Top YouTubers Say They’re Being Screwed Yet Again By The Platform

Top YouTubers Say They’re Being Screwed Yet Again By The Platform

Recently, top YouTubers are saying that, yet again, the behemoth video sharing network is screwing them over. This time, it’s about an alleged issue with subscribers — suddenly, they’re disappearing. And, no, it’s not because they unsubscribed. YouTube, for their part, denies that there’s a glitch.


Regardless, several popular YouTubers are up in arms about shrinking subscriber counts right now. In a video yesterday, popular YouTuber h3h3Productions alleged that “YouTube is not being honest with us”. H3h3Productions shows several screenshotted tweets from fans who say they aren’t getting notified about his new videos any more. He echoes complaints from other YouTubers that his videos were getting less views than usual by a wide margin, and that when he uploads new videos he apparently loses subscribers. His subscriber count is shrinking for no apparent reason.

Over the last 24 hours, several other huge names made videos alleging the same problems h3h3Productions spells out in his video, affirming that subscribers are apparently removed after YouTubers post videos. Today, YouTuber JackSepticEye posted a video in which he claims that some content creators have lost 30 to 40 per cent of their usual views, without any explanation from YouTube.

“This is people’s careers,” JackSepticEye explained. “To completely switch how you do things and not tell anybody is a shitty thing to do.”

In an email, YouTuber Jim Sterling told me that the issue of subscribers not getting notified is years old. “YouTube’s notification system for subscribers can be utterly awful, and as with many problems YouTube has, fixing it isn’t a priority whatsoever,” he said. But Sterling was puzzled by the subscriber loss problem, which he says he’s experienced, too. He’s noticed that, when he posts a new video, it “costs” subscribers:

“I wrote it off as me just pissing off more people than usual lately, but hey, if there’s a reason for this that isn’t my fault, I’ll take it!” he said.

Curiously, when I reached out to YouTube for an explanation, they told me that none of this was out of the ordinary. A YouTube spokesperson explained that, although YouTube has heard concerns about subscriber drops, an “extensive review” unearthed nothing unusual going on “beyond the normal fluctuations that occur when viewers unsubscribe to a channel or when we YouTube removes spam subscriptions to ensure accurate subscriber numbers”. The representative added that “YouTube never automatically unsubscribes users from channels”. They say there is no glitch.

Normal fluctuations to subscriber counts occur when, of course, viewers subscribe and unsubscribe; creators use third-party reporting tools to count subscribers; and spam subscribers are removed. Regarding notifications, YouTube by default only notifies fans about “highlights from the channel they have subscribed to,” the representative told me. Fans who want to receive notifications about a channel’s every upload can toggle that setting.

Now, this is a conundrum. Content creators say their subscriber counts and views are rapidly deflated while YouTube says it’s business as usual. So, to explain what’s going on, YouTubers are trading theories over Twitter and the video sharing site.

YouTubers like H3h3productions and DramaAlert believe that genuine content is slowly getting suffocated on the platform, while YouTube boosts ads on the “trending” tab, or videos with more likes and comments. The conspiracy theory is that YouTube promotes sponsored videos or bullshit giveaway videos instead of videos with merit. When asked directly by H3h3 productions, he said, YouTube explained that they were promoting videos with more “activity”.

When I asked whether YouTube has changed their promotion algorithm, the YouTube representative did not provide an answer.

The mechanisms behind YouTube’s algorithms are opaque, but YouTubers want to be kept in the loop. Exclamatory videos proclaiming the latest YouTube injustice are almost a genre of their own, filling the communication hole between YouTube and its content creators. It’s their livelihood, they say — they deserve to know what’s happening under the hood.


  • > It’s their livelihood, they say — they deserve to know what’s happening under the hood.

    No they don’t, they either use the service as it is or go somewhere else. This notion that platform owners owe these people anything in laughable.

    Granted good communication is always a plus but youtube don’t owe you anything, you built your empires on their tech not the other way around.

    • I don’t want to do you a disservice by reading further into your comments than you intended, but your comments could imply that Youtube doesn’t need the people that upload content; that’s obviously not true. You might be technically correct that its a service these people use, but the reality is that its a symbiotic relationship and Youtube gets ad revenue from content people upload. Youtube should be more transparent while Youtubers care enough to complain instead of jumping ship.

      • Here’s the thing, I’m not implying that youtube should be assholes to content creators (or anyone really) it’s just that it is there right to do so.

        If they want to engage in practices that drive away people whom are generating income then either people will suck it up or it will spur the market to create newer better platforms for content distribution.

        The people who’s content I do watch and enjoy absolutely have a plans to leave YT if things start looking shady. (also they have all their material archived, don’t ever count on YT for that)

        When services like YT, reddit etc make changes people often complain that “they are being censored”, “having their freedom of speech revoked”, or that “X service is killing my business model and I demand restitution” seem to forget that they are using private platforms and not public utilities.

    • Interesting perspective… but consider it’s really a two way street…
      a) YouTube, despite newer things coming online, is in some regards still a monopoly
      b) Each person using the service is, in reality, a monetized asset of YouTube, and
      c) People have agreed to contracts with Google and purportedly these peculiarities being mentioned are nowhere in that contract and are (in all likelihood) only for the benefit of Google…

      Then they kind of DO owe an explanation to the people that they’ve gone into partnerships (through contract) with…

    • Yes they built their empire on youtubes tech, But youtube would not be youtube today without these people, Its a two way street, Not the one way street you imagine

      • Youtube was doing fine and dandy before pdp and yogast. Turns out people will upload content for free if you let them.

        Plus most of that content that is uploaded by various YT personalities is all based on other peoples work. Without the games to stream and the platform to put them on all you have left is some noisy people shouting into the ether.

        • You haven’t really said anything here to justify YouTube’s behaviour. You seem more interested in convincing us YouTubers are worthless. It makes it sound like YouTube could do anything and you’d side with them because of a personal grudge against YouTubers.

  • Youtube (or, Youtubers that concern themselves with games at the least) won’t improve here, because the little fiefdom that’s been created is like Deadwood.

    There’s ‘the way things are done’ and that either changes with the wind, or there’s the mutual understanding that most – if not all of them – are to work a certain way with certain parties, full stop. They were all declaring war on written games journalism for a hot minute for a while there, not so much anymore.

    They’re still nimble enough to be nobody’s puppets, but as this article states they are heavily reliant on their subscriptions as a result. They are simply becoming ‘too big to fail’, which means of course they will at some point, spectacularly so.

    “Youtubers like H3h3productions and DramaAlert”……this sentence blurs the lines between one bloke with a webcam and a ‘brand’ – Sterling himself is practically a one-man corporation, though I bet he wouldn’t like being told as much.

  • Papa Bless, I was wondering why I wasnt getting notfied when he posted videos. I was waiting to hear back on how Hugh Mungus was…

  • So, to explain what’s going on, YouTubers are trading theories over Twitter and the video sharing site.YouTubers like H3h3productions and DramaAlert believe that genuine content is slowly getting suffocated on the platform

  • lol the whole notion of being a ‘Youtuber’.

    ‘Subscribers make me money and i have no idea why ppl listen to me but i’m gonna ride it for all its worth!”

    • That is the entertainment industry in a nutshell. People watch Youtube for entertainment, infotainment or plain information.

      You could argue about people being actors in the same light.
      ‘ I go around the world, pretending to do stuff and people pay me money to watch me do things I didn’t really do ‘

    • Youtubers do know why people listen to them though. Because they’re funny, or insightful, or highly skilled, or thoughtful – in a word, entertaining. Comedians work exactly the same way.

      People who think like you seem to have some kind of cognitive dissonance that blocks you from seeing that “a Youtuber” is just “an entertainer” on a particular distribution platform.

      • the difference being entertainers like actors and comedians have talent and ability and don’t rely on click bait titles and images to get clicks…

        • Yeah, I bet every Youtuber is a talentless clickbaiter, and every actor and comedian is a talented hard worker. You’re an idiot, buddy.

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