Philip Defranco, aka PhillyD, is a YouTuber with just under 5 million subscribers. This year he won the Streamy Award for Show of the Year. On Friday’s episode of his show, a fan asked Philip why he wasn’t going to be appearing in the 2016 version of YouTube’s annual Rewind series, an end of year spotlight video that YouTube puts out to highlight the most popular content creators on the platform.
Being featured on YouTube Rewind can really boost a channels subscribers, so it’s a coveted spot and to date Philip has never been featured. Philip responded by heavily insinuating that YouTube had requested he make a video in support of Hillary Clinton. Philip refused to make the video, and now he is being shunned by YouTube, which is, of course, owned by Google.
Here is the video where he explains the situation, his explanation starts at 9:13.
YouTube asking it’s most popular content creators to endorse a certain presidential candidate is a prospect that I find rather troubling. Since content creators, in a certain light, are somewhat dependent, if not beholden to YouTube in order to make their living, it would probably make it intimidating for many to say no, even if they don’t really believe in that candidate.
Whatever you think about Hillary, this type of political coercion is not something that Google should be engaging in, what with being such a virtual monopoly in the fields of search engines and video sharing.
It’s not the first time Philip Defranco has called YouTube out. Earlier in the year he called attention to their demonetization policy which started the trending hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty.