From Daniel Friedman in Quillette:
“However, in the last decade, the public square has been privatized by social media networks. These companies—primarily Google (which owns YouTube), Facebook (which owns Instagram), Apple (which controls access to lots of content through its App Store and its Podcast app), the crowdfunding platform Patreon, and Twitter—have offered platforms to billions of people and created media ecosystems that support the livelihoods of many content creators who may not have previously had the opportunity to be media professionals. But the livelihoods of people who professionally produce content disseminated over social media, as well as the smaller platforms of millions of other non-professional users of these networks, are now subject to the whims of these companies.
“These networks have already demonstrated the power they can wield over the fortunes of content creators. The influence of figures like Milo Yiannopoulos and Alex Jones waxed as their follower and subscriber counts grew into seven figures on networks like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. But their reach waned considerably after those networks banned them and stripped them of access to their platforms. Yiannopoulos is now said to be millions of dollars in debt and peddling a self-published 96-page book entitled How to Be Poor. It’s a little simplistic to attribute the fall of Milo to the loss of his Twitter platform; while Milo’s influence may have begun to crumble after his Twitter ban, subsequent outrage over his statements about child abuse caused a conservative publishing imprint to cancel his book and CPAC to cancel his appearance, and public revelations of Milo’s connections to white nationalists caused the billionaire Republican fundraiser Robert Mercer to yank his support from Milo Inc. But in the wake of high-profile bans like Jones’s, numerous less-prominent creators have had their income streams disrupted by various YouTube demonetization waves, as a result of YouTube cracking down on content creators to assuage the fears of advertisers.”