“I am not a YouTuber who can make whatever video I want. I have to keep appeasing algorithms”: Bureaucracy of Creator Moderation on YouTube

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Recent HCI studies have recognized an analogy between bureaucracy and algorithmic systems; given platformization of content creators, video sharing platforms like YouTube and TikTok practice creator moderation, i.e., an assemblage of algorithms that manage not only creators’ content but also their income, visibility, identities, and more. However, it has not been fully understood as to how bureaucracy manifests in creator moderation. In this poster, we present an interview study with 28 YouTubers (i.e., video content creators) to analyze the bureaucracy of creator moderation from their moderation experiences. We found participants wrestled with bureaucracy as multiple obstructions in re-examining moderation decisions, coercion to appease different algorithms in creator moderation, and the platform’s indifference to participants’ labor. We discuss and contribute a conceptual understanding of how algorithmic and organizational bureaucracy intertwine in creator moderation, laying a solid ground for our future study.

PACM on Human Computer Interaction, CSCW2