Internet culture is but a sobering reflection of our most pressing woes-a sea of badness on top of which very few nuggets of clarity stay afloat. It makes much less sense to analyze internet culture’s complicity in some of the most heinous acts of emotional and physical torture against those most vulnerable away from the very people who occupy it-simply by virtue of being the only ones who create and consume content online, we’re the ones to account for its consequences regardless of our willingness to do so.
That same attitude that permeates so much of internet culture’s failures, can be aptly attributed to the style of humor it truly deems effective. It all seems innocent on the surface-until you start to poke holes in it and streams of wretched sadism start to pour. It is true that the internet has allowed some of the most constructive currents of discussion to flourish, but it has also in parallel let loose some of the vilest forms of inflammatory speech without supervision, and it had all turned out in the wake of great destruction none but a pandora’s box of tech executives’ non-existent capacity to duly deal with the issue of online toxicity from the very jump.
I used to watch gaming videos well before Gaming YouTube was ever a thing. Remember the incessant links you’d get about someone’s Minecraft or Call of Duty channel that were littered with pre-2010s-era bad graphic design, loud EDM intros, and commentary that may or may not pertain to the game played at all? It was basically the wild-west of everything and anything, and only a few channels managed emerged triumphant as the initial struggle of amassing subscribers raged forth.
Meet PewDiePie, a man who definitely does not need me to precede his name with any variation of the word “meet”. He’s by far the biggest content creator on the platform only — currently — bested by T-Series (there’s been a much publicized race between the two) and his style of delivery and the type of content he produces has been mostly shaped by what YouTube has pushing its creators to do, and what audiences were looking for on the platform. On August 16, 2013, PewDiePie…