A Controversy: 2018 YouTube Rewind


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YouTube’s annual YouTube Rewind video for 2018 sparked a lot of controversy on social media.

Jonathan Ye, Writer

“Yo! It’s Rewind Time!” said Will Smith, the celebrity host of this year’s YouTube Rewind, an annual video that recaps the most popular events and creators of the past year on the platform. This year’s Rewind, however, featured neither. As the most disliked YouTube video of all time, a lot of people believed that YouTube 2018 Rewind’s downfall stemmed from YouTube’s decision to remain politically correct and please sponsors rather than viewers..

The main message of YouTube’s 2018 Rewind was that “the viewers and creators of YouTube control Rewind.” However, YouTube ignored 2018’s biggest moments, such as multimillion dollar YouTube boxing matches between two YouTubers and a subscriber battle between PewDiePie, a YouTuber with the largest subscriber count on Youtube, and T-series, an Indian music video channel. Instead of featuring the biggest creators of 2018, including Shane Dawson, Mr. Beast, Logan Paul and Jake Paul, YouTube focused on trends that were advertiser friendly, such as Fortnite, and YouTube creators that are either mainstream Hollywood celebrities or not very relatable for today’s youth.

“Ninja, a Twitch streamer who streams Fortnite, was featured heavily in YouTube Rewind,” said senior Jiho Moon. “Ninja’s not actually even a YouTuber, as he just uploads highlights from his Twitch games. Actual YouTubers, who have been working extremely hard to create content, were not featured.”

YouTube’s 2018 Rewind reflects the company’s preference to please corporate supporters and stay politically correct. It featured YouTubers who were not very popular or did not gain extreme popularity this year, but whose content was politically correct and noncontroversial. LaurDIY, Lily Singh, Wengie, The Try Guys, Liza Koshy and Casper Lee are all popular YouTubers who release content that is almost never controversial.

Lately, other companies, such as Bethesda, have also gone under fire for not caring about the opinions of their fans and consumers. Fallout 76, a game part of the extremely successful Fallout game series, has been criticized by consumers and reviewers alike. Receiving a score of 5 out of 10 on IGN and 52 percent on Metacritic, two gaming review sites, Fallout 76 has been called as a game being sold to consumers as a beta product with many bugs and missing features.

“I play Fallout everyday,” said senior and avid gamer Rick Zhang. “I play it for the nostalgia, but Fallout 76 is less than mediocre. The game is filled with microtransactions, and Bethesda is just trying to suck money out of their consumers.”

Companies such as YouTube and Bethesda need to focus more on their community fanbase to gain their reputations back. By trying to appeal to advertisers or sell unfinished games, they may be making good profit in the short term, but in the long run, their negative reputations will greatly hurt them.