by Joe Martino, Collective Evolution:
- The Facts:On Dec 26th, 2018, YouTube demonetized Collective Evolution’s YouTube channel, cutting out yet another funding leg. We are unphased by this, however, we always find a way to keep conscious media thriving!
- Reflect On:Why do big tech firms keeping shutting out independent media? Do we not have the power as the people to choose what stays alive and thrives?
On December 26th, 2018, we awoke to a message on our YouTube channel stating “We’ve determined that your channel is no longer eligible for monetization.”
I can’t say we were all that surprised, but regardless it was still a bit of a shock only because we had been working hard over the last two months to grow our account and keep consistent with content. We had added over 12,000 new subscribers in just a short time before this happened.
Our long-term plan was to continue to build our YouTube account to help spread our message far and wide, and use some of the revenue to sustain our work alongside our other funding avenues. It appears that leg of funding is now gone, and we’ll have to once again pivot which we are no stranger to after Facebook’s yearly changes have cut our revenue by over $600,000 per year, and our staff as well.
Why Did This Happen?
We don’t entirely know but we can speculate on a few things.
Let’s start with copyright issues.
CE’s content is original, shot in our studio and we don’t use any music other than what we have a license to use from Artlist or Audioblocks.. not only that, our account is in perfect standing and always has been, so we know it’s not an issue of copyright. In fact, the image below not only shows our account is still partner verified, but you can see we have never had any strikes on guidelines or copyright status.
Regardless of all of this, which has been very unclear, YouTube has simply stated on our account “Your channel does not comply with the YouTube Partner Program terms.” and therefore “Account status: Currently ineligible for monetization”
Very similar to when Facebook shut down our Facebook page for 21 days due to false allegations of copyright violation on OUR OWN original content, YouTube also doesn’t take this process very seriously and doesn’t allow businesses to get in touch to find out what’s actually happening. Instead, you suffer financial loss and are left to figure out what the heck happened. Last time Facebook shut our page down we lost $35,000 in revenue and it was on the 2nd day of our IndieGoGo campaign launch, effectively hindering us from gaining traction on the campaign.
Our content is very politically neutral and we back up our facts with sources whenever possible. Compared to most channels, we simply don’t do anything that would warrant such a harsh decision.
To be clear, YouTube has no issue with distasteful content where people are half naked or naked, swearing consistently, glorifying drug and alcohol use, getting high on camera and putting on makeup, violence, or anything of that nature. We know that because those accounts have millions of subscribers and are well monetized.
But dissenting voices seem to be a thing for YouTube, just as it is for Facebook and Twitter.
So it appears as though YouTube is attempting to politely say “we simply don’t want you on our platform, and we’re going to make it really hard for you to live here.”
We know this because not only did they demonetize our account, but regardless of our 82,000 subscribers, our videos usually struggle to get more than 1000 views. Further to that, as part of their demonetization, YouTube has stopped us from being able to use their End Cards feature, which allows us to show viewers more of our content or click to support our work. With this move, the motivation seems to be nothing more than ‘we’re not going to let you do anything that can help you.’ Below is a screenshot of the End Card cut.
What We Can Do
Big tech companies have made it very clear, they are going to respond to and allow deep state control to set their agendas and narratives. Companies who dissent from mainstream narratives designed to veil the public from truth are going to be demonetized and shut down as much as possible.
This leaves 2 ways for independent media like CE to continue thriving.
We knew this was coming one day, which is why we spent the last year working on CETV. The thing that is absolutely crazy about YouTube demonetizing us on the 26th was the fact that we launched CETV on the same day. Pure coincidence? Did they somehow know? I don’t know! But it’s the second time we geared up for a huge launch only to have a social media channel be affected same day.
Right now, CETV is available for early bird pricing and you can get $20 off a yearly membership. CETV is going to be the home of interviews and shows that explore consciousness and our world from a neutral and conscious perspective. It’s our next step in conscious media. You can join CETV right now and take advantage of the early bird pricing here.
We also had been gearing up to keep independent media alive with our conscious media movement campaign. We watched as many of our friends lost their entire business when they were demonetized and shut down, so we started a campaign to fund conscious media to make sure the world has access.
Since launching our campaign in October 2018, together we have achieved the following:
Dec 21, 2018 – We hired a content editor!!!
Dec 15th, 2018 – We removed one ad unit on our website.
Dec 1st, 2018 – Supporters helped increase our website traffic by 40%. BIGGER IMPACT!
We currently have a little over 3000 supporters for our CMM campaign, we need 20,000 for our journalism to thrive month in and month out. Very large independent media outlets like the Guardian have turned to this model and they are thriving, now it’s our turn!
You can become a supporter of CE through our CMM campaign here.
YouTube has not at all been clear about what is going on with our account, but we don’t have to let it stop us or even get upset. It is what it is and independent media has had to pivot many times throughout this all out war to keep mainstream media alive.