Creators, advertisers, users, and the platform itself are the four components of the YouTube ecosystem, which now amounts to over 500 hours of video uploaded every minute. While there are intermittent conflicts between these parties, the participation of each is crucial to the sustenance of the world’s largest video platform and second largest search engine. Growth on YouTube has typically been measured in numbers - hours watched, subscriber counts, advertising revenue growth, number of creators, and so on - but perhaps due to brand safety concerns, an uptick in content targeted at children, the sheer amount of human time spent on the platform, louder feedback from both creators and users, and even government regulation, there has been an increasingly urgent dialogue on the qualitative aspect of this growth. In other words, many are wondering if people are actually watching “good” content on YouTube, whether there even is such a thing, and if the “good” outweighs the “bad”. This article is an attempt to examine how we can define “good” and “bad” in this context.
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