YouTube released their annual Rewind mashup video for 2017. The video features nearly 300 YouTubers from over 20 countries, according to 9to5 Google, all in a music video of sorts looking back at the most popular videos, trends, and memes shared on the platform. The visuals in YouTube Remix 2017 were loosely based off of some of the top 10 trending videos on the site as well as a number of other trends listed on the official website including the US Solar Eclipse of 2017, Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito,” the floor is lava challenge, backpack kid, and of course fidget spinners.
The video has seen a very vocal reaction from people on social media who both praised the video and derided it.
Many people have enjoyed watching the video. They were especially excited to see their favorite creators featured in the video, including notable animators on YouTube who were previously not featured in the annual video like Jaiden Animations and Rebecca Parham. Many also praised YouTube for taking the time, if relatively briefly, to incorporate many of the tragedies that have happened this year including the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in the Manchester Arena in England and follow that with images of YouTubers joining hands in a gesture of solidarity and peace.
The creators who were featured in the video also expressed joy in being included.
However, many people took the opportunity to point out that while the video was meant to celebrate YouTube, this year has been one of the darker years for YouTube creators. That’s because of the widespread problem of creators’ videos being demonetized out of nowhere due to automated systems as part of what has become known as the “adpocalypse.”
YouTubers have seen their revenue for videos decrease ever since YouTube established their Advertiser-friendly content guidelines last year, where videos could potentially be flagged as “not suitable for most advertisers” if they contained content that included controversial events, drugs, bad language, sexually suggestive content, violence, or hate speech. That exasperated in April 2017 when advertisers pulled out of YouTube en masse following reports that their ads were playing on videos devoted to hate speech, creator drama, and offensive content, according to The Guardian. As Kotaku reported, YouTube has since then offered improved control to advertisers over where they could place ads. This has lead to YouTubers receiving less revenue for videos because they were flagged as not suitable for most advertisers. Some YouTubers are seeing a decrease in revenue as high as 75 percent while others with identical content have had none of their videos demonetized, the publication reports.
YouTube has implemented features to facilitate brand deals and fan donations as well as their in development Sponsorship program allowing viewers to pay creators a monthly fee for exclusive perks according to The Verge. They also added more expanded options to appeal demonetization. However the algorithms are still inconsistent and the appeal process takes about five to seven days to get a response, one YouTuber told Kotaku. Since videos get 90 percent of their views within the first three days, the appeal process can make it too late to earn back the lost revenue. YouTuber and Video Game Critic Jim Sterling had most of his videos flagged as unsuitable for most advertisers but after requesting manual review after manual review all of the flagged videos except for two were deemed as suitable for advertisers after about a day and thus had their original monetization reinstated.
In the meantine, YouTubers have turned to alternative methods of funding such as through the crowdfunding site Patreon. However, as Waypoint reported, YouTube began preventing creators from linking to their Patreon pages in end-screens of videos unless the videos were monetized. A YouTube spokesperson told the publication that this measure was meant to curb abuse.
Other viewers of YouTube Rewind 2017 complained that many of their favorite YouTubers weren’t represented in the video. Some also lamented the fact that controversial YouTubers Jake and Logan Paul received a lot of screen time while others barely got any. People also complained that many of their favorite trends of 2017 weren’t included in the video, including LGBT-themed short animated film In a Heartbeat which was listed as the 9th trending video of the year with over 31,800,000 views.
Jake Paul was a big name on Vine and his success transferred over to YouTube, according to Vanity Fair. He and his team post videos every day on their 12,200,000 subscribers strong channel. According to the publication, Paul is known for doing dangerous stunts and causing trouble for his neighbors, with one stunt having him lit furniture on fire in an empty pool. He also shared his address online causing floods of fans to appear on the street. According to KTLA5, neighbors are weighing a class-action public nuisance lawsuit.
Inverse Culture reports that Paul has been accused of racism multiple times, saying that he often mocks minor characters in his prank videos based on their ethnicity. Paul’s ex-girlfriend and another YouTube Star Alissa Violet accused him of emotional abuse and manipulation, according to J-14. Paul is also infamous for a YouTube video he did in which he raps about how successful he is. The video currently has three million dislikes and two million dislikes.
His antics got to the point where the Disney Channel and him mutually decided to part ways after he had a starring role on the show Bizaardvark for two years, according to US Weekly.
His brother Logan is not nearly as controversial, but Jake did accuse Violet of sleeping with Logan according to Seventeen and Logan was arrested though eventually released from police custody for illegally flying a drone near the Colosseum in Rome, Italy according to Teen Vogue.
Many other people said that YouTube Rewind 2017 simply was no good.
Some were simply indifferent to the video.
Did you enjoy YouTube Rewind 2017? What were your favorite YouTube creators and trends of 2017? Let us know in the comment section below.