YouTube is the ‘ultimate’ modern day MLM

That’s right, I went there.

Multilevel marketing (MLM) is a strategy that some direct sales companies use to encourage existing distributors to recruit new distributors. In MLM schemes, there can be hundreds or thousands of members worldwide (or in the case of YouTube, Instagram and the likes, millions upon millions), but relatively few earn meaningful incomes from their efforts, indicating a possible pyramid scheme. Multilevel marketing is also referred to as ‘referral marketing’.

The entire premise of multilevel marketing is that people make sales for a company without being actual employees of that company. The ‘consultants’ make a small commission for their work and those higher up at the company will always be the one’s making real money. While companies like LulaRoe, Amway, Mary Kay Cosmetics and Avon might be struggling in a pandemic-ridden 2020 due to the structure and nature of their corporate pyramid, YouTube has been reaping the rewards of their corporate pyramid one-hundred-fold over the past decade.

Before you roll your eyes, hear me out!

Content creators are not employees of YouTube. They’re consultants. They don’t get benefits. They don’t have taxes taken off of the money YouTube pays them. They don’t earn a regular income. They’re paid based on performance. And, if they so like, they can take some of that payment from YouTube and put it directly into the membership costs of belonging to a YouTube network that promises to help them grow their platform. Furthermore, YouTube relies on content creators to bring in new creators and grow the YouTube platform further and bring in more money. In the case of YouTube, content creators are selling advertisements.

Now, let’s compare YouTube to Mary Kay Cosmetics, a widely known MLM. Mary Kay Cosmetics does not hire employees, they instead opt for a company structure that sees consultants making sales for the business, and, bringing in new consultants. Consultants are not paid a regular income, instead they earn based on performance. The more they sell, the more they earn. Mary Kay Cosmetics consultants also have the option to take their earnings and put it towards a network that will allow them to grow their platforms, and (hopefully) in turn sell more makeup.

Sounds familiar, right?

YouTube operates monetization on a sliding scale. Content creators are required to meet certain thresholds with their channel in order to even become monetized in the first place. As an audience grows for a particular content creator, new opportunities open up for them on the platform, such as being able to live-stream, finally earning a portion of the adsense dollars that YouTube is already making from their videos, and eventually even being able to open up their own ‘Membership structure’ for their channel in which people can pay the content creator directly for things like shout outs or sneak peaks. The better you perform, the more chance you have to earn. But also, if you don’t perform at all, it does not hurt the company whatsoever.

Mary Kay also operates their pay structure on a sliding scale. Sales consultants are required to make an initial investment in the company and sell ‘x’ amount of dollars worth of product before they’re able to even earn a profit. Depending on the amount an individual is able to sell, Mary Kay opens the opportunity for said sales consultants to earn bonuses – these can be anything from extra commission to free trips to the chance to drive a pink, branded car. The better that you perform, the more chance that you have to earn. But also, if you don’t perform at all, it does not hurt the company whatsoever.

In both cases, networking is pretty key to finding any sort of moderate success.

Now, wait a minute, wait a minute. The initial investment into a company like Mary Kay Cosmetics is one that you pay directly to the company. What is the initial investment in YouTube?

I’m glad that you asked.

While the initial investment one must make to begin a YouTube channel is not paid directly to the platform itself, you are required to have some form of technology – be it a phone, camera or computer – that allows you to film, edit and post videos to the platform. No, you don’t buy those phones, cameras or computers directly from YouTube. But, what you do give YouTube is your time. And time is valuable. For reference, when you’re just getting started with video editing, it can take as much as thirty hours to edit a single ten minute video. For someone like myself, last year I worked for an economic development firm part-time. The hours weren’t regular, but when I was working, I was earning $20 an hour. If I spent 30 hours on a project, I would earn $600. For a new content creator on YouTube, until they reach 4,000 hours of watch time, 1,000 subscribers or more and compliance with YouTube’s community guidelines, they’re not earning a single cent. That’s 30 free hours of work they’re providing YouTube with, each time they upload a video.

Depending on the content creator, it can take a couple of months before earning monetization, or it can take a few years. This is why hustle culture on YouTube can, at times, be very toxic… which is not unlike the culture among any MLM company on earth. In YouTube, and in Mary Kay Cosmetics, the deck is stacked in favour of the bold, the beautiful and those who are the most ‘commercial friendly’. But, when you’re getting the tips and tricks of the trade from someone in the trenches, they’re not going to tell you that.

Someone with heavy investments into Mary Kay Cosmetics is definitely not going to tell you how hard it is for them to earn an income because they need you to sign up to help boost the income they’re struggling so hard to earn.

Someone with heavy investments (yes we’re counting time and money) into YouTube isn’t going to tell you the cost/value ratio of a single YouTube video because the minute they do, they’re going to lose out on opportunity for earning potential. Yeah, there’s a reason why YouTuber’s don’t comment about how much money they make. The moment they do, YouTube can flag their channel and decrease their earning potential. And, in an industry in which their money isn’t guaranteed, they don’t want to risk earning less if they don’t have to.

In a 2020 world, especially with the ongoing pandemic, marketers and large corporations have realized that there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about having regular folk advertise their products. What better way to do that then to enter every person’s home/life through the technology they already have. Advertisers pay YouTube to be able to run commercial campaigns during videos on the platform. In turn, YouTube promises advertisers that their ‘Consultants’ (Content Creators/Regular Folk) will bring enough people to the platform to bring a valuable return on investment in said advertisement. When you really stop to think about it, this isn’t that far removed from well known MLM companies that do the exact same thing through Instagram and, in a lot of cases, YouTube as well.

Somehow, though, YouTube has morphed itself into a ‘Legal’ pyramid scheme. One where those at the top get richer, and those, even in the upper echelon of the platform, still seek out sponsorships and affiliate codes/links to earn the majority of their income.

YouTube was estimated to earn more than 15 billion dollars in Ad Revenue in 2019. (From Business Insider) Only between 10-30 percent of that revnue is distributed to the content creators who are responsible for earning that income in the first place. That means that between millions of content creators who earned YouTube that 15 billion dollars, high-end estimations of that would suggest they shared 4.5 billion. And that’s being reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally generous.

Sure, a portion of 4.5 billion sounds great, right? Let’s say that there was 4.5 billion to go around and approximately one million channels on YouTube to split that among. That’s $4,500… for a year of work. Now take into account that those dollars aren’t being spread evenly. Those who performed better are going to be earning a larger piece of the Adsense pie. Realistically, the dollar amount a content creator could be making from YouTube could be absolutely abysmal compared to a regular nine-to-five job. This is why there are sponsored videos, affiliate links and free giveaways. But that’s a story for another day!

The pandemic has hit this world hard. People who work for companies like Mary Kay Cosmetics can’t just go do what they’ve always done because hosting a ‘Mary Kay Party’ to show off the merchandise isn’t exactly recommended when there’s a deadly disease sweeping the planet. They’ve taken to Instagram and YouTube and made some sponsored content of their own to try and keep their company afloat amidst all that is going on in the world. And, while the blow YouTube might be suffering due to the pandemic isn’t quite as large, they’re hurting too. It’s not easy for companies to produce advertisements for YouTube when their entire staff is/was working from home. For this reason, YouTube has recorded a loss in their second quarter profit earnings from ad revenue. That is also the reason why there are so many more ‘this video is sponsored by’ and ‘this product was gifted from’ videos circulating YouTube. In a work-from-home world, content creators are learning the already low revenue they were earning from adsense is going to be even less in 2020.

What really gets me, though, is when I’m watching a YouTube video and there’s an advertisement for an MLM company or product within the video itself. It’s become a bit like Russian Nesting Dolls… an MLM within an MLM, within an MLM. As the world continues to adapt to circumstances around us, these instances are only going to become more and more prevalent. Especially since YouTube won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

And, because I went ahead and called them the ultimate modern day MLMi in the title, I will add that where struggling MLMs require high investments for you to even test the product, all that is required to test YouTube is technology and boredom. Thus making them a far superior MLM to any other in existence right now.

The Stauffer’s switch gears and decide to ignore their internet footprint

Speculation is circulating the web that the Stauffer’s are getting prepared to make their triumphant return to YouTube.

Three and a half weeks after finally acknowledging they ‘rehomed’ their adopted, autistic son from China, a lot has unfolded.

Developments (since my exceptionally long story about them):

  • The Stauffer’s have been copyright claiming the YouTube videos of other users who are commenting on their clips, videos and content. To those of you who do not know, a copyright claim on YouTube, allows the person who makes the claim to take the ad revenue from the creator who is commenting on them. Myka and James are claiming revenue of those who have been criticizing them.
  • The date of May 26th (the very day they posted their ‘We rehomed our son’ YouTube video) James Stauffer filed paperwork in the state of Ohio to turn his YouTube channel into an LLC, separating it from his wife’s channel and making it its own legal entity that could not be touched should anything come to blows with his wife’s channel or legal action be filed against them
  • Speaking of the ‘We rehomed our son’ video… after monetizing the video to make ad revenue off of it, the Stauffer’s have now made that video private as of June 11. It’s worth noting that they have not deleted the video. The video reached more than 5,000,000 views, and deleting it would skew the analytics of Myka’s channel. Clearly she still cares about maintaining this channel because rather then deleting videos about her abandoned son, she’s been making them private as to not lose ‘views count’ for potential future revenue. Making it private just means people cannot watch it without a link.
  • Myka has created a separate channel called ‘Cash Crush’ that she’s now made Instagram and Twitter accounts for. The channel aims to teach people to make money online. (Perhaps she might make a video about telling people they should adopt children for clout).
  • James has posted to his YouTube channel that he was ‘taking some time to be with family’ and that new videos on his newly legally separate entity ‘Stauffer Garage’ channel would be back soon.
  • Allegedly (this is speculative as I have not seen proof) James is also not responding to businesses who’s products he’s used on his channel before that are asking him to stop using the products because they do not wish to be associated wit him or his family any longer.

I’m honestly not sure if this family is crazy enough to think that after ‘rehoming’ (abandoning) their special needs adopted son after exploiting him for three years that they can just bounce back to be the influencers they once were. Neither of them have held jobs outside of YouTube for several years, which leads me to believe they might try.

It’s scary to think about because as much as I believe these two do not deserve a platform from which to influence the masses, and as much as I think they are still exploiting their former son by continuing to keep videos of him online, part of me worries for their remaining four children now.

I seriously hope this couple saved a lot of money during the past six months that they’ve been avoiding the questions about their adopted son. Because honestly, they’re technically unemployable at this point. And I don’t just mean that as they’ve been ‘cancelled’ on a worldwide scale. I mean that as in both of their educational backgrounds are in industries that require you to update your licensing annually to maintain an ability to work, and both have let their licensing lapse for several years now.

Two parents are out of a job.

Four kids are still in that home.

I sincerely hope that they’ve saved some of their money and didn’t spend it all. Otherwise, those other four kids are about to have a really hard road ahead of them.

Quick and important point: I’ve seen some blogs, YouTube channels and other sources online sharing this family’s home address in posts, on videos and in articles. DON’T DO THAT. It’s not okay. It’s not safe. You don’t know who’s going to read that address and possibly do something really fucking stupid and unsafe. Doxing people is not okay. And there are still four young children in that home. Don’t put their lives in danger because their parents are idiots.


If you missed the first time I spoke of this family, that post can be seen by clicking here. It’s a long one, but there’s a lot to this family and their poor decisions.

Also, there’s another YouTube mom who’s been clickbaiting adoption a lot lately. She’s actually a lot like Myka. Exploits her kids, posts a lot of questionable things online and tries to hide behind her religion. She also has two biological daughters and one biological son just like Myka had when her and her husband started clickbaiting adoption. I want to talk about it but I also don’t want to give her attention because I genuinely believe this could be a part of her plan to gain attention. I’m so torn…

There may be quite a few posts coming to this blog this weekend. I have a couple of days off from work and so much has happened and there’s soo much I want to talk about (BLM, Racism, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, Corona Virus, my new house, my new job, life…). I am apologizing in advance for all of the notifications you could possibly be getting this weekend.

Adopting an orphan for internet clout…

Disclaimer: This is bare-bones explanation of this story. Honestly, there could probably be a novel written about all of the skeletons in this family’s closet, but the most important pieces are here. For the purpose of this story, I have not shared the name of the child which I speak. He is no longer legally their child and thus, being a minor, I did not want to post the child’s name on this blog.


I’ve long since had issues with ‘family vloggers’ and people who use their children to make them money on YouTube. It’s one thing to call yourself an influencer and use YouTube to broadcast every aspect of your own life, but it’s a completely separate thing to do that to your child.

A child doesn’t get a say in the matter. A child doesn’t have the frame of reference to understand the ramifications of a digital footprint when they’re eight, for example. Children also (largely) aren’t paid for the work they’re doing to make their parents wealthy via YouTube. Because, if we’re being completely honest, these parents, without the adorable kids doing funny things, would be rather boring and no one would tune in. Parents know their children are click-bait to the masses and they take advantage of that, subsequently not giving their children a dime in the process.

Insert the Stauffer Family.

Myka and James Stauffer have come under fire recently for FINALLY acknowledging to the world that they have ‘unadopted’ their adopted special needs son from China. The phrase they used was ‘rehoming’. But let’s be real here, this isn’t a pet. This is a living, breathing human child who has now been abandoned again. Yeah, the term abandoned is a much better term for it.

It’s estimated that dissolution of adoption happens in roughly 10% of adoptive cases in the United States (Source: Children’s Welfare Information Gateway) So, an adoption not working out is not a new concept. Why then, have the Stauffer’s made international headlines?

After being relatively anonymous in the YouTube spectrum for nearly a decade, The Stauffer’s adopted a special needs child from China and brought him to the United States in 2017. They proceeded to film every aspect of their lives with new adopted son and upload videos to YouTube for profit ever since. These videos of their adoptive child have made them rich. Rich, rich, rich, rich, rich. They skyrocketed from 4,000 subscribers to millions of subscribers amassed from five different YouTube channels. They found a ‘niche’ that people couldn’t help but tune in for, and they exploited it. That niche being a little orphan boy with a beautiful smile and rambunctious personality. People genuinely fell in love with their son and they knew that… and they took advantage of that.

At best, what you could call this is child exploitation. At worst, this story really borderlines on child trafficking, if we’re being totally honest. They built a wealthy empire upon the likes of this child for three years and then, when they decided he was no longer profitable, they put him into foster care.

Backtracking a little bit here, Myka has been trying to become famous through YouTube for more than a decade. She tried fitting into the ‘hot girl with the amazing diet tips’ niche and that didn’t work. She tried fitting into the ‘I’m going to teach you how to cook’ niche and that didn’t take either. She also had her go at the ‘Single Mom, doing it on my own’ niche, but quickly pivoted when she met and married her now husband in a rather swift time frame.

After marrying her husband and quickly having her second child, Myka and James began documenting every step of their lives and their children’s lives on Youtube in 2013. They lead a very modest life, went on to have a third child and documented every single step of it on YouTube, amassing only 4,000 subscribers between 2013 and late 2016.

In late 2016, Myka started an adoption series on her YouTube channel. She had decided that she wanted to adopt and that she wanted to adopt right away. Apparently god had called her to adopt and she needed another child in her life immediately.

Because she had no issues with fertility, three young children and she and her husband were unwilling to adopt an older child, they sought to adopt from overseas. She is on video stating that she specifically chose China as the country to adopt a child from because it would allow her to adopt a child the fastest.

Prior to even adopting her son, she made a 13 part series all about him, how she literally picked him from a catalogue and how he was now her son who she’d ‘birthed in her heart’. It was all very sweet, very hertfelt, very saviouristic.

She took the thirteen part series to explain that the child that her and her husband wished to adopt was one with special needs. He was living in an Orphanage in China, was nearly two years old and (they were told) he had a brain tumor.

Myka also took the thirteen part series to explain that she had this child’s medical records reviewed by doctors in the United States and that the doctors here had warned her about adopting him because his prognosis was quite severe and could cause for around the clock care.

Myka, again on video, said ‘I used to be a nurse before becoming a stay at home mom, so whatever it is, we can handle it’.

Myka and James subsequently used a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds to adopt their son from China. Though they did not need the money for the adoption, they were happy to essentially ‘crowdfund’ to pay for the process because… why not? The GoFundMe actually garnered the family a lot of attention and the couple were touted as incredible saviours for rescuing this boy from life in a Chinese orphanage.

While the adoption process was still going through, they were already showing photos and video footage of their to-be son for the world to see. And, when they brought him home, their YouTube channel skyrocketed.

Their ‘Gotcha Day’ video they uploaded of the day they picked their son up and he legally became theirs garnered more than 5,000,000 views and was monetized up the whazoo.

And, after they brought him home, they filmed his every move. His every struggle with adopting to a new life in the USA, his trauma from being torn from his home country, his adapting to a new family he didn’t know, they put it all out there. They did it because it got them attention, it got them views and it grew the balance of their bank account.

Keep in mind here, Myka had three biological children and this adopted child from China was responsible for the majority of the content on her YouTube channel. She wrote articles for Bump Magazine, was featured in People Magazine and got a lot of national attention because she was this incredible mom who rescued this boy from China, knowing he had a brain tumor, to give him a better life.

Along the way, Myka and James learned that it wasn’t a brain tumor their son was suffering from. Rather, once reaching the United States, he was diagnosed with Autism. Myka quickly took the opportunity to become the ‘autism mom’ and ‘autism advocate for youtube’ despite the fact that she clearly knew nothing about autism.

People started to notice a change in this family. While everyone were tuning in to see this adorable little boy, the family took to exploiting him for each diagnosis he was given, for every struggle that he had. At one point he was seen on one of their YouTube videos with his thumbs duct taped. Myka later explained in a comment that she did that because they were annoyed that he would not stop sucking his thumb. The channel became more about this little boy and less about the family.

Don’t get me wrong, if you look at her YouTube channel, she did upload other content from time to time… including ‘What I eat in a day to stay skinny’ and ‘Cleaning the whole house because it’s a disaster’, but none of those videos ever garnered the views that her adopted son was getting. So, she continued exploiting him.

Adoption updates. Autism updates. [Son’s Name] first therapy session. Celebrating Chinese New Year for [Sons’s Name]. All of these videos were centered around him. Why? Because people tuned into her channel to see him. They wanted to see him grow, flourish and become his own person. They wanted the best for him. The views turned into big bucks for this family.

Between 2017 and 2020, the Stauffer’s also proclaimed they were going to adopt another child from China because they loved their son so much and wanted to rescue another boy. Also during this time, they went on to have another biological child, meaning that they had four biological children and one adopted child.

Between 2017 to 2020, Myka’s channel grew from 4,000 subscribers to more than 700,000 subscribers. The family vlog channel grew to 350,000 subscribers and her husband’s YouTube channel grew to nearly a million YouTube subscribers. They bought a 6,4000 square foot million dollar hom and multiple $90,000 SUVs, took vacations to California and Flordia, Myrtle Beach, London and more… staying in swanky hotels along the way. They were ‘living the life’ all because they were the saviours of this adorable little boy.

It’s worth noting here that after seeing doctors in the United States, their son was diagnosed as being non-verbal autistic. So he largely did not speak. That didn’t stop the family from click-baiting multiple videos with titles like [Son’s Name] Finally Speaks, we’re so happy! and so on and so forth.

They knew what was making their money, so they kept it up for clicks.

All of the sudden in January 2020, this little boy seemingly disappeared. For a woman who’d been exploiting his every move, every tantrum, every struggle, every doctor’s appointment, every piece to his life since 2017, it was odd… to say the least.

Where did he go?

People asked for months.

People asked and comments were deleted.

People emailed and were hit with responses from the Stauffer’s lawyers.

People commented on their YouTube channel and they got blocked.

Where was their son?

The couple went on a luxury several week long vacation in February to Indonesia and boasted on social media about staying in a room that cost $9,000 a night.

But where was their little boy?

All of their biological children were still appearing in videos, but their adopted son was… gone?

No one knew. Every time someone kept asking, they would get blocked.

Screenshots started to circulate of the Stauffer’s complaining about their adopted son on adoption forums. (Probably wasn’t the wisest thing for them to use their real names to complain about their adopted son given the YouTube fame they’d skyrocketed into)

Footed started to circulate of Myka being really sinister towards their adopted son and people who were sharing them were getting letters/dms and emails from the Stauffer’s lawyers.

Where was this little boy?

Well, his birthday is June 1. And, as the majority of their following really started to realize he was missing and had been for a long time, getting closer to his birthday the questions started ramping up. They were getting so frequent that the couple couldn’t possibly delete/block everyone fast enough.

On May 26 the Stauffer’s uploaded a video to Myka’s channel explaining that they had ‘rehomed’ their adopted son. They fake cried throughout the video, had disingenuous jump-cuts and proclaimed that they couldn’t tell anyone they abandoned their son because of his privacy. They also proclaimed that they were lied to by the adoption agency and the Chinese government about the extent of their son’s special needs and that numerous doctors had told them to put their son up for adoption.

The whole video was incredibly contrived. Nothing about it was genuine.

Let’s keep in mind here that ‘god called on her’ to adopt a child with special needs. Let’s also remember that doctors warned her about the severity of this boy’s special needs and she is on video stating that it ‘went in one ear and out the other’ because she was a nurse and she could handle it.

Let’s also keep in mind here that they were on video proclaiming that they couldn’t afford the cost of his therapy, whilst also bragging on Instagram about staying in a $9,000 a night hotel room in Indonesia and living in a multi-million dollar home wearing a $10,000 watch on her hand…

Everything about this story just disheartens and disappoints me to my core.

Honestly, people struggle for years to try and adopt. They have to go through home studies and family vetting, have every aspect of their lives combed through to ensure they’re a safe fit and a good family to care for the child they’re adopting. And rightfully so. But there are so many people who try so hard to adopt a child and hit continuous roadblocks. Somehow, this couple, with a criminal past, managed to jump through all of the hoops of an international adoption within a matter of a few months to bring home a little boy from China.

The crowdfunded his adoption, exploited his life every step of the way and, when he was no longer profitable to them, they ‘rehomed’ him.

Imagine what it would feel like, psychologically speaking, to be one of the other four siblings in that home who this year just watched their parents give away one of their children. They’re all under the age of ten, and probably so young that they could be wondering if they screw up next, will their mom and did abandon them…

Knowing that the announcement of their ‘rehoming’ their son was going to get them a lot of views, they selected to have the video monetized on YouTube. It was quickly demonetized, I’m not sure if that was a YouTube choice or if someone reported their video as content that should not be monetized. It’s just telling of the parents that, after abandoning their son, they’re still choosing to profit from his story.

Myka Stauffer has also been filing copyright claims against people who’ve been using her video announcing the ‘rehoming’ of their son, as a measure to further profit from the story from content creators/people who are telling her story in a light that she might not like.

  • The adoption community is worried about whether or not China will penalize future adoptive parents who genuinely want to adopt because of the actions of the Stauffers.
  • The autism community is angry after all of her videos are being re-watched and scrutinized for her lack of empathy, acceptance of her child’s autism and willingness to help, care for or treat his needs
  • The general public (30,0000+) who enjoys watching family YouTube videos signed a ‘Change.Org’ petition to have her remove all images and videos of this little boy, since he is no longer legally their child and she has been still profiting off of videos and Instagram ads about him since abandoning him.

Myka has, since the video where she says she ‘rehomed’ her son, gone on to proclaim that the little boy, who is now five (was four at the time), expressed to them that he no longer wished to be a part of their family. She says that they unadopted him as per his wishes. When people called bullshit for that comment, she deleted it and had her lawyers send a statement regarding the child to major news outlets stating that the couple would no longer be speaking of this child.

Because when a non-verbal, autistic child says ‘Mommy I don’t like you I want a new mommy’ the obvious choice to make is to put your child up for adoption.

From my perspective, I can’t understand how a couple specifically seek out to adopt a child with special needs and then proclaim to millions of people that they unadopted your child because he had special needs. Those old videos still exist… the ones where they proclaim they specifically wanted a child with special needs. The videos where they proclaimed any and all special needs that could arise were fine with them because they could give a little boy a better life. With the sheer vastness of wealth they accrued in recent years, they could easily afford any and all treatments and therapy that would/could help the boy. (For reference, they’re on video bragging about making $47,000 for one YouTube video… so do the math there)

This whole situation just saddens me.

This little boy has now been abandoned three times in his short life. I can’t imagine the horror that must feel like. While he might just be better off without the Stauffers, I can’t help but feel sad because they did him so wrong.


I wanted to link to a few articles about this story, but the majority of articles use this little boys name and photos in their articles. If you want to read more about this story and this couple and why they’ve come under fire, please google ‘Myka and James Stauffer’.

They story hasn’t just made it all over national headlines in the USA, but it’s also made it to Chinese News Outlets, Australian news outlets, The Netherlands news outlets and more.

Honestly, after a decade of lying to the internet, there’s a pretty huge digital footprint from this family. One quick google search and you’ll start to realize that not everything is adding up about what they say on the matter.

Let’s talk about ‘the algorithm’

Photo Credit: SloanReview.MIT

*Note – I’m touching on this subject because I’m finding there are still a lot of people on the web who really don’t know about this. If you’re aware of ‘the algorithm’ and the information contained in this post, please feel free to ignore.

Have you ever been searching Instagram and thought to yourself ‘Why the hell are you suggesting these photos to me, Instagram?’Likewise with Twitter, have you ever been on Twitter and wondered why some people’s Tweets are always at the top of your feed whilst others never seem to show up at all? This is ‘the algorithm’ at work.

Gone are the days of things showing up chronologically on your time line. These are the days when the algorithm picks ‘exactly what you want to see’. I say that in quotation marks because for weeks now my feed has been filled with babies and baby announcements, so clearly the algorithm isn’t functioning at proper capacity.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and even WordPress all use some form of an algorithm for showing you content. Cracking the algorithm is, in itself, a form of social media marketing.

So, how does it work? I suspect only employees on the inside know for the certain the full extent to the algorithm’s functions. That being said, there is one rule of function that seems to work.

  1. Engagement is the most important thing you can garner with your content.

In the case of all social media platforms, engagement is likes and comments. In the case of YouTube, engagement also includes people clicking the ‘Thumbs Down’ button to dislike, and it also includes watch time.

So, let’s break down how this works on each site.


TWITTER

Twitter is going to suggest to you the Tweets from people on your feed with the most comments and likes. So this is why, if you follow celebrities (in addition to your friends and family), the celebrities tweets are always going to appear near the top of your feed. This is also true for Follow Trains, comment threads or anything that garners a large amount of comments in a short period of time.

Twitter is also going to suggest to you the Tweets of the individuals who’s Tweets you’ve liked and commented on in recent past. So if you’re ever thinking that ‘I haven’t seen a tweet from this person in a long time’, it’s probably because you haven’t liked or commented on any of their Tweets.


INSTAGRAM

Even though in recent months they’ve moved away from publicly showing how many likes a photo has, likes are still a driving force to what photos are suggested to you on Instagram. This is how, if you search Instagram, you can always seem to find one of the Kardashian sisters, no matter how little attention you pay to them or care about them. With like… 100 million subscribers each on the platform, the moment they post a photo they get A TON of likes, and those likes are what push them to the top of suggested posts.

When a celebrity or influencer says “Comment below with”, that is them trying to garner more comments so that the algorithm suggest their content to more people. Trust me when I say this, they don’t give a damn about your comment. When someone you watch on YouTube says ‘Follow me on Instagram and tell me you came from YouTube’ that’s a tactic to garner more engagement and get their photos suggested to more people through the Instagram algorithm.

When a brand does a giveaway on their Instagram and the requirement of the giveaway is to ‘Tag a friend below’, this is a two-fold promotion for them. 1) You’re tagging your friend so that your friend can see their Instagram, which is promotion and 2) You’re commenting on their Instagram page, which counts as engagement. More engagement means they rank higher on the algorithm of suggested posts. Do you have a chance to win? Sure. One in… however many people tag a friend and like the post. This is why so many brands do giveaways. The promotion they’re getting just from you tagging their friends is worth the… probably 20 dollar value of whatever they’re giving away.


YOUTUBE

First, I will say that likes and dislikes count as engagement on YouTube. So, whether you hit the like button or you hit the dislike button you’re working in the favour of said person creating the YouTube video. If you really don’t like it, you’re doing much better if you just click away from the video.

Secondly, watch time plays a factor in engagement. YouTube tracks average watch time for videos. So, if a person makes a ten minute video and most people click off after 2-3 minutes, they’re not going to get recommended as a suggested video in Youtube’s algorithm. This is why so many people will say ‘Stay tuned to the end to find out —–‘ or ‘Stay tuned to the end for the giveaway’ or ‘Stay tuned to the end to hear a secret’. If you watch through to the end, that works in their favour with ad revenue, with Youtube’s algorithm and with making their channel look as though content is valuable and worthy of YouTube investing in.

When a Youtuber says ‘Comment Below with’… well with pretty much anything… that is their attempt to drive up engagement. ‘Comment below with your favourite day of the week!’ or ‘Comment below and tell me what colour your eyes are!’ That YouTuber really doesn’t give a flying fuck what colour your eyes are, they just want their video to look more legit to the YouTube algorithm. The more comments they get, the more legit they look, the more likely they are to get suggested as a ‘video to watch’.


FACEBOOK

Facebook, much like Instagram (because Facebook owns Instagram) will suggest to you the comments, status updates, photos, memories, etc… from the people who have the most likes and comments. So, you’ll notice that if you have a friend who is a bit of a Facebook whore, for lack of better terminology, their posts are always going to seem to be at the top of your feed… whereas your quiet friends who don’t have a ton of Facebook friends will always seem to appear much lower down on your feed.

If you are the quiet friend trying to get the word out about your blog, your writing or anything of the sort, the way to go about it is to ask for likes, ask for comments and to ask for people to share your content. The more engagement that you get, even if you need to ‘pimp your content out’ (for lack of better terminology), the better off you are.

If you’re using Facebook to spread word about your blog, your writing, your music or your artwork, I strongly recommend joining groups and finding a community of people who will help to share your content with Facebook. The more it’s seen, the more Facebook is going to recommend it.


WORDPRESS

WordPress, working with transparency (which I love) actually tells you just how their algorithms work. I talk a lot about them on my page, but mostly in the comments section of my posts, so I don’t know how many people are truly aware of how it works.

If you’d like the source of any of the following information –> Click Here (If you’re looking to work the WordPress algorithm in your favour, I highly recommend clicking and reading the entire page)

The algorithms are often being improved, and what content we show depends on a complex combination of factors. Here are examples of the types of information we may use to make our recommendations:

  • The title, content, tags, and categories of posts.
  • Other text from the site, such as usernames and logins; site names and the host name (support.wordpress.com).
  • Total number of likes and comments.
  • Who has liked and commented on a post.
  • Total number of followers.
  • Who has followed a site.
  • How recently a post was published.
  • How often or recently a site has posted.
  • The content of what you have liked and commented on.
  • Whether posts have links, images, or videos.
  • How often a site has been rejected from being recommended in the Reader.

Content we filter out from our algorithms:

  • Sites we think may be spam.
  • Sites that have mature content.
  • Sites with potentially objectionable content.
  • Content that is not in your language.

The moral of the story? Asking for likes, comments and engagement helps. It helps in big ways. If you can find another way of getting people talking that doesn’t require your asking them something, then you’ve struck gold. If someone is asking you to ‘Comment below what colour your eyes are’ don’t do it. If a brand says ‘Tag a friend and you’re entered to win’, unless you really, really love the brand, only give that free promotion to a brand that you really love. And, if you want to truly make an impact with the content you’re pumping out, surround yourself with an incredible online community who’ll stand behind you and your work so that you can share your world with the web and they will help and support you every step of the way.

Also, if the Kardashian’s keep getting recommended to you in spite of your not giving a flying fuck, you’re not crazy. They’re cheating the system. It’s estimated as much as 60 percent of Kim Kardashian’s online following is bots. Bots that help her stay at the top of page and relevant on just about every website. She’s got the money, so I wouldn’t have a hard time believing that she bought all those bots.

Also, there’s a rumour going around (I’ve yet to see in action) that you can now buy bots to artifically ‘growth hack’ your accounts whilst you’re least active on social media. I don’t know if this is true or not, I’ve not seen it in action. But… I did see a relatively average Youtuber shoot from 52,000 subscribers to 750,000 subscribers in about four days earlier this month. So, I don’t have a hard time believing it… especially since his engagement is still the same as it was when he had 52,000 subscribers.

An Influencer reminding me why I don’t like Influencers

This whole industry of Influencers that has popped up in the past 10 years (mostly the last five), it really grinds my gears. I’ve mentioned it a few times on my blog before (here and here and I guess here too).

People all over the world are using their good looks and charm to influence others into taking advantage of people, doing stupid things, or becoming a slave to a corporate entities who give little to no value for their actual products being promoted. I’m talking about you EVERY DETOX TEA ON THE MARKET and anyone who promotes them.

I hate the term Influencer because I’m of the belief that someone who actually uses their influence for good would never want to claim the title of ‘Influencer’. A true Influencer is not a clout chaser, they don’t need the title for validation. This internet breed of Influencer’s we’ve created ourselves (yes, we created them… gave them platforms and are the reason they’re sitting in multi-million dollar mansions wearing 50,000 dollar fur coats) are money hungry, vain and vapid.

As you can tell, I’m not a fan of the industry.

So, I was really unimpressed when I saw a video today of Jamie Zhu, an Australian ‘Influencer’ who posted a video to YouTube with the title ‘How to fly business class for FREE!’

Free, you say? I’d love to travel the world, though I’d never assume that I’d get business class tickets for free. Tell me more, Jamie Zhu. How exactly does this work?

The entire video breeds ‘I’m a smug asshole’ vibes throughout. Jamie goes to the airport Pharmacy, buys a ‘moon boot’ for ankle/foot injuries and wears it onto the plane to then put on a show about how his ankle boot doesn’t fit in the seat and exclaim that he needs a new seat because he has a broken ankle and can’t take the boot off.

Not only does he get upgraded to a first class seat, but he takes the fucking boot off his foot the moment he does. He continues on the video playing up the smug asshole persona throughout and, at the end of the video, walks off the plane without the moon boot as though nothing ever happened.

I’ve never heard of this dude before today, but apparently he’s quite popular in some circles. He has more than 700,000 YouTube subscribers, and this video has been watched more than 150,000 times. I have so many thoughts. Sooooooooooooooo many thoughts.

  1. I don’t buy it. I don’t think this is real. I think he bought and upgrade his seat and put on a show for the clout that he could get on YouTube with this video.
  2. Of the 150,000 people who’ve seen this video, how many of them do you think are naive enough to try this? Using your YouTube channel and influence to promote fraudulent behaviour is not just reprehensible it should be punishable. If nothing else, he should be blocked from flying with this airline anymore.
  3. If this video is real, I really hope someone from this airline has seen it and is considering (if they haven’t already) banning him from being able to fly with them.
  4. Using a disability, even a temporary one at that, is not something that people do to get free fucking stuff. Anyone who has a disability, temporary or permanent can attest. What was one here is insulting.
  5. This also poses a risk of really harming people who have legitimate disabilities because people will watch videos like this and stop believing them.
  6. Using a platform of 700,000 plus people to promote fraudulent behaviour and showcase what a smug asshole you are is a large part of the reason why Influencer culture is so toxic and why your industry is KILLING businesses small and large around the world.
  7. The fact that YouTube hasn’t demonetized this video is part of the reason why I have such issues with YouTube. This idiot is continuing to make ad revenue from people watching this video. Dear Youtube, SHUT THIS SHIT DOWN.

Honestly, I could rant on and on about this. And I probably shouldn’t have even linked his video in this post to start with, because he’s not worth the video getting more views. I get that.

If you do happen to see the video thanks to this post, please don’t be mean. I think more could be done if perhaps you could click to report it? Maybe if enough people report it to YouTube, they might demonetize it? Likely not, but a girl can dream. And, if you’re feeling really motivated, maybe you can share his video to Cathay Pacific. They have various Social Media Platforms which you can reach out to, and an email address on their website here. (Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see the Icons) If it is a legitimate video in which he scammed them for a first class seat, then they should see it. And, if enough people send it to them, perhaps it might make it to the right person who needs to watch it.

Thanks for reading my rant.

If WordPress was YouTube

Hi everyone and welcome to my blog!

If you’re returning to my blog, welcome back! If you’re new here, my name is Vee and I post daily content related to life, family, frustrations and mental health. I’d love it if you joined the family by hitting the ‘Follow’ button on the bottom right corner of the page.

Bottom right… right down there. (Just imagine me pointing)

Today my post is going to be all about the most requested topic I’ve ever had. And, when I say most requested, I mean I get messages and emails, DMs and comments ALL THE FREAKING TIME that you guys want to hear me talk about this subject. (So, even though literally no one requested it I’m now going to talk about this topic!)

Oh, before I get started, don’t forget to hit the bell to get notifications every time that I make a post because… YOU REALLY DON’T WANT TO MISS IT!

Now! On with today’s subject matter of discussion.

What’s in my purse!

Wait, do you guys want me to do a post about all of my designer purses? I don’t want it to look like I’m bragging or anything, because I’m totally not, I just have $20,000 worth of purses in my closet that I love so very much and I use them every day!

In my purse, the ‘Fossil Sydney Satchel’ that you can buy here (so not sponsored by the way, I just really love this purse), I keep:

  • My wallet, also by Fossil. And again, this is so not sponsored, I just really love Fossil!
  • Sunnies! I love sunnies and I need to wear them everywhere I go… even though it’s winter in Canada and the sun rarely shines around here. Spring is coming soon and my sunnies, the gold aviator Ray Bans will come in handy if and when the nice weather ever comes!
  • Lip Balm. Girl! It’s winter, in Canada. If you live here, you know… you need lip balm wherever you go. The cold, dry weather leads to your lips always being chapped. ALWAYS. (Claps in seriousness) My lip balm is the Carmex Balm, because it’s my favourite.
  • Travel Sized Perfume. Have you ever walked past a person and thought ‘Damn, they smell really good’? That’s how I found this perfume. I walked past someone in Metrotown and they smelled so good that I did a full 180, stopped them in their tracks and made them tell me what perfume they were wearing. About a half hour later, I bought the perfume. And, since you’re obviously wondering, it’s ‘Pinrose – Secret Genius’ and it smells like what I would describe as summertime sophistication!
  • Tissues, because it’s winter in Canada so tissues are a necessity.
  • Headphones with a mic. Yes, I have a Samsung phone and I still use my apple headphones. It’s because they have a MIC! Why would I go and buy a new headset if I had a perfectly good pair from my last cell phone? This doesn’t change my thoughts on Samsung though – still prefer it 100-1 over IPhone. I’m a convert.
  • Hair Elastic… because your girl has long hair. Long, long, heavy hair.

Not Pictured:

  • My phone! Samsung Galaxy A70 – I obviously couldn’t take a picture with my phone in it because my phone was taking the picture! Samsung girl for life! I won’t ever go back to an IPhone now that I see how much better Samsung is. (Who am I kidding, I shouldn’t say never. But still, I love Samsung)

What do you keep in your purse? Leave a comment down below and tell me what you keep in your purse, wallet or bag! I love hearing and seeing what people carry. I’m so nosy. So yeah, leave me a comment please!

I love my purse so so soooooooooo much. I love love love it! And, as I stated before, nothing in this post was sponsored, I just wanted to share it with you guys because you’re always asking about my purse and what’s in it and this is my current go-to favourites! Also, I love you guys! So, um… yeah, nothing is sponsored!

If you liked this post please like, subscribe, hit the follow button below and become my best friend!

Also, follow me on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Google Plus, and in life!

I love you so much and I’ll talk to you guys very very soon!


Everything in this post is supposed to be tongue’n’cheek style humour of my impression of YouTube. After writing this, I’m so glad that I don’t write the same way that I speak. I bet people would get annoyed with me really easily. lol

Why I dislike ‘Influencers’.

This is a subject that I’m really passionate about. I dislike the term ‘Influencer’. I dislike promoting ‘Influencers’, but I will talk about a couple in this post, or examples sake. I just don’t think they deserve the publicity they get. I dislike the fact that they claim their fame willingly and are happy to reap the rewards of said fame, but hold very little accountability when it comes to the things they do.

  1. Influence is a powerful thing and something that should never be taken for granted, yet I find that so many influencers really don’t give a damn about that fact. They’re just out for money. And damn, if they have a large enough following it doesn’t even seem like they have to work for that money. It just seems to get handed to them. Vegans promoting meat, minimalists promoting stockpiling, devout Christians exclaiming their followers should save themselves for marriage whilst sitting there unmarried and pregnant. It’s a weird, weird world, the internet.
  2. They seem very entitled. “I don’t owe you guys anything” is a statement that really annoys me when I’m watching Youtube videos. You choose to put yourself online. You choose to sell yourself to the likes of coffee creamers and adult diapers for a dollar and then when someone asks you questions the answer is ‘I don’t owe you guys anything’? If you don’t want to owe anyone a response, don’t make the statement to start with.
  3. They seem so disingenuous. There is one particular ‘Influencer’ who I watched peddle a product on their Instagram in four separate photos talking about how amazing it was and how it blew competitors out of the water. Two months later, I saw them make a Youtube video in which they proclaimed they had never actually tried that product. Girl was getting so many sponsored Instagram posts that she couldn’t even remember what she was sponsored for long enough to not put her foot in her mouth. And, when she was called out on it, for her Instagram photos, she deleted the Instagram photos and then began blocking those users calling her out. She presently has 3.7 million subscibers on Youtube and when anyone calls out her ‘slip-ups’, she blocks them. And honestly, she’s not a one off. It happens all the time. On Youtube channels big and small.
  4. Influencers promote mass consumption/over consumption. Honestly, the makeup, the clothing, the ‘HAULS’ the excess of everything that they need to have and brag about having… it’s not necessary. None of it is necessary. But, if you put a smile on your face and slap a filter on it, there’s always someone (a naive soul) on this earth who will spend their money on it.
  5. None of them appear to be making original content anymore. Have you ever watched a Youtube video before and thought ‘Man, I’ve seen this 30 times already!’ Yeah, that seems to happen a lot these days. Favourites videos and fashion hauls, so on and so forth… it’s all the same no matter what Youtube channel you watch.
  6. I absolutely despise when they post ‘Hauls’ and leave the tags visibly on the products because you know they’ve only purchased the things to make a video and then they’re sending the products right back. This isn’t just with clothes, it’s with makeup and toys and home goods and luxury goods. They want to make it look like they’re spending a lot of money when in reality, you’re never going to see that item again because it’s going right back to the store it came from.
  7. “Full transparency, this video is not sponsored, I’m just going to go on and on for the next eight minutes about how much I love this one particular product for no reason.” Full transparency doesn’t mean much to me on the web. People lie. All the time. Especially in the world of Youtube, especially with ‘Influencers’ who live in countries in which there are no regulations stating they need to acknowledge when content is sponsored. If you’re ever in doubt, there’s a 95% chance their content is sponsored.
  8. I wholeheartedly believe they’re given so much stuff that they lose sight of what basic things cost because they just don’t have to buy them anymore. There’s a good chance when an ‘Influencer’ claims something is affordable, it might be… for them… because they don’t buy anything anymore. But for us regular folk, it’s definitely not affordable.
  9. So much drama. Seriously – The majority of James Charles’ audience is young teenagers and look at all the shit he’s pulled this year! Jake Paul and Tana Mongeau held a fake marriage in Las Vegas and charged people $49.99 to watch a livestream of it. Nikita Dragun paid a male model to be her boyfriend. Jaclyn Hill released defective lipsticks and started insulting people when they called her out on it. There’s a reason why Gossip Channels have skyrocketed in popularity this year… it’s because they seem to be the only channels wiling to be transparent and honest.
  10. “I make more than a doctor.” Girl, we get it. You make a lot of money. That totally natural photo of you leaning out the window of your hotel in France to promote a lipstick we’ll never see you wear ever again probably pays you a quarter of my 2018 salary. And those adult diapers you claim to make your 9 and 10 year old kids wear on roadtrips because you don’t like to stop, probably boosted your pay to half my salary last year. None of it seems natural though. None of it seems even remotely real. And I hope that I’m not alone in thinking this.

Personally, I cringe when I see #AD #SP #Sponored #Partner or any other remotely similar thing included in Youtube Videos or Instagram post. It immediately makes me think ‘well, I know what the company told them to say, so how about I go and find a video or post that was not sponsored to be able to see a real review. Because these ‘Influencers’ have cornered the market of the very real reality that is people use google for review of products before they buy.

Men, women across the world are making millions of dollars advertising products to people online that they’ve never seen nor used and they’re being less than transparent about it. And not just money they’re getting either. They’re getting free trips, tickets to Coachella, being given vehicles and so on and so forth. It’s just not real. They’re chasing this fancy, exorbitant lifestyle so hard that they’re willing to sell anything in the process.

Think it’s just adults doing this? ‘Ryan’s Toy Review’ is a multi-million dollar making seven year old that deceptively markets, through his Youtube channel (with help of his parents), a multitude of products to young school and preschool aged children in violation of rules from the FTC. It’s estimated that 90% of the content on the channel is sponsored, leaving just 10% to be organic genuine content. If adults have a hard enough time trying to determine what is and isn’t sponsored on Youtube, imagine how impossible that would be for a preschooler.

I guess the point of this rant is just to say, don’t believe everything that you read online. Odds are, if there’s money involved, there’s more to the story than what you’re being told.