- YouTube said it will no longer count views from paid advertising in its calculations for YouTube Music charts and 24-hour debut records.
- The move came after YouTube did not congratulate Indian rapper Badshah for seemingly breaking the single-day viewing record.
- Badshah admitted to paying for promotional ads and several media reports found that the practice was actually commonly used in the music industry to inflate views.
- Critics argued that the strategy created financial hurdles for new artists and raised questions about real popularity.
Ad Views No Longer Count
YouTube announced a new policy Friday that changes the way the platform counts views from purchased ads in its one-day record reports, a practice that has faced massive criticism over the last few months
“In an effort to provide more transparency to the industry and align with the policies of official charting companies such as Billboard and Nielsen, we are no longer counting paid advertising views on YouTube in the YouTube Music Charts calculation,” the company said in a blog post.
“Artists will now be ranked based on view counts from organic plays,” it continued.
The change extends only to YouTube’s music charts and the reporting of 24-hour views. Advertising money can still be put towards increasing views, and the public view counter will still reflect views that were paid for.
Before the changes, many artists and record labels would pay to run songs as YouTube ads, which boosted viewership and increased the artist’s odds of topping the YouTube Music charts.
However, YouTube executives might have decided to rethink how it records single-day views after it faced backlash over its former policy earlier this year.
YouTube faced intense scrutiny in July when Indian rapper Badshah racked up 75 million views in 24 hours on his music video for the song “Paagal.” The numbers seemingly broke the single-day viewing record set by K-pop superstars BTS in April, but YouTube did not acknowledge the achievement.
YouTube has a history of honoring artists for setting viewing records. It congratulated musicians like BTS, Blackpink, Taylor Swift, and Ariana Grande when they set records on the site, so naturally, many were confused by the company’s silence.
Badshah made no secret that his team spent heavily on promotional ads, which he admitted to on Instagram. He even suggested YouTube’s lack of praise presented a double standard between the way the site treats mainstream global superstars like Swift and Grande, and artists who aren’t as popular in the West.
As of now, it’s unclear how many paid-ad views make up the total views for Badshah’s video, which currently sits at over 161 million. YouTube’s spokesperson told Forbes that the video-sharing platform doesn’t “comment on specific view sources for videos.”
“We have always taken into account a number of factors, including the volume of paid advertising views on YouTube,” they added. “Based on our long-time criteria, Badshah did not qualify for our 24 hour debut records list.”
However, for many people, the interesting issue became the focus on the ad purchasing policy itself. The practice created doubts about the real popularity of the videos and brought new attention to industry marketing tactics. It also sparked conversations about how this tactic changes the landscape for new talent and creates a financial barrier for growth.
A report from Rolling Stone said that the practice was common in the Latin Music industry, reporting that companies like Sony Latin and Universal Latin have been known to shell out between $20,000 to $60,000 in the first 24 hours. In more extreme cases, the companies would spend as much as $100,000, which could result in more than 12 million additional views.
“There is definitely money being spent on views,” Tomas Cookman, founder and CEO of the independent Latin label Nacional told Rolling Stone. “Is it fair to pay to have all those perceived views on a video? Probably not. But any time there’s a system, there’s going to be some manipulation of that system. And whoever tells you there isn’t is probably doing it.”
The report also said the ad strategy was likely more utilized outside of the U.S. because of the cost difference. One Latin label employee estimated that $1,000 on ads might bring in 250,000 to 500,000 views from countries in Latin and South America, meanwhile, the cost per view in the U.S would be five to ten times as much. The cheapest views reportedly came from countries like Turkey, the Philippines, and India.
YouTube’s changes won’t necessarily mean fewer video ads since ads still allow for greater exposure. However, it could push the industry to think critically about how to place those ads for long-term success, rather than just spam users with them for the first 24 hours to inflate views and create a false sense of popularity.
Protection Order Filed By Onision Against Chris Hansen Dismissed
- YouTuber Onision, who has been accused of grooming and predatory behavior, filed court protection orders against journalist Chris Hanson and YouTuber Repzion, who have both been covering the allegations against him.
- A court appearance was held Friday for both, where the charges were voluntarily dismissed.
- While this was not the cause for dismissal, Hansen had actually never been formally served because Onision actually served the wrong Chris Hansen.
- Repzion anticipates that Onision will seek other forms of litigation like a civil suit for slander, which he is prepared to fight.
Hansen’s Case Dismissed
An order of protection of harassment filed by YouTuber Onision against journalist Chris Hansen was voluntarily dismissed after a Friday court appearance.
Onision, also known by James or Greg Jackson, has been long accused of grooming and predatory behavior. Allegations stretch to nearly ten years ago, with many saying he engages in inappropriate behavior with young women, along with the help of his partner Kai.
Hansen has been covering these allegations, which Jackson has consistently denied, on his YouTube channel “Have a Seat With Chris Hansen.”
In early January, Hansen went to Jackson’s house to hear his side of the story. Jackson called the police and later filed a court order. According to Mike Morse, a lawyer working with Hansen on the matter, the order alleged that Hansen was a “stalker” who had been making “hateful and harassment type videos since August 2019.”
Jackson filed the order without an attorney and represented himself. Connecticut-based Hansen sent an attorney, Naomi, to represent him in the Washington state courtroom. She initially asked for the order to be dismissed because Hanson was never formally served. The court said service was sent out, but it turned out that Jackson had served a different Chris Hansen, also located in Connecticut.
The other Chris Hansen responded to the service.
“I have nothing to do with this very public case and do know know the petitioner or the intended respondent,” he wrote. “I am not Chris Hansen from to Catch a Predator. Given that I’m not the intended recipient of this complaint, there shouldn’t be a case against me.”
While the mix-up over the wrong Chris Hansen being served did not result in the case’s dismissal, the case was still voluntarily dismissed. Naomi asked for the order to be dismissed with prejudice, meaning Jackson could not refile and the case would be over. The judge did not grant that, and the case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it could be filed again.
Repzion’s Case Dismissed
A similar order was filed against Daniel Sulzbach, also known as Repzion, a YouTuber who has also been making videos about the allegations against Onision. This case appeared in the court on the same day, and the order was also voluntarily dismissed.
Jackson had filed for dismissal before heading into court. Still, Sulzbach spent the money and time to appear in the Washington courtroom with his own lawyers.
“It was probably one of the most anticlimactic things that I [have] ever been in,” he told Morse on a phone call posted on YouTube.
Sulzbach anticipates that legal matters between him and Jackson are not over. He predicts a civil suit over slander could be on the way, even though he maintains he has only ever discussed information already made public.
Morse also shared photos taken in the courtroom. In them, Jackson appeared to be wearing sneakers and a ski cap. Many present also noted the boxy way his jacket fit, with several speculating he could have been wearing a Kevlar vest, which is bulletproof.
As for what happens next, on his show, Hansen said that in 2019, the police were called to Jackson’s home 19 times. The calls stem from reports of potential inappropriate behavior with girls or child neglect. Hansen also said there were local investigations and has previously said there is also an FBI investigation into Jackson.
Google and YouTube Could Be Banned From San Francisco’s Pride Parade
- Seven members of SF Pride voted to ban Google and its affiliates from future parades, arguing that the company does not do enough to protect the LGBTQ community.
- There were debates over whether or not the vote is legally binding since only 12 of the 326 members were present.
- The organization said its board will meet on Feb. 5 to determine what happens next.
What Prompted the Vote?
YouTube and its parent company, Google, may no longer be welcome at San Francisco’s annual LGBTQ pride parade after a group of event organizers voted to ban them from future festivities.
Members of San Francisco Pride passed the resolution against Google and its affiliates on Jan. 15, saying the company is not doing enough to protect members of the LGBTQ community, particularly when it comes to hate speech and harassment on YouTube.
Though YouTube has been a long-time supporter of the LGBTQ community in terms of corporate marketing, it’s faced a ton of backlash in recent months from critics who accused the platform of not supporting the community with its policies.
For many, this became apparent when Vox journalist Carlos Maza said he had been a victim of homophobic and racist harassment at the hands of conservative commentator Steven Crowder. Maza claimed that over the course of two years, Crowder called him names including “Mr.Gay Vox,” “lispy queer,” and “anchor baby.”
YouTube initially responded by letting Crowder’s videos stand, saying that while his comments were hurtful, they did not violate community guidelines. Instead, the platform suspended Crowder’s ability to earn ad revenue.
That decision sparked widespread outrage both from the general public and internally. Soon after, over 140 Google employees signed a letter asking SF Pride to drop Google from its parade. Meanwhile dozens of others marched to protest against the company’s policies, despite being warned that doing so would violate Google’s code of conduct and potentially cost them their jobs.
About six months after the Maza- Crowder controversy, the company updated its harassment policy, banning content that contains malicious insults based on race, gender expression, or sexual orientation. But organizers say that isn’t enough to protect LGBTQ users and argue that creators like Crowder still remain popular on the platform.
Is the Vote Legal?
The vote marks a huge change in the attitude that many have towards Google, which was once viewed as a corporate leader in its support of the LBGTQ community.
“Companies are no longer scared to be seen as pro-LGBTQ; in fact, their participation is a great opportunity for them. We believe companies should earn that opportunity by proving that they really do stand with our community,” the members seeking to ban Google said in a statement to Recode.
However, it’s important to note that the vote represents only a small percentage of the organization given that only about 12 of the 326 members were present at the time. Seven people voted in favor of the ban, according to the interim executive director, Fred Lopez.
Lopez told Recode that some members of the board questioned whether the vote was legally binding without the board’s approval. Others argued that members do have the authority to pass the ban since current bylaws don’t appear to restrict them from making amendments.
Lopez explained that the group was looking into the legality of the vote saying, “Our legal team is reviewing the implications of last week’s vote by seven of Pride’s 326 members. Our Board of Directors will meet February 5th to determine our next step.”
The effort to ban Google is being led by former Google employee Laurence Berland, who claims the company fired him for workplace organizing. Google denied this claim and told Recode that Berland violated company data security policies. However, Berland has been fighting for Google to be banned since last June, when he was still working for the company and is now urging the board to approve the motion at the Feb. 5 meeting.
Meanwhile, Google has expressed disappointment in the news. “Google has been a proud supporter of San Francisco Pride for over a decade,” the company told Recode in a statement.
“We’re saddened that seven members, including a recently fired employee, decided to recommend banning Google, YouTube, and our employees from supporting this important community organization. SF Pride has over 300 members and a separate board that makes the ultimate decision on participation; we’ll continue to work with the San Francisco Pride board and its broader membership on next steps.”
The spokesperson also defended the company against claims that it doesn’t support the LGBTQ community, pointing out that Google has opposed laws that target the LGBTQ individuals and has provided employees with same-sex health benefits that include coverage of gender reassignment surgery.
See what others are saying: (Recode) (Tubefilter) (SF Gate)
Onision Calls 911 on Chris Hansen, Files Court Order
- YouTuber Onision, who has long been accused of predatory behavior, recently called 911 when journalist Chris Hansen showed up to his door.
- Hansen has been extensively covering the accusations against Onision, and Onision told the dispatcher he was his “internet stalker.”
- No arrests were made once police arrived, but Onision has filed a court order against both Hansen and another YouTuber, Repzion, who has also been covering the allegations.
- Hansen posted another video saying that he obtained police records showing that Onision’s daughter fell from a window and that Onision recorded the aftermath.
Court Order Filed
YouTuber Onision is filing a court personal protection order against journalist Chris Hansen, who has been covering the series of accusations of grooming and predatory behavior levied against him.
Hansen said in a video on Monday that Onision, who is also known as Greg or James Jackson, filed the order in Washington state. Jackson also filed the order against YouTuber Repzion, or Daniel Sulzbach, who has also posted several videos about the long-standing allegations.
Many have claimed that Jackson, along with his partner Kai, grooms young women, often minors who are fans of his, to become sexually intimate with him once they turn 18. Others have also brought up potential cases of other inappropriate, predatory behavior. Several girls have spoken to Hansen on his YouTube channel to explain their claims. Some have described a system of control and manipulation, such as a list of rules Jackson and Kai force the girls to follow.
Jackson has regularly denied the allegations. Rogue Rocket reached out to him to discuss them back in December. He asked for $10,000 in exchange for an interview.
Hansen Attempts to Reach Out to Onision
This was not the first time Hansen had attempted to reach Jackson to hear his side of the story. Hansen has claimed that he too was asked for monetary compensation in order to ask Jackson questions. On January 13, he posted a video of the 911 call Jackson made when he knocked on his door in an attempt at a face-to-face conversation.
In the call, Jackson refers to Hanson as an “internet stalker.” Hansen is seen standing outside of his door, knocking and sometimes speaking. He was accompanied by a camera crew and his attorney, Mike Morse. Police did arrive and no arrests were made.
In another video Hansen uploaded about his trip to speak with Jackson, he said that it appeared that Jackson was no stranger to officers.
“It quickly became clear that Greg was not unfamiliar to the local law enforcement authorities here,” Hansen explained to the camera in a video that has amassed over one million views. “They were aware of his YouTube antics, the allegations of inappropriate contact with young women.”
He also added that Jackson declined to speak to him when given the opportunity, something Hansen noted was typical behavior in his experience investigating child predators.
Hansen confirmed the court order in a video week later.
Police Report on Onision’s Child
In the video where Hansen explained the court order, he also gave a disturbing update he found in regards to Jackson and Kai’s children when working with police.
“We’ve now obtained Pierce County Sheriff’s reports about a 911 call in September of 2019,” Hansen said. “According to the transcripts, Onision and Kai’s young daughter fell from a second story bedroom window landing in the driveway.”
Hansen also added that this report notes that Jackson actually took a video of his young daughter in the driveway while she was injured, and panned up to the window that she fell from. As for the details of what happened, many have been sharing what appear to be screenshots of the records of the incident. Rogue Rocket requested the records, but has not received them yet, therefore we cannot confirm them. Some of the information in the screenshots shared does line up with what Hansen described in the video.
One screenshot came from Good Citizens Records, which said they obtained the police report. They redacted information to protect Jackson’s daughter and said that the accident was in fact an accident.
According to the screenshots, the police had previously done welfare checks at Jackson’s home and they had received calls about him “possibly sexually abusing young girls.”
As for why he recorded his child in the aftermath of the fall, Jackson said he wanted to be able to show the doctor what happened. According to the screenshots, Jackson referenced an event in 2011 when a friend allegedly threatened to kill herself and make it look like he did it, and he wanted the video to show police he was not responsible. The report calls this explanation “strange.”
Another unconfirmed screenshot goes into the details of the accident and the injury obtained from it. It appears his daughter suffered from skull fractures as a result of the fall.
The fractures did not initially seem life-threatening, though that could rapidly change. Hansen said he will be covering more on this later in the week.