*Sigh* Let's talk about PewDiePie and the current gaming community


#1

Oh boy… this one is a doozie but I’m going to talk about this anyway. But first, I just want to let you know that this is my first long post and I haven’t been very active on this forum so apologies if I sound awkward but anyways let’s talk about this mess. So you all probably know who PewDiePie(real name Felix Kjellberg) is. He is a Swedish Youtuber and is currently has the largest amount of subscribers on Youtube at around 75 million. If you have been following any Youtube news or trends recently, you know that Pewdiepie has gotten in a feud with a channel called T-Series, an Indian music label that has a growing subscriber base and is getting pretty close to Pewdiepie’s numbers. With this news, Pewdiepie has been asking fans on social media to get more people to subscribe to his channel(as he doesn’t already have enough subscribers and money already) so that he can still be at the number one spot. Many other big Youtubers like Markiplier and Jackscepticeye are supporting him but recently things took a turn. In one of Pewdiepie’s recent video, he promoted a small Youtube channel that supports anti-semetic ideas and already, the channel has gained 15000 subscribers. Here’s the story if you want to know more in detail.

This isn’t the first time PDP has done this. From what I’ve read, he has done anti-semetic jokes before and even said the n-word on a live stream and now, he’s doing this and people are supporting him. Honestly, this sucks. It sucks to see how far-right extremism has taken over the gaming and Youtube community with even large content creators promoting stuff like this. Whether you enjoy these big Youtubers or not, this is NOT okay and it needs to stop. But I feel like it might get worse. People in the Game Awards live chat were attacking Sonicfox, Girls Make Games, and a South Sudanese refugee just because they are women, black, or gay and ignoring their accomplishments. And recently a Fortnite streamer was caught beating her wife live and people are defending him. It sucks to see that this is the culture we live in and have to do deal with, and honestly, I don’t know what else to say or what to think at this point. It kinda feels that hope is slipping away little by little.


#2

I didn’t realize he was even on youtube anymore after the previous stunts. His fans have been hacking devices to try to get his subscriber numbers up https://kotaku.com/guy-hacks-printers-around-the-world-to-tell-people-to-s-1830779670


#3

Youtube sucks. I watched the Kotaku video of Sonicfox at the game awards on Sunday, and on Monday morning I had a bunch of videos attacking Sonicfox. The algorithm is very bad and promotes hate


#4

The algorithm is super bad. I’ve just nuked my watch history a few times and I still can’t get it to not recommend me Joe Rogan and Pewdiepie stuff because I listen to podcasts and watch gaming videos. Recently it’s been Jontron stuff. Never even hate watch the garbage but I have to filter so much shit out of my recommendations.


#5

Yeah, I feel you re: alt-right stuff in the world in general, but I generally don’t feel too worried about Pewdiepie when compared to other awful youtubers. Dude is trash for sure, but I’m pretty most of his fans are young boys who are following him for either his video game content or his edgelord comedy, and edgelord comedy is something a lot of guys grow out of. Dude is racist but if he’s trying to indoctrinate kids I don’t think he’s smart enough to do it effectively through comedy. I think a lot of his anti-semetic stuff boils down to a shitty comedian who is a big South Park fan trying to capitalize on the edgy meme of anti-semetism because he and a lot of his fans refuse to believe that anti-semetism still exists, or that it’s the “safe racism” because jewish people are “white enough” (see also: “gingers”). I am by no means saying let the boy cook, but I think even with his wide audience he is not as big of a problem as alt-right “rational” Youtubers or mainstream idiots like Joe Rogan or even H3H3 who expose kids to fucked up ideas. “Gamers” were racist before Pewdiepie, I see this dude as more of a symptom than a cause.


#6

I’m actually tremendously worried about the ramifications of all this, because as far as I’m aware, there’s never been a past precedent for such a massive platform giving direct-to-consumer access to numerous white nationalists. You could see some bad shit on TV, but there were checks and balances in place to prevent most outright propaganda on channels aimed at kids.

My older sister has been following PDP since practically the beginning, and the last time I talked to her, she mentioned starting to watch people like Sargon. Things like this are a dangerously effective pipeline for promoting fascist beliefs.


#7

I don’t know…I mean we’re talking about the single hugest Youtube account in existence, and he’s also been around long enough that some of his fans are definitely becoming adults by now. I think not treating this as potentially dangerous discourse is almost irresponsible at this point. And although there were certainly gross opinions in gaming prior to PewDiePie, what are we saying if we let one of the most popular gamers of all time get away with this shit?


#8

I can’t say I’m surprised, but it’s pretty depressing that this sort of stuff doesn’t seem to even put a dent in his popularity. Jontron is still extremely popular as well and he is even more up front about being garbage.

I agree that the algorithm is total nightmare. It’s amazing how fast you can get from benign gaming videos to hateful scumbag gaming videos to alt right videos. I suspect it’s working out pretty well for Youtube though, alt right types seem to watch a lot of videos so radicalizing a bunch of nerds is probably good business.

Of course the algorithm driven gaming to alt right funnel only exists because there was already a propensity for that sort of stuff in the gaming audience in the first place, Youtube is just mirroring it back and amplifying it. The Game Awards live chat was a good example of the latent shittiness of the community. I was mostly ignoring chat so I missed a lot of the examples @Traykov540 mentioned, but I saw some of it when the guy from South Sudan was on and it was just immediately a bunch of Ugandan Knuckles memes. The instant kneejerk, brainless racism to just seeing an African dude was draining.


#9

I’ve decided to make my life better by muting the word “PewDiePie” in my twitter. I figure I have a better life expectancy in a word where this guy does not exist.


#10

Oh no, I’m not saying the dude isn’t dangerous, I’m just saying even considering the size of his audience there are people I am more concerned about, and he isn’t much more problematic than his audience is already. This is probably not the thread to make this point as it’s going to look like I’m defending him, though.

EDIT: k I just checked out the channel he shouted out. Maybe this guy is a bigger problem than I thought.


#11

What feels like the real talk is that this shit isn’t gonna be fixed until companies like Google and Apple take a stand agaisnt white nationalism. (Like an actual stand, not just lip service) And thats not gonna happen, something something, capitalism and fascism are very close friends.


#12

I think one of the major issues this shows, aside from the big picture concerns about YouTube and algorithms in general, is that people like PDP, H3H3 and even Joe Rogan are uncritically consuming content made by sexist, anti-semitic, white nationalist etc., creators and (at best) ignorantly amplifying those messages to an audience that has a degree of trust and loyalty to them and further go on to uncritically consume and share that content.

With the specific case of the dude PDP shouted out here, it’s natural people who follow him might enjoy video essays about Death Note, Steven Universe etc. and further already have a tendency to consume hateful edgelord humor so they don’t really respond to any red flags when they arrive at a blatantly anti-semitic or otherwise hateful video.

This uncritical telephone game combined with the fierce loyalism that these YouTube spaces creates goes on to foster the responses that any use of hate speech or hateful ideas is presented in jest and the outside observer simply isn’t in on the joke.

Additionally, part of the way this content gets so popular is because it’s largely created and consumed by people who are either willfully or unconsciously completely ignorant to why these views are so harmful and are presented under the guise of some kind of objective critical theory, which is where you get a bunch of people responding to a blatantly fascist Hitler speech by saying he “had some good ideas.”

PDP’s continued relevance also shows how startlingly well his rebrand has gone and as someone in my late 20s I’ve had several friends follow H3H3 as he went from comedy sketches to {big skepticism quotes} “investigative journalism” to kind of idealogical podcasting. It’s frightening how easily someone like PDP can subtly or not so subtly shift the ideologies of such a large scale of people given how much the YouTube community is built on a kind of blind faith.


#13

I had a dream last night in which PewDiePie was my house guest and I repeatedly tried to talk to him about being careful about the media he consumes and just spend a little bit of time looking into it before recommending it to his audience and he kept brushing me off and I woke up very frustrated!!


#14

I didn’t screen capture the chat unfortunately, but I clearly do remembering it being pretty toxic. Also, if you look at those clips on YouTube, there are more dislikes than like which already shows how bad the community reaction is. I felt pretty disgusted. I mean we are talking about a refugee making games to help bring people together and empowering the local community and it’s a great way show how games can help people, but instead the chat rants on about how ‘diversity is killing games’ or some BS. It’s sad to see that this is the community that we have to deal with


#15

I still have a hard time processing the fact that this guy was basically a joke, even among many LP’ers, like, only just a few years ago? For a long time, PDP felt like the poster boy for the extremely cynical, integrity free, way of making money on Youtube and he was roundly mocked for that.

But, now that he’s been outed as a reactionary piece of shit, I’m supposed to take him seriously as a cultural critic and demand he be on Youtube Rewind? WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED?!


#16

He’s still a joke, just a joke with big numbers. Turns out that people by and large have terrible taste.


#17

I mean, i think 5-6 ish years ago the prevailing counter narrative was “Okay guys hes not that bad” as sort of a counter push against the “look at this guy who is the face of why kids of the 2000s are dumb and like dumb stuff” from a lot of culture people so i feel like there has been this second wind of popularity for him for a while.

Combine that with the rise of edgelord bullshit on youtube over the last few years, its clear that PDP wants to look “not for 12 yrolds” and the edgelords like H3H3 want that sub count. So in many ways its just a perfect storm.


#18

After the last round of controversy, fascist-enabling dipshit Keemstar put it like this: “If the YouTube community rejected his views, he’d have more dislikes than likes on the video”.

YouTube fanbases and sycophants will always, always default to blind populism to validate preexisting views. You cannot expect them to ever self-police themselves.


#19

I’ve caught a couple of clips here and there from publications of some of his new content, and damn he looks like a rich poser fuck trying to play like hes some edgy truthsayer. I guess its testament to when you have enough money and social capital, it just becomes a self fufilling prophecy.


#20

The comments on that article have been clearly brigaded by a bunch of alt-right folks and they are boosting their shitty worldview as valid. People are fighting them, but fuck these guy have their disgusting playbook in full effect.
I’m not sure why anyone allows comments anymore, especially on anything like this.