Wall Street Journal’s crusade against YouTube
Since 2005, YouTube has been leading the internet age of creators. With a constantly evolving platform, people can share creations of any kind with the world, potentially making a living from it. With an estimated 1,300,000,000 registered users, The power that YouTube has as a platform is undeniable.
Patrons of YouTube range vastly. Children, using it to learn and develop. Students who are using the platform as a method of spreading their creations to the world and using it for coursework purposes (myself included). Businesses both advertise and flourish throughout the platform with brands and modern celebrity status achieved, all through their creations. The top of the ladder? Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg. The 27 year-old Swedish creator, Kjellberg who goes by the online persona “PewDiePie” is a web-based comedian who rose to fame through his “Let’s Play” videos of horror themed video games.
After a while, PewDiePie had become a sensation on YouTube. Gaining subscribers at a rapid rate which had never been seen before. These days PewDiePie hold the honour of being the first channel to reach 50 million subscribers and has since moved away from gaming to comedy and “vlogs” (Video blogging), YouTube’s other most successful genre of video.
In early 2017, however, PewDiePie’s sense of humour came back to bite him as the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) started their crusade against the online juggernaut, starting with a video “exposing” PewDiePie for Semitic messages in his videos.
This video gathered a lot of negative attention for PewDiePie who claims that the video was made using clips “out of context” and that it was a joke and that they didn’t quite see the funny side. The WSJ’s coverage led to PewDiePie’s ties with both Disney’s “Maker Studios” and YouTube’s “YouTube Red” program being cut. Something which PewDiePie has since stated that he understands and respects the decisions made. You can see PewDiePie’s response to the media outrage in the video below.
The response, thought to fix the problem, actually led to even more media outlets trying to criticise and milk the situation for all it’s worth. This wasn’t even limited to traditional news sources such as WSJ as even gaming outlet PC Gamer got involved, writing about PewDiePie in a more negative manner which can be seen here: https://goo.gl/dsVskB.
WSJ have since moved on from attacking PewDiePie to attacking YouTube themselves, claiming that the service allows ads of major companies to be played on videos with racist content. Posted on Twitter by WSJ reporter Jack Nicas The following are three of the images he used.
While trying to research this for myself, I found that the video in question had been deleted. Whether this was due to the creator “GulagBear” or YouTube is yet to be seen. The main argument against this is that the images have been altered through photoshop as having three of the largest companies’ adverts on one video in a space of Thirty-Three views is highly unlikely at best.
WSJ have since made remarks claiming that they stand by all of their reporting on both the PewDiePie and YouTube. Whatever the truth may be in this situation it is clear that WSJ’s attacks on YouTube are yet to be over and that many more are in the near future.
Written By: Kane Hocking (VividChim)