The sad state of Youtube affairs
The recent actions and uploads by famous Youtubers and the culture change on Youtube have casted doubt, disdain and anger.
For the last year or so, Youtube, and its community, has undergone many changes. With these changes there has also been the exceptional challenge of problematic forces being introduced and included on Youtube. Unfortunately, these problematic factors, being Youtubers and their content, have caused more harm than any good and are consequently leaving users with a bitter taste in their mouths. There is no doubt that something needs to be done to save Youtube from its ongoing path of destruction and mayhem.
LGBTQ+ bans and censors
At the beginning of 2017, there was an outcry from the LGBTQ+ community and queer Youtubers after it was revealed that Youtube was purposefully restricting LGBTQ+ themed videos as they were considered “sensitive” to users. Youtube treated queer Youtube videos the same way it did with nude and sex videos which is completely outrageous. Eventually, Youtube apologized and claimed to have amended the issue. However, it seemed to be a problem for some users a few months after the issue had arisen. Nevertheless, this became a sign of the problems that were to come.
Rise of far right wing Youtube accounts
Since Donald Trump’s election, there’s no doubt that Neo Nazis, white supremacists and far right wing individuals and groups believe that their grotesque, dehumanizing beliefs have been legitimized. As a result, their presence on social media has increased. Many of their accounts act as trolls and they purposefully dislike and comment hate on Youtube videos that speak out against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination. What’s worse is that there are even far right wing Youtube channels that are gaining popularity and support. These accounts mock, discriminate and marginalize groups in order to support white supremacist and neoconservative ideologies. Sadly, Youtube hasn’t taken enough action against many of their accounts.
The introduction of viners to Youtube
With the upsetting, shocking death of Vine back in 2016, many viners sought other social media platforms to continue keeping their fans and users entertained. Thus, it was no surprise that some famous Vine users launched Youtube channels. Although some of them are great and have not been problematic whatsoever, there have been a select few who have gained mass popularity on Youtube and yet, they are extremely problematic. Case point — the Paul brothers, Jake and Logan.
Jake Paul has had “#JakePaulIsOverParty” and “is cancelled” trends on social media a number of times within the last few months after being extremely immature and discriminatory in different scenarios. In a video back in August, Jake Paul is seen calling a fan a “terrorist” just because his fan is originally from Kazakhstan. This is blatant racism and Islamophobia and it caused an uproar on the internet as people expressed their shock and disgust. In addition to the nonsense and culture change of Youtube, both Jake and Logan created fake beef with each other and other Youtubers in order to gain views and attention. They proceeded to create diss tracks which gained millions of views, likes and comments. It ended up creating division, and morphed Youtube into a platform that was full of division, fake personas, drama and superficiality.
Perhaps the most shocking, upsetting and triggering point was reached, when Logan Paul recently uploaded a video on Youtube which included him and his friends recording themselves seeing the body of a suicide victim. They joked about it and were not genuine whatsoever. The fact that Logan even edited, uploaded and promoted the video is a serious problem. Mental health was clearly mocked and suicide was used as a scheme to gain more attention and views. In response to this, Logan received major backlash on social media, and from celebrities and fellow Youtubers. There is even a movement to have his Youtube account deleted. He has attempted to apologize a number of times. However, he has not come across as being genuinely apologetic for his actions.
Overall, it would seem that Youtube is on a downward spiral from its former glory days when it was a friendly, open, inclusive platform for people to express themselves, be themselves and engage in a proper, positive way. Instead, it has taken a u-turn with popular Youtubers posting problematic content and with far right wing groups being allowed to exist and promote hate. It is up to Youtube and its strategists to decide what to do now. They can easily solve this by being more strict in banning discriminatory, oppressive and dehumanizing accounts. Nevertheless, if they wish to continue allowing problematic decisions, videos and channels to exist and grow, then it will become a festering ground for more hate, division and marginalization in society.