Keep YouTube as a Melting Pot of Ideas

Keep YouTube as a Melting Pot of Ideas

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Ann Lupus started this petition to YouTube

In the wake of the most recent petition to "remove PewDiePie from YouTube permanently", I believe that it is time to finally speak out and remove PewDiePie's name from the mud of extreme, white supremacy. Let us fight for YouTube to be a boiling pot for different ideas and keep what little integrity it has left. While a petition to remove white supremacy and hate is great idea in it of itself, targeting PewDiePie as a white supremacist figure is misguided and counterproductive. PewDiePie's YouTube channel is not the largest platform for "white supremacy". It is uncertain where people get this idea from. As a Latina, I have never felt attacked or put down while watching Kjellberg’s content. In fact, he and his content have done the opposite. The only thing that PewDiePie has proven to his audience is that he is a funny, genuine “dude”. His humor is dark and edgy, however his jokes are never spoken with an ounce of venom or malice. However, because many people do not know how to tell quips from hate there is a growing concern that young children will be exposed to PewDiePie’s “negativity”. Many believe that PewDiePie’s audience is younger kids, when this is not the case. According to UNICEF, a child’s formative years “spans the period up to 8 years of age, is critical for cognitive, social, emotional and physical development.” PewDiePie’s audience age ranges from 13-65+ years, the largest age group being 18-24 year olds. In response to the New Zealand tragedy, it should be easy to figure out why the shooter spouted “subscribe to PewDiePie.” The “subscribe to PewDiePie” phenomena was and continues to be an ongoing, popular trend with a large global audience reaching the millions. Kjellberg even released a statement expressing his shock and condolences.


PewDiePie has in the past:

  • Raised more $500,000 for Charity Water, a non profit which provides clean water to developing countries.
  • He has also created a charity campaign for Save the Children on Indiegogo.
  • Kjellberg has also helped raise $1.3 million with friends for (Red), an organization founded to fight against AIDs, in a Cringemas livestream. He later participated in Apple’s Games for (Red) program. Proceeds from his game were donated to the organization.
  • In addition, he and others teamed up with Ellen to raise money for charity in the past.
  • PewDiePie’s network has also teamed up with the Crisis Text Line and raised money for the hotline.
  • He has raised money for St. Jude Children’s research hospital and has donated to the World Wildlife Fund.
  • He helped creators like “Jesus Christ” regain their platforms.
  • He created a book series, where he encourages his audience to read more.
  • He donated to the World War II memorial that was vandalized under his name.
  • He also turned the T-Series War into a charity event to help children in India. $180,000 was raised and donated to the charity, CRY.  


PewDiePie is not a perfect person, and most understand that. He has made serious mistakes, but has owned up to them in a dignant way. It is understandable that Vanman and Disney broke ties with PewDiePie. It isn’t because PewDiePie is a vile or abhorrent individual. It is because his content is controversial and offensive. But, offensive humor does not equal hate. Disney and Vanman understood that there are people among their audience that are very sensitive to the kind of jokes that PewDiePie makes; some of them mistake jokes for hate but will create a large uproar. The only true danger was to their brands and money.


PewDiePie is brand safe. The comment section is filled with “memes” and jokes that are just as satirical as the content creator, there are very few hateful comments that get lost among the other normal comments. If white supremacist activities and commentaries to exist in PewDiePie’s comment section, then they must be invisible, buried in the bottom and ignored, or they must be very few.


PewDiePie is not a clear, present danger to society. His content does fall under the YouTube guidelines, perhaps not as humorous (depending on your taste) but it is certainly satirical. So his content should stay online, “even if offensive or in poor taste”. Do not try and convince people otherwise. There is no venom or ill intent in Kjellberg’s content, if you truly believe that then I invite you to sit in a room and talk to a real white supremist, a person with true venom and hate. YouTube is not negligent. In fact, PewDiePie, with his satirical content, being at the top and connecting millions of different people around the world should really make one think (meaning actually conducting deep, thoughtful, and intuitive reflection).


PewDiePie being on top in Youtube has almost become a symbol of freedom of thought and speech. His does not fall under the invisible, strict, and often ridiculous guidelines of composure. It almost invites everyone to join YouTube and create content, whether you are a person with liberal views, or a conservative content creator, there should be place for you on YouTube. Whether you make lighthearted content, edgy content, you should have a voice. And as a viewer you should also have a choice. At the end of the day Kjellberg is a man who is just like you and me in that, he is just another human being. His origins are humbling, he is a guy who started off making videos on his phone. That could be you or me. PewDiePie may like offensive, edgy humor but he also has a big heart, in my opinion it shows. Whether you like his content or not, it is unfair to try silence him and take away everything that he has worked for. To paint him as a hateful white supremacist is slandering his name (I suppose in this case libel). The petition to take him off is also counterproductive, as mentioned earlier. You are targeting the wrong thing. If PewDiePie does get taken down, it won’t stop the hate that is around the world. It will not impact the cause at all, due in part because PewDiePie has no impact on white supremacy or hate to begin with.  


Stop this injustice and keep PewDiePie on YouTube.


Thank you.

 

 

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