YouTubers have unionised and given YouTube a list of demands

30 July 2019, 16:08

YouTube. Picture: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket

By Staff

They've launched a new venture called 'FairTube'.

A group of YouTubers has announced it’s teaming up with Europe’s biggest trade union in order to try and get YouTube to offer more transparency to its creators.

The YouTubers Union has joined forces with IG Metall, Germany’s largest union and Europe’s largest trade union, to launch a venture called FairTube, and released a series of demands to YouTube and given them until the 23rd August to enter into negotiations with them.

As published on their website, the group has said they’re asking YouTube to “publish all categories and decision criteria that affect monetization and views of videos”, including reasons behind the demonetisation of videos, as well as giving YouTubers “a human contact person who is qualified and authorized to explain decisions that have negative consequences”.
They’ve also asked for YouTubers to be involved more directly in decisions at the platform and an independent mediator body to be created to help resolve disputes.

What is the YouTubers Union?

The YouTubers Union was founded in 2018 by Jörg Sprave - a German YouTuber with over 2 million subscribers, who makes videos that test out slingshots - but until now has had little power in its ability to lobby for any real change on the platform. According to a press release, it currently has over 15,000 members.

Speaking to Motherboard, Jörg - who previously had his videos removed by YouTube after mistaking his channel as one that promotes firearms - said: "We aren't demanding things that cut into profits or are unrealistic. We want fairness. We want transparency. We want to be treated like partners. And we want personal communication instead of anonymous communication."

FairTube has also released a video which explains their demands further, claiming that they want to return to a YouTube that values independent creators as well as big media organisations and celebrities. Jörg explains: “Being a YouTuber is a dream job for lots of young people, but two years ago, YouTube turned the dream job into a nightmare. The real YouTubers that are the reason for YouTube’s big success are getting censored, deleted, erased and hidden.”

“Making a living on YouTube is no longer possible,” he claims. “Many channels have entirely disappeared or are now reduced to a minimum. There is no job security. It seems like YouTube doesn’t want independent YouTubers anymore because now YouTube prefers channels run by TV stations or Hollywood celebrities.”

YouTube has not yet responded the the Union's demands.