By JANELLE BEHM
In 2005, YouTube was introduced to the online community. This meant anyone had the power to create, post, share and comment on videos. Since its launch 12 years ago, YouTube has given people an opportunity to create a following which, for some, eventually leads to a career. Some of the top YouTubers now include Jenna Marbles, Shane Dawson, Miranda Sings and Tyler Oakley. This platform reaches out to all ages. With that being said, unfortunately sometimes those popular figures can go too far.
On Jan. 11, 2017, Pewdiepie, also known as Felix Kjellberg, a popular YouTube figure with over 53 million subscribers, made a video interacting with a website called Fiverr. Fiverr is an online marketplace that allows anyone to perform jobs or tasks and earn money starting at $5. It is supposed to be a freelance website, however, others have taken a different route with it. In Kjellberg’s video that has been removed and demonetized from YouTube since then, he logged onto Fiverr and asked for two men who named themselves “The Funny Guys” to hold up a banner with an offensive message that said “death to all Jews.” According to this video was seen by approximately 6.6 million people. Along with the Fiverr video, Kjellberg released other videos following this one that included alternate anti-semitic jokes. His lack of a filter and fearless demeanor when talking about controversial topics does not seem to be an issue for him. Consequently, Kjellberg lost his two partnerships with Disney and YouTube Red, and it is unsure if he can get them back in the future.
There have been many articles, podcasts and videos created about this stunt with varying opinions. Most of his colleagues believe that he did not mean to make it offensive and it was only a joke, however, there are major news sites that have a different opinion. Sources such as the Wall Street Journal were strongly opinionated to the extent that he should not even create anymore. There were also videos made by Buzzfeed combining different parts of Kjellberg’s videos together to make him appear to be supporting Hitler. The most popular opinion was that websites such as Buzzfeed took this situation too far, but so did Pewdiepie even though he explained in an apology video that he was only joking. Kjellberg explained how he has little to no respect for the media in how they portrayed him when they do not even know the real Felix Kjellberg. His main point was to show how far people will go for money, but did he go too far in the process?
While the Internet, especially YouTube, is a perfect platform to display your views and beliefs, Pewdiepie should have stepped back and remembered who would be watching since he has such a large following and is widely known. This goes for anyone who participates in online culture.