Do Creators Have Control of Their Content?

Essay #1

Does one really have total control over their publication like the system says they do? The answer to that would be, how much of what an individual creates is for themself? Because large corporations thrive off creators and their niche communities, hence a “reason” for creators to develop content as they make a profit. Social media platforms have strayed away from being democratic for publishers and content creators. Opinions can be bought out; interests and trends emphasize the idea of consuming more.

Many, but not all influences or content creators start creating for themselves take popular niche bullet journaling icon AmandaRachLee for example. Amanda gained popularity as a small content creator making videos on bullet journaling. As the niche was starting off many creators focusing on bullet journaling created the content for themselves. Now they secure profits from sponsorships by large corporations steering away many channels from the initial point.

Content creators lack control of the ads being promoted on their channels and this can affect the branding of their channel/account. Alanspicer.com emphasizes the importance of how ads affect YouTube channels as controversial ads can negatively impact the audience’s image of the individual’s channel. The article goes on to claim that “YouTubers have no control over which specific ads are shown on or with their videos.” Viewers may interpret the channel as supporting or opposing a controversial topic and this can lead to a decrease in subscribers as well as distrust between the individual and their audience. If creators do not have control over their preferred ads then they are not able to align with viewers of similar values and ideas. When an audience can align and rely on a channel, they can connect with the content. This would make them long-term supports moreover they become loyal contributors to future ambitions. But with a lack of control over, say AdSense, the audience cannot connect creating negative tensions between the channels and viewers. This could also potentially lead to viewers “canceling” the channel because of the projected views. It is not logical to assume every average watcher to be up to date with the views of an individual. The lack of control becomes so invasive that viewers begin to obsess with the political views of the creator for example. Resulting in danger on the channel’s side, hence why proper control would provide safety of the channel.

Taking that idea of exposure and channels getting personal, one can assume that creators will open up to keep viewers. Many creators jump on the “bandwagon” of exposing their daily lives simply from a trend. This ranges from ‘day in my life’ TikToks to ‘room tours’. All sorts of 15-second trends pressure creators into allowing viewers into their lives. The niche of lifestyle blogging has been around for some time, but platforms such as TikTok and Instagram really dive into that person’s life. Within a few hours, users can dig up details on addresses and further information on an individual. What may start as an innocent small can grow large and problematic. Many creators grow drawn to the quick traction and increase in views because of the ongoing trend of exposed lifestyle. Netflix’s ‘The Social Dilemma’ visits this topic, questioning “How much of your life can we get you to give us?” This make’s one question how much of one’s life they really should give? There is a lack of control when it comes to privacy and security on social media platforms. Influencers are pushed into exposing their lives to seem more appealing to the trending audience straying from their niche audience. If an influencer/creator shows too little they may be considered unreliable or unoriginal whereas if they show more, they are considered “real”. Take YouTuber and icon Emma Chamberlain, who started off very real about acne, teen struggles, and many other topics. Emma made her channel seem almost as if she was friends with her audience allowing brand deals to be secured and supported by viewers. Influencers today allow large corporations and these media platforms to control their content in a way that is profitable to them.

As platforms customize algorithms such as TikToks there is not much control over what age groups can see what. If a sound is trending, then the more likely it is to show up on anyone’s feed. In honor of the second season of Euphoria being released, there was a trending sound all over TikTok with the line “And why aren’t you in uniform?!” The sound was quickly related to creators dressing in flashy clothing as if they were attending the high school from Euphoria. Such a trend flew in terms of popularity amongst the niche before landing on younger groups’ feeds. Through the lack of control many pushes to create such posts as they end in higher views and reactions. If such a video appeared on a child’s or preteen’s feed, they would want to appeal to the influencers they see. The platform is controlled so that in one way or the other viewers interact to consume. This is especially dangerous because younger generations are being exposed to mature material with graphic themes. If said individuals are not being monitored then they would consume the show featuring nudity, drugs, sexual themes, abuse, etc. As teens and young people are easily influenced other is bound to be consumption occurring. They are always consuming whether they are inspired by the makeup or clothing in Euphoria for example. But what is dangerous is that many teens glorify the use of drugs. Therefore, the large companies and industries benefit and profit off the control they have on platform algorithms. Creators must create to profit, and consumers are drawn to absorb that material.

For the most part, social media controls many decisions and beliefs. Large industires maximize off of this control knowing that viewers must consume from these platforms. While most believe they have a choice and social media is democrative, it is not the case as we lack control in more than a few of the listed areas. 


References

AmandaRachLee – YouTube. (n.d.). Www.youtube.com. https://www.youtube.com/c/amandarachlee

Can YouTubers Control Which Ads Are Shown? [The Truth]. (2020, June 9). Alan Spicer – YouTube Certified Expert. https://alanspicer.com/can-youtubers-control-which-ads-are-shown/

Jeff Orlowski. (2020). The Social Dilemma | Netflix. In Netflix. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaaC57tcci0

And why aren’t you in uniform – Euphoria TikTok compilation. (n.d.). Www.youtube.com. Retrieved March 3, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEG-cAXMe_s

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