Lies, damned lies, and Neistats

Celebrity man-child YouTuber Casey Neistat is the latest bizarre character to berate the nuances of the site’s recent algorithm tweaks, as they continue to put perfect lives under slight threat.

We won’t pretend to have been privy to Neistat or his content, which we initially mistook for Bo’ Selecta! out-takes of discarded Sean Penn sketches. But this is no laughing matter.

No, Neistat is a real person; an elder statesman in a landscape mainly occupied by more vibrant, youthful irritants. Like so many others, he makes a living off relentlessly posting videos about himself between the odd purely incidental plug for material goods.

YouTube demonetised his chat with Indonesian president Joko Widodo, which he rightly argues is innocuous. But can algorithms be expected to detect a video of this description and trust the uploader to be so money-obsessed as to pass up asking a president anything interesting enough to put its total marketability at risk?

While Neistat’s appeal is lost on us, his stats don’t lie. A bit like when Emeli Sandé wins a Brit Award. But vloggers are amazed they might mean less to YouTube than conglomerate advertisers and the concept of combating the inadvertent sponsorship of global terrorism. If Neistat walked, a million Caspar Lee wannabes would devour his subscribers like a pack of Premiere Pro-savvy hyenas.

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