To get our readers up to speed, the following quote is from a person who I blocked on Youtube. In Youtube terms, blocking simply means disallowing a person from commenting on your channel – they can still see the videos, they’re just unable to interact with them in the typical like/comment/etc fashion. The situation at hand was relating to this video. If you haven’t seen it and have six minutes to spare, have a look (I think it’s good, hence having posted it, y’know?) – what comes next will be spoilers.
No question – just a thanks. Thank you for blocking me on YT. “Do you understand what a fake-out? ending is?” Do you understand that not everyone watches videos in fullscreen but in windowed mode with visible timelines? “Maybe you can drop your cynicism long enough to recognize a joke when you see it” Because it’s SO funny with a visible timeline. Next time think out your “jokes” before you make them. – random blocked subscriber who subbed you over 3 years ago.
To the author, I say simply – thanks for giving me an excuse to write about something I’ve been meaning to do for awhile. I’ll probably put this in video form sometime so anyone in my channel can easily reference it, but for now, text will have to suffice.
The video, linked above, contains a simple narrative misdirection – a false ending partway through that matches what’s happening in the game at the time. The author of the above comment, in the video’s comments, accused this of being a “beg for subscriptions” and seemed to miss that it was an intentionally done misdirection as a joke. It was an incredibly cynical and unwarranted comment, and when told of this, he lashed out with more negativity and insults in response. I simply blocked him at this point and removed the offending comments to avoid further sidetracking. The quote above, sent to me via Tumblr, simply continues the anger – anger at a creative decision of mine that did no harm to this particular viewer, but which he feels compelled to rant angrily at me over.
My views on blocking people are fairly straightforward and “common sense” to me. To roughly summarize, I block people for things like:
- Being disruptive and hostile or showing a lack of respect towards me or other commentors in my description; trolling; generally being rude.
- Threatening to unsubscribe. Doing this in the first place implies that I have some vested interest in preserving the subscriptions of every single subscriber, and that I will alter or make exceptions to my morals or ethos to do so. If you’re looking for a channel where the owner will pander to you and do everything they can to hold on to every single subscriber, you have come to the wrong place. Save me the trouble – if you don’t like my content, or the means by which I moderate the comments, simply unsubscribe.
- Obvious advertising like spamming other channels, products, etc
- Trying to ‘ride the coattails’ of successful videos by trying to redirect people elsewhere. If you’d like to promote your content, there are plenty of ways to do it that don’t involve trying to skim off the success of others.
Youtube gives everyone the opportunity to create their own ‘space’ – an area that they can present their content (channel) and interact with likeminded people or subscribers (comment sections). The rights that exist in those spaces are up to the owner – there is no guarantee of free speech – plenty of people disable their comments entirely just to avoid the shitstorms that can result. Others encourage shitstorms within their comments to try to drive drama and viewership up – something I personally find distasteful. I do not and have never claimed that my channel’s comments section was a free-speech zone – it isn’t. If you can behave respectfully and be a cool person, I’m happy to have you around, providing comments, even if they’re not sunshine and rainbows. Respectful disagreement is fine, respectful arguments are fine.
However, being an asshat – being disrespectful, disruptive, and hostile – none of that is kosher; none of it will fly in my channel. When I see it, I deal with it. There are tens of thousands of channels you can find where all-out war is an acceptable behavior for them – in mine, at least for now and thanks to the relatively small size of it, I try to keep mine a bit more policed and healthy than that. I like the results, and I’ve had enough people comment on how they’re “different” to think that it’s worth the effort.
If you don’t like it, feel free to unsubscribe, feel free to look for your negativity elsewhere. I don’t want to play that game, and I don’t want to surround myself with those who do. If you think I’m so desperate for subscribers that you dropping yours will hurt me, why not just… y’know, do so and be done with it?
Finally, the notion that someone has some special rights just because they’ve been a subscriber for x-many years or whatever is silly. As I noted above, I won’t be held hostage by people thinking that I hold a subscriber count higher than my own ethical code and moral standards. I like the idea of finding success because of decisions like those – decisions that I feel are morally and ethically correct, and not lowest-common-denominator pandering as you so often see in the Youtube ‘scene’.
Those of you that ‘get’ this, cool! You’re the ones I want to see in the comments in the first place! Those of you that balk at the notion of being polite, respectful, and constructive – feel free to take your subscriptions and head somewhere else.
Best of luck to you regardless of the path you choose. Life’s too short for anything else.