David Thorpe
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5th April 2024

Content Creators Ruined The Internet

The Bing Bong Brothers

Content creators shouldn’t earn money from their ‘work’, and I’ll tell you why I think that.

I remember when Google Videos reigned supreme on the internet as the de-facto place to get your videos and when YouTube was in it’s early infancy. It was pretty fun and light-hearted. People uploaded videos just for the fun of it. Goofy videos of them doing skateboarding stunts, having fun with friends, The Lonely Island uploading classics like Dude-A-Tude and The Bing Bong Brothers etc.

Gradually, uploaders started getting frustrated at creating all of this content and essentially providing free traffic (and thus advertising revenue) for YouTube and other platforms. If these platforms were going to earn money from content created by hard-working creatives then why shouldn’t they get a cut of it? The platform doesn’t exist without the content after-all! A totally sound argument too if you don’t account for the incentives that were created as a result of these changes.

What changed?

Mr Beast

Instead of uploading videos to share for the fun of it, the art of it, the love of the subject, we now get content that feels totally heartless and who’s only agenda is to maximise engagement in an effort to earn from the content itself.

There’s very few people on YouTube that I stumble across that seem like they are doing things for the love of the art. Some people who’s work I think is rooted in the creation of art is:

  • Natalie Lynn: Beautiful cinematography, sound design, grading and most importantly, story. This woman will go far (she’s already done so great) if she sticks to her artistic roots.
  • Casey Neistat: Pretty much everyone knows of or has heart of Casey Neistat if you’re a user of YouTube. I don’t need to explain.
  • Shaffer Nickel: This guy’s work is pretty artistic and I just enjoy watching his videos.

Content platform algorithms promote things that have the most engagement thinking it represents truly interesting content. Usually it’s just clickbait that knows how to keep you hooked, even if it’s devoid of any soul or meaning. Fuck this shit, I can’t help but watch but feel so empty afterwards. I am never left feeling anything.

YouTube has tonnes of “educational” content and interesting things, but I miss the art, the goofy videos of sharing without an agenda, the more care-free attitude to sharing that used to happen.

It’s not just media content!

Recently Elon Musk has allowed people using X to receive a share of profits from engagement of their posts. Whilst again, admirable, it has just lead to completely disingenous discourse on the platform where I just can’t use it without thinking any controversial take is just for engagement farming. They’re litterally out there in the droves in their fucking combines harvesting up engagement so they can earn money from posting on X.

Not only is this a tremendous waste of your own fucking life but it’s also a crazy waste of my own time everytime I use the platform. You can’t have an honest discussion with anyone without wondering if their viewpoint is truly crazy or if they are simply engagement baiting.

Engagement Farming

Look at this shit, are people so desperate for attention and validation that they think replying to this will give them some of that?

It all adds up…

All of this enshittification as I think it’s called adds up to the overwhelming feeling that the internet is no fun anymore. It’s full of people just trying to constantly earn money from their content or pursuing some shady agenda underneath their ‘interesting’ or ‘controversial’ posts.

The internet would be so much more fun, and we’d have so much more meaningful content if content creators couldn’t earn money from their mediocre content and twaddle.

As always, email me if you wanna chat it out: david@davidt.co.uk