I'm on the couch; the thumbnail looks like this: Or maybe even if we're feeling spicy: So, you know this episode is probably gonna be serious, and it is.
One of the most serious ones of these “couch times”, these “Matt Chatts” that we've had.
So let's just hop into it.
Hello Internet! Welcome to Game Theory! For what could honestly be one of the last times, because in ONE MONTH we're getting ourselves a new year, a new decade, and most importantly of all: a new YouTube.
One that threatens to wipe out h u g e chunks of content and content creators that you know and love and have been watching since you were young.
Especially, the ones that you've been watching since you are young.
And, if you're a content creator on this platform right now, I'm telling you right here that you have got to be nervous about what 2020 is bringing to your life into your channel.
What we're talking about today should for all intents and purposes have some positive effects, but be careful what you wish for friends since it'll be taking with it.
Well, it's actually hard to tell how far-reaching this thing's gonna get.
But if you're a channel like DanTDM, Collins Key, guava juice, if you play or enjoy watching Roblox.
IF HECK! If you're a gaming channel in general: But especially a Minecraft Channel you better be worried about what 2020 has to offer, the YouTube Animation Community, finally back and thriving after years of STRUGGLING to find a foothold on this platform They're at risk.
Heck, after surviving years of press outlets trying to take him down, It might even be the thing to finally sink the captain of the old nine year old army over there PewDiePie! And I'm not calling out any of these channels without reason, THEY need, and we ALL need to be aware of what's coming, and we need to start talking about it.
We as content creators need to start telling our stories.
Heck! We might even need to be changing our content.
(and thats bad) Most importantly we need to spread awareness of this m a s s i v e s l e d g e h a m m e r That's gonna be hitting our channels and more importantly our communities.
In literally one month! and it's time that we break the silence about the impact that it's gonna have here on YouTube.
I wish that what I was talking about right now, we're funny or.
Click-Bait in some way but it's not a joke, and it's not a play for views.
It's the fallout of a recent settlement between the FTC and YouTube about what content is and isn't allowed to have advertisements on the platform.
You might have seen some of this address by channels like Phil DeFranco, Lindsey Ellis, a few other people out there and they might have mentioned terms like FTC, COPPA, ADVERTISING LAWS, or you might have noticed some of the articles circulating about YouTube having to pay a massive fine in Websites like The Verge or the New York Times.
Now, why should you care about some random law or YouTube having to pay some big fine? You don't know your FTC from your FDA from your WTF.
(jeez calm down Matt) And none of this has anything to do with you or what you watch on YouTube, right? Wrong, but to understand why YouTube channels might be disappearing or at the very least their content might be changing Substantially from what you've grown accustomed to we have to look at what's been happening over the last couple years on YouTube first Clearly YouTube over the last two years has been really working to navigate the tricky waters of kids content It really began back in 2017 with Elsa Gate where YouTube suddenly came under fire for the sheer volume of adults Choosing to dress up in Spiderman costumes in their spare time and then chase around the frozen princess Elsa for about 15 minutes Uploading it onto the platform and profiting Sometimes to really spice up the formula of those videos the Joker would be mixed into and trying to woo Elsa Sometimes Elsa was even pregnant.
It was top tier quality kids content No, it was it was just a weird time and YouTube agreed wiping out those channels from the platform as well as other questionable kids Content then Earlier this year YouTube came under fire yet again when it was found out that the comments sections in some kids channels were becoming message boards for how do I put this you know, the Kind of people who would watch kids channels and are old enough and creepy enough to use the comments section type down there Yeah, you can you get it right and I'm not talking about mothers who are sharing parenting tips down there fine YouTube makes it so that comments are disabled on those videos another problem solved boom moving on with our lives But it's the most recent controversy that suddenly pulled in creators large and small without any of us actually Realize again.
You see a few months ago.
YouTube was fine for violating Coppa That's a these guys right here the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act which was established way back in the off days of 1998 back when the internet really started to take hold and kids realize that it was the cool place to be well during that time Advertisers also realized that it was the cool place to be because quite frankly It was a place that they could market lots of stuff too gullible kids So Coppa was put in place to keep children's websites from collecting data about kids under 13 without their parents permission Now, why would you do that? Well, the idea is that children are impressionable and they can't distinguish ads from regular content So it's unfair and unethical to advertise to them and this principle isn't wrong by any means It's actually been proven time and again by science I've actually talked about it before over on film theory during my episode that looks at these scarily illegal merchandising practices of Jake Paul So if you want more information on children's development as it relates to advertising Or are just looking for more reasons to dunk on mr.
Every day, bro I'll leave a link down in the description The long and short of it is that with all the data on people that's available on the Internet Advertisements can just get scarily personal and I think we can all agree that it is not okay to get too personal When you're dealing with someone else's kids.
So Coppa then was meant to be the solution to this problem basically telling websites Hey don't go collect and creepy data on kids like where they live what school they go to why they were picked last at dodgeball last week fine that's all well and good totally valid, but the original writing of this law is I mean It's laughable according to the Act.
You can only collect data on kids.
If you get a parent's permission through methods such as the following Having parents sign a consent form returned to the operator of the website by postal mail or facili literally They have to send a permission slip for a website through the mail or give us a toll-free number that parents could call and or an email accompanied by a valid digital signature sign a consent form for The internet and then fax it in to the good people who are working at YouTube who will put you in their little file Folder if I'm sure the millions to billions of people using the website I had a conversation a couple weeks ago with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki And she told me that sometimes she's trying to explain YouTube to lawmakers who literally don't own a cell phone People making laws on this stuff don't own cell phones in 2019 I mean when you read laws like Coppa, I feel like you start to get an idea of what she's dealing with here But here's the thing YouTube should have won this battle, but then they had to go and screw it all up You see technically speaking.
YouTube has been copper compliant for years.
YouTube is a pg-13 Platform I mean sure it contains lots of ABC videos and pink Fong's baby Shark has been watched nearly four billion times Four billion views on that video.
Remember when we were all like freaking out that Psy's Gangnam style across the 1 billion mark, I Contributed 5 views to baby shark this morning in fact, just all kids things gravitate towards it's like gravity well, but Regardless of the success of that one very specific song in order to sign up for an account here You have to be 13 – people lie about their age.
Sure But according to YouTube's own Terms of Service.
You have to be 13 to be on this website specifically because of all of these reasons YouTube go figure is collecting data for its advertisers That is the whole point of us producing videos here That's their whole business model YouTube kids that separate website That's separate app that is supposed to be the place to adhere to all of these rules on YouTube proper Everything is 13 plus there's an argument to be made here that it's up to the parents to read the Terms of Service for the stuff that their kids are using and then decide if They're comfortable with the ads showing up in front of those kids I mean, it's not YouTube's job to babysit their children Or at least that should be the argument that's happening here But then YouTube had to go and open its big mouth and screw it all up You see over the years YouTube has spent a lot of time touting the fact that kids are Practically crawling all over the platform and of course when you put stuff like that on paper It's gonna come back and haunt you and in 2019 It finally did the FTC compiled a whole bunch of statements from YouTube as a part of this fine where representatives tell Advertisers things like this quote.
It's the number one place for kids online content and quote again YouTube is today's leader in reaching children ages 6 to 11 guys, come on YouTube is unanimously voted the number one web site visited for kids It just keeps going and going come on YouTube You know how PewDiePie over there was the one making hoops C's for the past two years So lo and behold the FTC finds YouTube a hundred and seventy million dollars basically telling them Hey you guys clearly knew that there are a lot of kids using YouTube main Not YouTube kids and you didn't do anything to sort that out.
In fact, you were kind of bragging about it So pay up and you know what? It's kind of true now again Those kids should have all been using their parents account meaning that they should all have permission from their parents or at the minimum Implicit permission from their parents.
I mean sure it's no Pony Express Telegraph wire to the YouTube home office in San Bruno like Koppel requests, but you know technology changes over the years Maybe parents should be paying attention to the fact that those toy unboxing videos kind of look like commercials Anyway, I'm not here to take sides because honestly, it's too late We're way beyond arguing sides because now in addition that cool 170 mil YouTube settlement involves them agreeing to take action to separate advertisers from kids content on the platform What does that exactly mean? Well, the FTC has basically said that ads targeting kids aren't allowed on kids content That's the whole point of Coppa that we've been talking about Anything labeled as kids content on YouTube.
Therefore will lose what are known as targeted ads Starting January 1st 2020.
It's unclear How much of a typical youtubers ad revenue comes from targeted ads but from our research it seems to be between 80 and 90% meaning that if a creator is losing targeted ads on their video they lose up to 90% of their ad revenue now most people you and I know couldn't afford to lose 80 to 90 percent of their salary at their job and This is gonna stay true even for big youtubers since most of them at this point aren't just paying themselves but paying a team of people around Them who work for them to edit produce their videos do all the other cool stuff that youtubers are doing for their community But I hear what you're saying.
I'm not a kid or at the very least.
I'm not under 13 I don't watch kids content This law doesn't affect me or the videos that I watch or the creators that I love but ask yourself this Are you sure about that? Because here's how YouTube currently defines kids content It's content that quote intentionally is aimed at kids includes characters Celebrities or toys that appeal to children including animated characters or cartoon figures 3 has a predominantly child audience and 4 contains activities that appeal to children Ok, so some of the stuff here is obvious right like a toy unboxing video or my son Oliver's favorite song freeze dance freeze Song freeze dance for kids music for kids by the Kabu Murs.
Wow, that is literally the title of the video It's almost like kids content on YouTube is engineered to attract kids by gaming search algorithms go figure but look again at those four qualifiers a Lot of stuff on YouTube falls into a weird gray area with those bullet points you ever watch lime video Okay.
Well, it's not surprising that that would attract a child audience and have things that appeal to kids What a pancake art.
I don't see too many adults making art on their pancakes But what about a video with title and thumbnail like this? That's from the Jake Paul channel who has explicitly stated that his audience is predominantly preteens and whose videos contain Four-year-olds in my audience is definitely younger I would say it's like eight years old So like sixteen years old one look at the audience who shows up for his live tour and you see that he's not wrong about the demographics of his audience So if this sort of stuff is what the kids are watching the lines start to get blurry really fast What about how it should have ended or Witney? Avalon's Elsa versus snow-white Rap Battles? I mean both of those channels feature characters that are popular with the kids What about animated storytellers of YouTube those characters are fun? And they're cute and they're approachable and they're appealing and they're telling funny stories that relate to all ages But definitely to kids under 13, how about a little bit closer to home here on this channel in the gaming space? Roblox, yeah, that one's gonna take a big hit But how about Minecraft like a channel who does in-game builds or uses characters to tell storylines? Minecraft is obviously a game.
We understand that's for all ages But a lot of children play it a lot of children watch that sort of content.
So where does that line get drawn? Pokemon yeah, it's a nostalgic property but it's still one of the biggest games for kids these days and then there's Fortnight still one of the biggest games in the world played by kids of all ages But I can't tell you how many tween agers and under I've seen in the mall in front of dressing room ears doing the floss Where does that fall what if you curse a lot but you still call your audience the nine-year-old army Cutes, or you have big reactions to scary games.
That kids could find funny Oh teehee Look at the adult man screaming at the computer screen all of them Right Foligno could be losing 80 to 90 percent of their salary in a month.
I don't know where some of these channels fall I don't know how you make that call and I'm sure that not many people at YouTube and Definitely at the FTC knows how to make that call either the problem now is that every channel on YouTube has to self-identify Whether or not they believe that their videos are attractive to kids before January 2020 We all got a form to fill out sent to our emails sent in our video manager So we don't have long to make these decisions in real talk even for me who has always intended this channel to be a high school and up channel where we talk about things like astrophysics or cyber hacking or the dsm-5 and abnormal psychology I feel nervous about this right because we talk about Pokemon and minecraft and Nintendo properties stuff that kids like to watch Youtubers who exist in this weird gray area have even started talking about adding a string of expletives To the beginning of every one of their videos to help solidify the fact that their video is indeed intended for adults That is how uncertain the YouTube community is feeling about this the irony of the whole thing.
Is that just a few months ago I was talking about how YouTube was killing gaming or more accurately how brand safety was killing gaming how games like Mortal Kombat and Call of Duty will struggle to survive in a system that Because of advertiser fears limits the visibility of those sorts of videos they're violent They're too edgy.
And that was actually confirmed by Susan in her interview with me We realized that simulated violence and game violence is very different, of course than real violence And so we're actually gonna be separating them But now you have yourself the direct opposite of that problem things that are suddenly to brand safe to kid friendly are getting hit from the other direction, so Everything on YouTube is being squeezed toward this middle ground just gonna end up being like a mass of gray goo bland Middle-of-the-road not interesting.
Can't be edgy, but you can't be too family-friendly.
You might attract too many kids welcome to the new face of YouTube where we sit on a couch and can't talk about anything you're interested in but also Can't be edgy enough to be funny.
This my is the content that you'll be getting Let's cut to a guy teaching us how to write a master's thesis Make sure he's standing in front of a very neutral whiteboard all Stan's fall Operational he will be the number one most subscribed channel on YouTube make it happen Mark, Proctor YouTube through it all I've been laying low they're very adamant that they're not giving legal advice to help anyone categorize their content and it kind of makes sense because if they were It would be first off an impossible task YouTube is way too Big to possibly decide what's kid content from what isn't and no existing AI can accurately sort that sort of thing out But just as importantly if YouTube did offer that advice to creators and the FTC Disagreed with that ruling for whatever reason you too would be the one legally responsible So as long as YouTube doesn't make that decision they can stand aside Look the other way if you know the FTC decides to bring the hammer down on a couple of channels to make an example out Of anyone and the FTC can do that to get this the tune of over 42, 000 dollars per video For any video that they feel has been miss categorized as not for kids when in reality they feel like it was kids content Imagine a channel who's been posting daily family vlogs for four years and all of a sudden you're hit with Forty two thousand dollars of fines for each of your last six hundred videos Penalties like this could wipe out families.
They can wipe out businesses overnight.
There is nothing Standing between the entire federal agency of the FTC and us independent youtubers ultimately There's not a whole lot that.
We as individual content creators can do in this situation Except what I'm doing now talking about it raising awareness Telling you about the trouble that we'll be facing in 2020 at the end of the day this isn't about condemning YouTube for making mistakes about how they advertise their platform and it isn't about condemning the FTC for Doing their job in trying to protect the kids.
It's just about bringing the issue to light as a content creator I recognize that it's in all of our best interests to educate everything from creators to audiences to yes Even the FTC who don't know how to watch this platform, but maybe we can get the information to them via fast simile That's the word they used right now content creators.
Just don't understand how to categorize our content We need more guidance because we're being forced into what is quite honestly a legal guessing game with our entire livelihoods on the line It's like the worst test possible and for every incorrect answer you lose not a grade point you lose 42, 000 dollars geez It's no curve on that one the FTC meanwhile doesn't understand how incredibly broad the spectrum of online content is how nuanced some of this stuff can be There's a ton of content out there that's not aimed at kids that could very well be in danger of being miscategorized And that's gonna be hurtful to everyone and finally audiences you guys the viewers at home You don't currently understand that some of the creators that you've loved and followed for years are in serious jeopardy and in some cases could be demonetised out of existence in 2020 or Have to change their entire content calendars to something that feels More mature not as child-friendly in order to survive We have to take the brunt any way you look at it We're still in the middle of all this and I strongly encourage you to read more about it I left a bunch of links down in the description below so whether you're a fan or a creator just get informed the FTC is Also accepting comments on these new laws that could help shape where they go in the future.
So put in your well-thought-out Comments and questions there no rage comments my friends.
We got to be thoughtful considerate and articulate in this case We all need to work together to be advocates for not just our favorite creators But the platform that we exist on so talk about it share information empower your favorite creators with information They need to protect themselves moving forward into 2020 if fingers crossed that we'll all be around to talk about this again next year That's a scary thought you know how you could help though by buying our merch? holiday Theory where rulings that threaten the future of this channel Worst present ever getting cool new merch while helping support us into the new year best Present ever so screw capo we'll get yourself some Top-of-the-line.
Merch for this holiday season.
It's available right below this video in that handy-dandy merch shelf They see down there.
We've got everything this year from a game theory switch case Yeah we made a Nintendo switch case – what is my new favorite shirt – we're literally everywhere the game theory hype Jersey, it's loose with thumb holes.
It has a little cute little detail like this It's just one little dot in this overall pattern, but I think it's so cute little details like that That makes me be like, oh I'm so proud of this you want to be comfy and cozy this winter snuggle up by pairing that hype Jersey with our black and green lounge pants perfect for binge watching Netflix or episodes of game Theory or do you plan on braving the weather heading out into the cold? Well, I got you covered there to check out this flight jacket.
It's one part hoodie and one part windbreaker It's even got patches that you can swap around with your friends The story behind this item is that we actually heard from some of you that you get made fun of for wearing Youtuber merch first off that sucks screw whoever's doing that to you They're probably sad and lonely and depressed and just remember you'll probably be their boss one day Secondly, though if you do want to still wear your dearest pride and stealth mode Well the flight jackets got you covered You just take the patches off or if you want it to be a game theory X markiplier piece of merch Well, you'll have the game theory patch and you'll just have to make a markiplier patch or odd ones out or whatever It can be a youtuber celebration jacket, who knows but enough about that You know what else I heard from some of you and sometimes you don't like a certain theory well, you can do what Stephanie did during the merch shoot or hit me with a box or You can take it out on the mat Pat collectible tumbler extra thick along the bottom.
So it rocks back and forth It's like the modern-day bobblehead There's more – in this collection like a t-shirt a new hoodie dress and ugly Christmas sweater for all your holiday parties all of which Are available right now just click on the Merc shelf below this video or go to creator Inc, Tom Forget Black Friday make it black and fearest Green Friday quantities are limited though So once they're gone, they're gone and honestly thank you all so much for Considering buying merch just supporting us over the years.
This kapa stuff really does have us worried So anything that you can do to help really makes a difference But just know that you watching and supporting us really all that matters Thank you, and we'll see you.
Well next week.
I was gonna say next year, but it's not even close We still got a month.
So thank you all and we'll see you next week.