I've thought about the algorithms thing and I have an idea. This came to me after theory pleeb and pals tried to do a youtube walkout. I'll explain the logic fully so you can poke any holes in my case here. If you want a short version just read the last paragraph for the actual praxis.
Striking as a youtuber doesn't make any sense, because youtube doesn't follow the usual business model of worker making a product and youtube selling it for profit. First of all youtube is not profitable to begin with, so any ad money is just offsetting the loss google takes on the platform. Second of all, political videos tend to get demonetized meaning they are not a source of revenue for youtube that can be withheld by striking. Rather, the relationship between the worker (content creator) and employer (youtube) is very different. When you (small time youtuber) upload content to youtube, youtube actually loses
money. This is because it costs them money to host the video files and metadata and stream that to people and they get basically nothing in return for it. What money they do get comes from premium subscriptions and monetized videos, especially the ones from major media companies that put shit like Jimmy Fallon on youtube. That's why the algorithm relentlessly pushes it. Whatever money youtube makes from datamining small-scale users is dwarfed by the cost of streaming all that video. The only reason youtube tolerates this kind of thing and hasn't fully become like hulu/netflix is because they depend on small time viewers to watch the big time videos, and the only reason the viewers are on youtube at all instead of netflix/hulu is because of all the unique user-generated content youtube offers. It's the one thing they have on the competition, so they won't give it up and lose market share, even though the company loses money.
So if the relationship is different and striking is pointless, what could actually be a meaningful way of engaging in direct action against youtube? You have to look at the material situation and work from that. Figure out what gets them money and deny them that. Figure out what costs them money and give them more of that. In a nutshell, upload more videos and DO NOT monetize them. If you want to monetize your videos for you, do it externally through another service. And when people ask why they can't superchat or join through youtube premium tell them how youtube takes a cut, and so on, that you are denying them revenue from your labor. Good time to slip in something about socializing/nationalizing youtube too.
But again that's still pretty vague and simple. We're also fighting The Algorithm, so let's work that into how we can resist youtube. Youtube doesn't want to show actually relevant videos. Our political opponents like to sometimes false flag videos and take them down. More video on youtube's servers means less money for them at little cost to us. Kill 3 birds with one stone and MIRROR each others' videos. For every youtuber you think should get a boost, reupload a copy of a video you think represents them well and link to their channel in the description. Hell, edit a bumper to the beginning to tell people what you're doing and/or cut it into a highlight reel or trailer. Whatever makes the most sense to you. Just be courteous – get their permission first and tell them what you're doing. This will: strengthen the algorithmic connection between us by increasing crosslinking, make the content more resilient to censorship, AND finally it will increase the operating costs for youtube. The last one puts the company in a more precarious and vulnerable bargaining position so that workers, the government, entities like Joerg Sprave's youtubers union, and so on will be in a better position to negotiate.
Mind you, this only works if it's practiced by a network of people at scale.