Dissatisfaction with YouTube’s new practices came to a head in 2018 with their year-end recap video. As reported by Forbes, despite the recap being more diverse than ever before in highlighting non-English speaking creators and giving lip service to women’s empowerment, Asian representation, and prioritizing mental health, and even taking suggestions from user comments about what to include in the recap, it instantly bombed, perhaps because it didn’t actually link these topics to movements within the YouTube community. The (understandable) absence of controversial YouTube star PewDiePie was notable, who despite being the most popular YouTuber at the time was left out of the recap for the second year in a row thanks to sexist, racist, and anti-Semitic comments made during his videos. Another noted absence was that of Logan Paul who had filmed and broadcast the dead body of a suicide victim in Japan’s Aokigahara forest.
These absences made sense, but it wasn’t just controversial creators who were ignored. The 2017 video had featured over 250 YouTube creators, while the 2018 version included just 100. Several creators it did feature like Lily Singh, Casey Neistat, and Lisa Koshy had started on YouTube but by the end of 2018 had moved on to attempt more mainstream success. In 2019, YouTube went so far as to use their year-end recap video to apologize for the 2018 video, kicking it off with people’s disgusted reactions to the sheer cringe of it all. As of this writing, it has 3.4 million likes … and 9.5 million dislikes. There was no 2020 recap video.