You read it here first, kids. Well, OK, there’s nothing really to read except the speculation of social media experts. But then they are called experts for a reason. Whilst you’ve been happily clicking away on the next video in that new band’s playlist, somewhere in the background of YouTube things have been taking a turn for the sourer amongst swathes of the video sharing site’s biggest stakeholders- users, content creators and curators. Here’s the long and short. Accusations have been made that YouTube has altered its monetisation policies. Several videos involving everything from the LGBT community to acne are apparently now deemed not fit for advertising, and people are incredibly displeased at the situation. Which makes sense, considering that’s how many people get paid for their hard-toiled video graft. Google, owner of YouTube and all round online big gun, has denied that anything has changed whatsoever, but that hasn’t stopped Twitter wildfire spreading– check the hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty if you don’t believe us. One account holder’s scathing comments even saw more than 18,000 likes and over 4,000 re-tweets. The point being some dedicated users are beginning to feel alienated and unloved, despite the fact all digital networks are- in terms of success- co-ops; everyone doing business on them is also responsible for their overall fame, glory, and traffic to the site. It’s the latest in a long list of issues internet users have taken with a perceived ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ nature of online- the platform institutions that provide places for others to communicate, trade, work, and interact; versus the people who are doing most of the communicating, trading, working, and interacting. All of which makes definite sense- as the internet matures (let’s not forget we’re barely a generation into digital natives) so too does the ability to make money online, and the reliance on automation to make that money. Let’s say, for arguments sake, that YouTube has altered policies. It’s unlikely to be choosing to make users feel rejected. It’s also likely to be cataloguing videos that are not suitable for advertising via an automated algorithm or bot, and as such it’s even more likely that the reason certain categories have experienced a spike in being labelled unsuitable is due to how that initial search was set up- probably inadvertently. But then this is all speculation, wild, wild speculation. One thing is for sure, though; if and when tweaks, alterations and amendments are needed, they must not be so disruptive as to interfere with the workings of the website’s established community. Unless, of course, there is good reason to do so; ‘hate content’, trolling, general nastiness etcetera etcetera. You get the point.