- YouTube will begin only showing abbreviated subscriber counts on its platform starting in August.
- The change is expected to impact third-party sites like Social Blade, that track real-time subscribers losses and gains.
- Though it’s unclear why YouTube has decided to make the change, many note that it comes during a time when subscriber changes have been heavily focused on in several recent online feuds.
Abbreviated Sub Counts Announced
Youtube announced a major change to the way it displays channel subscriber counts on Tuesday, which could stop third-party analytic sites like Social Blade from displaying real-time subscriber losses and gains.
In a blog post on YouTube’s support page, the company said it will soon display only abbreviated public subscriber counts across the platform, instead of full counts.
“To create more consistency everywhere that we publicly display subscriber counts, starting in August 2019, we’ll begin showing the abbreviated subscriber number across all public YouTube surfaces,” the post reads.
“For channels with fewer than 1,000 subscribers, the exact (non-abbreviated) subscriber count will still be shown. Once your channel passes the 1000 subscriber milestone, we will begin to abbreviate your public subscriber numbers on a sliding scale.”
The company laid out a few examples of what the changes will look like. For example, if a channel has 7,237,932 subscribers, then YouTube will display the count as simply 7.2M.
Impact on Social Blade
This might not seem like a huge deal, but it could potentially change the current culture on YouTube.
Whenever social media influencers are involved in any online controversies, viewers first jump to third-party sites like Social Blade to see if the drama is negatively or positively impacting the creators involved.
In the announcement, YouTube specifically states: “Third parties that use YouTube’s API Services will also access the same public facing counts you see on YouTube. Creators will still be able to see their exact number of subscribers in YouTube Studio.”
When asked by users if this update will affect its numbers, Social Blade didn’t appear to be too concerned, tweeting that it should still be able to present accurate data on the site.
But minutes later, Social Blade followed up with another post, writing, “Upon closer look, it might affect our data display, but only time will tell.”
Social Blade later tweeted that it had reached out to YouTube for clarification and is waiting to hear back.
In a statement to the Verge, the CEO of Social Blade Jason Urgo confirmed that he was still waiting on a response, but added, “it appears like it will hit any third party which would include us as well.”
Subscriber Counts & YouTube Drama
Though YouTube has not directly given a reason for the change, many have noted that it comes at a time when YouTube sub counts have been closely monitored by viewers. Unsubscribing from a YouTuber after any scandal is one of the easiest ways viewers can pull back their support and it’s become a bigger and bigger focus in recent months.
The focus on real-time subscriber changes were seen all throughout PewDiePie’s battle with T-Series, during all of the drama that unfolded in the beauty community between James Charles, Tati Westbrook, and Jeffree Star, and even more recently after popular gamer Turner “Tfue” Tenny sued the gaming collective FaZe Clan.
During all of these massively followed feuds, sub counts have even been live streamed on channels dedicated to tracking the changes, often using data from Social Blade.
The public’s growing interest in taunting creators over subscriber losses has helped sites like Social Blade rise in popularity. Earlier this week, the site thanked its visitors for the increase in traffic that has poured in during the last few weeks alone.
What's even more impressive then that though, I was looking through the list of sites in the top 500 in the US and they list "Daily Time on Site" (basically "watch time" for websites, and guess what… We are NUMBER ONE! WOW!!!! (and #2 in the global list!!)— Social Blade (@SocialBlade) May 21, 2019
It’s unclear if any of the community’s drama or the rise in online cancel culture playing any role in YouTube’s decision. Regardless, it could change the way users follow subscriber changes in future online controversies.
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Tubefilter) (9to5Google)
Woody Allen Defends Himself and Addresses #MeToo
- During an interview with France 24, Woody Allen defended his work by saying he has “done everything that the #MeToo movement would love to achieve.”
- Allen has been the subject of controversy in Hollywood since he was accused of sexually assaulting his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow when she was a child, though he has denied these claims.
- His name appeared in the news earlier this week when actress Scarlett Johansson said she believed him and would work with him.
- Farrow responded to Johansson by saying she “has a long way to go in understanding the issue she claims to champion.”
Woody Allen Speaks to France24
Film director Woody Allen, who has long been accused of sexual assault, claimed his work supports the goals of the #MeToo movement.
Allen sat down with France24 on Friday, just prior to the premiere of his new film, A Rainy Day in New York at a film festival in France. The film’s lead actors, Elle Fanning, Timothée Chalamet, and Selena Gomez are not scheduled to walk the red carpet. Amazon also shelved the film from a theatrical release in the United States.
Allen claimed he was unconcerned about his movie not receiving screen time in the states and addressed a past claim he made about being the poster boy for the #MeToo movement.
“I’ve worked with hundreds of actresses, not one of them has ever complained about me, not a single complaint,” he said. “I’ve worked with, employed women in the top capacity, in every capacity, for years and we’ve always paid them exactly the equal of men.”
“I’ve done everything that the #MeToo movement would love to achieve,” Allen added.
Allen has often been the subject of controversy in Hollywood since his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow said he sexually assaulted her when she was a child. Many in the industry have distanced themselves from the director due to the allegations against him. Specifically, vocal advocates for the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have condemned him.
Scarlett Johansson’s Recent Defense of Allen
Allen’s name was in headlines earlier this week when actress Scarlett Johansson defended him while speaking with the Hollywood Reporter. Johansson first worked with the director in 2006 while starring alongside Hugh Jackman in Scoop.
“I love Woody,” she said in her interview. “I believe him, and I would work with him anytime.”
The Avengers star has spoken in favor of women’s equality movements in Hollywood and even spoke at the 2018 Women’s March in Los Angeles dawning a Time’s Up t-shirt. She faced significant backlash for her remarks about Allen, most notably from Farrow herself.
“Scarlett has a long way to go in understanding the issue she claims to champion,” Farrow wrote on Twitter.
See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Guardian) (IndieWire)
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Trump Doubles Down on Claims That Hurricane Dorian Threatened Alabama as Storm Hits U.S.
- President Trump received backlash after displaying a forecast of Hurricane Dorian’s expected path modified with a Sharpie to include Alabama.
- Trump previously said Alabama would be hurt by the storm and doubled down on his claim, even after the National Weather Service said it was incorrect.
- Trump argued a forecast from Aug. 28 had shown the storm hitting Alabama, but others pointed to an official White House photo from Aug. 29 that showed Trump looking at an updated forecast that did not include the state.
- Dorian has already caused lasting damage to the Bahamas, where 20 people were killed in the storm. It has now made its way up to the U.S., causing floods and blackouts along the Carolina coast.
Sharpie Drawn on Hurricane Map
President Donald Trump doubled down Thursday on his claims that initial forecasts said Hurricane Dorian would have significantly hurt Alabama.
The day before, the president was criticized for displaying a forecast map that appeared to be modified with a Sharpie to include Alabama as a state that would be at risk.
Some have speculated that the move was an apparent attempt to validate a claim made by Trump on Sunday.
“In addition to Florida – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated,” Trump wrote in the tweet.
The National Weather Service quickly responded by issuing its own tweet contradicting the president’s assertion.
“Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian,” NWS wrote. “We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east.”
However, Trump still repeated that claim while speaking at FEMA headquarters later that day.
“It may get a little piece of a great place: It’s called Alabama,” the president said, speaking about Dorian. “And Alabama could even be in for at least some very strong winds and something more than that, it could be. This just came up, unfortunately. It’s the size of — the storm that we’re talking about.”
Trump Doubles Down
Trump again insisted it was a fact that original forecasts showed Alabama as a threated area after Jon Karl of ABC News reported that what Trump said was false.
“Such a phony hurricane report,” the president wrote on Twitter.
After Trump showed the altered map on Wednesday, The Washington Post asked Trump about the incident. He told The Post that his briefings included a “95 percent chance probability” that Alabama would be hit.
When asked if the chart had been drawn on, Trump said: “I don’t know; I don’t know.” However, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley seemed to confirm that the drawing was made using a black Sharpie.
“Watching the media go ballistic over a black sharpie mark on a map would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad,” he wrote on Twitter.
Trump also defended his statement in a tweet, where he showed an official forecast from August 28.
“This was the originally projected path of the Hurricane in its early stages,” he wrote. “As you can see, almost all models predicted it to go through Florida also hitting Georgia and Alabama. I accept the Fake News apologies!”
Trump is correct that the earlier forecast from that date did show that Alabama had a chance of getting hit by Dorian. However, others pointed out, there are official White House photos from August 29 that show Trump being briefed on the hurricane forecast.
In those pictures, Trump can be seen looking at the updated forecast, the same one that had the Sharpie on it, which by that time made it clear that Alabama was not at risk of being affected by the storm.
The president appeared to press the point even further Thursday. In a series of tweets, Trump argued that “certain models strongly suggested that Alabama & Georgia would be hit.”
“Alabama was going to be hit or grazed, and then Hurricane Dorian took a different path (up along the East Coast),” he added in a later Tweet. “The Fake News knows this very well. That’s why they’re the Fake News!”
Meanwhile, Hurricane Dorian is currently right off the Carolina coast where it is causing massive power outages and flooding, as well as spurring small tornadoes.
Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia have all declared states of emergency, and a number of coastal counties all across the Eastern Seaboard have also issued mandatory evacuation orders.
According to CNN, more than 240,000 customers have reportedly lost power in Georiga and the Carolinas. Most of the outages were in South Carolina, where around 225,000 were reported and where about 360,000 people have been evacuated.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency have also put out a warning that surge waters could flood up to eight feet in some areas.
Right now, experts anticipate the Carolina coast will be experiencing extreme weather conditions for a full 24 hours. After that, Dorian is expected to travel further north up the coast, where tropical storm watches are ongoing.
While damages are expected, they are not anticipated to be as severe as the destruction caused by Dorian in the Bahamas, where it made landfall as a category 5 hurricane on Sunday.
With the storm just recently receding, the total damages to the islands are not yet clear. Whole neighborhoods have been decimated, leaving many without homes. Streets were flooded and massive power outages, some of which have spanned entire islands, were reported.
According to early reports, around 13,000 homes and businesses were destroyed, but officials expect that number to be much higher.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced that the death toll in the Bahamas was officially at 20, though he said he expected that number to rise. Minnis also described Dorian as “the greatest national crisis in our country’s history.”
Search and rescue efforts were also made much more difficult due to massive flooding in hospitals and airports, including one airport which local reports have said is entirely underwater.
While the hurricane rages on, some have argued that Trump’s insistence that Alabama could be hit is dangerous —both because it could create panic in Alabama despite the lack of a storm threat, and also because some believe he should be focusing on delivering correct emergency information to people who need it.
Others have also pointed out that there is actually a federal law that says it is illegal to alter official government weather forecasts.