Sunday, April 16, 2017

Organizing Stream Content Providers For YouTube, And Twitch, Is Great...

...Not only because there is a valid "employee, employer" equity issue going on here, but also because of the parallel going on between the language used to describe this situation, and how it can also be used to talk about a wage earner's relationship to our current economic operating system.

We can see this at play in the recommended article on the subject linked below. Of particular interest to me especially is the very first paragraph:
"Unique to the digital age is the video content creation industry, one where employees are “users” and employers are “platforms.” In it, workers aren’t owed squat. When there are tech issues, they can visit the support page. When there are platform updates, a lot of the time, the press knows first. Full-time YouTubers and Twitch streamers, workers whose livelihoods depend on these platforms, are weed-whacking their way through the nascent industry’s first labor issues. And while it’s a new industry, there’s one old, time-tried solution to users’ grievances: organization."
One can, in a sense, look, at Capitalism as a "platform." The interesting part here, though, is that, on the one hand we have the fiction that no one actually owns it, and on the other we have the fact of corporations, which are quasi citizens now, and who make up most of its fabric, which are owned, one way or another, by those who have accumulated the most counters. We use the productive structures thus created to create enough counters for ourselves so that we can provide the consumption that keeps everything going, and that's pretty much all that we are here for now.

Because of the quasi citizenship of corporations their true owners can have the best of both worlds. This is because corporations can have the best rights of citizenship (especially where free speech is concerned), but also be quite limited in the amount of responsibility one might also demand of them. And so us content providers (workers) are left carrying most of the responsibility burden, but are then not only getting less and less say on how things are run. Sure, we can shout our lungs out, and if we really gather together, that can be a pretty potent thing, but for how long? When you have to get back to making sure there's food on the table, a roof over your head, a keeping a sense, getting harder all the time, that you still have some kind of intrinsic value?

The fact of the matter now is that free speech in the age of electro amplification is a joke; at least in its current manifestation when people, with a lot more counters than we will ever hope to have, can do the kind of amplification that spreads a message out way beyond just making it louder; as in having distribution across both a full spectrum of channels, as well as over far larger time spans, where consistency, as well as high tech, message engineering, can have the best, overall effect.

This is why we have to begin the process of changing to an alternative by doing an employee buyout. Purchase the whole damn thing outright, give fair compensation to the former owners, and then take full possession of the platform we make work every day. Take possession. Rationalize and humanize it. Make it truly equitable for all of those who work to keep it going while we figure out how to do away with needing money at all.

It's Time For YouTubers And Twitch Streamers To Organize