Maybe you’re aware, maybe you’re not. Over the past few weeks YouTube has been hit with a barrage of video take downs of user created content. Creators like Channel Awesome (home of Nostalgia Critic) and a few others were met by copyright failure, loss of monetization and/or even their channel being shutdown. Nobody really knew what was going on, until now: Thanks, The Fine Bros.
The Fine Bros, famous for their reaction videos on the internet (the Elder Ones, Teenages React, etc) decided to seek out a ‘business’ decision and trademark the usage of the word ‘React’. This sent YouTube into a blitzkrieg of removing content with any association with the word, including reaction videos, reviews or anything that had the word ‘react’.
Now, a few HUGE problems came out of this entire situation. The first being, YouTube, and their entire handling of the situation. YouTube not only removed content, and shutdown pages, but did so without any notice, explanation or otherwise. Not only that, but they continuously ignored backlash, any sort of communication and continued to remove content. Several creators seeked out support from YouTube, either through e-mail or phone communication, only to be ignored for weeks. YouTube has created an entertainment stream that people use as a source of revenue (like it or not), randomly shutting down videos and/or pages without notice is a terrifying situation. One that a lot of famous YouTubers unfortunately had to deal with.
Two, why did the Fine Bros do this? YouTube has been about reaction filled videos since its creation. Sure, the channel is massively popular (now sitting at 13 million subscribers) but this decision is not only a lousy business decision, but a horrible PR move. More than likely, The Fine Bros were making a large amount of money off their channel. Shutting down other channels, some that aren’t even related to their work, for their personal gain is just…douchee.
Lastly, YouTube is made up of some of the most recognizable faces in the world. People go out of their way to watch Markiplier videos, PewDiePie, etc. This has been a fan base that will not only support these people, but watch them. So, why did nobody (PieDiePie in particular) stand up and say, “Hey, this is non-sense.” Instead, so many YouTuber’s sat back and watched content be mishandled and removed.
This entire situation will generate a lot of interesting criticism, some for and against what the brothers decided to do. Regardless, the entire situation is a giant hot spot for negative publicity for both YouTube and The Fine Bros (their subscriber number has decreased by over 100k in the last 24 hours). This entire situation could (and should) have been handled better.
Update: The Fine Bros responded to the criticism and decided to take down their claims, and issued an apology on a misunderstanding from the community. Good save, guys! 😉
“The concerns people have about React World are understandable, and that people see a link between that and our past video takedowns, but those were mistakes from an earlier time. It makes perfect sense for people to distrust our motives here, but we are confident that our actions will speak louder than these words moving forward.”