Last year I made that video in response to a sponsorship offer that I got from various VPN providers. They all told me the same thing: our service is the best way to protect your privacy, and we were hoping you could convey this message in one of your videos.
So I decided to do just that. Minus the sponsorship part. Here's why.
The reason is simple: I didn't feel comfortable taking money to recommend a service that will have access to your entire internet traffic.
Yeah, sure, most of the web runs on HTTPS anyway, so a VPN provider wouldn't necessarily be able to see everything you're doing. Still, they could keep track of which sites you visit and from which location you log in.
Privacy-friendly VPN service
Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that all VPN services are evil spies. Far from it! Most of them have good privacy policies, and some even have a track-record showing that they can't comply with court-orders because they don't have any access logs.
But companies get acquired all the time, and privacy policies can quickly be changed.
I want my videos to stay relevant for a long time, and promoting a VPN service might backfire badly in the future. The VPN service could get bought by another company that isn't afraid to sacrifice user privacy.
I didn't sell out, now I'm poor
So at the end of the day, I decided not to take the sponsorship deals. I don't do it for VPN providers, and in fact, I've never done sponsored ads for any video so far. I rely on Adsense.
Am I missing a lot of potential income because of it? Sure.
Am I starving because of it? No.
My YouTube channel (and everything around it) is a hobby. Something I do after hours. And I feel a responsibility towards my viewers. I feel like I've earned their trust, and I don't want to compromise that for a bit of extra money.
I'm not saying I won't ever accept sponsorships. But I'll tell you this: when I do, I will be transparent about it, and I'll make sure it doesn't compromise any of my own values.
After posting the video, I felt good about myself. I declined a sponsorship deal with the best interest of my viewers in mind.
So I was pretty surprised that many of them started pointing out the lack of ads:
Thanks for reading!
I hope you liked this quick blog post. Feel free to share your thoughts on this in the comments below this post.