I honestly believe that other entertainment communities have these problems but don’t talk about them. I’m proud that when we find out someone is being completely disgusting, we don’t try to sweep it under the rug. We don’t let them back in to perform at the Grammies next year. We don’t pretend they’re too big to be packed up in a box and removed.
I’m not saying we couldn’t do a better job. But I’m proud of how the community has handled this. Particularly Laci, who is amazing.
TW for mentions of sexual abuse, paedophilia and racism below, more detailed accounts of these behind the links. Heavy warning for details of sexual abuse and harassment in the video above.
All right Hank, seriously, you have GOT to stop congratulating yourself and your immediate circle of friends for being great when you’re actually… really not. You say you don’t try to sweep abuse under the rug - really? At what point, since over a dozen high-profile YouTubers were accused of sexual and emotional abuse back in March, have you addressed the issue without being heavily pressured to do so by hundreds of fans who look to you for guidance? Other than immediately reblogging (thus supporting) a non-apology made by Alex Day? At what point have you explicitly mentioned anything about the culture of creators abusing fans ON the platform that facilitated said abuse? (There ARE certain legal issues surrounding this, but those are easily navigated. Laci did it. Ann did it. I did it. Dozens of other people have done it.)
Laci’s video was good, but when have you acknowledged the work that literally hundreds of people have done to try and fight the incredible problem of abuse in the YouTube and Nerdfighter community, without the person having thousands of subscribers? Where has the praise of ‘amazing’ been for YouTube Speaks, a team of people who work pretty tirelessly to keep the discussion going? Where has the support been for the victims who are having to keep talking about the abuse they suffered, otherwise it will be forgotten?
You have said that you’re working ‘behind the scenes’ to try and create a safer environment for young fans to enjoy their favourite creators - why don’t you mention this ever? If you ARE working on it, you should be posting regular updates. It’s not some secret project that you get to do a big reveal on, there is absolutely no reason to keep victims under the impression that you’re doing nothing unless it is for the satisfaction of saying ‘Look, you were wrong about me!’ once you’ve actually got something in place. I understand that these things take time, but not saying anything while dozens of victims of abuse have gone almost entirely ignored is inexcusable.
You also say that you don’t welcome people who have done disgusting things back to VidCon - would you care to comment on Shane Dawson’s continued invitation? Not only does he post videos with rampant racism as a regular feature, but at previous VidCons he has made horrific jokes about paedophilia and race on stage in front of an audience of 7,000 impressionable young people? Why Sam Pepper was a VIP at this year’s VidCon despite videos already existing on his channel where he abuses and harasses women? Why Corey Vidal was on panels after allegations of abuse were made against him? I’m sure organising a convention is difficult and you can’t vet every guest, but please, don’t hail yourselves as ‘better’ than a mainstream event if you’re not. The fact that Nerdfighteria is an entertainment industry that is ‘nerdier’ than most does not automatically mean it is superior. (And the value that you place on intellectualism and nerdiness is a form of gross elitism that I won’t even go into here.)
You are right to be proud of the way the majority of the community is handling this. The community - those who actually know about the abuse accusations, at least - have largely been incredibly supportive of abuse victims, and vigilant in not accepting abusers back into the community. You’re absolutely NOT right to be proud of how you, John, and your fellow high-profile creators are handling it. To think otherwise not only comes across as kind of a smug pat on your own back, but also erases everything the victims who were brave enough to come forward have been through since sharing their stories six months ago. There is no ‘we’ right now. It’s been ‘you’ and ‘us’ for months.
Reblogging for Lindsey’s commentary.
Note: Laci’s video is good and mentions some things that we may have been unaware of before. That being said, making videos like this does not excuse other problematic behavior.
Reblogging for all the commentary.
a culture on youtube that was originally “don’t treat people as lesser because they’re younger” quickly turned into “ignore someone’s age and especially if you’re sexually attracted to them don’t let it get in the way”. And what could have originally been fantastic in embracing young audiences and creators turned into a culture of exploitation and abuse of minors
Q:Hi, I'm in a graduate level class about new media for youth and I am considering doing my final project about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I just wanted to ask if you know the demographic breakdown of Lizzie fans, in particular, if the audience is mostly teens, mostly some other age group, or a fairly even spread?
Here is a screenshot of our demographics for the one year that The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was running. This is actually NOT how I remember the split being. I remember the under 18 female demo having the biggest block (like 40%) but perhaps the shift can be attributed to people growing up into the 18-24 demo!
Ah yay infographics! Thank you! :)
spent hours curating and coordinating stuff for a blog post
100s of notes in a few hours, great success
used the wrong “too”