Promotes PewDiePie violence and mass shootings

The dark side of PewDiePie

John Lamparski / Getty ImagesBy Emily Reuben / .28. February 2020, 3:38 p.m. EDT /. Updated: March 19, 2020, 3:48 p.m. EDT

Swedish YouTuber Felix Kjellberg, better known as 'PewDiePie,' became famous for his plethora of Let's Play videos and later became the first single YouTuber to reach 100 million subscribers. Since launching the channel in 2010 and creating over 4,000 videos, Felix has garnered nearly 25 billion views on the platform. Over the years, he's used his high visibility to close lucrative branded deals and make him one of the platform's top earners.

Although the YouTuber did not provide exact numbers, he did show his audience that he is a multimillionaire thanks to YouTube. Money nation It is estimated that his net worth had hit around $ 90 million in 2016 when PewDiePie had less than half of his channel's 100 million subscribers. Estimates of his net worth vary widely, with outlets like Business Insider Listing his net worth as a more conservative $ 25 million.

With popularity comes inevitable controversy. In Felix's case, there was much, much controversy. With multiple allegations of anti-Semitism, sexism and racism, PewDiePies channel is no stranger to internet drama.

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PewDiePie's career takes a massive hit on allegations of anti-Semitism

YouTube / PewDiePie

PewDiePie's language and edgy humor have been an integral part of his videos since his channel was founded. While this setting may seem like a turn off for some, this shtick is his channel's main draw for many viewers. However, his career took a turn when The Wall Street Journalposted an article highlighting nine PewDiePie videos that allegedly contained anti-Semitic content.

In one example Felix paid two men on Fiverr to hold up a sign that read 'DEATH TO ALL JEWS'. According to YouTuber, this was an experiment to prove how crazy the internet can be, considering that you can pay someone to be anti-Semitic for as little as five dollars. Despite Felix's claims that he meant no harm and that everything he did and said should be taken as a simple joke, parts of the internet did not appreciate his antics.

Maker Studios, owned by Disney, dropped Felix immediately after playing online. Disney wasn't the only significant loss to the creator. His YouTube Red show 'Scare PewDiePie' has been canceled and his YouTube channel has been removed from the Google Preferred service. Despite apologizing for his jokes, just months later he posted a video showing himself killing characters he referred to as Jews in the game under the guise of Hitler Conan exile.

Tobii or not be sexist? Alinity Divine versus PewDiePie

Jerk / Alinity

While playing around with the Tobii Eye Tracker, Felix asked his fans to send him videos that he could watch while livestreaming. His fans ended up sending an overwhelming amount of content with women in compromising positions, exposed footage, and so on. At one point, Felix asks, “When a girl dresses like this, does she want you to look right? Am i crazy to think about it? I am not a misogynist? Additionally, he refers to some women as 'Twitch Thots' throughout the stream.

One compilation included Twitch streamer Alinity Divine, who was making a copyright claim on its video. Felix responded with a video criticizing Alinity for filing the lawsuit alleging she faked a crime for money. "You only play games with the shortest skirt ever, that's our fault when we look at it in a sexual way, right? ... I know that you are not portraying yourself as the smartest person, but I know that you are not stupid enough not to know what you are doing, 'said Felix.

After the video was released, members of the PewDiePie fan base ruthlessly attacked Alinity online. ViceSamantha Cole claims that the views of women expressed by Felix led his fans to harass and intimidate a woman with a less strong following, further normalizing sexism in the online gaming community.

Felix is ​​not a winner of the Chicken Dinner Winner after dropping the n-word on a stream

YouTube / PewDiePie

Despite allegations of anti-Semitism and its attempts to distance itself from the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, VA, PewDiePie quickly got into another controversy. During a live stream of PlayerUnknown BattlegroundsWhen Felix changed things, he dropped the n-word.

The racial cover-up sparked an immediate backlash on social media, with many condemning Felix. Others came to Felix's defense on Twitter, saying that because he was using the word in the heat of the moment, it was not meant to be racist. While Felix has already used arcs in his videos, this moment stands out because the n-word was addressed to another person. For some, this made it more difficult to excuse the language as something other than intentionally offensive and discriminatory.

Felix apologized for the racist slur in a video saying, “It was not okay. I'm really sorry if I've offended, hurt, or disappointed someone with all of this. If I'm in the position I'm in I should know better ... I know I can't mess up like this. '

PewDiePie versus the Wall Street Journal

YouTube / PewDiePie

Felix has accused media representatives of the attack and misrepresenting it several times. One of these situations occurred after TheWall Street Journal highlighted the article on PewDiePie videos that allegedly contained anti-Semitic or Nazi imagery.

According to The New York Times Magazine, PewDiePie fans checked out the online history of TheWall Street Journal Reporters for anything they could use against them. PewDiePie then revealed what its supporters found on a video, including offensive jokes a reporter made on Twitter years earlier. An explosion of harassment and death threats against a certain journalist who criticized Felix followed. It got so bad that the TheWall Street Journal offered the reporter to find a safe place outside his home to avoid the flood of threatening news.

The Wall Street Journalreportedly another hit from Felix's followers in the middle of the T-Series against PewDiePie subscribers when the publication's website was hacked. The hackers gave a false apology for 'misrepresenting PewDiePie'. In addition, the false statement claimed that the publication would support PewDiePie in its feud against the T-Series and eventually urged readers to subscribe to PewDiePie's YouTube channel. TheWall Street Journal took down the post that Felix posted on Twitter and said, 'Lol they deleted it, WSJ is still on the list of operations.'

A confirmation went wrong

YouTube / PewDiePie

Given the numerous allegations of anti-Semitism and insensitive content criticized in his videos, one would think Felix would be extra cautious about his endorsements. In 2018, however, PewDiePie sponsored EsemicolonR - a YouTuber known for treating pop culture content from an entirely old-right stance - at the end of one of his videos. 'You also have E; R doing great video essays ... he did one Death reportwhich I liked very, very much, "said Felix about the creator of the content.

The internet jumped at this recommendation and criticized PewDiePie for recommending the channel. Felix responded with a video apologizing for his call to E; R. He claimed that he failed to realize that the Creator was holding such controversial views and recognized the need to take some responsibility for the problem given his shaky past on the platform. Despite the apology, Felix described the controversy as a 'shame campaign'.

According to The edgePewDiePie's recommendation was E; R estimated 15,000 subscribers. Although Felix continues to refuse to support Alt-Right, some, like writer Julia Alexander, see Felix's approval as irresponsible use of his platform. In Alexander's view, Felix helped spread right-wing ideologies and topics of conversation, whether deliberate or not, by directing subscribers to a channel with allegedly radicalized and sensational points of view.

Christchurch Shooter references PewDiePie

Tessa Burrows / Getty Images

Just before the opening of fire on two mosques during Friday prayers on March 15, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand, a Sagittarius live-streamed on social media saying, 'Remember guys, subscribe to PewDiePie.' The instruction was related to the meme 'Subscribe to PewDiePie'. However, when the far-right meme was mentioned by a far-right radical who killed over 50 people, it took on a creepier tone.

Many wondered why Felix Kjellberg was on this person's radar. While learning to shoot, Felix expressed condolences to the victims, saying, 'I feel absolutely sick when this person says my name.'

After filming, an influx of thinking pieces, articles, and videos emerged, speculating as to why the shooter was referencing PewDiePie. Some like Observe nationallyr is Caroline Orr, have suggested that the jokes and remarks that were rife during Felix's YouTube career may have helped radicalize the Sagittarius toward violence.

As pointed out byRolling Stone, others, including The New York TimesCharlie Warzel, do you think the massacre was designed for maximum virality. Referencing PewDiePie was a surefire way to get attention to the incident and use its (then) 50 million strong audience to get the Sagittarius message across, whether they agreed or not. In this case, it is believed that by giving the Swedish YouTuber name, journalists are more likely to talk about the shootout and try to understand why the shooter mentioned him, which gives the shootout more coverage.

The diss track 'Congratulations' raises some red flags

YouTube / PewDiePie

For many, the PewDiePie vs. T-series situation symbolized more than an internet dispute. It represented the battle between independent content creators and big corporations, and PewDiePie became the independent creator's figurehead. As the two channels battled to reach 100 million subscribers first, fans gathered around their favorite channel asking people to sign up and get the word out.

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This subscriber war dominated YouTube in late 2018 and into early 2019, but eventually ended after PewDiePie surrendered and dropped what several people, including the Indian court system, called a racist diss track. PewDiePie's music video, titled 'Congratulations,' is replete with seemingly trench-like arguments with Indians, including lyrics like, 'Did you know Indians have poo-poo in their brains? 'and' How about the next thing you find out how to fix the caste system? '

Given the video claiming the T-Series is involved in a number of illegal activities, it's no wonder the company has struggled against it. After the song was released, T-Series filed a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court, which resulted in the video being blocked in India. According to the court, the decision was a result of racist and offensive topics that were featured throughout the song.

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Aside from the alleged racist comments, the streamer managed to include a reference to causing genocide, implying that fans could refer to him as Hitler. He also mentions 'kamikaze' and calls his fans an 'army'. The music video was released just two weeks after the Christchurch mass shootings.

PewDiePie is accused of feeding Asian stereotypes

YouTube / PewDiePie

Felix has a huge online following. So it's not surprising that fans recognize him on the street, even when traveling internationally. Unfortunately, the popularity of the internet has some drawbacks, most notably invasion of privacy and personal space.

In a video showing his trip to Singapore, you can see fans screaming, gathering around the creator and even chasing him. Felix also gives in the vlog of his anniversary trip to Kuala Lumpur that some fans followed his movements through Instagram posts, which made him feel 'chased'.

While it is understandable that Felix is ​​stressed out by the inappropriate actions of some of his over-the-top fans, he has received some weaknesses for the alleged generalizations he's made about his Asian followers. “When you go to countries like Malaysia and Singapore, people are very hectic and screaming and crazy and they go crazy when they see you ... I love meeting fans, don't get me wrong, but I want to also people who treat me normally, ”said Felix in a video describing the encounters.

After these comments received some negative attention, Felix clarified that it was intended as a comparison of fan culture in different regions and apologized, saying, “I'm sorry if I've been a little tough on you, Singapore and Malaysia ... Just to be clear. We are sorry!'

Felix withdraws a donation of $ 50,000 to ADL

YouTube / PewDiePie

The Anti-Defamation League is an international Jewish organization founded to combat anti-Semitism and the injustice of all peoples. The organization addresses several pressing issues including LGBTQIA + rights, women's justice, racial justice, criminal justice reform, and religious freedom to name a few.

Following the Christchurch New Zealand shootings, PewDiePie received a lot of negative press and social media attention due to the mass shooter referencing his name directly. Possibly Felix announced a donation of $ 50,000 to ADL to generate positive feedback and to distance himself from the alt-right movement.

Felix's choice of charity met with skepticism, as many believed Felix was being pressured or forced to donate to the ADL. Then Felix canceled his promise after receiving backlash from his fans, which sparked an even more heated debate over Felix's stance toward the Jewish people.

After tracing his contribution, Felix posted a video explaining his decision, stating that he was advised to donate to the ADL but would instead donate the money to a charity that he is "actually passionate about donating" to.

Felix has no sense of censorship

YouTube / PewDiePie

It is no secret that the Chinese government is quite strict when it comes to criticizing the party and its leaders. While The Great Firewall limits the options for people living in China, it also censors web traffic imported into China. This has had a significant impact on various creative industries that are often forced to oppose Chinese censorship of creative freedom and freedom of speech.

In one of his videos, Felix discussed the growing tensions between Hong Kong and China and featured various memes depicting China's President Xi in an unfavorable light. Shortly after the video was posted, Felix posted another video claiming he was banned in China and searching for his name on Chinese websites would not produce any results. This seemed to attract some attention when various news outlets reported that PewDiePie had been banned in China. However, it appears that it actually isn't.

According to BBCSome content, such as a Baidu-run PewDiePie forum, was not available, but there was no evidence that the Chinese government was responsible for the removal. Instead, it is more likely that the forum took precautionary measures by distancing itself from Felix's content. Additionally, BBC reports that searching for PewDiePies name on sites such as iQiyi and Tencent Video still yields lots of results. These statements contradict PewDiePie's own claims and leave the situation unclear.