Make Something Positive From The Verge Copyright Strikes

I posted my reaction on Vox Media copyright striking Bitwit and ReviewTechUSA for their reaction videos to The Verge PC build guide video last week. Bitwit and ReviewTechUSA since then appealed and got the copyright strikes removed by YouTube

Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief at The Verge, stated that this situation could have been avoided if content creators had reached out to him first before making videos. As many content creators pointed out, fair use under the copyright law doesn’t require asking permission to make videos. I called that situation #adulting since it was similar to Bill Maher adulting Stan Lee and superhero fans.

We will learn a new hashtag, #SomethingPostive.

Make Something Positive

Steve at GamersNexus reached out on Twitter to interview Nilay Patel, either flying him down to the GamersNexus studio or flying up to The Verge headquarters. Patel’s response was somewhat incoherent since he still perceives himself as being the victim of a “racist harassment campaign” by Internet trolls. He challenged Steve to “make something positive for the world”.

Steve turned that failed insult into a successful positive by donating $270 in ad revenues from his reaction video of The Verge PC build guide, and $1,000 of his own money to his favorite charity, Eden Reforestation Project.

The Eden Reforestation Project provides trees and jobs to reforest impoverished areas around the world as a way to combat global warming and human slavery. Trees removes carbon from the atmosphere that causes global warming, purifies the water table for drinking, and stops soil erosion that prevents farms from being productive. Farmers who cannot farm for a living travel to the cities to get jobs. Which might put them into modern day slavery that is common in poorer countries.

Steve tweeted an image of his donation receipt to Nilay Patel with the hashtag, #SomethingPositive, and challenged everyone else to do something similar by donating to the Eden Reforestation Project or their favorite charity. Patel has received a steady stream of tweets with #SomethingPositive, mostly with images of donation receipts and some with sharp comments regarding the copyright strikes.

My #SomethingPositive Donation

I jumped on the #SomethingPositive by donating $71 USD to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley.

Why $71 USD to the Second Harvest Food Bank?

My channel doesn’t qualify for ad revenues as it doesn’t have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the last 12 months. When I made my donation on Friday, February 22, 2019, my channel had 71 subscribers and I donated $1 USD per subscriber.

When I got serious about posting weekly videos on YouTube, it took 14 months to go from three subscribers in December 2017 to 56 subscribers in January 2019. This month, February 2019, my channel had 15 new subscribers, making it likely that reaching 100 subscribers will happen a lot sooner than a year.

So I donated $71 to the Second Harvest Food Bank, a local food bank that helps those in Silicon Valley who are less fortunate in providing food for themselves and their family.

Contrary to popular perceptions not everyone in Silicon Valley is a newly minted billionaire.

  • A family of four making $120,000 USD per year in San Francisco is considered “low income” by the U.S. government.
  • A family of four anywhere else making $25,000 USD per year is considered low income.

Some people consider me to be part of the “working poor” because I make $55,000 USD in my government I.T. job, live in a studio apartment for almost forever, and can’t afford to own three models of the Tesla car. Never mind the burger flippers at McDonald’s make minimum wage in Silicon Valley.

Second Harvest Food Bank

I first became aware of Second Harvest when I worked at Cisco Systems in 2013. Cisco had a policy of donating a team’s time to helping a nearby charity. The Second Harvest Food Bank was just around corner on North First Street in San Jose. Cisco got a tax write off, the team got paid a regular day, and the food bank got free workers for a day.

My team spent a day sorting good plums from bad plums out of four huge bins donated by a Central Valley farm. That was a lot of plums.

Ever since then the Second Harvest Food Bank has been my number one charity for donations in recent years. Second Harvest Food Bank in Silicon Valley has a 97% rating by Charity Navigator, which means that it is a verified public charity, financially responsible, and transparent and accountable in its mission.

Please take a moment to consider donating to the Eden Reforestation Projects, a food bank in your area, or your favorite charity.


Update 2/25/2019: Over $7,000 USD in donations were made to various charities in the past week.

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