The Content Problem With Internet Giants
Just a few months ago, YouTube
its algorithms were flawed, after it appeared that the platform was promoting
offensive content and hiding suitable material.
Disturbingly, the erratic
censorship is not solely due to flawed algorithms. There is reason to believe
that the people behind the platform may also be deliberately blocking content
that does not align with their political and social ideologies. In 2017,
YouTube received public backlash for censoring
hundreds of LGBTQ publishers and hiding it from viewers.
Similarly, an investigation
by The Guardian found that the platform
was consistently promoting conspiratorial and divisive content damaging to
Hillary Clinton’s campaign before the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
Virginia Senator Mark Warner warned that algorithms such as the one used by
YouTube may be gamed by bad actors to promote vulgarism or inhibit freedom of
On the flipside, YouTube has
also gotten heat from some claiming that it is censoring conservative voices on the platform.
Unfortunately, when a company
is as large as YouTube, with approximately 185 hours of content uploaded
every 30 seconds,
mistakes and problems are bound to occur and issues will fall through the
The YouTube case is not an
isolated one. Recently, many centralized content-sharing platforms have been in
the limelight for the same reasons. Big players such as Facebook, Twitter,
Google and Amazon have received their fair share of criticism, mostly for
political censorship, at times even facing
lawsuits as a result.
Content Creators Should Consider Decentralized Platforms
Imagine a video-sharing
platform upon which advertisers can hire content publishers and pay them
directly. Unlike the traditional model in which a third-party company decides
which ad goes to which content, the blockchain-powered model enables brands to
choose directly which content their ads will appear with.
The benefits to this approach
are mainly the elimination of intermediaries lowering advertisers’ costs and
increasing the margin both for them and for content publishers.
Also, third parties don’t have a say on what content should or shouldn’t
be monetized since brands directly decide with which content to place their
Perhaps the most exciting
project in the space working on such a solution for the vlogging industry is a
platform known as AQER. Through blockchain
technology, smart contracts and artificial intelligence (AI), the project aims
to connect brands with relevant vloggers, facilitate direct transactions and
protect content from copyright infringement. But what is even better about this
project is the fact that its approach leverages already-existing video-sharing
platforms such as YouTube and builds on them.
AQER provides a platform on
which brands can filter content on various traditional platforms to identify
those that are relevant and contract them to promote their brands. This means
that instead of relying on the conventional monetization methods, content
publishers get paid directly by advertisers. Consequently, this approach
addresses the problem of censorship
A project known as Verasity is also exploring a
decentralized solution for the vlogging industry. As opposed to AQER, Verasity,
in collaboration with Akamai
is building its own online video platform on which vloggers can post content
and directly connect with advertisers. Verasity is focusing on giving power
back to content consumers by enabling them to choose whether or not to see
advertisements and rewarding them when they decide to do so.
platforms such as YouTube bombard viewers with irrelevant ads and have often
been blamed for harvesting user data without consent. With Verasity enabling
transparent, peer-to-peer interactions between publishers, brands and viewers,
the issue of censorship could become a thing of the past.
AQER and Verasity are not the
only solutions aiming to decentralize the video-sharing industry. Projects such
as Viewly, VideoCoin, Theta and Creator.ai are already in place with
similar solutions, albeit ones that may not be as advanced as the other two. As
blockchain technology continues to gain mass popularity, there is no doubt that
online content will advance toward decentralization.