Angry Trolls Turn Profit: The Side of the Internet Where Rage and Controversy Sells- From Angry Gamers to Dramatic Makeup Artists
Do you ever wonder why people like to complain? Do you know someone who is almost always angry that sometimes you think they enjoy it? Did you ever think these raging personalities could turn into profit? Well, on YouTube almost anything is possible.
That’s right, there’s a whole market out there for gaming commentators to criticize and angrily evaluate the gaming industry. These YouTubers attracted hundreds of thousands of subscribers by expressing their anger towards gaming topics and make money off the YouTube ads.
In fact, YouTube even assists in their success, maybe not intentionally, but their automated software for recommended videos might.
According to a quote by a YouTube spokesperson published by CNET, YouTube is taking a stricter stance against this type of “toxic” content, “Everyone on YouTube will be subject to the new hate speech policies, whether it be in videos they post or in other actions like comments or stories.”
However, it’s hard to believe that these type of YouTube videos will be removed because of the negativity and rage they create. No where in the YouTube’s Community Guidelines does it say it’s not ok to post negative or angry videos. However, they do draw a line when it comes to violence, hateful content, and cyberbullying, which could be a consequence of these type of videos. As mentioned before though, it seems like YouTube will be creating new hate speech policies which may intend to target these type of users.
The gaming world is not the only YouTube audience that enjoys angry commentary, however. This type of content exists in almost every category. This is because negativity and rage get people fired up, creating controversy which in return, makes the YouTuber money. Those who review makeup also use similar tactics to earn views. Some of these tactics include creating thumbnail images with angry faces and language that insinuates a bad product or creating videos that criticize popular items, even going so far as to burn them on video.
Regardless of whether or not YouTube’s new guidelines are able to prevent this type of content from gaining popularity, or ad spend, there still are other reasons why these type of users may want to stray from being so controversial. This is because their videos might end up causing other users, viewers or people in general to become victims of cyberbullying or defamation.
Take for example, the feud between famous YouTubers Jake Paul and Cody Ko. Both of these users first made a name for themselves on Vine by sharing short comedy videos on the platform before it was eventually shut down. Then, they moved to YouTube to continue making comedic videos, but for two completely different audiences. Cody Ko who has over 3 million subscribers makes videos for people who enjoy cynical/brutally honest humor. He often jokingly commentates on other YouTubers as well and has a more mature podcast that college students enjoy listening to. His audience age ranges from about 15-25. Jake Paul on the other hand, makes different types of comedic videos but has over 5 million subscribers. On his channel, he does pranks, challenges, and caters to a slightly younger audience than that of Cody Ko.
Recently, Jake Paul decided to make a video trying to “cancel” Cody Ko because he thinks he is a bully. This means he set out to stop people from subscribing and watching Cody Ko’s videos by labeling him as an “cyberbully”. Now, whether or not Jake Paul was trying to be controversial to gain views or recognition or he actually believed Cody was a bully, he still also attempted to defame Cody Ko. Now, in this situation, Cody did not lose viewers. In fact, many people ended up taking his side. However, if his reputation was damaged by Jake Paul labeling him a cyberbully and he could prove that he was not in fact a cyberbully (which is a crime in some states), Cody Ko could have grounds for a defamation per se lawsuit.
A similar situation also happened in the makeup community of YouTube. Tati Westbrook has over 10 million subscribers and does makeup reviews and tutorials on her channel. James Charles does the same type of videos on his channel and has over 15 million subscribers. Recently, Tati made a video calling out James Charles for hitting on straight men, acting entitled, and lying about details regarding a product endorsement deal. James Charles received a lot of backlash after Tati’s video. Then, after making multiple videos apologizing, he eventually made a video that showed evidence that he was not the kind of person Tati made him out to be. Now, with this type of evidence, James Charles could’ve also had grounds for a defamation lawsuit against Tati. But in the end, both James and Tati received a lot of publicity for this feud and may have even became more popular because of it. In fact, Tati gained over 5 million subscribers after posting her video about James Charles, according to Metro, while James received over 44 million views for his video response to Tati titled, “No More Lies.”
In the end, it’s really up to the viewers what type of content stays popular and gains ad revenue. However, YouTube may choose to remove these type of negative and controversial videos but considering how many viewers they bring in, I only see this happening for extreme situations.
If you are a victim of Defamation or Cyberbullying on YouTube or anywhere else on the Internet, contact the experienced attorneys at RM Warner Law. We know how to help.