The way that YouTube engages with its content creators has proved a divisive topic in the past few years, with the former often lacking the required transparency in terms of policy and changes.
Now YouTube has confirmed that it will not negotiate with organisations like the YouTubers Union, which was founded a year ago, and looks to safeguard the welfare of its creators.
“We explained to the union in great detail what YouTube is doing in terms of transparency and support for YouTubers,” noted a YouTube spokesperson about its decision. “But we have also made clear that we are not going to negotiate their demands,” the spokesperson added.
As The Verge states, unionising is something that YouTubers have tried to do in the past, with mixed results up until now. This especially as it is often difficult to get a group of creators agreeing on the same terms, with each usually having their own intentions for the platform. There’s also the issue of content creators being described as self-employed, which muddies the waters somewhat when trying to create a recognised union.
As for the YouTubers Union, which began as an idea two years ago when advertisers were taking a stronger stance and boycotted the platform, its current demands are to make the platform more democratic for smaller creators, who often go unnoticed by YouTube as they simply do not have the number of followers or influence of larger creators.
The Union also adds that while YouTube HQ has issued a statement on negotiations, Google Germany has said that it would welcome a meeting with the organisation.
“Google Germany invited us to a meeting at Google’s Berlin office to “discuss some fundamental questions about the future of work”. We will accept this offer,” wrote Union founder Jörg Sprave in a Facebook post.
Said meeting still needs to happen, but it remains to be seen what will result of it. Considering the YouTube from a global perspective has made its stance known, this meeting may simply be to placate the Union by simply allowing it to air its grievances.
For now at least, it looks as though YouTube is happy to handle the fate of its creators as it deems fit.