Are you familiar with the term “outrage culture”? With the recent controversies surrounding prominent YouTubers, I’ve been seeing this term a lot and it really got me thinking about the things people are getting mad about, and whether or not their outrage is truly justified.
A couple weeks ago I talked about the outrage against PewDiePie and how context matters in his situation. There are some who don’t subscribe to this belief and have deemed him anti-Semitic nonetheless. I don’t agree, but I also don’t know PewDiePie personally, nor do I regularly watch his content, so how would I know for sure, right?
But the reason I’m re-opening this conversation is because another YouTuber (and one of my favourite people), Colin Moriarty, put himself in a situation that generated a lot of outrage. On International Women’s Day, Moriarty tweeted what he thought was a harmless joke, but he incurred the wrath of all those who didn’t find it harmless. And in opposition to them were his supporters and those who did recognize the tweet as a joke.
In my opinion, the joke in question is a cringeworthy, tired, and cliche stereotype, but is it that offensive to warrant the public shaming of thousands through social media?
As I’ve said in the past, we as creators have to be mindful of the things we choose to put out in the world, and we should definitely think twice before sharing something that could be offensive. And I’m not talking about censoring yourself for fear of potential public outcry, I’m just suggesting that you think carefully about your actions and think of the potential impact of your actions. After all, your actions will determine your audience, and as aspiring YouTube creators, audience is everything.
Joe Rogan weighed in on this situation, and for the most part, I agree with him. Have a listen:
Ultimately, I don’t think Colin Moriarty deserved the outrage he received, and though I don’t find the joke funny, I do believe outrage culture disproportionately magnified the issue. And I think I’m tired of public shaming and unwarranted and extreme public outrage.
Agree with me or not YouNubers, the takeaway from this is that you should be mindful of your actions and statements based on the audience you are trying to foster. If you are going to share something with the world, be ready to defend it and be ready for a varying degree of responses to that content.