Monday Musings: Sexual Assault in the YouTube Community

**This post and the videos that I link may be triggering to some.  Reader discretion is advised*

While I do most of my talking here in the blogosphere I am very much entwined in the YouTube community.

I would be a more productive member of that community if I didn’t have mildly terrifying anxiety about putting my face out there, but I have been following and commenting for so long on so many creators in that community that I felt I should through my two cents in on this topic.

Early this year there was a rash of complaints against certain YouTube personalities being accused of sexual assault, abuse, and even rape in some cases.  There are people who were convicted of these crimes.

This past week another round of survivors have come forward to say similar things.

If you would like to know more about the sequence of events I would suggest watching Laci Green’s video on this topic because for me it was the most informative.

It honestly terrifies me when I hear about things like this happening.  I tweeted about this earlier, but it can create this feeling that people can’t be trusted.  I wasn’t a very big fan of any of the people who have been caught in the act so to speak, but thinking about all of the young teenagers who were suddenly having to question their idols.

Let’s be honest some if not all of these men are looked at as idols in some form or another, whether it be to little girls, or boys who are seeing them and wanting to be like them.

It creates this feeling where you suddenly don’t know who to trust.  This is someone you once looked up to, and they are doing such terrible things to people, can you trust anyone?

YouTube in particular creates this emotional attachment with people.  People are literally sharing their lives with you.  You can feel like you would be great friends with these people or even like they are your friends (which is an entirely different topic that worries me as well).

When somebody you look up to suddenly has all of their dirty laundry exposed and you can see just how fake all of these videos have been it can be very painful.

Let alone the trauma that the girls who have come forward had to go through in order to expose what happened to them, and the harassment they no doubt are getting from people who are fans of these creators who would rather tear an already fragile person apart than believe their favorite YouTuber would ever be involved in something like this.

I think the community is doing a lot this time around.  People are choosing to make videos discussing what should be done about it or question why YouTube enables relationships like this.  I’m sure if you go on to YouTube and searched sexual assault you would get a bunch of videos on the subject.

Some of the ones I have liked so far are the videos done by Chelsea (OldHotRadio), Neafcy, Ariel (Ariel Bisset), Lex (tyrannosauruslexxx), librarianfanmail and Lena (justkissmyfrog).

It is important that we talk about this.  It is important that the community of YouTubers brings this to the world at large because it is not just an issue in YouTube.  YouTube definitely enables people who are like this, it gives them easy access and power that they might not otherwise have, but it is definitely not rooted in YouTube alone.  YouTube is a reflection of the world at large.

The community seems to have settled on the conclusion that if a person in our midst makes the decision to be a terrible human being then they are to be shunned from our community and not let back in.  It doesn’t matter if YouTube was their job.  They have hurt the people that they were supposed to protect and that is unforgivable.

I fear that putting this post up will open myself up to all kinds of attacks, but I think that this conversation needs to leave the YouTube community.  It needs to be brought into the real world, and while this isn’t the real world per say, it is another platform.

If you want to know how something like this affects a real person I suggest watching Morgan’s video.  She discusses her own experience and how it relates to her.  However, it is extremely painful to watch because she does not edit it.  She shows exactly what this is doing to her.  The video is unscripted and filled with emotion.  If you don’t think you can handle it then perhaps avoid it entirely.

I would like to send internet hugs and strength to all of the girls who have stepped forward and spoken about their abuse as well as to those who have yet to find the strength to talk, perhaps one day you will but we aren’t asking you to.  I want these people to heal.  This is the first priority.

We need to make our community safe, and while that is difficult, it is necessary.

Hopefully I can come back later in the week with something a little lighter.  I didn’t post my planned Sunday Spam yesterday because I didn’t feel like discussing silly Kpop videos when something so heavy was happening in my little piece of the internet.


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