YouTube, Centralized Content Platforms, Losing Favor

The Bridge: YouTube is at it again – the platform known for playing fast and loose with striking down creators for little to no reason has gone after another beloved icon. This time Lofi Girl – the darling of the chill music scene – found their account in the crosshairs, and the underlying implications are alarming.

No One on YouTube is Safe

LoFi (short for low-fidelity) music exploded onto the scene a few years back as the go-to tunes for relaxing or studying. Simple compositions of feel-good beats and samples, these tracks were streamed 24-hours a day, the background music for an animated video of a girl sitting at her desk, writing in a notebook, while her cat dozes in the window of her room. LoFi girl sat and studied for over 2 years before a phony DMCA claim led to YouTube removing the channel without warning. With over 10 million subscribers and her own Discord (essentially a themed chat room), the alarm was raised loudly and immediately. For thousands of other content creators, this will never be the case.

Is a Solution on the Horizon?

YouTube by its very nature is imperfect; still at the mercy of the masses like any other centralized platform. They’re flooded with so many bogus takedown requests that they simply don’t have the resources to carefully vet each one. Combine that with the sheer volume of users that can easily click the “report” button, without needing to provide a valid reason, and you get wildly popular channels crashing overnight. Channels that rely on YouTube for their paycheck subsequently wrecking entire lives. It goes deeper than copyright claims – anyone, even a petty or embittered individual, can claim a channel is abusing the Holy Guidelines of the website. This often results in punitive takedowns that leave channel owners scrambling just to get their claims overturned. Subscribers are fickle – if a channel goes down, they’ll often get their fix elsewhere.

So what does this all mean? In the current era, there are not many alternatives for hosting video content, and certainly none with the huge number of subscribers. And, if not even Lofi Girl is safe, no one is. Fortunately, there’s a very active movement of tech-savvy young people who are building the alternative future. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – the answer to the abuses of centralized powerhouses is decentralization.

At least LoFi girl was put back up after 2 days – here’s hoping she aced the test she’s been studying for all this time.

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