Influencers Ruin Their Own Platform At The Peaks of Their Careers

Influencers Ruin Their Own Platform At The Peaks of Their Careers

Jenieke Calloway

The rise and fall of popular YouTubers is something that teens my age have seen with our own eyes many times. 

From earlier YouTubers like Smosh, iJustine, and MysteryGuitarMan to O2L, Zoella, and iHasCupQuake who made a variety of videos kids enjoyed daily and many loved to watch. Bethany Mota, Dan and Phil, KSI, and now to YouTubers like Shane Dawson, Markiplier, and Pewdiepie. All these addictive personalities have made large platforms on the internet, impacting a generally younger audience, and becoming connected to the business world making sales from their products.

However, in this recent era of YouTubers, their downfall hasn’t been changing audiences or lack of posting – it has been themselves. 

This past month two of the biggest names on Youtube have been removed from their many partnerships, created apology videos, and have had to face hundreds of disappointed fans because of the accusations they faced. David Dobrik and James Charles are the two YouTubers that have recently been accused of sexual harassment/assault and more which caused their own downfall.

Youtube itself has said, “The company had applied their creator responsibility policy, which states: “If we see that a creator’s on- and/or off-platform behavior harms our users, community, employees or ecosystem, we may take action to protect the community,” says Kat Tenbarge, a senior writer for Business Insider. Their actions have caused them to be demonetized from their main platform and source of income.

In my opinion, we have had more cases of public influencers being accused of sexual harassment more than ever before. “Young consumers want to follow influencers who are relatable, who don’t act like influencers, and who fit seamlessly into the social bubble they’ve curated on their feeds,” says Anne Freer, writer for Business of Apps.

And as we continue to progress, these figures are the ones setting examples for very young, and impressionable audiences in our lives. As someone who was one of those audiences before, I am disappointed in the lack of genuine stars my generation has.

Nothing is sadder than seeing the idols you looked up to for years, turn into people you can’t recognize or look at the same because of the things they have done for others in the past before. These celebrities don’t deserve platforms for causing others harm, and yet only now these companies have started punishing them for their actions and what they portray to the media. 

Toni Birdsong, a writer for McAfee says, “While kids today may have the same emotional desire for role models, the online culture has confused the meaning of influence.” Influence should be shown positively, but more often than not, these social media personalities have negative influences on their audience that haven’t changed for years.

The young watchers deserve a role model that they can follow after and be inspired by on Youtube – someone who is genuine, fun, accepts change, and connects with their audience out of the greatness of their heart. 

I can only hope as our year goes on, we do find those people to be the ones children look up to, no matter how hard it may be.