Taylor Lorentz is chronicling internet drama brilliantly for the New York Times, and her latest report is on the quasi-downfall of two high-flying YouTubers, Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star. They exemplify the stereotype of YouTube influencers–vacuous narcissists, tireless producers, canny businessmen–facing ruin after years of attention-seeking at the borders of racism, sexism and general abuse. The internet is a permanent record and the ground is liquefying underfoot.

Dawson has racked up billions of views on YouTube, often by engaging in offensive humor. He has posted several videos in blackface, mocked those with disabilities, joked about bestiality, sexualized minors, and once spoke about “figuratively murdering someone.” On June 26, Mr. Dawson posted a teary apology to his channel, in which he tried to make amends for his past, declaring that he deserved to “lose everything.”

No sooner had his apology video posted than a clip of him pretending to sexually gratify himself to a photo of Willow Smith, then 11 years old, resurfaced and began to get shared widely.

That’s just one of the most ostentatiously repulsive acts. The catalog of backstabbing, blackmail, and insider grossness is quite extensive and Lorentz packs in the links for anyone wanting to take a deep dive. What I like most about her work at the Times is how it illustrates a growing dissatisfaction at what social media companies actually did to the internet. They reinstituted the old hierarchies, then stocked them with all these perma-adolescent psychos.

YouTube’s tolerance for abuse caused two knock-on problems: YouTube (especially its comment platform) was ignored by media except as a video hosting site, the culture growing there was ignored as a result, and the people emerging from that culture were (temporarily, it turns out) able to quietly ignore their own earlier work after gaining broader exposure. That they failed to remove the bad content is testament to the general phenomenon of young people having no sense of culture and history outside of their algorithmic feed bags. It simply never struck them that anyone might care what they were doing a few years ago or look it up.

Suddenly “Old YouTube” isn’t a noisy mess ignored by all. It’s a permanent record, as immanent as anything said today on twitter. It’s context collapse on a geological scale.

It makes me wonder what the “mob” might unearth in Usenet. Many of your GenX techie faves were there! Google has the receipts but has made them very hard to find.

Fraudsters are shaking down YouTubers. Won’t the company do anything to stop them?

Game From Scratch reports a harrowing experience — an anonymous threat to pay bitcoin or have false claims made about their game dev tutorials to YouTube — and a horrifying one to go with it: YouTube’s automatic cooperation with the fraudster, total lack of human recourse, and loss of access to his channel after refusing […]

“Dad, How Do I?” provides how-to videos for kids without dads.

The Dad, How Do I? YouTube channel is filled with practical “dadvice” tutorials, everything from how to shave to how to change a tire to how to love yourself. Inspired by growing up without a father himself, the YouTuber created the channel in hopes that children without dads could find it and use it as […]

Learn how to utilize WordPress to its full potential with the help of these training classes

The saying goes that everyone is looking to build a better mousetrap. In the case of Elementor, they decided to take a swing at WordPress, the platform used to build a third of the world’s websites, and make it better. Four years later, there are already three million sites using Elementor, a WP plug-in which […]

These new monitors can bring a whole new shine to your WFH world

Whether you’re working from home or working from the office, a few elements of the grind are universal. Emails never stop. Meetings go on way too long. And a bad monitor makes your day monumentally more difficult to tolerate. Staring at a screen that’s too small or isn’t bright or sharp enough can be enough […]

Topic is an international favorites streaming service that’s on sale for just $2.50 a month

When you sit down on your couch to watch TV, the volume of options is truly staggering. However, a strange thing happens once you start cycling through page after page of Netflix suggestions and Amazon options. You invariably find yourself constantly considering the same set of giant Hollywood blockbuster films and major US television network […]

Read More


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here