To Beat YouTube Censorship, Well-Known YouTuber Experiments With WebTorrent
YouTube without any doubt is a true giant when it comes to being the most influential websites on the planet. The video-hosting platform is the second most popular site on the Internet behind its owner’s Google.com.
With over a billion of visitors every month, people visit YouTube to view the original content uploaded by its contributors. On the other hand, with great power comes great responsibility and for YouTube that means making the advertisers happy.
Therefore, YouTube has rules in place over what kind of content can be monetized, for which it received criticism lately.
In short, if you are unable to make content that is almost entirely “appropriate for all audiences,” (without references to drugs, violence, and sex, for instance), your content is at risk of making no money. But, YouTube goes even further, by flagging “controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies.” Strange, right?
While this refusal to monetize content is looked upon by several YouTubers as a form of censorship but they are aware that they need to abide by its rules, as long as they are with the company. This means evaluating alternatives for some.
Popular YouTuber Connor Hill (Bluedrake42 – 187,026 subscribers) is no stranger to YouTube flagging his videos. In order to take control of his content and avoid third-party censorship, he decided to experiment with “WebTorrent.”
To those unfamiliar, WebTorrent brings torrents to the web. Instead of using standalone applications, it allows people to share files directly from their browser, without the need to configure or install anything.
At the beginning, WebTorrent creator Feross Aboukhadijeh recognized “people-powered websites” as a ground-breaking application for WebTorrent.
“Imagine a video site like YouTube, where visitors help to host the site’s content. The more people that use a WebTorrent-powered website, the faster and more resilient it becomes,” he told TF.
Bluedrake is excited precisely because of this application for the technology. Bluedrake says he can take back control by using his content, implanting it in his website, and then using his own fans for distribution.
“This solution does not require torrent clients, this solution does not require torrent files, this is a seamless video-player hosted solution, with a completely decentralized database, supported by the people watching the content itself,” Bluedrake says in a new video. “And it works…REALLY well.
In order to ensure that older content is always available, all torrents need seeds. According to Bluedrake, the servers already financed by his community will have backup copies of all videos ready to seed, whenever it is required.
“That’s literally the best of both worlds. A CDN and a TVDN – a Torrent Video Distribution Network – at the same time. It will be community-funded and community supported…and then we’ll have truly censorship-free, entirely impervious video content, in a network. That gives me chills,” Bluedrake adds.
There is no intent to break the law even though this solution provides the chance to avoid censorship. The freedom of peer-to-peer will only be used for speech, not to invade copyright, insists Bluedrake.
“All I want is a site where people can say what they want. I want a site where people can operate their business without having somebody else step in and take away their content when they say something they don’t like. We’re going to host our own content distribution network within a peer-to-peer, web-socketed torrent service,” he says.
WebTorrent creator Feross Aboukhadijeh is quite excited with the development.
“This is just one of the extremely creative uses for WebTorrent that I’ve heard about. I’m continually amazed at what WebTorrent users are building with the open source torrent engine,” Feross informs TF.
“When a video site uses WebTorrent, visitors help to host the site’s content. The more people that use a WebTorrent-powered website, the faster and more resilient it becomes. I think that’s pretty cool. It’s something that traditional CDNs cannot offer.
While using the technology by one YouTuber is no doubt a modest beginning, the prospective to get much bigger for this is possible, if Bluedrake is able to make it a success.
“The way that we get P2P technology to go mainstream is simple: make it easy, make it better,” Feross says.
“This is part of a larger trend of decentralized protocols replacing centralized services, as we’ve seen with Bitcoin and blockchain apps.”