You’ve probably heard the old joke about how academic squabbles are so vicious because the stakes are so low. Academic pettiness pales in comparison to the nastiness of peak YouTube stars. The latest saga is a lot of vicious gossip between ‘famous’ people on YouTube who I’ve never heard of before and never watch, yet who make millions of dollars off cheesy videos that fans flock to. I don’t understand any of it, but don’t watch their videos, just read this article that summarizes “The New Shane Dawson-Tati Westbrook-Jeffree Star YouTube Drama”. You should feel content to say “who?” and just ignore them.
However, the deeper problem is either YouTube itself, or humanity in general. YouTube has cleverly boxed themselves in with an arcane self-reinforcing algorithm that rewards the worst people — think Pewdiepie, or Jake and Logan Paul, or Shane Dawson — who have no talent at all, no useful information, no skills except for self-promotion, and vaults them to the top of the charts and rewards them with buckets of cash. Furthermore, one of the secrets of success exemplified by the four I just named is pandering to children. Those four specialize in doing stupid shit as adults performing for kids and acquire hordes of uncritical followers as a consequence, and YouTube is a willing accomplice.
Stop incentivizing garbage, YouTube. You’ve got to realize that something has gone horribly wrong when you see the outcome of your algorithm, which seems to favor Nazis and pedophiles and, as always, no-talent hacks.