternatives not fall back to toxicity or harmful feedback loops seen in their mainstream predecessors? How would they be more real social and not fake social media social? To me, they look like a remake of mainstream media

This is exactly why I've never really gotten into Mastodon. It seems like the same thing with the furniture moved around a bit, which isn't really what I've ever been looking for.
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« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2023 @16.70 »

Yeah, I do. I stopped using YouTube normally a long time ago. I don't visit the site at all. Instead, I watch videos I find on forums or sent to me by friends, exclusively through frontends such as NewPipe and Invidious.

YouTube was much nicer to use back in the 2000s. The recommended videos were actually relevant to the video one watched, and were good for finding similar videos. YouTube profiles used to have much more customisation options, including custom backgrounds and font colours. One was able to interact with others on the site with profile comments. As with every other large corporate social media site, the drive to make it more profitable has truly gutted it.

Since video hosting takes up a lot of bandwidth, I don't believe we will be seeing a nice YouTube alternative for awhile. The closest that comes to mind is PeerTube, but there's a lack of nice instances, and not enough interest outside of certain groups to host instances.

I think it would be interesting if someone made a video hosting site with strict file size constraints. Something similar to piclog.blue. I can see that working as a fun, non serious video hosting site.

[...]

You just have to toe the line between enraging everyone while not enraging the advertisers.

And a lot of this can be avoided simply by not being motivated by capitalist profits off of the site. Smaller communities spread out over the web, growing and shrinking organically, no dark patterns, filters, design encouraging positive long form content and signing off after a while all together has the potential to create a better social media.

Really good post. One thing I would like to expand on: Fediverse webmasters do not have to appease advertisers, or anyone for that matter. If one runs one's own Mastodon instance for example, one gets to make the rules, and can deny anyone one's own services for whatever reason. This is how forums operate, too.

This may sound bad on its own, but as a result, everyone gets more choice and freedom. Don't like the staff or moderation style of an instance? One can find another one, or make one's own. Since hosting an instance is fairly straight forward and inexpensive, there's a vast variety of instances out there to choose from.

The way this works in practice, is that there are clusters of communities formed around similar ideals. There's less drama, since everyone sticks to their own corner.
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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2023 @639.27 »

I feel like everything is a bit "all or nothing" nowadays in that most videos tend to either be some insufferable YouTube Short (so a YouTube Short) that's under sixty seconds long but only has five seconds of actual substance, or some five-hour video essay that tires me to watch. And there are some exceptions, but I feel like there isn't a lot more of that sweet spot. I miss those videos that were five or ten minutes or so long, where somebody would just sit down and talk about some part of life comedically (i.e. OG danisnotonfire or AmazingPhil) or tell some wacky story or whatever. I want to make that kind of video as well, but I don't care enough to edit very much and wouldn't have any kind of a consistent upload schedule.
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2023 @680.41 »

Youtube is as good as your choice of videos. Algorithm problems? Just don't sign in. I use RSS to see, if interesting channels uploaded something new.
Of course the dumbed main page catches many viewers, which is a sad anti-user feature, but it's the user's problem for not choosing how to use the platform.
Still lots of quality content to discover on Youtube. But only with the Invidious frontend, a whole different experience. Or back then with the Startpage video search, something that's not annoying.
This "Click, Like and Subscribe and ring the bell" speech that you can find in many videos is annoying. A proper channel doesn't do this and fortuneatly many still don't do so. So my view on modern Youtube culture is mainly positive and Youtube doesn't fail to inspire me so far.
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