Around the World: YouTube hits 15 years in India, and a Japanese Let’s Play creator gets punished

By 09/15/2023
Around the World: YouTube hits 15 years in India, and a Japanese Let’s Play creator gets punished

Welcome to Around the World, our summary of top digital media headlines from countries other than the United States. We’re always looking for stories that don’t get enough Stateside attention, so hit us up at  if you have one.

YouTube is celebrating 15 years in India with a FanFest blowout

An epic celebration will take place in Mumbai on September 27. On that date, YouTube will celebrate the 15-year anniversary of its arrival in India by bringing back its FanFest series. Confirmed guests include globetrotting creator MostlySane, gaming star Techno, and rising vertical video producer Shorts Break. The event will be streamed globally.

YouTube’s CEO isn’t waiting until the 27th to celebrate India’s YouTube hitmakers. The platform’s CEO, Neal Mohan, recently commended the Indian Space Research Organisation after it attracted eight million concurrent viewers on an official launch broadcast.


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A Japanese creator is going to jail because of his Let’s Play videos

Gamers should be careful about the content they monetize, or else they might end up like Japanese creator Shinobu Yoshida. The 53-year-old is facing two years of prison time and a fine of one million yen (about $6,763) after he infringed on copyrights in his Let’s Play videos. Yoshida got in trouble after playing the visual novel Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace and summarizing episodes of the Steins;Gate anime.

Yoshida might have been fine if he had never turned on monetization for those videos, but in his own words, “I wanted someone to see what I made.” According to Japanese news outlet Asahi Shimbun, this is the first conviction of its kind in the Land of the Rising Sun.

TikTok is stepping up content moderation to avoid a ban in Kenya

The United States Senate isn’t the only governmental body worried about the effects of TikTok consumption. Bans targeting the popular app have spread across Africa, with countries like Senegal and Somalia restricting access for citizens.

Somalia’s southerly neighbor is taking a different approach. The Kenyan government has agreed to work alongside TikTok to moderate posts that feature infractions like hate speech and inappropriate situations. To assist that effort, TikTok wants to open an office in Kenya “to coordinate its operations on the continent.” See, U.S. government? It’s possible to create jobs and check TikTok’s power without banning it entirely.

A French ice cream parlor needs a security detail to control crowds coming from TikTok

Imagine: You’re sitting on a curbside in a low-key Paris arrondissement, enjoying some ice cream and a glass of wine. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, that image is a little too popular on TikTok, and it’s causing problems for Parisian parlor Folderol.

After showing up in videos that celebrate the curbside aesthetic, Folderol became so inundated with tourists that it had to hire a security detail and post a “No TikTok” message on its storefront. “Too much attention” might sound like a good problem to have, but the owners of Folderol wish customers could just enjoy the food and wine without snapping selfies of the surrounding block.

“We wanted our reputation to be based on the quality of the food and what we produce,” Folderol co-owner Robert Compagnon told The New York Times. “We didn’t see this coming.”

In Kyrgyzstan, hit kids channel D Billions finds itself in the spotlight

D Billions regularly ranks among the most-watched YouTube channels in the world. The kid-friendly hub is a global hit, and in its home country of Kyrgyzstan, it’s an absolute phenomenon. Bloomberg took a trip to Bishkek, the Central Asian nation’s capital city, to meet the 50-person “dream team” that produces D Billions videos.

The channel was founded by the husband-and-wife duo of Ernist and Cholponay Kenzhekulova, who were in a pop group together in their teen years. That explains the percussive melodies and hype dance moves seen in D Billions’ family-oriented uploads. Cholponay Kenzhekulova told Bloomberg that the key is to create something that can be played on repeat “without overloading” attention spans. “Statistics show that the most minimalistic songs break records,” she said.

D Billions also takes advantage of support from the Kyrgyzstani government. Tax breaks. So yummy! So yummy!

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