What do YouTube, TikTok, and blogging have in common?
The users behind these platforms have the possibility to change the world and affect people in the world with their words.
Every word that we put out on the internet has an impact. Every sentence we write has an impact. Every post we release has an impact.
In the light of present events, more people than ever are using this power for good. They have been speaking out against racism, large social gatherings, and the incompetent presidency that sits on top of the United States throne. However, especially regarding the recent YouTube fallout, it is apparent that major creators, such as Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star, are using their platforms for naught, by supporting racism and making insensitive comments about minors.
Rapidly changing society does not account for their videos or for their words. Apologies are weak and often layered with tears and hollowness. It’s not my place to accept these apology videos (those accepting these videos should be those targeted by defamatory content the creator has posted, and not random people who thought the apology was wonderful), but it is apparent that these stars feel very little remorse for their actions.
This leads to another question. Who is responsible for pointing out these creators if they themselves don’t know they are doing something wrong? Is it the audience’s responsibility? The creator’s responsibility? Or YouTube’s responsibility?
While YouTube did demonetize Shane Dawson’s videos, they should take it a step further, and use their algorithms to find those insensitive videos across all creators and take them down. While YouTube may be gaining a lot of money from these creators, the moral ethical compass should be stronger than the desire for money, especially for a platform which has gained so much money already. The audience, themselves, should take into judgement these videos and decided whether or not to continue watching these creators. Perhaps stop watching these videos, or completely unfollow them, or point out these creators’ over social media, like they have been doing recently.
But, then again, the audience consists mostly of kids who are unable to determine if these videos are good or bad. They follow and watch who their friends are following and watching, and, in the process, consume a lot of bad material. This goes to show that perhaps it does fall on the creator’s shoulders to produce content that is age-wise, or make age-gated content.
In reality, these creators, while they may be temporarily silenced, are usually (I say usually because Jenna Marbles did some changing) not going to change. They will continue their insensitive videos or their racist videos, and, maybe, if someone again calls them out, they’ll pull the old apology video out and say that the person in those videos were the “old me” and that they will do some major soul-searching and everything will be magically fixed the next day.
The YouTube fall-out has gone to show that the power behind the words that we put out there is immense. From the words of the dissenters of these creators to the words of the creators themselves, the audience has the power to judge right from wrong and to “cancel” what needs to be “cancelled”. And, here, the old adage comes back into play:
Think before you act.Bo Bennett
Think before you post contents on your blogs, on your social media accounts, and on other platforms that you use. Think about whether your content will offend people and in what way they will offend them. Think about if you would let your own children (if you have any) or if you would let your younger self see and watch what you are putting out into the internet. This provides a safe-guard against any unnecessary insensitive and defamatory material that could, potentially, also destroy your whole career.
The moral of this post is that words have power. Some use this power for good, others use this for bad, and, eventually for those who use this power for bad, words from their audience will be their demise.
Lots of love, and think before you post,