First I’d like you to read this
Probably Trump supporters will now very publicly bathe themselves in Revlon foundation. But they are the few. As for most of us (who use makeup), I doubt this will receive as much attention as it should. Hell, makeup mavens on YouTube are touting products with parabens and other alleged toxins in them, slapping them on their faces without question. When you are dealing with a crowd that is this oblivious, well…they probably can’t even name the president right now, let alone be convinced to boycott Revlon (incidentally, Revlon, Almay and Maybelline are all owned by the same company — L’Oreal — and all three use the same ingredients L’Oreal does. Also, L’Oreal still uses animal testing).
Come to think of it, I can’t name the legitimate president right now, either…but let’s move on to YouTube.
The past week in the beauty community on YouTube has been wild, insane. Slanderous accusations and physical threats met the appropriate responses — but none of them came from YouTube. In one case, someone apparently has been arrested (or soon will be) for a threat made to another YouTuber in a video. In the other case, probably nothing will ever happen to the person who slandered the other person*, because they are in two different countries and the person who was slandered did not sustain any monetary damage, and no one believed the accuser anyway, and yada, yada, yada. However, the slanderer has been met with a wall of pushback from viewers and other channels, and has fallen silent for the time being.
As for YouTube…well, let’s talk about YouTube.
I have a tiny channel on YouTube (nothing to do with the subject matter of this blog). I do know a few things about YouTube:
(1) If your viewership is in the high thousands, they probably won’t do doodley-squat to you no matter what you do.
(2) I almost got a copyright strike from them once. I made a video of a late-spring snowstorm and set it to a 100-year-old recording of an obscure Christmas song that I got off a site that had material that was supposedly copyright-free. The video was not monetized — I had learned from previous experiences that monetizing a video with any kind of music was risky. So I thought I was safe.
Within 12 hours I got a notice that someone in Australia held a copyright (really?) and the situation was under review. I thought, “screw that,” and took the audio off the video, leaving an acid-tongued explanation of the situation in the description. Now I have a silent movie of a snowstorm. Thankfully no one has claimed copyright on the snowstorm.
(3) YouTube has not responded to complaints, nor made any move against the slanderer; also, they did not make any move against the person who threatened the other person. All involved have viewerships in the high thousands.
(4) Other small channels have complained about strikes against their channels because of complaints made by high-viewership creators. Again, apparently the high-viewership crowd almost never receives strikes — of if they do, I rarely hear about it.
All that said, I guess it can be concluded that if you have enough viewers on YouTube and are generating enough income for them, you can pretty much do whatever you damn well please. But if you’re a tiny channel…watch out.
As I said, none of the creators involved in these two situations could in any way be described as having a small, obscure channel. Legally there is nothing that can be done about the slander, and of course YouTube — probably the only entity that could punish the slanderer — isn’t helping the situation by refusing to do anything about it. The second situation (the threat) does not need YouTube, thankfully; both people involved are in the same country, there was a clear threat involved, so screw YouTube — the police took care of it (or will).
You’ll note I’m not naming anyone here. The reason is that when the news broke about each story, YouTube was instantly flooded with “I’m not a drama channel, but…” videos predictably blasting the slander and the threats (and that’s good), and picking up subscribers and viewers in the process. And now — equally predictably — charges are flying back and forth that so-and-so just tagged their video with the names of the people involved to pick up viewership. It’s probably true, but it doesn’t matter. Anyway, that isn’t the point of this blog.
Which brings me to the subject of drama channels. I’ve addressed this before: what is the point? Especially since all they seem to do is pick fights with each other, since many of the major beauty channels don’t even bother to address the few valid issues they raise (when the drama channels aren’t busy fighting with each other, that is).
Drama is its own punishment; I know because I used to work with a 24 kt. drama queen. He spent almost a decade trying to get me fired. I’d be rolling along thinking nothing was wrong and all of a sudden I’d be called to a meeting with management because someone said I said or did something. I always knew where the stories came from, but as that company protected gossips, I never had any luck when I fingered this asshole.
Finally he got charged with sexual harassment and nearly got fired himself. (I have to add that I was not involved with this particular situation at all; however, I never was with any of the previous dramas, either — they were all invented.)
I always think of this person whenever the drama channels start acting up. And since that’s what they do — act up — I think about that situation a lot.
Finally it seems to be going too far, and it doesn’t say much for YouTube that they are apparently treating this as a revenue situation and choosing not to handle it. After all, look at all those little channels that are picking up viewership simply by bringing it up. This means drama is good for YouTube, right? But bad for the victims.
However, just as the majority of women buying Revlon have no idea about the impact of supporting a CEO who supports the misogynous Trump (not to mention putting alleged toxins on their faces), drama will go on. It makes money. Damn the consequences.
*1/1/18 update: latest word has it that the slanderer has left YouTube and all social media. Judging from this person’s past, however, this will be only temporary.