Youtubers with millions of followers are dropping out, citing stress and burnout from algorithm kremlinology

Making a nice living at 19? Burned out at 19? Poor things. What about the guy who has been doing assembly line work for 50 years? You think he has burnout? But he can’t up and just quit, not if he wants to keep his pension and retirement, if he has any in this day and age. Cry me a river.

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Yes and no. A freelancer (as distinct, say, a temp worker) is getting paid in whole or large part directly by his clients, usually on the basis of a clear job description and understanding of deliverables. His reputation and success in his field depends primarily on his meeting those stated expectations. If a client is erratic and changes expectations too many times without following the contract, the smart freelancer fires him because he has multiple clients and thus diversification in revenue streams.

Now these YouTube “stars” decided to use a powerful semi-monopoly platform as their single mercurial client, which is error number one. Error number two is not understanding that the client in this case is actually a middleman, one who promises to measure the deliverable and compensate him accordingly from the real moneymen in the relationship (advertisers) while taking a large chunk (perhaps half or more) out as an effective “commission”. So far these are mistakes that lots of freelancers make.

Error three, though, is unique to performers: not understanding that the deliverable (popularity with the general public) is something that’s a lot more difficult to measure than a typical freelancer’s under the best of circumstances. Quantitative metrics like the Q Score or Nielsen Ratings only get you so far when determining what to pay an individual based on his popularity, which is why being an actor or musician is more precarious than normal freelance gigs; all of which brings us back around to and enhances the consequences of the first two errors…

There are ways around this, but they require the life experience and ability to make business decisions that most young and amateur performers typically do not have (which is why such creative artists have been screwed over since time immemorial). I don’t blame any performer for finding himself in this situation precisely because the circumstances are so distinct from general freelance work.

Indeed it can. This was the case for any Web presence years before YouTube existed. SEO of any sort is a tiresome and endless arms race against a black-box algorithm, but YouTube is a Google search engine so if one chooses it as one’s single “client”/middleman and source of revenue then that’s part of the job just as much as it is running an e-commerce site.

I assume here you mean destruction in the sense of their videos being debased to meet whatever clickbait criteria is required of the creator by the algorithm. Obviously the videos can stay up as long as the creator doesn’t pull them or they don’t violate YouTube’s explicit terms and conditions.


I sold women’s clothing over the phone in a telemarketing “Sweatshop” … it sucked.

On the plus side I was able to use my knowledge from the British comedy Are You Being Served.

“No problem Madam, The shirt will ride up with wear.”


The person who made the video appears to suffer from clinical depression and anxiety. As someone who’s struggled with both, I can tell you it’s not about the source of the stress. Clinical depression is like a filter in your mind that mutes positive emotions and amplifies negative emotions. It isn’t a personal failing and it isn’t something you can buck-up and fix just by being a hard-ass, any more than you can will yourself out of brain-altering addictions. It has to be treated by medical professionals. And it doesn’t discriminate; mental illness can effect anyone, whether a young YouTuber or middle-aged assembly-line worker.

So the next time you want to take a dump on someone for admitting they deal with mental illness, maybe take a second to consider if you’d do the same to someone who with a more visible disability. If the answer is yes, then you should consider running for the Republican presidential nomination.

Just because you can’t see the chemistry inside someone else’s brain doesn’t make it unreal.

I get that you just want to bitch about entitled kids being soft, but next time think first.


When I read this the first thing I thought was, “There are people who would watch that on YouTube.” :grinning:


Smart young lady! She figured it out @ 19 and not @ 50.
She’ll be alright. She’ll get a normal job, like the rest of us, and be OK.

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The questions and conflicts around ownership and control of content and distribution have become very stark. Blockchain decentralized solutions for content creators are at the same time becoming more attractive. Sites/coins like Steem and Steemit are real world examples that grow everyday. Also very big ideas like Tron that are in their infancy will grow inevitably out of this mess.

Patreon / twitch funnel.

I compare the outrage shown by both of you to the awful Photoshop job in those photos.

…that those aren’t things a even a trained professional who is paid to use such big words, can diagnose by YouTube.

was where you were going with that, responsibly. I’ll just pretend that.

I get not being sympathetic to the YouTube crowd for their very first-world problems, but, and not to get all Marxist about it, it’s a pretty obvious trait of capitalism that if the people making the sausage aren’t exhausted just shy of a breakdown of some sort, then the capitalist is leaving money on the table.


I wasn’t and I didn’t. The person in the video talks openly about it, and I choose to believe her. I’m pretty frank about the dim view I take of remote psychoanalysis and it’s something I keep in mind. She mentioned anxiety and mental illness, but didn’t actually say depression IIRC, so perhaps I should have simply mentioned the anxiety.

Honest question, and I’m not asking to be hostile, but did you watch the video?


There are professional StarCraft players, and professional StarCraft game commentators.


What is a normal job, anyway?


Very true. My guess is in the overwhelming majority of these cases these youtubers become enslaved to the process – a feedback loop created by performing, having to perform, getting the feedback from likes & viewers & views and monetization & rankings, and the pressure to perform and maintain this … all from electronic feedback and no real human interaction. It’s similar to what goes on on Instagram, with these Instagram stars who post “model quality” photos of their lives, and get the same anxiety because they’re performing … for what? Likes? It’s insane.

The anxiety is real – they’re getting dragged by a chain that they cannot control. Anxiety occurs many times because you feel you cannot walk away from your situation – it’s like the machine controls you.

But the masses can * see * a physical disability (even though they dump on those folks sometimes too); they can’t see or relate to a mental illness unless they’ve been through it themselves. Beyond that, it’s peoples’ own willing ignorance if they don’t want to learn once it’s been pointed out.

What’s ironic is that the article pointed out responses from people who just look in from the outside without understanding what’s going on; you’d think he would’ve picked up on that as he read through what was a mirror of his own attitude. But prejudice and disdain is notoriously tone-deaf and un-self-aware.

Agree, theres a deficit of solidarity and empathy going on here.

Also, times change. The nature of work changes. Ya know what? My grandpa walked up hill both ways to school too.


There are about 4 left: skilled trades, high tech, medicine, or


And what did you find?

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There is nothing humane in killing instantly. Stop thinking that way.

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“Humane trap that kills instantly.” :joy: