Must Reads, Top 10 of 2018

PewDiePie’s Battle for the Soul of the Internet

This is a story about the question of who holds power over what we can say, hear, watch and read on the internet—an increasingly urgent issue that many ordinary people have cause to think about every day. And yet the protagonist in this story, the man whose fate symbolizes the future of social media and the corporate web that controls it, is unknown to the vast majority of educated readers.

That man is PewDiePie, a Swedish comedian whose real name is Felix Kjellberg. With 77-million subscribers, he has the most popular YouTube channel in the world. Within YouTube’s video subculture, he is regarded as a true celebrity—a sort of Joe Rogan, Kanye West and Ben Shapiro all rolled into one. As of this writing, PewDiePie is closing in on 20-billion total views—roughly equivalent to three views for every human on the planet.

Yet describing the actual content that Kjellberg delivers to his viewers can be challenging. When he dropped out of school and began seriously promoting his channel in 2010, his feed was largely devoted to video games. Kjellberg, meanwhile, worked day jobs, including a gig at a hot dog stand. But as his fame grew, Kjellberg began branching off into other sub-cultural niches, often in a way that built layers of satire and self-referential humour upon one another in an Inception-type manner: memes within memes within memes. Over the last decade, he’s spent tens of thousands of hours developing this complex, self-referential web of eccentric material into a strangely coherent media identity.

But while Kjellberg’s brand is unique, the story of how he’s been mobbed is distressingly familiar: Thanks to a small group of journalists who’ve distorted his record, he’s been falsely smeared as a Nazi sympathizer. The main mob cheerleader was Vox Media, which recently published a hit piece accusing PewDiePie of having ties to white supremacists.

The lawyer-approved title was “YouTube’s most popular user amplified anti-Semitic rhetoric. Again.” Which sounds ominous, until you find out that the story centres entirely on Kjellberg accidentally throwing a fringe site into a laundry list of other outlets he was seeking to signal-boost. As with everything connected to YouTube subculture, the story is complicated. And it took PewDiePie almost 20 minutes to meticulously debunk the slander, so I’m not going to try to do it inside of this paragraph. If you’re interested, you can watch the video.

This raises an obvious question: If PewDiePie is in a position to immediately debunk the attacks against him, broadcasting his detailed case to a mass audience in such a way that the whole world can listen and decide for themselves, what was the point of Vox’s attack? Could it be that Vox simply doesn’t really understand the power wielded by a true YouTube celebrity?

In his rebuttal video, PewDiePie muses that Vox’s real target was YouTube itself—and possibly even its parent company, Google—since they are (along with Facebook) the only consistent success stories in the brutally competitive market for online advertising. These are broad claims that make more sense when you consider the back story. In recent months, the cultural satire on Kjellberg’s channel has been increasingly self-referential, and mostly focused on T-Series, an Indian media conglomerate that has been approaching PewDiePie’s subscriber count. With T-Series on track to overtake PewDiePie in October, a herculean (and often hilarious) effort from PewDiePie’s fanbase allowed Kjellberg to maintain a narrow lead.

While a battle between two YouTube accounts may not sound dramatic, there is little doubt that the PewDiePie/T-Series feud was the most important thing to happen on YouTube in 2018. It was a case study in new media acting as a force equalizer between David and Goliath. T-Series is an entertainment conglomerate with an enormous production budget and a large workforce that’s able to push out a half-dozen music videos per day, all aimed at an audience migrating from more traditional platforms to online video. PewDiePie, on the other hand, is a single guy cracking jokes in his bedroom.

There’s a sense of solidarity among YouTube’s Davids: The late surge that kept PewDiePie ahead of T-Series was fuelled in large part by other YouTube “creators”—the one- and two-person shops that create original content solely for the YouTube platform. It was in his attempt to reciprocate their kindness that PewDiePie recommended a rapidly recited list of 28 little-known channels to his subscribers, one of which was later discovered, by Vox, to have old Nazi-sympathetic content in its archives. Which means PewDiePie is a Nazi, and you are probably a Nazi, too—because that’s how the Internet now works.

At around the same time, YouTube released its “Rewind” video for 2018—an annual event which, since its debut in 2010, has presented a light-hearted mash-up of the platform’s most memorable moments. And yet, in this year’s installment, the curators failed to include any mention of PewDiePie, the subculture’s most influential protagonist. Grass-roots members of the YouTube community responded with scathing fury. One comment on the video, liked over 100,000 times, described Rewind 2018 as “the annual corporate circle jerk celebrating another year of the least creator-friendly site on the entire internet.” With 13-million thumbs down, the video is the most disliked in YouTube history. Even The New York Times felt compelled to cover the story.

The official YouTube response, courtesy of spokeswoman Andrea Faville, was that “honest feedback can suck, but we are listening and we appreciate how much people care. Trying to capture the magic of YouTube in one single video is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. We also learned that creating content can be really hard and this underscores our respect and admiration for YouTube creators doing it every day.” But YouTube wasn’t trying to “capture lightning in a bottle.” The real goal seemed to be avoiding anyone deemed controversial—including not only PewDiePie, but also U.S. actor Logan Paul (who got into trouble a year ago, after uploading footage of a recently deceased corpse in Japan) and sketch comedian Shane Dawson, in order to protect its appeal to mainstream advertisers.

This might seem to give weight to Kjellberg’s vaguely argued notion that Vox was looking for a pretext to attack YouTube over its success in Internet advertising. But the line of attack gets muddled when we consider that YouTube seemed to want to avoid the “controversial” PewDiePie precisely because of the backlash promulgated by the likes of Vox. Which is to say: For different reasons—clicks versus ads—Vox and YouTube have made common cause in trying to diminish the influence of PewDiePie and other off-brand YouTube celebrities. Weirdly, Vox may not be alone in failing to understand YouTube: YouTube itself doesn’t seem to fully understand YouTube either.

Like countless other high-profile creators, PewDiePie repeatedly has slammed YouTube for opacity in its policies on monetization, copyright and content restrictions. He also has called out YouTube—a Google subsidiary since 2006—for bowing to corporate whims at the expense of the creators and users who made the platform popular in the first place. As Jordan Peterson—a very different kind of YouTube sensation—would put it, the struggle is archetypal: PewDiePie is what YouTube was supposed to be. T-Series is what it has actually become, with YouTube’s active encouragement.

And it is not just YouTube. As Quillette readers know, something similar is going on with Patreon, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon. Defying its foundational architecture, the internet is no longer decentralized. A cartel of politically aligned capitalists controls access not just to cyberspace in the abstract, but, arguably, the very means of online business functionality. This is why PewDiePie has become a lightning rod: He has managed to buck this trend by building up a massive following that (for now) allows him to defy corporate control.

The nature of PewDiePie’s pushback isn’t ideological per se. Indeed, he barely touches on mainstream politics in his videos. Rather, he’s a cultural satirist, in the vein of South Park, who will mock anything and everything. At major tech and media companies, promotion of progressive principles has become a matter of humourless, ironclad dogma. On Kjellberg’s channel, by contrast, a video called How to: RESPECT WOMEN! is just another opportunity for silly mockery.

Kjellberg’s true crime is that he’s funny. And the online corporate giants have no idea what to do with humour, since humour always will target a society’s prevailing dogmas—including, at the current cultural moment, the earnest mantras that govern corporate messaging. Humour also happens to be the most powerful weapon against authoritarianism (corporate or otherwise), because it leaves an irreversible impression on its audience. Your intellectual ideas may be revised or rejected as you re-evaluate your premises in light of new experiences or reflection. But if you find something funny, that can’t be edited out by intellectual efforts. It will sit with you, and may well fester into thoughtcrime. Humour can turn heretics into folk heroes who must then be shunned and de-platformed. (Just ask Godfrey Elfwick.)

PewDiePie is unique in that he has real leverage over the cartel. His continued presence is integral to the popularity of YouTube as a platform; and PewDiePie knows this, because PewDiePie understands YouTube. Unlike Elfwick or Milo Yiannopolis, he is too popular to be un-personned without YouTube experiencing a massive backlash. Unlike Dennis Prager or Dave Rubin, his controversy is too oblique and apolitical to be faced down directly with culture-warrior hashtags. Unlike the developers whose apps powered the spread of Facebook and Twitter, he cannot have his back catalogue rendered obsolete by alterations to program-interface code. Unlike toilet plungers and coat hangers, the PewDiePie channel can’t be undercut on price by Amazon. YouTube controls access to PewDiePie. But without PewDiePie—and the other YouTubers like him—YouTube withers away.

Venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya once recalled his work with Facebook this way: “We trumpeted [our platform] like it was some hot-shit big deal. And I remember when we raised money from Bill Gates…And Gates said something along the lines of, ‘That’s a crock of shit. This isn’t a ‘platform.’ A platform is when the economic value of everybody that uses it exceeds the value of the company that creates it. Then it’s a platform.’” The brilliant Microsoft founder knew that his own Windows operating system was a true platform because, as Microsoft openly bragged, the company itself captured only a minority of the value created through the Windows ecosystem. Facebook, YouTube and Google are in a completely different category—because the vast majority of the wealth they generate is controlled by the social-media oligopolies themselves. They aren’t platforms so much as rent-seeking agents that oversee a set of critical economic protocols.

Here, I am getting into an argument that is made better elsewhere—specifically, that this kind of power hoarding exists only because of insufficiently farsighted design of the early web. Were there a public protocol that allowed video to be shared as easily as hypertext, there would be no need for YouTube. Were HTTP sufficiently robust to handle two-way links, there might not be a need for Google. Were there a public protocol for identity, Facebook might be extraneous. And were there a public protocol for value exchange, there would be no need for content that is almost exclusively monetized by advertising—a development that has ushered in a risk-averse ad-driven corporate culture with its attendant censorship and house politics.

There is some hope among futurists that these technological problems can be remedied in the near future, thereby allowing something like a Great Decentralisation. And PewDiePie, for all his rough edges and bro amateurism, gives some insight into what this would look like: content creation and idea exchange in real time, with a tight feedback loop linking artist and audience; and communities forming around these ideas because they want to, not because they feel they have to; all mediated by an infrastructure that cannot be turned against them, because it has no controller.

We aren’t there yet, and YouTube may eventually crush PewDiePie, with Vox getting the assist. Until then, PewDiePie remains an emblem of our times, worthy of study. You can hop on over to YouTube and check his work out for yourself. And if you do, then for the love of all that is good in this world, go ahead and smash subscribe.

Allen Farrington lives in Edinburgh. He studied math and philosophy at the University of St. Andrews. He also writes at Areo and Medium. You can follow him on Twitter @allenf32.

356 Comments

  1. Garikai says

    Literally scrolled all the way down to check for the sub to PewDiePie plug

  2. Heike says

    Pewdiepie explained by another youtuber: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLNSiFrS3n4

    This is authoritarianism creeping back in. Youtube and the others used independent operators to get where they are. Now they’re huge. Who needs the independents any more? Dump them. Big business likes to do business with big business. They only do business with the little guy when there’s no choice.

    It all comes down to *control*. When anyone can say anything on Youtube, we the people have control. But now, we the people used that control to harm the interests of the powerful. This is unforgivable. Time for Youtube to boil the frogs, introduce ticky-tack restriction after restriction until the problem is gone. Just give Pewdiepie time, they’ll make him irrelevant. The water has barely started heating up.

    • “Learning does not consist only of knowing what we must or we can do, but also of knowing what we could do and perhaps should not do.”
      – Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

      Youtube might wish to reflect on the above – but I doubt they will.

    • Lennart says

      Hahahahahah, you just linked to a H3-video!? My dude, this is just my personal opinion, but that’s real sad
      (H3 has created 2 aight memes. No more, no less)

    • This is so stupid. The video you linked is by a good friend of PewDiePie, and in the video which is 2 years old btw, he explains that an edgy joke he made wasn’t racist in essence, but came out like that because of lack of context and clarity on the situation from PewDiePie. You are calling for corporate rule over a site where the essence of it is independent creators. Think of the same thing happening to Twitter: only companies post, no opinions. The site won’t last a day. The day YouTube kicks out all individual creators from the site is the day the site dies. No matter what. You probably don’t understand that because you never watched YouTube videos by an individual creator. It’s like watching a movie or TV show by a person that would never get the chance to do one, and it’s so entertaining and fun to watch. Most of the views on YouTube are on individual creator’s channels because of that. Please stop trying to sound smart with big words and make a statement that is so false it is possible you don’t know how the internet and it’s culture work, and please, sub to PewDiePie, because maybe by watching some of his videos, you’ll find out how wrong you are.

  3. The writer buried the lede: “Defying its foundational architecture, the internet is no longer decentralized. A cartel of politically aligned capitalists controls access not just to cyberspace in the abstract, but, arguably, the very means of online business functionality.”

    The key phrase here is “politically aligned.”

    According to the Federal Election Commission, here is the percentage of campaign donations made in the 2016 US elections by employees of the following internet giants which went to the Democratic Party:

    Twitter, 99 percent.

    Google, 96 percent.

    Facebook, 95 percent.

    I couldn’t find any data on YouTube employees, but I can’t imagine the result is all that much different.

    • Lennart says

      The Dems are awful! But like, they are wayyy above the Repos, ofc~

      • Doctor Locketopus says

        The Republicans are indeed awful. The Democrats are communists. There is nothing worse than communists. Nothing. They’ve murdered more than 100 million people, dude.

        • Lennart says

          Love the trolling, but would be way better if you didn’t blatantly lie in your posts: 3/10, but I still have faith in you~❤️

        • Mike O'Koen says

          Dude… Mosquitos kill. More people than commies. You ca yourself a doctor?!

          • Constantin says

            Kipling replied to you long ago Mike O’Kean:
            “As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
            There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
            That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
            And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

            And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
            When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
            As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
            The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return! “

    • James Lee says

      @ANC

      Are these increasingly censorious tech giants run by “capitalists”? They seem to be run by political cadres.

      Patreon is taking a substantial financial hit in order to enforce political orthodoxy in defiance of common sense. As Sargon of Akkad has sharply articulated, their actions are in direct opposition to fairly recent statements from their own CEO.

      Who has the power in these companies?

      And as soon as Sargon of Akkad moved to Subscribestar, PayPal essentially banned Subscribestar.

      The head of Patreon’s Orwellian “Trust and Safety” committee used to work for PayPal in a similar capacity.

      Gee, that’s not suspicious. I’m sure there was no communication. It’s just the free market acting as it will, with no collusion in sight.

      • @ James Lee

        You wrote: “And as soon as Sargon of Akkad moved to Subscribestar, PayPal essentially banned Subscribestar. The head of Patreon’s Orwellian ‘Trust and Safety’ committee used to work for PayPal in a similar capacity.”

        I hadn’t heard about this — it’s pretty suspicious if true. What are your sources?

        • James Lee says

          @ANC

          From Nick Monroe, a freelance journalist.

          twitter.com/nickmon1112/status/1074818614182797312

          Per her LinkedIn account, she worked for PayPal in Risk Operations Merchant Support before becoming the head of Patreon’s Trust and Safety committee.

          A couple other bits that provide some interesting “context”:

          Jack Conte on the Rubin Report said that Silicon Valley CEO’s talk to each other all the time. Both PayPal and Patreon are SV companies… SubscribeStar was a relatively new company apparently founded by a man of Russian ethnicity, and was a direct competitor to Patreon.

          The Patreon banning of Sargon of Akkad comes on the heels of a creepy messianic sermon about suppressing “hate speech” from Apple’s Tim Cook.
          youtu.be/V0S-3mI8aAo

          • James Lee says

            @ANC

            Thanks for that video, it made me laugh.

            While there are no smoking guns so far, there is certainly a lot of smoke around the whole affair. For all we know, the initial impulse to ban Sargon came from PayPal.

            We would need someone on the inside to divulge information… as it is, we have speculation and the appearance of McCarthyist corporate collusion.

            We are seeing more and more de facto censorship that has essentially been shifted from governments to corporations. It’s a new challenge for Western societies, and a difficult one to face because so many conservatives have a knee jerk reaction against regulating corporations, and of course the McCarthyism this go-around is directed against non-leftists.

            It is also interesting that Tucker Carlson and Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad) are being attacked by this new corporate purge… both hold a range of moderate and populist positions, both are not extreme in the slightest, and both rail against Western elites. Tucker Carlson actually holds many beliefs that used to be considered “liberal” and pro-working class.

            Last point- the actions of Patreon’s “Truth and Safety” committee directly contradicted the fairly recent statements from their own CEO. There have been whispers that many Silicon Valley companies have problems with what appear to be radical political elements within their own companies.

            When a company takes an action that is clearly a financial self-harm and which contravenes their own policies in order to further a political agenda, and in a way that humiliates their own CEO, it makes one wonder…

            Who is running the asylum?

        • Tim Pool has covered this pretty closely. He interviewed an attorney/YouTuber called YoutuberLaw who suggested the collusion angle. Interesting video. Tim Pool is great, too.

      • Tim Pool has a good video on this whole thing, if you haven’t already watched it.

      • James Lee says

        @Ace

        Where have you been the last two years?

        Silicon Valley *used* to have a reputation for for Libertarianism, just as prominent Democrats used to believe (and say) that mass low skilled immigration hurts low skilled American workers.

        At the current pace of change, that was an age ago.

        I would suggest reading about James Damore.

        Or you could look into the shadow banning and demonetization of channels that are critical of political correctness.

        Patreon just cut off the income of Carl Benjamin, who is by and large a centrist Libertarian who is sharply critical of the Social Justice religion.

        Does anyone still remember when Google froze Jordan Peterson’s account for a day, only to reinstate it after a large public outcry?

        Or just watch Tim Cook deliver a religious sermon on the moral obligations of Big Tech to be the ultimate arbiters on speech (link is in above comment…)

        • I remember the Peterson thing, and I watched Tim Pool’s video on Tim Cook. I truly believe these people are grasping at straws. They’re losing the argument, and they’re doubling down on their authoritarianism to try and stave off defeat but it’s hopeless.

  4. Lennart says

    “PewDiePie’s true crime is that he’s funny.”
    You guys, can’t we also accept the fact that he at times can be a shitty person, a person that has some damaging views that he promotes through his massive platform.
    Don’t really agree with much of this article, but love seeing the seeds of opposition towards capitalism and its mega-corporations.
    P.S. Love the reference to Peterson; that man says so many stupid things that he’s just hilariously sad.

    • May I inquire as to which damaging views you are referring to? Please provide links to videos in question, that you have yourself watched, and please do refrain from linking to articles.

      Thank you.

          • Lennart says

            No, but kinda tired^^ But come on, you can’t really say that you appreciate the graphical designs of your national papers? :S You Swedes have got us best in a couple of areas, but you’ll never come close to us in aestethics or Black Metal.
            … Okay, Dark Funeral can hang, but my point still stands!

      • Do you suggest that Pewdiepie, at no point, created a video that included ‘damaging views’?
        So at no point mentioned a political opinion that would offend another group? Or how do you, for yourself define damaging views?

        • What does this even mean? You are always gonna offend people for holding any position because holding any position is direct defiance to those that hold the opposite view. Do you even watch pewdiepie?

      • Princess Underlove says

        He’s a rape apologist, his old video games playthroughs are filled with him laughing at rape and thus normalizing it.

        He uses the n-word as an insult while playing online games, which reinforces racist views against people of color.

        He normalizes white supremacy by frequently using nazi imagery such as uniforms and pictures of H*tler.

        He treats all of these little nods and dog whistles as a joke by calling them “oppsie doopsies”, making it clear that he knows full well the kind of values he is promoting and he’s just being coy about it.

        But there is more, by attracting white supremacists, misogynists and all sorts of far-right subhuman scum to his channel, he makes the youtube algorithm start recommending videos to his viewers that the subhumans had been watching, so his 77 million subscribers, whom are mostly kids, will gradually go from his “oopsie doopsies” to hardcore far-right channels like Sargon of Akkad or Chris Ray Gun through the youtube recommendations.

        No matter how you slice it, pdp is probably THE most dangerous element in the chain of far-right radicalization that has taken over youtube, precisely because of his immense reach and the clever and underhanded ways in which the promotes subhumans through his little memes and references, so I don’t give a f*ck about “muh freeze peach” if it’s used to make nazis, this as*hole needs to be gagged and taught that being coy and using dog whistles doesn’t make his abhorrent ideas acceptable.

        • Giratina143 says

          Well , I was wondering when the mentally challenged people would show up . Always overacting to every single thing . “Oh look , the Hindu swastika symbol looks very close to the Nazi symbol . O M G , India is full of Nazis guys . ITS LITERALLY 1.25 BILLION NAZIS AND WE NEVER KNEW IT!” See how ridiculous that sounds? Commenting , referencing or joking doesn’t promote hate , it promotes more thought as why it’s that funny . You assuming that his jokes “normalize” those ideas , grow up , nobody except you snowflakes in the US gives an F . The world moved on , but USA seems to be stuck in this purgatory were you have to defend everything , just to cover up your countries guilt and seem super WOKE.

        • Lennart says

          I defo agree with basically all of your comment, but I think it’s a weeeee bit simplistic^^ He’s a shitty person with shitty, immature views, which is mad dangerous given the power he has😬

        • Never once have I ever been recommended to a far right channel. I follow weaponry historians and Warhammer 40K content creators. I know there are plenty of shit heads that watch that kind of content and still I never get video suggestions for the kind of stuff that you assume people get pointed towards. I don’t tolerate neo-nazis, anti-Semites, racists, religious fanatics, far/alt-right, far-left, misoginists, misandrists, and the willingly ignorant. I don’t deal with extremists because nothing in excess is good. I won’t defend him saying the N-word on stream. That’s just fucking dumb and it pisses me off. I grew up with shock humor and stuff so I used to say it but I grew up and learned.
          And teenage boys and some young men use to, and some still do, say dumb stuff like “I’ll fuckin’ rape you” or dumb ignorant stuff like that because they’re making a threat. Blame society and angry kids. Do I think it’s okay? Of course not, it’s up to adults to show them. Finally your point on him normalizing fascism and his “oopsie doopsies”. He is a satirist. He is obviously not a Nazi or an anti-semite. Do you think that they should stop teaching people about WWII? Hitler, and fascism as a whole, was a failure and a joke. They should be used as such. Anyone who actually is a neo-nazi wouldn’t watch if he’s actively making fun of them.

          I think you have a good heart but your views are too narrow. Don’t become too entrenched in your ideals and surround yourself with only people who agree with you. Question everything, everyone, and especially yourself. Adversity is the fuel of growth. Don’t discount people. By calling them “subhuman” you are being just as wrong as they are. We are all just human, no more and no less. No matter how right or wrong, caring or cruel, sane or not. You should be ashamed for saying that.

        • DanceCommissar says

          Yikes, non ironically calling other humans ‘subhuman.’ I fear the day you ever get the least bit of power.

        • ektohunter says

          1. satire
          /ˈsatʌɪə/
          noun
          the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
          “the crude satire seems to be directed at the fashionable protest singers of the time”
          Synonyms: mockery, ridicule, derision, scorn, caricature;
          2. Satire is completely legal and DOES NOT MEAN THAT SOMEONE MEANS IT, BUT THAT THEY ARE MAKING FUN OF IT.
          3. All these ‘Vox, WSJ and Co. Are white media, wich don’t have the best history with people of other ethnicity.
          4. Do some research, once again, have you heard of the word joke before?
          5. Don’t trust every piece of bullcrap that you hear. That’s like’ I saw it on television, it has to be true’. These companies have problems because of new media like YouTube is pushing them away and making them irrelevant, when was the last time you bought a newspaper?

        • Spoken like someone who understands neither jokes nor the internet.

          Chris Ray Gun and Sargon of Akkad are hardcore far-right? People who both identify as liberal, both supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election, both support universal healthcare? What kind of left pole do you live on? how far left do you have to be before you are no longer hardcore far-right?

          They are both anti Social Justice ideology, but that just means that they’re not stupid, not that they’re far right

          • Lennart says

            Lol, Sargon is a wumbo and ChrisRayGun? More like CringeGayBun #nohomophopia

        • Gear18 says

          So first off, Sargon of Akkad isn’t far right. Just because you don’t agree with his politics doesn’t make him far-right.
          Now on to PewDiePie.
          Just because you laugh at at something (even rape scenes/jokes) doesn’t mean you “normalize” it. It’s not happening in real life it’s a video game.
          The Nazi imagery your talking about is used purely for satirical purposes. To believe that he’s supporting it shows your ignorance.
          As for the n-word situation, I cannot defend that he said that, what I can do is point out that he apologized. He knew that what he said was wrong and he fixed it.
          To suggest that PewDiePie is a far-right, nazi sympathizer is based on the highest form of conjecture.
          I am speaking as a fan since 2011, you’ve likely have never seen a video of his. If you have then you would have realized that he’s not what the left wing media portrays him.
          You all are just pissed off that the worlds biggest YouTuber isn’t on your side.

          • Paulo says

            Yeah, it’s like saying Monty Python’s The Holy Grail normalizes Christianity!

        • Shailesh says

          Hi Princess. Rape jokes and Nazi jokes, although undesirable, should be acceptable to make. This is what comedians do, they make jokes. And it is with an understanding that they are not actually the people they portray and/or don’t condone the behaviour.
          As for he n-word, there was really no excuse, which his apology made clear. It was short, he made no excuse. But personally, people of colour have trivialised the word by embedding it in popular culture so much that it’s lost its potency in itself. Most resonable people of colour would agree that only when someone says nigger with an intent to be racist or hateful does it matter. He wasn’t racist, but hateful. So again, no excuse.
          YouTube doesn’t qualify his videos as alt-right. There needs to be some kind of imagery, tag or some key-word in the title to make it alt-right. You are on the correct path, but got the details mixed.
          He isn’t far-right. Except for the Nazi jokes, which he doesn’t do anymore, and witnessing which doesn’t make you a Nazi if you aren’t already and the socialism jokes, he is far away from politics. There’s slight misogyny which comes off his videos but if someone sticks around they will obviously see that it isn’t what he’s about. The subreddit and the community constantly addresses female youtubers as queens including ItsSkyLOL, JaidenAnimations etc.
          He has also helped numerous youtubers like theweevster18 (kid had cancer and pewds gave him a shoutout), johnnydee, dave and so many more. He’s a good guy whi used to be very edgy. And that is not a price too high to pay for free speech.

          • Lennart says

            👏👏👏👏👏 Finally! A reasonable take on thewhole sitch by a fan of his❤️ Love the attitude, my dude! Don’t agree 100 %, but absolutely adore this comment ☝️

        • Owntown Dart Scene says

          Oh no, he posts pictures of… er, Hatler?

          What’s next, will this miscreant start normalizing the idea of “gagging subhuman scum”? Because that would clearly constitute a wrongful appropriation of YOUR enlightened standards.

        • Angela says

          You consider Sargon and Chris Ray Gun *hard core far right?” Why? Because they’re to the right of Stalin? Good grief!

        • Charity Gyps says

          LOL! Chris Ray Gun is NOT far right. The dudes a fucking liberal… Even if that word scares him sometimes. He is part of the skeptic community… Not the far right. I think the same goes for Sargon, but I don’t watch much of his stuff.

          I wish people would actually listen.

        • Becky says

          Thank you for illustrating with your hysteria the motives for the onslaught against pewdiepie. I was a little perplexed before but I see now you genuinely are in a cold sweat at the thought of him

        • Breakfast Bear says

          This is some of the most absurd, Social Justice ranting I’ve seen.

          What attracts white supremacists is mass social campaigns of promoting white guilt and male guilt. The rise in white supremacists has nothing to do with a meme maker on YouTube. It has everything to do with the recent social campaigns of the Left that want to offer up the white population on the alter of social justice. That creates white supremacy (because it’s the Left literally saying that Whites are supreme, affirming the position).

          The Left highlights racism. It can’t let it go; it’s obsessed (because it doesn’t want to actually focus on dollars and policy). That creates white supremacists. If you don’t believe me, the prisons are the ultimate example. Most actual (not Internet) white supremacists originate from prisons, where populations are literally segregated by race. The Left is trying to take prison policy and implement it in the real world.

          Sargon is not “far-right”. He is only “far right” in that he is not “far Left”. He is pro-abortion, pro gay marriage, pro individual. But because he believes that people should be proud of their nationality, and that a meritocracy is good, he gets listed as “far right.” That’s just the far-Left trying to shame the center.

          If you want to stop Nazis, get the Left to stop demonizing the demographic that comprises them. It’s not pewdiepie. It’s not Sargon. It’s the Left who is telling white people that they are evil, that they are rich (when 99% are not), and that they should give up all that they’ve worked for because their skin color makes them guilty of something.

        • Spoken like a true hardcore far-leftist who wants to shut down the competition.

          Sargon and Chris Ray Gun are liberal centrists who despise political correctness hysteria.

          If endorsing the far right is not OK, then endorsing the far left would be equally not OK.

        • Northern Onserver says

          You are quite the slander merchant aren’t you Mr Underlove. You deserve to be sued for the time being we will simply see you for what you are and know that you and those like you p can not be trusted with power.

        • curiositas says

          Princess Underlove’s comment is running up against Poe’s Law for me. Spot-on parody of a dogmatic, unhinged leftist or an actual dogmatic, unhinged leftist? I just can’t decide.

        • Dave Bowman says

          “Sub-humans” ? Are you a master-race Supremacist ?

        • Yeah Right says

          You are quite literally delusional @Princess Underlove. You’re fucking BONKERS. You have absolutely no idea what “Far Right” means. You’ve been brainwashed by some awful people. Your creepy Cult of Social Justice has driven you mad. You are buying things at full price you shouldn’t pay a penny for.

          I’m serious. You need help. You really do. I am not mad at you. I am *worried about you.*

          Sargon of Akkad is a slightly left of center populist. He’s for all manner of social programs. And Brexit. And free speech. He’s an English Liberal in other words. A Social Liberal at that. I know you don’t know what that means, so I’ll explain it: a Social Liberal is like an old school Democrat before the party was half-coopted by your creepy Cult of Social Justice. For free speech, for the values of the Founding Fathers & the Enlightenment, but also for single payer & other social programs to provide equality of opportunity where it is lacking.

          Sargon HATES the Alt Right (i.e. ACTUAL Far Rightists, i.e. white nationalists) and they HATE him. With a flaming passion. Who do you think got him kicked off Patreon? The Alt Right in combination with elements of your creepy-ass cult who work at Patreon.

          These are FACTS, and they are indisputable. Easily proven.

          I could go ON & ON & ON with more facts, but I will not be able to deprogram you here.

          I can only hope this makes the tiniest dent in your programming. You’ve been brainwashed by a horrible cult & I wish you the very best with your recovery. You have a long row to hoe in breaking with that twisted religion.

          My approach here, I have found, is the only hope in working with religious zealots.

        • Neverender says

          @Princess Underlove, i think you need to be gagged. I bet you would love it.

      • Lennart says

        He’s a gosh darned Swede!😤😤 Have you SEEN the layouts of their newspapers?? “Hello, Sweden? The 80s called”. #GoNorway

        • And now you’re conveying some sort of racism towards him just because of the country he was born in, does that change a person, their personality, their outcome? according to you, yes. If you’re want to implement racism or discrimination go back to the 60s.

          • Lennart says

            Do you know why you always see Swedes crawling on their knees in stores? They’re looking for the low prices! Lmfao, miss me with that lame shit, Willy, Norwegians are inherently better people than Swedes.

    • Devon says

      The statement that “he at times can be a shitty person” goes for everybody everywhere ever, and thus is meaningless.

      As for the promotion of “damaging views”, that is severely up for debate. What views are damaging, how are they damaging, how much damage do they do, how much would someone who promotes a view be responsible for the damage, what constitutes promotion?

      If you think all that is cut and dry and justifiable reason for unpersoning people, you need to a)humble up because you are wrong and b) read more.

          • Lennart says

            I wrote “lol, child❤️” in response to one of these fellers, if you were talking about me^^
            Btw, the whole “read a book” meme can be fun, but it honestly seemed like he (“Devon” was my guy’s username) was serious? xD

          • Lennart's Dad says

            And shifts away from the question. Still providing no evidence for his argument.
            “Lol, child❤️”
            ‘Wasted’

      • That would just prove his point. Nobody with such a audience can avoid making a statement that caused harm in any way. It is just a super generalised statement.

    • “You guys, can’t we also accept the fact that he at times can be a shitty person, a person that has some damaging views that he promotes through his massive platform.”

      No. He is not a shitty person. He is not using his platform to promote damaging views. Saying that about him does not make him look bad. It makes you look bad. You are trying to use character assassination to control what people are allowed to say, even in jest. That is an authoritarian view. Smears like this are no longer as effective as they used to be and will soon cause people who haven’t gotten the memo to be the social pariahs, rather than their victims. The majority of people are not authoritarians. Stop it now.

      You’re welcome.

      • Lennart says

        In my humble opinion; he’s not v funny, got stale memes and is not the most big brained individual out there. These things don’t make him a bad person, but yo, he’s got mad Influence, especially on kiddos~ I think his sorta tacit support of folks like way out there folks, recently Ben Shapiro (lil’ dumbo) and J.B. Peterson (Frog man (not to be confused with the character ot thesame name, on the hit podcast “Aunty Donna”)). He’s often times showed that he cantc handle criticism, like with the WSJ, VOX and E;R debacles. It’s okay to find him funny! (Even though it reveals your simple minded sende of humor, hon). Poods rarely have well-thought-out or multidimendsional takes om societal issus, just check out his cringy “wamen” meme.
        I’m totes with you that it’s important to fight authoritarianism, but also capitalism and other harmful systems ❤️
        P.S.B. Love your epic “no ü” clapback, u gets it

        • Doctor Locketopus says

          > In my humble opinion; he’s not v funny

          That’s nice. 77 million people disagree with you.

          • Lennart says

            Yes. Very good argument. Trump got 63 mill… You know what? I can’t be arsed. Good for them❤️

        • ektohunter says

          Want a youtuber with ‘big brains’? Watch Jacksfilms.

          • Lennart says

            Gotta be something behind that flesh-billboard he calls a forehead

    • The only reason people perceive him to have “damaging views” is because of the way the media portrays him, having gone through his channel with a fine tooth comb, looking for anything negative, simply because he is the biggest youtuber and at a point was seen as their figure head. If anyone one else was in his position I dont doubt that they would have as many if not more slip ups. Considering he has posted daily for nearly a decade I’m not surprised that he slips up, but given the context, I wouldn’t even consider them slip ups, apart from maybe the n-word slip up, but thats subjective. I dont personally believe that him saying the n-word makes him racist.

      • Lennart says

        I’m a huge fan of freedom og speech AND the right to say dumb things you might regret later, especially in the heat of an epic gamer moment *dab* 👌 I’ve always found him annoying (especially in the beginning when all my friends in HS watched is vidyas), but yo; he has a lot of cool videos and an insanely diverse and active community built around him. Maybe it’s partly my fault for believing that people should try to educate themselves on societal and political issues, especially when they’ve got massive followings. :/ I don’t think he’s an exceptionally racist person or a white supremacist, but he has taken part in the whole cringe fest that is “anti-sjw culture”. I love that he tries to become a better person and improve upon himself, but I still think he can be a shitty person^^
        P.S.4. The bridge thing was just a shit show of massive proportions, lotsa dumb takes from basically every side xD

        • “I’m a huge fan of freedom og speech”

          Not really. You are huge fan of trying to use social pressure to force others to bend to your will. I suppose that could be called weaponized free speech. I won’t ask you to admit that out loud, but please consider it.

          “Maybe it’s partly my fault for believing that people should try to educate themselves on societal and political issues, ”

          Adding condescension to your authoritarianism isn’t a good look either. You may want to try new tactics. I’m a liberal who has lived on both coasts of the U.S.. In 2016, half of the country gave us the (tiny orange) middle finger. When half the country gives me the middle finger, I have to ask myself whether anything I am doing can be improved. You should ask yourself the same question. I’ll give you a hint, the condescension and authoritarian tendencies you have exhibited here are, at least, tactically unwise. Large parts of the U.S. and Europe have lurched to the right. That attitudes and tactics that you have exhibited here are part of the reason for that. So, yes, the problems we have are partly your fault but not for the reasons you think.

          • Lennart says

            Thanks for the reply! I guess you’ve got some valid points, and I’ll try to take them to heart^^ Sorry for being a bit rude earlier, but you know: You don’t have anything interesting or new to say, and your immature view of the world is just to die for~ “I’m an authoritarian”? Foh outta here with that bull – I’m all for fighting the man and stuff✊ You 👏 are👏a👏child. Yeah, I’m condescending, but guess what, sweetie: who cares, lol, ur also being a meano here. Of course it’s way better to have long form, ❤️2❤️ convos, where you listen to the other side. But I’m knees deep in Internet shit culture, bby!i Like Bane I grew up with the darkness. And of course the libs and neolibs and “sjws” are awf
            (“Tiny orange finger”👏yo, you should take your act to a local stand up place, the humor and creativity is just off the charts!)
            *dab*

        • Some people literally don’t have a sense of humor 🙂 And it looks as if such people are frantically looking to get offended (by jokes about SJWs, for example) all the time. Pathological mentality, really – won’t help the humorless nor anyone else.

          That fact, neither Pewds or JBP not catering to such individuals or mobs doesn’t make Pewds or JBP “bad”.

          Also might benefit you if you stop polarizing people as if there only exist revered and evil people and nothing in between – not sure if you really do see everything as black and white as that, but your arguments certainly suggest this, Lennart.

          E.g. How about you take from entertainers and teachers what good you can get and then move on.

          No need to stick around like a deranged addict and be disappointed everytime you disagree with some view of theirs. Can’t get all your tools from one teacher, okay?

        • Doctor Locketopus says

          > Maybe it’s partly my fault for believing that people should try to educate themselves on societal and political issues

          Maybe you should educate yourself on the fact that the capitalist system you hate has produced so much abundance that even poor people can get fat (the first time that’s ever happened in the history of the human race) and the communist system you love has produced slavery, starvation, and mass murder every time it’s been tried.

          • Lennart says

            Omg, whoaaaa, I’ve never thought about that! You must have the most humongous brain in the world!! (this argument is so dumb, I just felt a great disturbance in the world, as if a million average people just sighed out in exasperation

          • Dave Bowman says

            the communist system you love has produced slavery, starvation, and mass murder every time it’s been tried

            Bravo.

    • Stephanie says

      Lennart, have you considered the possibility that a professor who makes tens of thousands of dollars a month from educating and inspiring ordinary people might be really smart, and you, who makes unsupported, jealous statements in the comments might in fact be the stupid one? If you’re as smart as you think you are, you’d at least honestly consider the possibility.

      • Lennart says

        … That’s such a dumb argument, my dude… Finna keep u in my prayers, tho🙏 (btw, the cum boys (❤️❤️) just surpassed Jeepo in number of patrons on that site)
        P.S. I’m dumb, but more in like, a quirky way~ 😋

    • HanSulh says

      How is Felix a shitty person and what Peterson says exatly that are stupid.

      • Lennart says

        He is not a shitty person through and through, but he does in my opinion have some views that can be haemful. That’s totes normal, but given his massive influence, I definitely think people shouldn’t be too afraid to criticize him^^
        Peterson is just *kisses fingers* moronic😋 I’d definitely recommend that you see some of his videos, especially ones centered around “hierarcjies”, “Marxism” and “post-modernism” to name a few! Real simple-minded when it comes to most of what he talks about (he talks a lot!😝), but he’s probably a capable clinical psychologist, idk ❤️

        • easyclap says

          or maybe you’re just a libtard. you sound about as objective as a lgbt naked woman shouting propoganda.

          • Lennart says

            I get that you were trying to be a bit humorous there, but 😬😬😬😬 I’m a yard, alright, but not a lib! ❤️

    • Fadhil says

      Personally i know he can be jerks sometimes and i dont deny it but we’re all human we make mistake and it does to logan paul too i’ve watch pewds since 2012 and i know what character he is thats why am still watching him till now im 21 btw

      • Lennart says

        Good for you! Love that you stand up for what you care about, gotta stay true to our selves❤️ I’m 24, and I’m just messing about here because it’s fun – and the Quillette is a terrible site that attracts terrible people with terrible opinions (this PewdiePew-stuff isn’t even part of why the site is utter trash). Know lots of great peeps who like PewPew, but still think we the people have to be critical of him when deemed necessary, just like any other person in a position of power. Liking PewdiePew doesn’t make you childish or anything – my favorite podcast is literally named Cum Town (mos def recommend that people check them out!^^) I don’t like PewDiePie, and not just because I’m jealous of his chair!!!😬😬😬

        • Johan says

          @Lennart…Är du packad? Fullständigt osammanhängande…Anonym fegis som trollar runt i cyberrymden. Skriver som en tolvåring. Bedrövligt patetiskt.
          Translation from Swedish: “Are you hammered? Completely incoherent…Anonymous coward trolling cyber space. Writes like a twelve year old. Sadly pathetic.”

          • Ja, han spammar på rätt så ordenligt. Bra engelska (i synnerhet alla slanguttryck han för sig med), men väldigt lite substans.

            Lazy English translation: My thoughts exactly.

          • Lennart says

            Herregud, sier dere “cyberrymden”? Svensk er et utrolig søtt sprak^^❤️

          • Haha so true! Lennarts comments read like Idubbbz’s ethnic voice sounds.

        • To be fair this article, besides the obvious hits, has been pretty good. Great research and a good portrait of the readers opinion. If you would aim at rating it, it would get a high grade.
          I can not comment on the rest of the page since this is the first article I have ever read.

    • Manas Sharma says

      Lennart…..you are one of those people who just watch a compilation and read an article or two on WSJ about how pewdiepie’s bad and all that kind of crap they write….if you would have actually wanted to find out if he was anti anything or not….you could had atleast watched one of his videos …..mind you however big WSJ becomes it cannot become bigger than Reuters and amnesty …Have you watched any of his videos where he talks about what these companies do….the person that wrote the vox article…..in one of his/her tweets wrote “Be a smarty ,come join the Nazi party”….does that make him/her a nazi….that’s what happens when people write stories without a context ….the WSJ article that was posted last year …had multiple writer who tweeted straight up anti semitic things….the references can still go on….I don’t mind saying that PewDiePie’s sense of humour was wrong …..but taking it all out of context…..and just randomly creating a mixtape of him saying all kinda abusive words is not journalism,it never will be. I would like to question you too….are you so pure that you have never said anything offensive to anyone.To the “anti semitic” channel that he promoted-it’s like the kevin Hart and the Oscar thing…..he said something bad back then….he apologized for it….and now he becomes the Oscar host….and suddenly that thing pops outtta nowhere again – his intent was to promote smaller channels who according to him deserved i subscribers….so he watched one of the channels videos about “death note”(an anime in case you didn’t know) and there were literally no references in that video….Vox caught hold of it….made it into an issue….but he sincerely apologized to his subscribers…..now two even worse things happened because if this article…..when PewDiePie gave a shout out to the channel the channel gained 10-13k subs(if I am right)….when Vox and other news media outlets wrote about PewDiePie giving a shout out to this channel…they mentioned the name of the channel….thus the “anti semitic” channel gaining more than 20k subs.Now you tell me who is at fault here …. PewDiePie or the news outlets that just wrote the article trying to take pewdiepie down…I know you won’t read any of this ….but I am just trying to tell you to not just believe in anything posted by a news company unless you know it’s background….PewDiePie has gained over 5 mil subscribers in over a month….he recently just raised over 200k to donate to the “child rights and you” foundation…..Vox didn’t write about that…..did they? This isn’t about who’s right and who is wrond….you need to understand that media is a very competitive space right now ….it just works on clicks now …..if you don’t get clicks you just get fired ….. it’s not about the facts and the truth now ……it’s only about the no. of people who have read your article

      • Lennart says

        Leave some periods for the rest of the 13 year old girls out there, dude (this *actually* sounded funny in my head 😬)
        Tbh, I get your sentiment, but I don’t think you’ve got much ground to stand on. The comparison to the Vox author’s Springtime for Hitler tweet is just childish, the world isn’t just black and white, fam
        Pjudes is a normal ass person (in some respects), but he has potential to do much better 👏 He has shown that he can grow, which is neato poteato, but I think he’s also let himself be influenced by a couple of bad hombres with shitty ideologies~

    • Damaging views like what exactly? Could you please explain yourself?

    • We can agree on that! But for every person in existence. Nobody will ever be abled to not do a mistake… Pewds with his massive audience created a number of videos that are controversial for a good reason. His mistakes are greater in number as yours or mine, because he created so many more public statements.

    • WildCard says

      Lennart, or the sad life of a typical attention-seeking troll.

      • Lennart says

        I foh schmo might steal that title for my autobiography~ but you know, this is real simple fun! requires almost zero effort, similar to how agreeing with a Quillette article req almost zero brain power #burn #ChelseaClinton2020 #just joking with the #s

    • K, Loser, what damaging views? I’ve followed Pewds for almost a year and he seems as politically correct as possible. I mean…God. name one opinion of his that is damaging. Go ahead you said it. Surely you are not…LYING?! Enough. What you say is just straight up lies. If you say ANYTHING you must always have something to back that up. If you can’t your lying.

      • Lennart says

        You are dumb.
        Source: ur mom
        No seriously. Grow up~❤️
        P.S. Say hi to ur mom from me 😘

    • A massive platform? Is that actually something positive, or maybe negative? I grew up with the idea (from my parents and from school) that it was negative! Good writers had a small, but selective readership, that’s what I still think, btw, but who am I ?? Because, the times they are a’çhanging, yes, I know, I know!!

    • Scroto Baggins says

      ” can’t we also accept the fact that he at times can be a shitty person, a person that has some damaging views that he promotes through his massive platform…”

      No.

      Let me be pellucid about this:

      There is no “WE”.

      There is you, and I scrolling through you.

      Brah.

    • Jimmy says

      Can you expand on Peterson? You dismissed two prominent and extremely successful people without any explanation.It would be therefore surely enlightening for all of us if you can help and shine a light on why those two are not worth following.Thank you.

    • Breakfast Bear says

      There’s no such thing as ‘damaging views’. When the solution to avoiding damage is simply “don’t watch the video”, there’s no victim. There’s no damage.

      Everyone is sometimes a ‘shitty person’. Everyone. I don’t understand why it’s no longer acceptable to say that “that person is human.” Mother Teresa was terrible at some point. So was MLK and Gandhi.

      The Left has a purity test, and they only apply it when they want to nix someone from the public debate. It means every view has to be prefaced with “I don’t agree with everything this person says, but…” Well, duh. Twins, with the same genes, hold different views. That’s normal, except to a collectivist that needs everyone to think the same.

      Oddly enough, the Left copies the most religious Right when it comes to taboo, and they are too blind to see it. They’ve turned the public sphere into a church. Leaders must be pristine preachers, there are taboos galore, and public funding and the University are now the church grounds.

    • Julian Janes says

      You dont watch enough pewdiepie if you think that. Any one who is as exposed and honest as he is will come across shitty sometimes. He is human.

  5. Devon says

    That was a nice article and seems to be a good summing up of the situation. This is a historical time and PewDiePie is right at the forefront.

  6. Draconix Nicolas says

    A site that doesn’t ban comments… An article that doesn’t hate Pewds and tells their audience to subscribe… IS THIS THE INTERNET OR HEAVEN.

    • Stephanie says

      Draconix, I wouldn’t be sure that Quillette doesn’t censor comments. It’s been a few days since we’ve heard from Vicki.

      #FreeVicki

      • TarsTarkas says

        Which Vicki? The sane often amusing but incoherent male-disparaging Vicki or the shitty vicious man-hating Vicki? Either she/he/it has several different personalities or there is more than one person posting under that name.

      • Harland says

        Is this the tremendous irony of the censoring, SJW left – complaining about censorship?

        Do you people have zero self-awareness or what? Let me guess, the answer is yes. Watch this, pick one:

        1. “Believe all women”

        2. Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broaddrick.

        LOL. See, it’s easy.

        Honestly the Vicki account was such an over-the-top troll I think that it was created deliberately to spew feminist rhetoric and disrupt conversations, just so the Twitter SJWs could say, “Now YOU censor, too!” Classic psychological projection, a very human defense mechanism when you know you’re doing something wrong.

        • Doctor Locketopus says

          > 1. “Believe all women”

          > 2. Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broaddrick.

          Or:

          1) The police are racist murderers, Trump is Hitler, and soldiers are baby killers.
          2) Only the police, the federal government, and the military should have guns.

          Becoming a communist requires that one shut down the rational part of one’s mind, making it possible to believe contradictory things at the same time.

          • Lennart says

            Whoa, you are very smart. JK, this is insanely dumb #wrecked #destroyedbyfactsandlogic Sorry, hon, fact’s don’t care about your feelings 💅

      • WildCard says

        Stephanie: you don’t hear from your fellow SJW-in-arms for a few days and you instantly assume censorship? Sad that you can’t fathom some people might have more of a life than you do.

        • Evander says

          @Wildcard

          Why do you think Stephanie is an SJW? Her views seem moderate to centre-right to me.

          Vicki’s comments disappeared from an article a few days ago. No explanation has been given. I’ll be emailing Quillette to ask for one.

          Also: what’s your life look like? It’s so retarded when people use the ‘I spend less time on the internet than you’ line.

      • D-Rex says

        If that’s the case Flyoverland, please bring Vicki back. She is eminently more preferable to Lennart, who is obviously a troll so PLEASE stop feeding him/her/ze!

  7. Like Peterson’s, PewDiePie’s “true crime” is that he won’t swear allegiance to shrill and humourless identity politics. And even worse, he laughs at it. This is why Vox and these other third-rate propaganda outlets want to take him down. Such heresy must be purged at any cost.

    • Reader says

      The original February 2017 Wall Street Journal article basically took an offensive joke amongst the ton this guy apparently does, sensationalized it beyond recognition, took random screenshots out of context, and (people always forget this next part!) spent the next few weeks making the larger argument that advertisers were showing up on these videos and on “extremist” content, and then tying Brawn paper towels (or whatever) to nazism because they showed up on a PewDiePie let’s play. It was the most hilariously transparent attempt at defunding a rival through controversy – and it worked!

      Now, with YouTube’s corporate image getting an embarrassment from the Rewind video, and PewDiePie already getting the most attention he had gotten from a mock feud with T-Series, FOR SOME MYSTERIOUS REASON the Verge/Vox hall monitor crew decided to decontextualize and sensationalize a 5-second endorsement into “PEWDS IS A NAZI.” Gee, I’m sure this was done to, uh, fight hatred.

      I don’t even really watch the guy, but it’s quite obvious these are targeted attacks against someone emblematic of ‘new media’ that legacy outlets (and venture capital funded online content mills) want to hurt any way they can. Japan went through this same thing about 10 years back. Hope PewDiePie continues not giving a fuck, and hope his fans continue being vocal. 14-year olds, give these clickbaiting assholes a piece of your mind, please.

      • Reader says

        Above comment was supposed to be independent but heck, works as a reply too.

    • Lennart says

      lmfao, yeah, Peterson *winks* totally *winks* doesn’t *winks* rely *winks* on *winks* identity politics
      (Also, Vox generally sucks – neigh; suckles on – donkey scrotums)

  8. Dancer says

    Quilette: “who among us does not blurt out the n-word in heated moments? If a white man can’t casually use the n-word, can we truly be free?”

    • Lennart says

      Wait, didn’t Bill Maher sacrifice himself so that we white guys may finally know the freedom of an absolute vocabulary?

    • Congratulations, you have just failed the ideological Turing test. Back to Vox so you can indulge in your unchecked insularity.

    • Dave Bowman says

      Don’t be silly, Dancer. You know perfectly well that the only permissible race-hate slurs in White homelands such as the UK, Europe and the USA are “honky” and “white-trash”.

  9. Tome708 says

    Dancer is a grown person saying “the n word”. Your purity is beyond reproach “Dancer” you may pass

    • Lennart says

      Just read your name. This is peak social satire, I think I love you?

  10. Man, quite a refreshing article out here, hope Pewds read this 👍🏻

  11. Carl Craven says

    So if I subscribe to vox and to pewdiepie does that make vox, nazi sympathizers?

    • Lennart says

      Dude: ofc. *Duh* Didn’t you read the impeccable and totally scientifically valid report on the “Alternative Influencer Network Bullshit”?

  12. Dingy Gamme says

    Firstly let’s remind ourselves that pdp main demographics is the young adult age group. We’re in our 20s-30s. And we’re not really (legally) 9 year old.
    And for some reason your 9yo kid likes to watch pdp and you let him, then you’re the asshole parent. I mean this guys theme song (of late) is called BITCH lasagna. Its definitely NOT targeted towards ages 9 or below.

    That said, if, I as a 30yo doctor in training to be a neurosurgeon, is not mentally strong enough to resist the subliminal message of a nazi recruitment video disguised as anime review on YouTube, then maybe I need to stay off the Internet.
    That’s pretty much the whole point of pdp’s rebuttal, if you can’t make up your own mind and is so easily swayed on YouTube then you should probably travel to the icy walls at the end of our flat earth and stay there.

    As apologetic as he has been in recent years, his content is very ironically unapologetic. He doesn’t care if there’s 20million viewers or 20, the jokes are the same and there’s no “with great power …” nonsense here. And that’s why we love him for it.

    Why isn’t vox or wsj writing any articles about southpark where cartman actually became a reincarnated Hitler and went after Jews? Why aren’t they writing against the likes of miley cyrus who was a disney good girl whom many actual 9year olds were watching. I’m not sure but take a guess how many then 9year olds had their first wank when miley rubbed her clit on tv.?

    Pdp is far from perfect and he has let out some untimely jokes. He said the n word in the wrong decade. He’s overly sarcastic, albeit entertaining, about women’s rights. But everytime there’s an oopsie, he evaluates it and apologises if he thinks he made a mistake.. You know, like how normal human should.

    Tldr its my off day today and I’m in a cafe enjoying a cup of coffee at 11am =) happy holidays everyone

    • Lennart says

      Happy holidays and enjoy your coffee – you deserve it, saving lives and shit 👏 I think Poowie has too much power for his own good, but that’s hardly his fault alone. Love that he’s recently taken an interest in reading and expanding his world a lil’, but he always disappoints me with how he handles his oopsie daisies :/
      I’m just a bitter millennial, tho! Keep up the good work Dingo!✊

      • He didnt ask for this level of influence, we stuck around cos we resonate with what he’s saying and he entertains us day in day out.
        What’s wrong with the ways he handles his oopsie daisies?

    • Thanks! Happy holidays to you too! I would totally agree with you. I love the humorous but also serious take on the 9 year olds joke. 👌

  13. Carson says

    Actually, JaidenAnimations included PewDiePies’ chair, so he wasn’t fully closed out.

    • Lennart says

      Jaiden knocked it out of the park with both of the references in her clip!👏👏

        • Lennart says

          I’ve seen a lot of his videos and have definitely enjoyed many of them! Still don’t think he’s perfect^^

          • Pewdiepie 2 says

            Just go to his channel and watch a video and find a hole to prove your point and then go back here and give us a link and time stub. Make sure he is serious and not being satire. And we all accept the L.

  14. I’ve never heard of this website but man:

    – Non-political Journalism
    – Researched Article
    – Unashamed to include a comments section

    Where did you come from and will you have my babies?

    • Harland says

      A study conducted by The Washington Post and USA Today – http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/08/19/its-time-to-end-anonymous-comments-sections/ – found that readers who viewed articles with comments sections were more likely to develop a negative opinion of the news media. Curiously, this effect was seen even when commenters praised the article in question. In other words, when the opinions of journalists and the opinions or ordinary members of the public are placed close together, it leads readers to question the competence of the mainstream media. What horror!

      If there is no comment section, I won’t read the article, why? Because it shows me that the media outlet are authoritarian jerks who are afraid of my opinions.

      • I mostly start with the comment section here, before even having read the article itself. If the comments make sense, are of interest, startle my curiosity, I set to read the main article (not completely, because they are mostly too long). In this particular case, not going to read it, I better write some X-mas carts.

        • Dave Bowman says

          “not completely, because they are mostly too long”

          I’m absolutely intrigued. How long – exactly – is “too long” for you – in the context of a learned, well-researched, vitally-important and probably soon-to-be-edited-or-suppressed article – just out of interest ?

  15. Robert James says

    I liked the fact that someone who hates Felix took all their time to talk about Felix. Face it: you love him, but you can’t stand the fact that you are not strong enough to be his fan because of your social justice warrior blood. You want to join the club, but the reputation of the club isn’t cool enough for your clique

    People who take Pewdiepie seriously are the same people who claim his ad revenue and write character-assassinating articles. They’re not haters, though The real haters just don’t talk about him or read about him. They’re also the same people who thought Filthy Frank was a bad influence even when everyone clearly knows he was portraying a fucking character that embodies all that is wrong with internet users.

    Those people just can’t accept the fact that someone who doesn’t look smart enough to become successful in life is actually much more successful than they could ever hope for. Not only that, but even though Felix doesn’t go out of his way to appear as a good person or role model, people still like him – which is not the case for blog sites like Vox and their journalists as well as his small population of jealous detractors.

    They try to appear to sound smarter and above everyone else with their anger and misplaced sense of self-righteousness, but all that it makes them is look desperate for a tenth of the attention Felix gets.

    YouTube belongs to real YouTubers, and Felix is doing all that he can to keep it that way despite the laser-focused media slander. You may not appreciate him now, but you will look for someone like him when corporations take over and censorship forces real users to go underground.

    Until that happens, enjoy the chaos.

      • WildCard says

        “You are a special child, you”

        How very ironic. Every single one of your comment here is double-digit IQ tier.

        • Lennart says

          Lol, not unless we’re talking about quinary numbers, bby!😎 G-g-g-got your ass!👊

        • Doctor Locketopus says

          Lennart is a dull-witted child who isn’t capable of anything but regurgitating communist propaganda scripts. There isn’t a single original thought in his head. Nonetheless, he’s been told all his life how “smart” he is, because he’s good at parroting what he’s been told.

          He has no real education, no useful skills, and no prospects for ever having a family or a meaningful job. If he were rational, he’d sue the school system that excreted him into the real world so utterly unprepared to cope with it. But he won’t, because deep down he knows that his fellow commiebots would turn on him in a flash if he ever deviated from the herd in any degree. There are millions of him out there — they’re basically interchangeable parts.

          LOL!

          • Lennart says

            Dude, you just typed out “LOL!”. With like, capital letters and stuff? Ehhhhhh 😬 (also; I’m not really a communist, bit more og aan intersectionalist democratic socialist, if you insist on putting me in a box^^)

          • Doctor Locketopus says

            Dude! I’m so sorry you have to take time out from your no-doubt vital daily activities of eating Cheetos, masturbating to cartoon porn, and explaining to your mom why you can’t go out and look for a job yet again today to come here and edify us with your brilliance.

            What a horrible life you must have. What a miserable, sad, useless little person you are.

            LOL!

            P.S. I recommend that you buy Jordan Peterson’s book and read it. Start by cleaning your room. It will make your mom happy, if nothing else.

          • Lennart says

            Can’t reply to ur latlatest comment? Lol, I don’t get this site 😛 Literally every single person who likes the JerP is a pathetic person, and I’ve bought the book to two of my friends (got both on sale, but literally got the second one to 30 % of the full price, prolly due to a mix-up in the register😁😁). Yes, they are also pathetic, but they’ve got redeeming qualities❤️ Gotta find yourself friends who aren’t carbon copies of yourself👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨
            Also, stop being such a jerk about me not having access to Cheetos here in Norway and that I don’t live at home… Miss my MewMaw and PewPaw…💔
            P.S. lol, I’m a sad person and this is a waste of time (still fun, tho), but I honestly believe that you guys’ here who aren’t the smartest knives in the shed, can change for the better❤️ Not that I’ll play a part in that, cuz you are just way dumb

          • Doctor Locketopus says

            > Can’t reply to ur latlatest comment?

            Imagine how sad that makes me feel.

            > Lol, I don’t get this site

            Yeah, well, there are a lot of things you “don’t get”, son. Probably including shoelaces and how to use a fork without stabbing yourself.

            > I honestly believe that you guys’ here who aren’t the smartest knives

            I honestly don’t give a shit what you believe, child.

            So is this how you planned to make your mark on the world? This is the extent of your ambition in life? This is what you dreamed of when you were a (younger) child?

            What a sad, sad little man you are.

            LOL!

      • Robert James says

        I’m a special 9-yeard old. But, I also recently turned 14 <3

    • Dave Bowman says

      “Those people just can’t accept the fact that someone who doesn’t look smart enough to become successful in life is actually much more successful than they could ever hope for”

      Bravo.

      In other words, they are burning up with the same neurotic, deranged, SJW, White-hating jealousy and malice which is the same central personality-driver as that of the ethnically-related billionaire Jewish oligarchs who wish to control, steer, censor and restrict every facet of the internet – and most especially the money-centric ones.

  16. Robert James says

    Btw, I subbed to Quilette. An unbiased and well-researched take on the issues of censorship and context is hard find.

  17. Nakatomi Plaza says

    I’m so happy to say I don’t have a clue what the fuck this article is about or who that douchebag in the photo happens to be.

    • Yeah, but that also means you were naive enough to get clickbaited by something you know absolutely nothing about.

      Wonder how many times you spread fake news lately…

    • D-Rex says

      Is everyone you’ve never heard of automatically a “douchebag”? BTW, do you actually know what a douchebag is and what one is used for?

    • Dave Bowman says

      That’s ok – just as long as you remember the all-important name of a fictional building in a faded, garish, ludicrous, teenage-targeted 1980’s whizz-bang popcorn movie.

      Does your mother know you’re out past your bedtime ?

  18. Happy holidays. I myself am on the side of Tseries, but I do not hate pewdiepie. I Honestly hate what his FANS have done..hacking printers, articles, and more.

    • Its not a real war mate, just a meme. Also his fans have helped raise awareness about printer safety. Hacking the wsj didnt really affect anyone, only up for 15 mins and wasnt even on their main site. The rest is pretty fun to watch, no real illegal stuff, lovely to see a community band together for a common goal, pewdiepie represents the independent creators, its not really about his channel.

      I dont think the internat community has felt this wholesome for a long while.

  19. WALUIGI?! says

    About time I found an article that doesn’t try and grind PewDiePie into a fine dust.
    I feel like if more people actually watched his videos, as opposed to just reading hit-pieces, they’d change their tune.

    It’s a shame that these people avoid watching his stuff and call him ‘problematic’ and ‘harmful’, but can’t provide evidence, since they get all their info from trash like WSJ and Vox.

    Oh well. He’s too big to really stop, now. His videos haven’t turned me into a sexist, racist Nazi, yet. And I’ve not seen any comments in his his videos that lead me to believe that they’ve become Nazis, either. So imma just assume that he’s actually harmless and some people can’t take jokes.

  20. Chrissy says

    I actually read this article in full. I never do that. And I never leave comments either. Great work!! Subscribe to Pewdiepie! 🙂

  21. Can we get a #BanLennart hashtag going? He’s absolutely insufferable.

    • WildCard says

      Censorship sucks, so no. A blocking option would be sweet though.

    • Second petition of banning somebody here on Quillette, just in only a weeks time. What’s going on in Quillette? Though, in both cases, I heartily agree.

    • Lennart says

      Yes! Censor me, u snowflakes!! Nah, I’m just playing, you’re right, I’m purposefully being a rudeo to some peeps here👏

    • Doctor Locktopus says

      Nah, he’s just an overgrown toddler screaming “Poopie! Poopie!”

    • Lennart says

      Nick, was it you, my fellow Scandinavian, who proposed a ban on me…? Ouch, that one hurt… 😢

  22. Blahwisdomdood says

    I actually enjoy Lennart’s comments and replies even though I don’t agree with most of what he says.

  23. Avid Reader says

    But he’s nowhere near as funny and cutting as Vicki at her best (not man-hating Vicki). She would eat Lennart for breakfast #freevicki

    • George G says

      @ Avid Reader

      maybe Quillette could do a “rewind” style video feature of Vicki’s best “suck your own dick” comments?

      good times

  24. Johan says

    Lennart…Here’s your diagnose:”Histrionic Personality Disorder”…Goes without saying…lack of humor stands out.

    • WildCard says

      What are you talking about? Emojis and in-your-face-trolling is peak zoomer humor.

  25. Meera says

    when the #1 subscribed youtuber is actually the opposite of basic, I have massive hope for humanity

  26. johno says

    While it’s easy, and appealing, to portray this as evil capitalist oligarchies telling the world what to think, the base issue… and the base solution… lies a bit deeper.

    In the end, the people fund all of this. And in the end, the people can change this… in some cases are changing this.

    Witness Facebook. Once the unstoppable giant, it was found to be selling it’s ‘members’ private details, to anyone who had the money. These days, Facebook is becoming ‘uncool’, and it has been in a slight downward spiral that likely will lead to its demise. Without people, FB is nothing… just ask the founders of MySpace. (remember that?)

    Apple rose to fortune on genuine innovation with devices that changed how we use tech: iPod, iPhone, iPad. These days, it just adds small refinements to an aging and expensive design and has been dipping into the social justice well. Meanwhile, iTunes has been flaky for a couple of years. Today’s Apple looks a lot like the Apple of 1988: charging a premium price for aging tech… which ended with the near bankruptcy of the company in the late 90’s. And they don’t have Jobs to rescue them this time. If they don’t dispose of Tim Cook and the nanny state, they will be back in that position. How Apple can ignore that lesson, when they lived it to their near destruction, is beyond me, but they do appear to be headed towards 1998… again.

    Google’s economic model is based on spying on people, and through their YouTube division, are getting more and more into censorship. That will not last. Sooner or later, it will end up like facebook: user base dropping because people don’t trust it, or it may run up against government action when enough people complain. Google has competition that could take its place tomorrow. Search engines are becoming a commodity. If Google continues on the spying/preaching path, it will lose it’s customer’s faith. Just like dozens of tech giants in the past (IBM, Compaq, Lotus, etc…), it will be done in by it’s own arrogance.

    The same can be said for Twitter: heavily used, but it’s forays into political censorship and double standards will end up with a good deal of it’s user base losing faith in it. Twitter is a very easy app to write… it can be replaced with a more neutral platform, if its customers are given sufficient reason to move on.

    Those companies do what they do because the majority of their customers don’t find it a problem… yet.

    Just like the news media, they are a reflection of their customers, not a molder of it. In the case of the internet giants, that reflection indicates that a lot of people aren’t paying attention… yet. They will pay attention if sufficient reason is given… again, witness Facebook.

    The current boom in biased media happened not because they forced this on us, but because enough of us rewarded the biased media with our viewership. In the US, the two most popular ‘news sites’ have a distinct political bias.

    Yes, if Quillette became a wildly popular site, we could deduce that a lot of people have become disillusioned with self reinforcement, and are returning to the old ‘classic liberal’ mindset of exploring everything, and censoring nothing.

    That hasn’t happened… yet… the next few years will be very interesting.

    What will humanity in general do? With the social justice warriors getting increasingly absurd (the TG thing is a prime example… they’re now attacking feminists), and the intellectual terrorism and bullying on the rise, it is possible that enough people will wake up and head in a different direction.

    The current PC dictatorship is all based on hate and fear, and that does not last. People will get up and walk away, eventually. The US was formed when enough people got fed up with the regimented UK society, and the prejudice and fear that it ran on, so fed up that they risked the 50% mortality in the first year to leave and come to the new world.

    If not, this grand experiment known as civilization will be stalled. I have faith in human nature… it’s just a matter of time before a lot of people wake up to what they’ve been thinking, and make a correction.

    • Allen Farrington says

      Thank you for the well though out comment. I agree with your analysis about how these Internet ‘platforms’ became successful, but disagree implicitly with why it happened. I covered this very quickly in the article as I didn’t want it to become too much of a tangent, but I would argue that these companies actually provide an exceptionally valuable service even if people claim to hate them – notice how fashionable this is too – the same arguments could have been made at any point over their existence but now dominate the news.

      The problem is that this valuable service solves a problem of technology and incentives. There wasn’t the technology available in the design of the early web to develop fully open protocols for the things Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, and so on, now provide. The best way found to achieve this (but by no means the only way) was a private workaround funded by targeted advertising. This has changed the economic dynamics of the marketplaces in a way that I would argue cannot be accurately captured by previous economic or managerial paradigms.

      The link in the article is to a blog run by renowned tech reporter and thinker Ben Thomson, and I would very much encourage you to read the entirety of that post, and to poke around in his work on what he calls ‘aggregation theory’, which provides a very thoughtful analysis and from which I have borrowed heavily and am deeply intellectually indebted. On alternatives to these protocols, I recommend the talks and writings of Fred Wilson and Chris Dixon in particular (amongst many others), including a recent podcast on the a16z website featuring the two of them in discussion.

      To round off by returning to your comment, I think what I disagree with is the implication that culture can simply mould these technologies based on fashionable dissatisfaction (that is obviously a harsh assessment and not intended to be a fair paraphrase) whereas I would argue that the cultural interaction with the technology is very much formed and bounded by how the technology operates and what behaviours and modes of organisation it allows in the first place. I think the greatest hope for the clear abuses of power we are now seeing is not in leaving these platforms, as they actually provide very valuable services that we underrate in moments of crowdsourced hatred; the hope is in better technologies rendering their rent seeking economic protocols obsolete.

      Thanks for the comment though – very glad people are engaging!

      • johno says

        Allen:

        We may be thinking of the same thing… from two different angles.

        Culture doesn’t ‘mold’ technology, but it does fund technology when it uses that tech. And if that technology’s content is suspect due to potential privacy issues or imposition of a political agenda, culture will bypass it.

        What I see is a small but growing dissatisfaction by people with our ‘tech overlords’. Not the tech, but the censorship and political agendas that the tech companies have begun to implement. The major tech giants are now intruding into our personal lives, whereas before around 2010, they just provided the service, with little or no filtering. This PC craze with the tech giants is a fairly recent event.

        It’s not so much PewDiePie (who I find to be a bit self indulgent and tiresome), or even someone like Ben Shapiro (who talks like he’s been turned up to 11), but the interest in them that’s fascinating, as both run contrary to the PC mindset. Another interesting upstart is Candace Owens, pointing out that the PC left patronizes minorities and expects their support.

        Despite the filtering and banning of the tech giants, and a good deal of current media supporting the PC mindset, the interest in rejecting that is there. What’s most fascinating is that the interest doesn’t result from misinformation or boilerplate chanting, but as the end result of a logical examination. The PC mindset is hypocritical and self serving, and cannot be justified by a full examination of all relevant facts.

        We can find similar situations in the past, if you factor in the context of the culture at that time.

        In the 1960’s, conventional US society held that one followed their formula for success: have faith in your leaders. Period. This was undone by Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara bungling the Vietnam conflict, creating a wave of discontent based upon a logical examination of facts. The conduct of the Vietnam war was absurd, if you look at it in its entirety. They were wrong, and they were absorbed in power for power’s sake. It just took a few years for enough people to overcome that political inertia.

        Further back, in the 1400’s, the Catholic church had become a major governing power, and was engaged in self promotional hypocrisy, right down to turning forgiveness into a commercial activity. In that case, an emerging tech, the printing press, not only enabled the church to print bags of indulgences for sale (augmenting the discontent), but also got Martin Luther’s words to a lot of people who felt that discontent. The Catholic church is still with us, but it has lost almost all of the political power it once had, due largely to mismanagement of that power. People lost faith, not in Christianity, but in the leadership of the Catholic church.

        And so people may not lose faith in tech, but they can lose faith in the major tech companies.

        Remember also that due to cloud services, it is quite possible for a few individuals to reproduce a major web function, and be able to handle the expected load of millions of users, at a fairly modest cost. That wasn’t the case in 1996, when Google first started up, or even 2008, when mobile computing started.

        It is the case today.

        So the current tech giants are more vulnerable to being replaced than ever before, especially if that discontent continues to grow.

  27. Jules Sylver says

    “he is regarded as a true celebrity—a sort of Joe Rogan, Kanye West and Ben Shapiro all rolled into one. ”

    Perfect description of the insufferable Pewdiepie. The first guy is jacked on testosterone, the second guy is retarded, and the 3rd guy never went through puberty.

    • Lennart says

      Right on! Still, Ben Shappo is a terrible person who actively makes the world a worse place :/ (btw, everyone should check out his fiction – man can’t write for shit 😂)

    • I’ll give you this: I actually cringed when the comparisons were on those three. Like, really? I like Pewdiepie and you and I can argue for days about it, but I will agree on the poor selections of celebrities that is likened to Pewds.

      If I were to choose three trending celebs, I’d go for Bill Burr, Bo Burnham, and Joji Miller (formerly Filthy Frank) because these three are naturally good people, but they also don’t give a fuck about extreme PC-ness.

      Although to give the author credit, perhaps he was referring to their infamous notoriety. As I wrote so many times, Pewdiepie is not out there to make himself out as a good person. If he was, we wouldn’t need Jacksepticeye.

      No, he’s just being himself and people, specially prudes, hate that. He is trying to avoid conflict as much as possible, but they just can’t stand the fact that he doesn’t even appear to be serious in trying to be good. And to be reward with 77 milion fans despite not trying will definitely piss those who try their best, but don’t even have 1/10 of that fanbase.

      • Lennart says

        Love that you have a sorta nuanced take on this whole sitch, but! objectively speaking: Bill Burr isn’t (much) funnier than Samantha Bee, and I just don’t know how people can like him so much? Not looking for an answer, just wanted to vent a bit xP

    • Breakfast Bear says

      So one guy is bad for being jacked, the other guy is bad for not being jacked.

      It’s almost like people can’t win.

  28. Stop replying to Lennart. He’s probably not even a real person. No one claiming to be an adult would spend so much time making so many comments and cringe worthy references to seem relevant.

    • Lennart says

      The one critical flaw in your logic, is that you forgot some people have very sad lives!👶

    • Martin28 says

      I agree with not talking to Lennart. He’s an annoying half-wit, mental age of an immature 12-year-old, shitting all over the comment section. Lennart will disappear soon enough when nobody talks TO him. Emoji.

      • Lennart says

        I appreciate your gusto, but you must remember one simple fact about ignoring me: “In solitude, is where we are the least alone” ❤️

        • Dave Bowman says

          Yeah, yeah. Quote quote. And I am the fucking walrus.

  29. Djule says

    An actually well thought out and reliable article. Bravo! (9 year old)

  30. Aylwin says

    Ugh. Did Quillette always display emoticons, or has this article just awoken the children? 😝

  31. Kristina says

    Thank you for this article, I subscribed to your newsletter, you are awesome!

  32. ga gamba says

    Pewdiepie. Who? Ben Shapiro. Who? Jordan Peterson. Who?

    I’m being facetious. I, and I assume all of you, know who these people are because of YouTube.

    This is the power of YouTube. It’s completely unlike any other media. It allows nobodies to bypass the gatekeepers to become somebodies.

    Think of years ago when cable TV was being launched. In some media markets, in particular large urban ones such as Chicago, it took decades for government approval. Often the local authorities demanded advert-free community access channels with studios be established for community creators to use. And like anything else that’s compelled the cable operators grudgingly complied, provided the bare minimum, and failed to appreciate that it may offer them the opportunity to discover talent. Without adverts permitted the operators failed to see these as potential sources of revenue. The facilities were spartan and the required soundboard and camera training which the operators had to offer for free, was provided infrequently. The most famous TV series begat from that was Wayne’s World, which of course was a spoof of community access programming.

    Could it be that Vox simply doesn’t really understand the power wielded by a true YouTube celebrity?

    It may not be only Vox. YouTube itself may not appreciate its platform’s own power, especially in conjunction with Google search.

    In many ways, YouTube is the new TV. Whilst TV engagement has been declining over the past few years, YouTube viewership has skyrocketed. Every day, the world views one billion hours of YouTube videos. That’s equivalent to 114,155 years – more than all of human history – in a single day. No advertiser can afford to disregard such a platform, especially when engagement with print and traditional broadcast media is dropping. And YouTube’s competitors? It’s and. Let me repeat that. It’s and. (Vimeo and Daily Motion, which means there’s really no genuine Youtube competitors out there.)

    Youtube offers non-traditional advertisers an affordable way to reach millions. It’s practically risk free. Those adverts appearing at the beginning of a video, the ones that you’re allowed to click though after 5 seconds, cost the advertiser nothing. That’s a helluva lot less than spending thousands, and in some cases tens of thousands of dollars, on a 30-second TV advert to a much less targeted demographic, one than can flip the channel or visit the kitchen to get a snack knowing it has a few-minute window before the broadcast resumes.

    Youtube is attempting to monetise the platform beyond adverts. It’s paid subscription service YouTube Red, now called YouTube Premium, provides advert-free streaming of all videos hosted by YouTube as well as exclusive original content (YouTube Originals) produced in collaboration with the site’s major creators, i.e. those deemed by YouTube worthy of its interest. This ought to appease skittish advertisers, yet it was PewDiePie’s “Scare PewDiePie” series that was cancelled and dropped from YouTube Red whilst his non-premium content remained on advertiser-dependent regular YouTube only to be demonetised again and again. This was arse backward. YouTube ought to be moving its controversial creators to the subscription service. Instead, it’s make-up channels and mainstream news.

    How many of you know of the YouTube Original Channel Initiative? In 2012 YouTube invested $100 million to fund the participation of (and I’m not making this up) Madonna, Pharrell Williams, Shaquille O’Neal, Amy Poehler, Ashton Kutcher, Rainn Wilson, spiritual doctor Deepak Chopra, Sofia Vergara, amongst many other established entertainers. There were a few genuine YouTubers, but they were kind of an after thought. Advance payments to creators and production companies were as high as $5 million per channel. Sums like that weren’t going to Phil DeFranco. What you got was the Shaquille O’Neal comedy channel. Though a few of the participants were YouTubers, YouTube was betting on established celebrity. Complete cock up. For some cockamamie reason YouTube wants to be Hollywood rather than beat Hollywood. It’s as if it doesn’t have faith in itself. YouTube then invested another $200 million in this misguided adventure in 2013. Meanwhile Jordan Peterson is racking up millions of views lecturing about Cain and Abel. And the zit squeezing dermatologist Dr Pimple Popper has 4.6 million subscribers. No Hollywood insider ever thought, “You know what might work? Zit popping.” But that’s YouTube’s virtue. Let the creators and the viewers decide what works.

    It’s as if YouTube cannot see the treasure that exists under its feet. People are not visiting YouTube to see what Ashton Kutcher is doing. They’re visiting YouTube to avoid the likes of him.

    After wasting $300 million in 2012 and 2013, it’s repeating the folly again by partnering with Will Smith, another non-YouTuber. It’s as if the lesson the execs took from the past was: “We had better partner with bigger stars.” YouTube also announced a well-funded initiative to help the dinosaur news media make videos. I’d like to be charitable and think that not every executive working at YouTube is an idiot. Perhaps those running the show are scared of the content creators. “Ben Shapiro is literally Hitler. We must purge the hate from YouTube. Get Ellen Degeneres.” If transforming YouTube into the platform of broadcast repeats is the innovative thought bouncing around their noggins, YouTube is in big trouble.

    It doesn’t need to be that complicated. Be the platform. Don’t be the producer.

    • X. Citoyen says

      Interesting as always, GG. I hadn’t heard of the celebrity channels ventures, though I can’t say I didn’t smile when I read that they flopped.

  33. What I just did after finishing reading this: Shared the article on Twitter. Retweeted and liked all quilette’s tweets with the article.
    What I’m thinking of doing after I’m done writing this comment: Share this article to PewDiePie’s subreddit in hope of it getting more noticed.

    I’m seriously sick of all the articles from vox and others that try to degrade pewdiepie.

  34. Kapil says

    To be honest, I was skeptical while opening the article but the way you write, it really does express the depth of research you did. Loved the article!

  35. The link for “public protocol for value exchange” is broken. It is meant to go to the bitcoin whitepaper, but seems to have been currupted by the author’s chrome extensions.

  36. peanut gallery says

    Quillette, gettin’ trolled. “Pearls before swine” comes to mind. I enjoy engaging with opposing view points, but some people don’t strike me as serious when they participate. YMMV.

  37. Yosef Halberstam says

    Masterfully done! The most in depth and logically coherent article I have ever read on PewDiepie.

  38. Devon says

    Looks like someone in the comments got the attention they were seeking.

    Nothing to see here 😏 Moving along now. Was still a good article.

  39. Agkistro13 says

    If The Powers that Be declared that skipping rope was alt-right, the world would break into two groups: people who would avoid skipping rope because they don’t want to be alt-right, and people who do what they want regardless of what the Powers that Be say. Some small number of that second group would no doubt turn out to be alt-right, but that IN NO WAY would vindicate the original, preposterous accusation that skipping rope is alt right.

    • Lennart says

      Eyyyy! This is not a clever statement, fam~ but good try!<3

  40. Based on how Lennart is replying, he seems to be a bot/NPC.

    He writes the in-game equivalent of Oblivion scripts, the ones that npcs say when you bump into them and decide to take that as an offense, draws their sword/staff/whatever, and launches at you.

    They can’t win against the MC, though.

    On a serious note, maybe he or she is one of those bloggers from Vox or WSJ, the ones who get paid to write clickbait and also to get free clicks to their otherwise ignored websites.

    From that viewpoint, I understand his/her comments. I’d troll too if I was paid to do it.

    • Lennart says

      Dude, there hasn’t been a single original thought or comment from anyone in this comment section! Doen’t mean that we aren’t entitled to our own opinions^^

  41. Romeo says

    Great article, Allen. The most accurate description of Pewds that I’ve ever read. This is the first time I’ve heard of Quillette (found it via Reddit), and I’m looking forward to more quality articles from you guys!

  42. Serious request to the censor of Quilette: quit the allowance to use anything with colors, all those silly emoticons, this platform can’t have it, it is a platform of intellect, not of dudes!

  43. To say the truth, it won’t help, because, I know, once the wave, the tsunami of bad taste is marchin’ in, no one, and nothing at all can stop it. Noway!!

  44. The comments here bear a startling resemblance to YouTube comments.

    • Martin28 says

      That’s because Lennart’s here. He, I assume he, has made dozens of idiotic comments, resulting in dozens of idiotic replies. It’s like some annoying background noise you can’t get rid of. I usually enjoy the comment section of Quillette. It’s usually as good as the articles themselves. But I guess idiots are the price we pay for free speech.

      • Lennart says

        I personally think all the articles I’ve read om this site over the last year have been on the dumb spectrum. Well, I guess I’m just ideologically opposed to many of the authors here and think they’re garbage people^^
        (Also, fite me you skank: I haven’t made a single dumb comment here, all my takes are hotter than Stifler’s mom, show me the receipts, sis👏)

        • @Lennart

          I’ve just become acquainted with Quillette during the past year as well but have not noticed you commenting previously – though my opinion of the content here differs from your own. Did you find this article to be particularly objectionable? If so, why?

        • Dave Bowman says

          “I personally think all the articles I’ve read om this site over the last year have been on the dumb spectrum”

          Yet still you come here – just to type shit ?

      • Since Lennart seems to be a relative newcomer here I’ll defer judgement because my hope is that anyone who is particularly attracted to reading Quillette has enough going on above the neck to participate meaningfully (<- self aggrandizement). We shall see…

        • Lennart says

          The Quilette is like a safe space for people with rice porridge for brains.

    • Peter Piper says

      And you are the obligatory “bitches about comments while contributing nothing” guy

  45. John Doe says

    Lennart sounds like the type of person you would throw in front of a hoard of zombies just to save yourself.

    I would do it just for the memes.

    • Lennart says

      If you think I would be the literal first person to get the Zombie virus due to my general haplessness: Whoo, boy!

  46. Great article! Can’t believe a well researched, fair article is a hard thing to come by these days, but you nailed it.

  47. James Lee says

    @ANC

    From Nick Monroe, a freelance journalist.

    https://twitter.com/nickmon1112/status/1074818614182797312

    Per her LinkedIn account, she worked for PayPal in Risk Operations Merchant Support before becoming the head of Patreon’s Trust and Safety committee.

    A couple other bits that provide some interesting “context”:

    Jack Conte on the Rubin Report said that Silicon Valley CEO’s talk to each other all the time. Both PayPal and Patreon are SV companies… SubscribeStar was a relatively new company apparently founded by a man of Russian ethnicity, and was a direct competitor to Patreon.

    The Patreon banning of Sargon of Akkad comes on the heels of a creepy messianic sermon about suppressing “hate speech” from Apple’s Tim Cook.
    https://youtu.be/V0S-3mI8aAo

  48. Exactly where you think that the JOKER Vicky is destroyed, he/she jumps up as another creator of chaos in other threads. Both fallen in a barrel of acid ? Look at the Glasgow smile, it can’t even be retreated, it’s fixed, it is very effective, it works!

  49. augustine says

    “… a startling resemblance to YouTube comments”. Or Twitter feed.

    It’s a shame that a Quillette piece with pop culture/youth appeal has attracted so much sophomoric comment spittle. I’m thankful that most of this site’s content naturally filters out the trolls, just as the more puerile sectors of the ‘net exclude most of us by reverse osmosis. I am also thankful that there is significant crossover at a more thoughtful level on most days.

  50. Fair journalism,a very good take on it and…..wait for it has a comment section. You can’t do that you absolute madlad. This has to show up on the pewdiepie subreddit. For anyone coming here to hate,get over yourself and know that people of all races love pewdiepie. Know this,woman love him,men love him,he spreads great things and he deserves everything he gets. True just humor may ocassionally be forced but when he does his most funny natural jokes then everybody takes it out of context and freakout. Suscribe to pewdiepie.

  51. yumekui says

    Thank you Quillette, very cool. Facts are presented without bias, slander and SJW crap. Unlike VOX garbage that has no credibility, this site is much more better. I will be clicking and getting news here from now on.

  52. Lennart is a troll, let him/her exist in the misery they’ve created for themselves insulting every person they have contact with.

  53. This article shows the level of quality journalism can bring through a bit of research and good writing skills. Meanwhile media like Vox and Verge have writers who are not even a real journalists, just a bunch of lazy bloggers who think they can rile people up with anything pushing their agenda.Just remember people cannot be tricked into making them choose on what is right and wrong for them. Especially in the internet.

  54. haziqmrfish says

    I can tell that this report writer is a 9-14 year old bro

    • William Blake says

      I was thinking 15-24, but basically some young white dude with zero world experience.

  55. Farrier says

    Wow, journalism may not be as dead as it seems. Thank you, for such an intelligent article.

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  57. Michael sweiss says

    Wow amazing article especially with all the bad ones coming out recently about the matter. now anyone who doesnt understand the situation or even YouTube can see whats going on you do a great job at stating the facts without being biased.

  58. this article reminded me how much i love to read, very nice read !

  59. Interesting. Of all the actual great knowledge and content on YouTube people here choose to overwhelmingly defend this guy. I’m anti reality TV, Kardashian/Paris Hilton “fame” and twitchy kid baiting YouTubers all for the same reason. It’s all junk information. And yet here’s an article from a place that at first glance looks like it would despise junk info just as much with an army of supporters in the comments. Grown people defending him at that unlike the younger crowd that would defend a Kardasian. So I decided to check out just what angle Quillette comes from (the Vox attack was a tip off) and then it made all the sense in the world. It’s not about the power of content creators or sticking it to YouTube at all. It appears to be about protecting a channel of subtle indoctrination. Sure he can explain away with his followers the controversy over the content he promotes. As Trump so famously said he could shoot someone in the street and his followers wouldn’t care. Thanks for reminding me of this YouTuber.

  60. James Lee says

    @Ace

    Where you have been the last two years?

    Silicon Valley *used* to have a reputation for Libertarianism. Prominent Democrats also used to believe (and say) that unrestricted low skilled immigration harmed low skilled American workers.

    At the current pace of change in the West, that was an age ago.

    You might want to read up on James Damore.

    Or you could look into the widespread shadow banning and demonetization of youtube channels that criticize political correctness.

    Patreon just blocked the income of Carl Benjamin, who is by and large a Libertarian who opposes the new Social Justice religion.

    Or just watch the video of Tim Cook delivering a religious sermon on the role of tech companies in enforcing “hate speech.” It’s well worth a view.

    https://youtu.be/V0S-3mI8aAo

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  62. James Lee says

    @Ace

    Where have you been the last two years?

    Silicon Valley *used* to have a reputation for for Libertarianism, just as prominent Democrats used to believe (and say) that mass low skilled immigration hurts low skilled American workers.

    At the current pace of change, that was an age ago.

    I would suggest reading about James Damore.

    Or you could look into the shadow banning and demonetization of youtube channels that are critical of political correctness.

    Patreon just cut off the income of Carl Benjamin, who is by and large a centrist Libertarian who is sharply critical of the Social Justice religion.

    Does anyone still remember when Google froze Jordan Peterson’s Gmail account for a day, only to reinstate it after a large public outcry?

    Or just watch Tim Cook deliver a religious sermon on the moral obligations of our Tech Overlords to be the ultimate arbiters on speech (link is in above comment…)

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  67. Video games as well as online personalities like PewDiePie represent a direct threat to the ad revenues of companies like NewsCorp who owns WSJ and NBCUniversal who owns Vox. Every minute spent on a videogame is a minute of attention that cannot be monetized into ad buys. This anti-competitive behavior of stagnate, indebted companies trying to hold on to market share was predicted by Tim Wu’s book “The Master Switch”

  68. Time to quit complaining and start using censorship-resistant services. Obviously everyone is on YouTube so people will want to keep using it, but there’s no reason whatsoever not to cross-post material to a range of places. Everyone usually mentions bitchute but I think lbry is more promising in the long run.

  69. William Blake says

    Companies aren’t obligated to promote creators. Especially ones with content that connotes bigoted or racist positions.

    I hope this tinfoil-wrapped garbage is indicative of the rest of Quillette.

    • Dave Bowman says

      The point, surely, is NOT whether companies are “obligated” (you mean ‘obliged’) to “promote” creators – but simply the exact diametrically opposite point – namely, whether or not companies should be legally or morally permitted in law to censor, restrict, de-platform or ban creators who hold or promote views which (in the sole view of those companies) are somehow “bigoted” or “racist”.

      In other words, who, pray, do you believe should hold the moral reins of any nation, or of the world, with regard to the unilateral banning / removal / silencing of those with dissenting voices – and why do you so answer ? Yourself, perhaps ? Or those of your own persuasion, or political or social clan ? Because, of course, you are always right and know best ?

      I would suggest that you might do well to commence your education in the basics of personal liberty and political / social tyranny and oppression by reading George Orwells’ novel, “Nineteen Eighty-Four” with some care and attention – then get back to us.

  70. Andrew G. says

    I’m glad to see a more well organized and actually in depth article on Pewdiepie. There’s a lot of journalist that only look at the surface and write sensationalist articles on him.

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  74. I think something worth noting is that the channel with “old Nazi-sympathetic content in its archives” that Vox and other media outlets attacked PewDiePie over was never seriously sympathetic to Nazis. Any content on that channel that could be construed as being sympathetic to Nazis was only ever done in jest.

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  77. martti_s says

    On YouTube content creators used to make money on advertising. Then the agents decided to use the power no-one had admitted to them to decide what kind of content is ‘problematic’ and should not be used as ad medium. This was the market segment where Patreon found its niche: Providing means for the fans to support their favorite creators themselves.

    Until the temptation to use its power for political purposes (and personal grudges like Sarkeesian-Sargon) grew too hard to resist and people lost their income ‘zap’ like that with no warnings or explanations. Now it turns out that there is a group of activists who also belong the elite class of wokes who care very little of the terms of service or fair play when a ’controversial’ has to be taken down.

    Things got scary when PayPal used its monopoly status to strangle a startup that might have offered an alternative channel for the ‘problematic’ figures fallen out of grace of the Siligold Valley Elites.

    Marx was right! Given enough power, capitalists –even the new-money virtue-signaling good guys– go for the monopoly, kill diversity and stifle the freedom of expression.

    As do socialists, for that matter, Marx just did not live to see it.

  78. Hughes. says

    The channel banners, the defunders, the deplatformers, these are the book burners of the 21st century.

    The Gramscian takeover of the illiberal media has taken decades, and just in time for that legacy media to become irrelevant and die.

    They beseieged and infiltrated the castle until they took it and found it was crumbling around them. Now they look out and see a new and shining fortress where they have no power, and they rage at it.

  79. Lennart is a troll that would never say the things he says to someone’s face no matter how much he claims he would. People that actually do act like him in public don’t have friends or a meaningful job.

  80. Dylan Alvarez says

    Finaly a media outlet that tells the truth about felix (pewdiepie) I respect this and I’m glad that they actually made their research

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  82. Coffee Klatch says

    1. If you’re literally not a teenage boy between the ages of 10 and 16 and you’re watching PewDiePoop, you have failed, your parents have failed and society has failed you. I consider this entire genre to be the equivalent of feeding your brain cells to meal worms.

    2. How come right wingers are so readily able to understand the concept of powerful capitalists manipulating public and private systems at the expense of the people who make them rich when it comes to why we can’t watch NAZI videos on YouTube, but can’t understand it in the frame of say: oil, natural gas, retail, grocery, food production, telecom, land and water use, travel, auto production, manufacturing, trade, banks, government etc., etc.

    Like NOW you want to ask why the shark just ran through 50 buckets of chum and finally came to YOUR chum? Give me a fucking break.

    • Evander says

      Thanks for helping us demarcate the boundaries between mature and immature forms of entertainment. Or how about bugger off and let people consume the media they want.

      ‘Rightwingers’ also readily understand the distinction between capitalism and corporatism.

      Do you have an alternative economic system we could try, one that hasn’t failed historically and is plausibly an improvement on the current one?

      There seems to be an authoritarian streak in your thought. Does this also feature in your feminism?

    • Jules Sylver says

      Coffee Klatch: “If you’re literally not a teenage boy between the ages of 10 and 16 and you’re watching PewDiePoop, you have failed.”

      I agree.

      But I didn’t understand the rest of you post. It was too complicated for me.

    • Reader says

      a) I haven’t seen a ton of PDP, but people should watch what they like.

      b) Speaking for myself, I can understand it in both cases. It’s logical to fear excessive power in either government or private hands, hence regulated capitalism. I don’t see the point beyond this or the relevance: as calling PDP a nazi for clicks is still dumb.

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  87. Jules Sylver says

    Blog owners: Please get rid of Lennart. He’ll find some other bridge to troll under.

    • Lennart says

      Snowflake. I’m literally not a troll, go get ur definitions straight, bih

      • Jules Sylver says

        “I’m literally not a troll.” No one cares what you are. But I know what your demographic is; people who put the word ‘literally’ in every sentence.

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  89. Well, I played the video link near the top of the article. I couldn’t make out a lot of what he was saying but he seems to be a feminized feeble-bearded young man saying fucking this and fucking that. Whoever that sort of thing is intended for, it isn’t me.

  90. Chris Ritcheson says

    The real tragedy is that someone of such suffocatingly average talent is this well known at all.

    • Jules Sylver says

      Chris Ritcheson: Agreed, though lots of mediocre things are well known. To me, PDP sounds like the PA system at Kmart telling shoppers to go to Aisle 8. Everybody rushes over and talks about what an amazing new phenomenon they are beholding.

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  95. repolfx says

    The article says this:

    “this kind of power hoarding exists only because of insufficiently farsighted design of the early web … Were there a public protocol that allowed video to be shared as easily as hypertext, there would be no need for YouTube”

    But this is a major misunderstanding of the problem, which is not due to the web’s design but rather the basic incentive issues around the creation of decentralised, public infrastructure.

    Because of course there is such a public protocol that allows video to be shared as easily as hypertext. It’s called the web. How does this author think YouTube works, exactly? Anyone can transcode a video, upload it to their personal web server and use the tag. The codecs, the transports, the viewer software, it’s all free and public.

    So why don’t PewDiePie and others like them do that? Why do they all flock to YouTube and then create massive dramas over YouTube’s policies? And by the way, I ask these rhetorical questions as someone who is no fan of Google’s recent turn towards blocking and censorship of conservative views.

    Well the questions are rhetorical because the answers are obvious. They stick with YouTube and don’t even go elsewhere if they get silenced because the value YouTube is providing them is staggeringly huge. YouTube isn’t merely a way to publish video. It’s a huge, no questions asked bandwidth and CPU subsidy. It’s the technology to instantly handle serving to planet-scale populations. It’s commenting and voting that’s defending against spamming and other forms of DoS. It’s discovery and sharing. It’s editing tools and analytics and most of all it’s advertising – monetisation is what we lack public infrastructure for, not video serving.

    And why do we lack public protocols for all these things? Because creating YouTube is a hell of a lot of work for many people and they want to get paid for their skills. Which inherently means they need to own the result of their work, and ownership implies control. Private property rights, that’s capitalism and incentives 101.

    I’ve worked on decentralisation related software for a long time and still do, because there are certain areas where it can really help. But you can’t inherently point the finger at existing technologies and say “if only they were better, everything would be decentralised”. No, it doesn’t work like that. It’s a failed analysis of the problem. Create decentralised tech like the tag or git, and a YouTube and GitHub will arise around it and re-centralise it all by providing value the public protocol does not. Society wants centralisation because most of the time, the abuses of power it allows are collectively considered low cost relative to the benefits of the extra features and competence the centralisation allows.

    This doesn’t mean it’s all useless. Git being decentralised is helpful even though everyone has centralised around GitHub: if you do want to move your code off of GitHub, you are just a “git push” away from having all your history and branches painlessly transferred to GitLab or your own server. Sure, that won’t help your issues or pull requests, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that source code is now properly decentralised and that’s still better than before. So we should continue to develop decentralised technology, whilst understanding that it won’t result in everyone using purely decentralised systems.

    • Allen Farrington says

      I am aware of all these issues and agree that the best way to frame the problem is not really in terms of ‘technology’ per se, but in terms of incentives. That folds in what I think is the all-important point about monetisation, which I completely agree with.

      Where I think I disagree slightly is the overly deterministic assertion that ‘recentralisation will occur’ due to social demands. I think this understanding underplays how much social interaction with technology is moulded by the technology itself. This is getting a bit subjective at this point, but I don’t think society really does ‘want’ centralisation, at least not along the lines of such a sweeping declaration. I think they like the results of centralisation as they happen to exist on the web so far. But, as above, these are strongly determined by the available technology, and in turn what incentives are viable. As you say yourself lower down, there are cases at meaningful scale where the degree of decentralisation is increasing, and other more speculative cases in which the degree of decentralisation is a step change from current norms. My thought (/my hope) is that this provides enough leeway to enormously alter incentives such that social interaction with the technology can alter enormously as well.

  96. R Henry says

    Two deeply contradictory reflections, yet both peculating in my cognitively dissonant mind:

    1) As a person born in 1967, raised without the Internet, I feel perfectly at peace NOT being interested or involved in the various influence tug-of-wars taking place at youtube and/or other social media platforms. As far as I am concerned, the virtual world has little effect on my life.

    2) Students of history understand that new communication technology is necessarily disruptive. 500 years ago, Martin Luther was empowered to destabilize and reform the Western World by using the then-new printing press. Deeply entrenched corruption and treachery, long invisible to most ordinary citizens, was exposed, and the existing political and religious order was profoundly effected. The 30 Years War generated 30 million casualties, Protestant Christianity was enabled, and the post-Reformation Enlightenment brought about profound social and economic change.

    The Internet is our contemporary Printing Press. PewDiePie is no Luther, but just as the printing press enabled the Protestant Reformation and the foundation what has become known as Western Liberal Society, The Internet is disrupting that society and enabling a new Western cultural epoch. We are living the transition in real time. Yes, it is awkward, sometimes opaque and senseless. We have no idea what the final outcome will be. Our great grandchildren will likely be the first generation to fully understand what has been lost, and what has been gained.

  97. I was hoping not to have to have an opinion on this particular internet dust-up. I mean, the NPCs are wrong about virtually everything (virtually no one’s wrong about *absolutely* everything… Being wrong about as much as they are is a pretty impressive record…though not *favorably* impressive…) But I’ve never gotten the impression that this was a guy I particularly wanted to go to the mat for…even against an organization as facepalmerifically brainless as Vox. (If you want to see something really stupid…and…why would you?…you should check out Vox’s video on the alleged “social construction” of race. I once transcribed the whole damn thing and went through it line-by-line…there were exactly zero sound arguments in it. How do you make video composed of 100% fallacious inferences?? I mean…you could make something better by basically flipping a coin…) Anyway, having wasted like two hours thusly, I resolved not to make the mistake again of taking Vox seriously…

    I’ve never seen any of this guy’s videos, and I expect I’d die no less happy if I never did… But political correctness is such a powerful force for evil/stupid right now that I guess now I’ve gotta watch some and formulate a damn opinion…

    Thanks for nothing, Quillette…

  98. Suraj says

    Why are everyone calling battle it was just a change in climate of entertainment
    And it was PewDiePai’s fult by making of lazania

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  100. Ermagehrd TOOBSPEECH Under Attacks! says

    Stopped reading afer about 4 paragraphs when it became clear this was another in an long series of “Oh Em Gee! Social Media Speecherisms Are Less Free!” articles. The level of detail in this article far outstrips the actual importance of the topic at hand.

    A message to all Pie-heads: unhook your brain from the endless dysfunctional, habit-forming social cluter-fuckery of YouTube, Farcebook (you can trust them with your data and habits — really!), Twitter, and all the rest… and read a book or 10. You will be a better, smarter person for it.

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