Friday, February 17, 2017

PewDiePie Media Fallout Continues

It's another PewDiePie story today. Sorry. Like it or not, the man is one of the biggest internet celebrities and many look to him as the voice for gamers. He plays a lot of games, and if he likes one, people buy it. This is why the FTC went after Warner Brothers for a series of sponsored video, one featuring PewDiePie, that didn't accurately portray gameplay. He gave it a good review, sales went up, and customers complained later that the content didn't match what the YouTube video showed.

PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg) has released a 10 minute video stating that the media is falsely labeling him as anti-Semitic, specifically The Wall Street Journal. Even though the stories were released after he was let go from Disney, he Kjellberg feels that the articles are not portraying him correctly; that the media is cherry picking and taking the content out of context.

“Old-school media does not like internet personalities because they are scared of us. We have so much influence and such a large voice, and I don’t think they understand that,” he said.

Sure. Traditional media platforms are afraid for their lively hood with the rise of the internet. But they have adapted over the years and have their own online presence. That doesn't mean they outright slam every YouTube personality at every chance they can.

The string of Nazi "jokes," as Kjellberg claims, occurred over several videos in late 2016 and early 2017. The last video that caused the most controversy, included Kjellberg commenting on another video of two men who held up a sign with anti-Semitic rhetoric. According to the YouTube personality, this was just to show how crazy our modern world is, that people will do anything for money - specially with the website Fiverr, a freelance website that allows people to try and obtain services for $5.

Jokes or not, there are some lines you do not cross. And you can't blame anyone but yourself for that. Even if you are an "amateur comic." That's not a facade you can hide behind. Even those who are not comedians know that making light of tragedies or events where people died is not funny.  It's not the The Wall Street Journal's fault that you were fired from Disney and YouTubeRed. That is all you, Kjellberg. For now, he'll continue to make his videos and receive ad revenue on YouTube. But it may hurt his annual income and his fan base from the fallout.

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