So up until about an hour and a half ago I was relatively unaware of all the scandalous happenings on Youtube. I’ve been focused on watching Youtube renditions of classic literature or other web series and haven’t watched many vlogs in a while.
Apparently, about six months ago several rather famous Youtubers were accused of rape or manipulating people into sexual acts. One was a favorite of mine, Alex Day. The only reason I found out about it was because he posted a half hour long video in response to a lot of the accusations. I watched the whole thing and proceeded to do a lot of research about what was going on.
In March, a lot of Youtubers (vlogbrothers, charlieissocoollike, etc) posted videos on consent and sexual abuse. They were good videos, but I had no idea that they were discussing a particular issue because I don’t follow the tumblrs or the blogs of any of those people. After a lot of clicking and googling, I found a master post chronicling the start of the accusations, who has been accused, and others responses. If you’re at all interested in that you can find it here.
The reason for this article is to shine some light onto what’s happening. There has been a lot of press about it, but apparently not enough because I had no idea.
There’s been an outcry from a lot of female Youtubers that the perpetrators should no longer be allowed to make content or post on Youtube. My American-ness cries that that’s censorship. If the offenders want to post videos, that’s their right as humans. I’m not condoning their behavior; I’m not saying that anyone should watch them, but saying they can’t create content seems un-American. That being said, it upsets me greatly that some of these bastards are posting their harassment of women on the internet and are being applauded for it. Like Sam Pepper, who goes around violating women and, essentially, getting paid for it. I have never watched one of his videos and I never will. It’s disgusting.
A lot of people say that Alex’s video was manipulative, and that might be true, but he apologizes for his behavior and seems repentant. However, I agree with the sentiment that his recovery could happen behind closed doors. Putting a video like that up could be harmful to the victims.
Lindsey Williams has been pushing to ban those who have been accused from Youtube and continually posts negative things about those that aren’t acting in a way she would approve of (like the vlogbrothers). I have to say that if I were in their position, I’m not sure I would say a lot about it either. It’s so upsetting and tragic that this is happening, but condemning others for not making the steps you think they should isn’t helping the problem. Because this is all happening on the internet, none of us knows what is going on when the camera is turned off. And while a lot of that is now coming forward, I don’t think it’s okay to harass the heavy hitters for not doing enough. They have more to lose in a legal entanglement. It usually wise to follow the advice of your lawyers.
I apologize if this is confusing…it’s four in the morning. If you have questions, feel free to ask in the comments section. I’ll do my best to respond and find answers if I don’t know them already.
There are so many videos and better researched posts on the topic, but if you are suffering from sexual or emotional abuse, I would encourage you to talk to someone, even if it’s an anonymous post on the internet. Baby steps. I’m going to link all the videos and articles that lead me to write this below. I’m not saying that I whole-heartedly endorse them, these are just the videos, etc, that informed me of what was happening.
This whole situation sickens me and makes me want to cry. This is a grotesque example of sin in the world. I am praying not only for justice, but for grace. I am definitely praying for the victims. No one deserves to be pushed into doing anything they don’t want to do. Ever. No matter what. It should never happen.