I'm leaving Odysee
I don't feel comfortable publishing to this platform, so here's why, and where you can still follow me.
I’ve been syncing my YouTube channel to LBRY, then to Odysee for a while now, something like 4 years. It’s a platform I found interesting at the time, mostly because it offered an alternative to YouTube, a platform I’ve never been 100% comfortable with, even though it’s my main job nowadays, and also because it promised another way to make content creation viable as a day job, without relying on ads.
Over the years, though, this platform has taken a turn I can’t say I approve of, and I’ve made the decision to stop publishing there.
The first reason is crypto. When LBRY started, before the platform itself became Odysee, and LBRY the underpinning technology, I already felt that crypto was a scam. But I also felt that the implementation in LBRY seemed solid enough: it wasn’t a pyramid scheme, it was just used to let viewers tip creators they enjoyed watching.
Since then, crypto has collapsed as an “industry”. It has proven to be completely the opposite of what it wanted to be: a decentralized, stable currency that fought speculation. Crypto is the most speculative market in the world, at least that I know of, and it every coin just crashes in tune with Bitcoin, which makes using a crypto-backed platform a complete non-starter for funding needs.
On top of that, cryptocurrencies have proven to be a complete joke at that point, with little to no use in the real world, and a new scam being unveiled every month.
It’s not something I want to associate with my channel, my content, or myself.
Odysee & Moderation
Odysee doesn’t moderate anything. It’s one of the main selling points they put forward. And while on paper, it’s a refreshing change from YouTube’s often completely off putting puritanism and approach to what they deem monetizable, it’s also led to Odysee being a haven for absolutely horrifying stuff.
Am I angry that YouTube doesn’t let certain creators monetize videos because they talk about sexuality, or controversial parts of history? Am I angry at their approach to copyright? Of course I am, it’s absolutely insane that a single company can decide what is right or wrong to say. Because that’s what it ends up doing: creators that talk about non-monetizable things can’t make a living, and so can never be as influential or prevalent, and some will stop altogether, because making videos on top of a day job is HARD. I did it for 4 years, and it almost burned me out.
But, do I think the solution is to let everyone publish whatever they want, even if that content is actively encouraging harming others, or spreading lies that can end up putting other people in danger? No, I don’t think that’s the solution. Moderation will always be required on the internet. Odysee doesn’t moderate.
They even actively defend certain types of content, like white supremacist videos. They acknowledged that a video’s title actively encouraged hate towards, as they put it “an ethnic group or whatever”, and that the title should be changed, but that the video shouldn’t be removed unless it breaks community guidelines.
If your platform’s community guidelines allow videos that openly incite others to enact violent acts against beings of a certain skin color, sorry, but your platform is horrible. Here’s a link to that whole debacle.
I don’t want my channel to appear in a platform that thinks it’s OK to let these things stand. Yes, YouTube also has some pretty weird and offensive crap, but they DO remove it when it’s brought up t their attention. They don’t try and defend it.
So, while I don’t agree with YouTube’s stance on moderation, I also find it way less problematic than Odysee’s. Let’s put it this way: YouTube’s money-driven “morals” don’t have the potential to spread hate.
Other alternatives exist
When I started publishing to LBRY, I didn’t know of other alternatives. Today, all my videos are automatically synced to PeerTube, on the TILVIDS instance. Peertube is everything I wanted from LBRY and Odysee: it’s decentralized, it’s part of the Fediverse (so you can follow a channel on Peertube straight from Mastodon for example), it’s open-source, mainly developed by Framasoft, and you get to pick the instance you appear in, or even start your own.
I’m confident that PeerTube is a good alternative. Sure, it’s less known than Odysee is, but that was never the point: YouTube is where I can reach more people to talk about Linux and FOSS, and explain what the benefits, and limits are. Alternative platforms were always, in my mind at least, for people who don’t want to use Google services. PeerTube serves that role perfectly.
And do understand that Peertube very likely COSTS me money. It doesn’t make me anything, apart from potential new Patreon supporters and donations, but I can’t track that, so I have no way of knowing. Odysee didn’t cost me a cent, and generated something around 10€ every three months. For PeerTube, I support the instance on Patreon, so they can host all heavy videos. When I’m over my quota on this instance, I’ll probably have to donate more, or even spin up my own instance, which will definitely be more costly.
I know this will be upsetting for Odysee viewers. You like the platform, you prefer using it, I get it. And you’re probably using Odysee because you have a very strong dislike of YouTube. So, if you still want to watch my videos after all this (and if you don’t, well that’s OK too), here are the options:
First, you can use Peertube. All my videos are synced there in the same timeframe as they were on Odysee. Just head over to TilVIDS and you’ll see my channel. You can create an account there and subscribe, or you can just watch the videos without an account. The website is mobile friendly, and you can add it to your phone’s homepage. There are also Android clients, like NewPipe or Fedilab, that will let you watch videos in a dedicated application.
Since PeerTube uses the ActivityPub standard, if you use Mastodon, or any other Fediverse service, you can also follow the PeerTube channel on Mastodon: @firstname.lastname@example.org, and you’ll get a post in your timeline everytime there’s something new to watch. You can also just use the RSS feed that every channel has on PeerTube, by clicking on the Subscribe button in the channel page.
Second, you use a YouTube third party frontend, like Invidious, or the aforementioned NewPipe. You won’t get ads, you won’t be tracked, but also note that it won’t contribute to a viedo’s success on YouTube, or to the channel’s growth (since YouTube doesn’t even know you watched the video in the first place).
Third, you can use regular YouTube. With a good ad/tracker blocker, Google can’t really track you either, and you’ll be contributing to the channel’s growth there, if only by adding 1 view to the video and the eventual Like. Of course, if your opposition to YouTube isn’t privacy related, this won’t be an option.
I’ll keep the channel on Odysee for a few days more, so people have time to read the post and decide whether they want to follow me elsewhere, or just drop the channel altogether, and then I’ll delete it.
To everyone who contributed to the channel’s success on Odysee, and on all other platforms, a big thank you. I know it’s not a decision everyone will agree with, but it’s the one I’m most comfortable with.
Help support what I do
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