Posts tagged youtube
Posts tagged youtube
It’s been 2 days since allegations against Tom Milsom, and later former Sons of Admirals bandmate Alex Day, were made and the YouTube community is still deeply in shock.
Further accusations of sexual and emotional manipulation have been made about Day (http://nephiesworld.tumblr.com/post/79482695900/couldnt-sleep-wanted-to-rant-too-for-the-final-time), travel blogger Nephelia has released a statement alleging that he and his cousin, Sopio card co-creator Danny, traveled to her house and that it lead to things happening that she did not consent to:
"I stupidly shared a bed with Alex because he was holding my hand and I thought that was just gonna be it […] I’d never experienced anything like that before, especially when someone kind of ends up on top of you in the dark"
Furthermore, referring to Day’s cousin Danny and an un-named person, she states that:
“I had to listen to people who were 11 years apart having underage sex”
She also adds further credence to the theory that this was a long standing pattern of abuse by Day and a significant problem within the YouTube community as a whole, saying that:
“Alex texted Danny something along the lines of “which one do you want” because apparently he got first choice the last time this happened”
"when I first met Lindsey and I told her I had only been hanging out with youtubers for a few months, she told me to run away as fast as I could, and she was right. She was always right about that"
Shockingly, she says that none other than Vlogbrother John Green himself may have had suspicions about Day for years:
"John Green’s been warning girls after they have been in videos with Alex about him for the past few years"
"I used to be really good friends with Kim and she was in contact with John on skype and stuff, and after she was in a video with him (the test thingy one) John kind of gave her a warning about hanging out with him"
Day’s New Statement
Day has released a further statement (http://that-alexday.tumblr.com/post/79505198461/on-consent), apparently admitting to violating people’s lack of consent:
"Until yesterday, I thought that I had had only appropriate, though occasionally manipulative relationships with women. However, the model of consent that I followed, not that I specifically thought about it at the time - was that only “no” meant “no.” That is not what consent is."
Confusion and False Accusations
Despite valuable contributions from people who have collated as much valid information together as they can (http://unpleasantmyles.tumblr.com/post/79455706244/heres-the-post-olga-made-about-tom-milsom-and) in many cases confusion has ruled the day, posts asking for any information at all fill the tags of many prominent YouTubers.
This has not been helped by completely fabricated accusations directed at Tyler Oakley and popular bloggers and now radio presenters Dan and Phil. Both sets have now either been recanted and removed by the author or outright disproven.
Frustration has even been directed at Vlogbrother Hank Green, his previous silence over the matter and Day’s as of then continued presence on the DFTBA website, in contrast to the almost immediate disowning of Tom Milsom after the original allegations were made against him, has prompted accusations of a lack of transparency.
In response, he said that:
"I am proud and honored that people look to me for guidance and I take that responsibility very seriously. Because I take it so seriously, and because so many people look to me, I have a responsibility to act carefully and productively"
"I didn’t mean to say that I was burying this and that the silence was the “appropriate” action. I meant to say that I am spending every second of this day working toward appropriate action, but I think that there is little to no value in reacting immediately when it is likely that further information is on the way"
Prominent, longstanding YouTube vlogger and musician Lex Croucher and vlogger and LifeScouts designer Lindsey (known as Pottermoosh) have issued statements in the light of his denial of the previous anonymous statements made against him.
Their statements both directly conflict with Day’s assertion that “At no point in my life have I ever undertaken any romantic activity, sexual or otherwise, without being sure the other person wanted it”
In them they also echo very specific details included in the anonymous allegations, such as Day asking one anonymous accuser to sleep in his bed with him, kissing them against their wishes and even a particular question, word for word
"they both sound like I could have written them, aside from a few specific details. I definitely feel like I was manipulated emotionally by him and coerced into doing stuff that he was in no way 100% sure that I wanted to do. He used the ‘Can we skip the part where you say no for an hour before anything happens?’ line on me too"
"Alex kissed me, and I stopped him and told him I didn’t want to as I was recently getting over a break-up and wasn’t ready. I told him I just needed him to be my friend. Alex ignored this, and continued to try to kiss me despite what I’d said. He later asked me to sleep in his bed and was very frustrated with me when I refused"
In a private conversation with Croucher today, in light of his denial of the anonymous allegations against him, he apparently has expressed his own idea of what he feels consent to mean. A definition that flies in the face of that accepted legally and societally:
"[He] clarified that actually it wasn’t a contradiction, because despite the fact that I made it clear I wasn’t consenting to a kiss, in his mind he was still sure I wanted it because he thought my reasons for saying no were something he could ‘make me feel better about’ or that I ‘did want it, but just needed help getting that issue out of the way’"
It remains to be seen whether there will be more statements made alleging that Day has applied his apparent ideas of “consent” to them, but it is certain that what has already been said will constitute a damning verdict in the eyes of many and will increase calls for Day to be removed from the community in much the same way that other YouTubers like Tom Milsom, Mike Lombardo, Kelly Montoya and Eddplant have been after similar allegations were made against them.
Facing the Problem
It also further emphasises questions of whether the concept of YouTube celebrity and the general culture surrounding it has allowed a atmosphere conducive to abuse to develop and what can possibly be done to combat that in the future.
Founder of VidCon and prominent early Vlogger Hank Green has said that “you cannot fix a problem if you cannot face a problem”.
What facing the problem will mean for the community is unclear, but it cannot be allowed to become empty words.
Presumably sparked by yesterday’s revelations of sexual abuse allegedly committed by YouTube musician Tom Milsom against his then underage former girlfriend Olga, three anonymous blogs making similar allegations against fellow Sons of Admirals singer and vlogger Alex day have subsequently surfaced.
One account states that Day sexually assaulted her when she was just 14 and that he then subsequently stalked her over the course of a year or more, another account states that he assaulted her while she was sleeping and emotionally manipulated her into staying with him and accepting his unwanted advances.
The last simply says that he used her to cheat on his current girlfriend and mislead her about the relationship.
The blogs have thus far not provided any specific contextual information, corroboration or evidence of the alleged assaults.
Day has since made a post on his tumblr (http://that-alexday.tumblr.com/post/79388676278/on-mistakes) acknowledging and explicitly denying the allegations, saying that:
"At no point in my life have I ever had a sexual relationship with someone under the age of consent. (For full disclosure, I’ve said publicly that I lost my virginity at age fourteen, but the girl in question was sixteen - the UK age of consent - so this point stands.) At no point in my life have I ever undertaken any romantic activity, sexual or otherwise, without being sure the other person wanted it"
He added that:
"Ultimately, the decision to believe me, or continue to support my work, is yours alone"
The reaction to the allegations has been mixed, with some coming out in direct support of the anonymous blogs, saying that the accusations against Milsom convinced survivors to come forward, as sometimes happens in such cases, while others have questioned the authenticity and motives of their statements.
Unlike Tom Milsom, no prominent YouTubers have denounced him so far and his work remains firmly in place on the DFTBA records website.
Also in contrast to Day, Milsom has released no statement on the allegations made against him.
[This post will be updated with any new information that becomes apparent, all updates will be described here]
In a tumblr post (http://olyusha.tumblr.com/post/79236837547/hmm-ok-well-more-lets-start-with-weird) his former girlfriend Olga has revealed that Milsom raped and otherwise sexually and emotionally abused her over the course of their six month relationship, which started when she was just 15 and progressed to physical abuse shortly after she turned 16, under the legal age of consent in Missouri. The two met at Vidcon 2010 when she was 14 and he was 21.
This is not the only post Olga has made about Milsom’s behaviour, this just being the first to spark widespread condemnation of the musician. Along with details of multiple alleged assaults they include a screen grab of a conversation between them which apparently shows Milsom acknowledging his actions, saying that “certainly there are things about our relationship that were questionable”.
In regards to coming forward now she has said that:
"it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that it wasn’t my fault ok i blamed myself for a very long time i figured there must’ve been something wrong with me if i wasn’t enjoying it because so many girls my own age would’ve fucking killed to be where i was and i had to put it to the back of my mind for a long time because it was so shameful and i didn’t want to admit to anyone that was skeptical of our relationship that maybe i’d been wrong and stupid and now years down the road i’ve had a lot of time to think about it and i’ve learned a lot more about sexual abuse and i started to really understand and line up the events"
Milsom’s work has already been removed from the DFTBA records online shop and from the lineup of this years Summer in the City event by former close friends Liam Dryden and Alan Lastufka, organiser of SitC and co-founder of DFTBA records respectively and who -along with other prominent YouTubers- have also made posts repudiating Milsom’s actions.
"I am making no attempt to hide the fact Tom and I were once friends. He spent a weekend at my house, we worked on numerous songs and other musical projects together back in 2009. But hearing about some of the things he’s done, and was doing back then, has hurt, and I no longer wish to make another dollar off his fame or name"
Hank Green has also made a statement regarding it, making particular mention of the fact that the two first met at VidCon, the largest annual event within the community.
"I met Olga in 2010 at VidCon. She was a very smart, very clever, very cool young woman. […] I had no inkling that they had become a couple. I am horrified and extremely disappointed in myself that I was not able to realize that this was happening and put a stop to it […] […]the more fact that it existed infuriates me…sexual relationships need to be equitable and they can’t be when people are in dramatically different life stages or when one person enters the relationship as a fan of another."
This follows a number of other allegations against popular YouTubers, namely against musicians Eddplant, Kelly Montoya and most notably, Mike Lombardo, who was sentenced to 5 years in prison and made to register as a sex offender just 2 weeks ago.
Lombardo was made the subject of an FBI investigation after a friend of a underage girl he was grooming tipped them off to his activities and evidence was subsequently found on his phone.
Much has been said about “fangirls” and the exaggerated social gap that has developed between popular producers of YouTube content and the consumers of that content since the end of the relatively egalitarian culture of the website’s beginning. This gap is particularly concerning when those consumers tend to be young and impressionable.
Examples of the power creators wield over their viewers include fairly innocuous things like asking for votes to win competitions or crowd sourcing funding for concerts.
However, there have also been incidents that led to accusations of overinflated egos, such as people crowd surfing over fans at gatherings, mismanaged events that led to serious injuries and sometimes of outright exploitation.
The question now is whether what these YouTubers are believed to have done (in Lombardo’s case convicted of) is simply an example of the wider societal rape and sexual assault problem and the repugnant actions of individuals, or, whether the attitude of superiority that exists within some sections of the YouTube community has become a far, far more serious problem.
The fact is that her age and their relationship was no great secret. She was his fan, and they met at VidCon.
There is a responsibility in that and it belongs to everyone.
^ Ashley Clements and George Takei
It would be safe to say that the Streamy’s have a bit of a rocky history; they’ve only been around since 2009 but have managed to rack up more than their fair share of controversy and negative press since then.
In 2010 tubefilter CEO Brady Brim-Deforest was forced to apologize after numerous technical problems and a seemingly never ending stream of vulgar jokes, cursing and more than partial nudity ran through the course of the show.
And although the awards are billed as an annual event, there wasn’t actually a show last year, or the year before.
This was because IAWTV (The International Academy of Web Television) split from tubefilter after the 2010 show and went on to form it’s own awards show (shockingly called the IAWTV awards) that celebrated its second show this January.
So this year the Streamy’s had everything to prove, and by teaming up with Dick Clark Productions (the company behind the Golden Globes) they obviously intended to get it right this time.
And did they?
Sort of, no-one ran across the stage naked, at least, and the show went off as planned.
Everyone who went seems to have had a good time and commentary has been generally positive; particularly singled out was stand up comedian Chris Hardwick’s presentation of the awards.
However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some criticism too.
The main issue seems to be that the show was seen as trying to be something it wasn’t by inviting a host of Hollywood and pop culture types.
Particularly cited were performances by rappers Vanilla Ice and Soulja Boy, some felt that the performances alone were fine but wondered what they had to do with online video "as an awards show that’s about the online community it would be great to see some promotion of smaller artists".
Hank Green, creator of the undisputed king of online video based events that is VidCon, stepped in to give his opinion of the night:
"To me it didn’t feel like online video…it still felt like online video trying to imitate Hollywood…which we’ve done for too long already"
Whether this was down to the influence of Dick Clark Productions or perhaps an attempt to out-glitz the IAWTV awards is a matter of speculation but it’s definitely something they might want to work on if they want to hold on to their core audience.
You know, the people who actually watch online video.
Based in Silverlake, Los Angeles -number 1 on Forbes list of “America’s Best Hipster Neighbourhoods”- this rom-com series focuses on two residents who fit all of the stereotypes.
You know the ones: skinny jeans, non-prescription glasses, an obsession with organic everything and a taste in music that consists of whatever people aren’t listening to.
Before you wonder why you’d want to watch a show about people you cross the street to avoid, here’s the twist.
They don’t know each others real names and the whole thing is narrated by the inner dialogues of both characters as they muse on everyday life.
Their entire relationship is a series of increasingly unlikely chance meetings at various locale’s within Silverlake and the greater L.A area.
Our Romeo is “cereal guy” and our Juliet “faux-fur girl” but far from deciding to get married the first time they meet these two haven’t even worked up the courage to speak to each other yet.
It’s a play on hipster culture and the individuals within it but it’s also a play on everyone young, awkward and a little unsure of who they really are.
So the characters are particularly prone to introspection.
Whether it’s the faux fur jacket they bought at forever 21 or the kind of cereal they “should” be buying vs the kind they actually want to buy it’s clear they’re still working things out.
What develops is a window of insight into the characters that simply isn’t possible with any other format, especially that of the traditional rom-com series.
It shows the disparity between the image they present to the world and how they’re really feeling.
It also allows the audience to connect with people they might otherwise not like straight off the bat by placing the characters and scenes in situations we all go through every day.
What really gels the whole thing together is the budding romance between the two characters
As of yet they’re no Ross and Rachel but the whole will they/won’t they thing is definitely there and it’s surprisingly easy to become emotionally invested in the prospect of a relationship between them.
When a misunderstanding from afar at the 99 cent store leads to faux-fur girl questioning her self worth you really feel for the character and find yourself rooting for a relationship that hasn’t even really begun yet.
However, the format giveth and the format taketh away.
To achieve the substantial character development that a fictional relationship requires some of what makes the show unique is probably going to have to be sacrificed.
the material they’ve been burning through in series 1 doesn’t seem capable of stretching much further than that.
There’s only so many times you can run into someone before you need to address it.
Hopefully what’s been established so far will provide enough to build on as the series continues.
The contest -which Pepper is currently winning- is sponsored by computer giant Dell and the prize consists of £10,000, professional coaching by David Mitchell and the opportunity to star in their own online comedy show (presumably featured on ChannelFlip itself).
It’s ostensibly aimed at up and coming underground comedians who want a leg up into the mainstream.
Forgot to Tell the Joke
Whether that category includes ex big brother contestant Pepper is debatable, especially considering his somewhat unclear prior affiliations with ChannelFlip.
However, it’s the nature of his entry itself that’s really got people riled up.
"Hi guys, just wanted to quickly enter this competition cause I’m a comedian and [I] just wanna tell you a joke"
Roughly twenty seconds of silence then passes before a caption pops up saying ”sorry guys I forgot to tell the joke” Pepper then goes on to say
“so if you could just vote for me that would be really good thanks guys”
This isn’t the first time Pepper has been criticised for the way he utilises his fan base.
In June of this year he started a campaign to buy a coach and tour the U.K at a hefty £50,000 price tag. Funded, of course, by donations from his subscribers who in return would be permitted to enter the bus and party with him and other YouTubers.
The project soon fell flat after only a small percentage of the target was met and the video promoting it was privated by Pepper.
Vote Based Competitions
It isn’t just Pepper who’s come up for criticism.
Traditionally competitions like these can expect the winner to be the person with the best entry.
They make the assumption that nearly everyone coming to the website arrives relatively unbiased and without having yet decided who they’re voting for or that they’ll at least take a look at the other entries.
This logic kind of goes out the window when dealing with people who already have a built in fanbase and who don’t need to carve one out through the competition itself.
The implication is that if competitions want to claim that they’re rewarding the best entry rather than the one with the largest fanbase behind it -regardless of objective merit- then impartial judges rather than a system of open voting is the way to go.
Regardless of who actually wins it seems clear that those who organise competitions like these will need to start factoring competitors who already have large audiences into their calculations.
Saturday’s Hyde Park gathering organised by Toby Turner and Seth Hendrix descended into chaos after overzealous fans and Turner himself was injured.
Police and ambulances attended and treated several people including one girl who was “impaled through the hip” and another “through her left hand” while others were trampled by the crowd and received minor injuries.
Massive crowds reportedly refused to heed warnings from Turner not to climb up to him after he ascended a fence to escape a crush of people. When he tried to leave the crowd then chased him through the park before he narrowly escaped in a taxi
"They were grabbing at him. He jumped down and just started running away through the park, and the whole crowd followed him, it was the scariest thing ever"
This may be the first time attendees have been seriously injured at a YouTube gathering but it isn’t the first to attract negative attention for crowd management and security concerns.
Just under a year ago another gathering held at Hyde Park -this one organized by Philip De Franco- had to be shut down early because the security team hired proved to be too small to effectively manage the sheer size of the crowd as well as the determination of some members to get in close.
De Franco left via a planned exit route and later stated that
"This was definitely an eye opening experience, I need to change how this works, a random field in the middle of the day does not work"
This years Summer in the City being held at a specialized venue with heavy security as opposed to it’s usual open air venues was among other reasons because of issues like these.
In the aftermath of the event the community at large was quick to express it’s disgust.
Most laid the burden of blame squarely at the feet of “fangirls” generally younger, overzealous fans of bigger YouTubers who are seen as disrespectful of others and the boundaries of the people they admire
"There was this obnoxious guy with a megaphone (who was about 12) Mr Obnoxious was soaking up the attention, when people biked past he shouted “HUG THEM” and all these stupid fangirls would tackle the bikers"
Others however took a different view, saying that popular YouTubers need to take more responsibility for the events they put together and anticipate potential problems
"Learn from the mistakes of others and make the safety of your fans your primary concern. While most fans are level headed admirers of your work, it only takes 1% of a gathering to ruin it for everyone else"
It seems like there’s a bigger issue at play here than the actions of any individual group or person no matter how much influence they have over events.
Something frequently mentioned over the past few years is the “celebrity culture” surrounding big YouTubers and how the atmosphere of gatherings has changed since their original inception.
What was once groups of like minded people meeting to talk about a medium and a community they were involved in has become something else. Particularly when relatively well known YouTubers are in attendance.
While most shy away from being viewed as celebrities there is a substantial minority who seem to actively encourage it.
In April of this year vlogger Sam Pepper attracted negative criticism for crowd surfing over fans during a gathering he organized.
A lot of this change in atmosphere can not only be put down to the massive increase in viewership that has occurred during that time but a change in the type of gathering attendee.
Instead of being mainly made up of people who make videos themselves and watch a large number of others in turn the present day gathering attendee probably does not make videos themselves and may only watch one or two bigger YouTubers.
What actually constitutes a gathering in the mind of the community at large is no longer clear.
Some people just want that precious picture and signature and others to hang out with those who belong to the same community.
While both things can happen at the same time it’s clear that “gathering” can mean something other than what it used to.
Both attendees and organizers could stand to keep this in mind; especially when the lives of others may be at risk.
Sometimes it takes a while for the law to catch up with advances in technology and the the changes in culture that accompany those advances.
Especially if those changes only apply to a small percentage of the population.
Like, you know, YouTubers.
Vlogging and driving is something that’s been briefly and occasionally talked about for a couple of years now on road trip videos and in comment sections.
Most of the people who do vlog and drive -at least on a regular basis- are within the spectrum of daily vloggers or people who have a daily vlogger channel in addition to a main channel.
Viewers are often taken along for the ride instead of the vlogger sitting down at the end of the day and recounting their experience. It’s seen as a more interesting way to present the story, saves time and is an aide to those with poor memory for detail.
If there’s one thing that vlogging and driving is even remotely comparable to it’s driving while texting. Both text based communication and easily portable digital recording devices saw their advent at around the same time.
"I think it’s just as bad as texting, texting has caused many accidents and you see the commercials. I see people, you know they’re driving in their car, holding their camera in their hand over here and I mean they’re looking back at it driving and you’re not focused on the road. what’s going on?"
It’s been argued that if using a recording device while driving were as prevalent as sending a text while driving that it would also be banned.
Speculating about it doesn’t really help anyone.
For now at least it’s legal, although anyone using their phone as a camera shouldn’t be too surprised if they get pulled over and the cop isn’t in the mood to learn about new media.
Some YouTuber’s who vlog and drive have adopted dashboard and windshield mounts which much like hands free kits allow the driver to keep both hands on the wheel at all times.
Again, though, a lot still depends on the individual. Someone who constantly glances at the camera is going to be paying less attention than someone who keeps their attention on the road and simply speaks as they drive.
Doing that kind of raises the question of why you’re bothering to do it in the first place. It would seem that producing a video like that would be pretty unentertaining.
What’s really the issue here is the amount attention that it takes away from the road, something that’s generally unclear and depends on the person doing it.
The driver must both remain focused on the road while engaging their audience. Even if it’s just telling people what you had for breakfast that seems like a bit of a stretch; let alone doing something that requires a large amount of thought.
Anything that takes the drivers attention away from the road is surely a risk. Whether that’s informing your subscribers about a give away or changing the station on your car radio.
Regardless of that risk it seems that vlogging and driving is unlikely to become a legal concern unless it becomes far more widespread or a high profile accident sparks a public outcry.
In the absence of hard data that proves once and for all how dangerous it is, if at all, the debate will continue.
Crowds of youtubers and fans alike poured into London this weekend for the annual Summer in the City gathering.
The event has expanded massively since it’s beginning way back in 2009 and is only beaten out by events like VidCon and Playlist Live.
This year two days of the gathering (friday and saturday) were held at a venue called The Brewery, apparently because the increasing number of attendees forced them out of their traditional open air Jubilee Gardens / Hyde Park location.
The attendance has become so big in fact that even the specially selected venue was incapable of accommodating it at times
"When we settled on The Brewery, the event page had just hit 1,000 people attending! We had no way of knowing that number would skyrocket over the following months. So of course it was extremely disheartening for us when we realised we would have to turn people away"
The waiting time in queues at times stretched to 4 to 5 hours and in combination with the sweltering temperatures reached in London this weekend it led to an outpouring of frustration on sites like twitter and tumblr.
A problem certainly not unique to this year or even Summer in the City (though it does seem to be more pronounced in the UK than in the U.S) were large groups of fans following the more popular YouTubers around
"One image sticks in my head: a pair of doors in the main hall upstairs, surrounded by fan girls, a mob of crazies who don’t seem to understand that the fabled VIP room behind the doors isn’t some sort of Hollywood A-listers party, but more of a blank room with scared YouTubers drinking bottles of water"
"This wasn’t a case of people not wanting to interact with their subscribers, or not being able to handle standing and talking to people; it was a zoo out there, Kayley and I were still shaking five minutes later and we hadn’t even been the victim of that situation. a lot of people were being aggressive and overstepping boundaries"
Strangest tumblr Rumour Ever
In combination with the social media rumour mill this lead to perhaps the strangest rumour ever. That an overzealous fan had licked the face of vlogger Danisnotonfire.
The fact that it didn’t actually happen didn’t seem to bother all that many outraged fans.
What has shined through throughout the course of the gathering and later blog posts and videos made about it is an overwhelming sense of gratitute that the event exists at all.
For most attending just the chance to interact with those whose work you admire made the experience worthwhile. Even if it was just a 90 second conversation and the time it took to pose for a photo.
More than that it was the opportunity to make friends with and talk to people who share the still relatively niche interest of online video (at least the bit that goes beyond cat videos).
And all of it for free. Something Summer in the City definitely has over -understandably- pricey events like VidCon and Playlist Live.