Without video creators, YouTube wouldn’t be one of the world’s biggest social platforms. Without the platform, YouTubers wouldn’t be, well, YouTubers. But video creators are regularly facing new policy changes from YouTube that could impact their ability to make money from their work — and it’s not always clear what these changes are, or why YouTube is making them.
Now, as part of a push for fair treatment, YouTubers are looking to collective action. And the effort is being led, in part, by an unlikely character: A creator in Germany who makes high-powered slingshots for his audience of 2.3 million people. This week on the Gadget Lab podcast, we talk with WIRED staff writer Emma Grey Ellis about what YouTubers hope to get out of their unionization efforts, and what the movement means for the video giant.
Also in the news: Mark Zuckerberg gets grilled by the House Financial Services Committee about Libra, Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency…only, the hearing was about much more than just Libra.
Emma recommends the science and comedy podcast Ologies with Alie Ward. Mike recommends the book I Like to Watch by Emily Nussbaum. Lauren recommends the book Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow. Arielle recommends Google’s experimental Digital Wellbeing features, like the one that batches your notifications for you.
Emma Grey Ellis is on Twitter @EmmaGreyEllis. Lauren Goode can be found @LaurenGoode. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Boone Ashworth, who edits the show, can be found at @BooneAshworth. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.
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