'YouTubers unite': collective action by YouTube content creators

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenKommentare / Debatten / BerichteForschung

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'YouTubers unite': collective action by YouTube content creators. / Niebler, Valentin.

in: Transfer, Jahrgang 26, Nr. 2, 05.2020, S. 223-227.

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenKommentare / Debatten / BerichteForschung

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Niebler V. 'YouTubers unite': collective action by YouTube content creators. Transfer. 2020 Mai;26(2):223-227. doi: 10.1177/1024258920920810

Bibtex

@article{40953e71b28e471085147d82899accf2,
title = "'YouTubers unite': collective action by YouTube content creators",
abstract = "Over the past decade, YouTube has established itself as the largest video sharing platform in the world (Stokel-Walker, 2019a). The Google-owned company has become not only a widely used hub for amateur broadcasting, but also a work site for over 100,000 professional {\textquoteleft}YouTubers{\textquoteright}, who earn an income through the publication of videos (Funk, 2020). While YouTube was hailed as an emancipatory hub for a user-generated {\textquoteleft}participatory culture{\textquoteright} (Jenkins, 2006) in its first decade, in recent years the platform has also been the scene of conflicts and power struggles (Kumar, 2019). Controversies include the platform{\textquoteright}s algorithmic recommendation engine – which, to maximise engagement, tends to steer users towards extremist and misinformation channels – streamlining of content and precarious working conditions for creators (Kumar 2019; Ribeiro et al., 2019). In the teeth of these developments, which culminated in a conflict on the platform in 2017, YouTube content creators and users formed a so-called YouTubers Union (YTU), in order to collectively challenge the platform{\textquoteright}s governance decisions. This development represents a first major instance of collective action in the remote platform economy, where workers are usually dispersed geographically and face high hurdles if they want to organise. After some initial success through a self-organising process, the YouTubers Union teamed up with the German trade union IG Metall and launched a joint campaign against YouTube.",
keywords = "Cultural Distribution/Cultural Organization, Sociology",
author = "Valentin Niebler",
year = "2020",
month = may,
doi = "10.1177/1024258920920810",
language = "English",
volume = "26",
pages = "223--227",
journal = "Transfer",
issn = "1024-2589",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - 'YouTubers unite': collective action by YouTube content creators

AU - Niebler, Valentin

PY - 2020/5

Y1 - 2020/5

N2 - Over the past decade, YouTube has established itself as the largest video sharing platform in the world (Stokel-Walker, 2019a). The Google-owned company has become not only a widely used hub for amateur broadcasting, but also a work site for over 100,000 professional ‘YouTubers’, who earn an income through the publication of videos (Funk, 2020). While YouTube was hailed as an emancipatory hub for a user-generated ‘participatory culture’ (Jenkins, 2006) in its first decade, in recent years the platform has also been the scene of conflicts and power struggles (Kumar, 2019). Controversies include the platform’s algorithmic recommendation engine – which, to maximise engagement, tends to steer users towards extremist and misinformation channels – streamlining of content and precarious working conditions for creators (Kumar 2019; Ribeiro et al., 2019). In the teeth of these developments, which culminated in a conflict on the platform in 2017, YouTube content creators and users formed a so-called YouTubers Union (YTU), in order to collectively challenge the platform’s governance decisions. This development represents a first major instance of collective action in the remote platform economy, where workers are usually dispersed geographically and face high hurdles if they want to organise. After some initial success through a self-organising process, the YouTubers Union teamed up with the German trade union IG Metall and launched a joint campaign against YouTube.

AB - Over the past decade, YouTube has established itself as the largest video sharing platform in the world (Stokel-Walker, 2019a). The Google-owned company has become not only a widely used hub for amateur broadcasting, but also a work site for over 100,000 professional ‘YouTubers’, who earn an income through the publication of videos (Funk, 2020). While YouTube was hailed as an emancipatory hub for a user-generated ‘participatory culture’ (Jenkins, 2006) in its first decade, in recent years the platform has also been the scene of conflicts and power struggles (Kumar, 2019). Controversies include the platform’s algorithmic recommendation engine – which, to maximise engagement, tends to steer users towards extremist and misinformation channels – streamlining of content and precarious working conditions for creators (Kumar 2019; Ribeiro et al., 2019). In the teeth of these developments, which culminated in a conflict on the platform in 2017, YouTube content creators and users formed a so-called YouTubers Union (YTU), in order to collectively challenge the platform’s governance decisions. This development represents a first major instance of collective action in the remote platform economy, where workers are usually dispersed geographically and face high hurdles if they want to organise. After some initial success through a self-organising process, the YouTubers Union teamed up with the German trade union IG Metall and launched a joint campaign against YouTube.

KW - Cultural Distribution/Cultural Organization

KW - Sociology

U2 - 10.1177/1024258920920810

DO - 10.1177/1024258920920810

M3 - Comments / Debate / Reports

VL - 26

SP - 223

EP - 227

JO - Transfer

JF - Transfer

SN - 1024-2589

IS - 2

ER -

DOI