North Texas Daily

“Holding myself accountable” videos do not shield you from criticism

“Holding myself accountable” videos do not shield you from criticism

“Holding myself accountable” videos do not shield you from criticism
July 15
22:22 2020

In recent weeks, many YouTubers and other influencers have made statements on their past actions and holding themselves accountable. This is great and all, but I am not sure why some people are trying to still defend these content creators, who have published videos with disgusting depictions of racism. I believe that the excuse of it being in the past is unacceptable, and just because a certain influencer acknowledges their faults does not mean they should be immune to criticism. The internet is one of the most influential places that young people can be, and with problematic people being in the centerfold, it is time to hold them accountable and make them think of their actions for good.

Shane Dawson, who has been one of the main focuses of this whole situation, released a video of him owning up to all of his faults. He talks a lot about his past and how his actions should not define the person he is today. Do people change? Absolutely. Does that mean that Dawson is free to continue his life on the internet, with no consequences at all? Absolutely not. Dawson has created racist characters that he would portray, none of which he would show in his accountability video, and a lot of his fans are coming to his side, in protection.

First of all, these actions are not justifiable, no matter how long ago it was. Any individual that is siding with the oppressor is a huge part of the problem. There was another YouTuber that decided to take the same approach. Famous YouTuber Jenna Marbles also released a video about her past actions and how she was completely in the wrong. Marbles showed clips of herself being racially insensitive and telling stereotypical jokes. None of these actions are excusable, but at the very least she is willing to show the clips of her mistakes to her fans, unlike Dawson. Marbles also did the right thing, by completely calling off her YouTube channel as a whole. She has every right to be criticized by her actions, and while her apology did seem genuine, there is still no way to justify any of the jokes she made.

That is another thing that most influencers seem to have down. The apology that is so scripted and see-through that it means absolutely nothing to the viewer watching. We have all seen at least one before. Dawson seems to be more on the side of the unbelievable, and it only hurts his side of the situation more. I think that influencers have so much pull over their fans, that some of these fans may completely look past the problematic tendencies of their “idol,” just because they have been a fan for all the years prior.

Both Dawson and Marbles made videos talking about accountability, and I think that is great for content creators, and just influencers in general. More people should address the problems and mistakes they make before other people do. That being said, it is important that just because you are being self-aware, that does not make you immune to being canceled or criticized.

Will people mess up? Yes, but some mistakes outweigh others. Being racially insensitive and portraying offensive stereotypes can be extremely hurtful, and it is scary to see these problems when people have followings of over millions of people. Whether it was in the past or not, the damage is still done and the people offended could still be dealing with it today. Imagine your favorite creator or influencer making a video that attacked your culture, or something you find personal. Things like that should not be forgotten, and people like Dawson and Mourey should not be forgiven.

At the end of the day, the internet can be one of the best things in the world, along with being one of the most hurtful things in the world. People can make content that lifts people up, and also tears people down. Once these creators get followers, millions and millions of people, there is a certain mob mentality that creates a really dangerous environment. If I was a content creator, I would take the initiative to make sure that my followers knew everything about me, and if there were major mistakes made, I would not expect to recover. It is time for the jokes to end and the cameras to turn off.

Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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