Hello Ladies and Dudes,
There are all types of online communities, but I only belong to a few of them. I’ve been involved on YouTube since 2008. I had aspirations of creating videos littered with conservative trash. I was young, naive and really, really, really conservative.
I started out on YouTube as a Republican, but I personally began to grow and so did my channel. I eventually became very involved in the community. Attending Vidcon three years in a row, meeting people, and making friends.
One of the most interesting things about the community is that it’s made up of ‘real people.’ The problem with ‘real people’ is that they edit their videos, so when you meet them in person you’re able to see all the flaws.
I began to realize that I wasn’t the only changing. Here I was going from a conservative Republican to a Feminist and Liberal. I was changing and, in my eyes, growing. While others whose channels began to grow, grew in vanity.
I witnessed the ‘big YouTuber’ parties, attended events and all I saw was young kids with money drinking and hooking up. That’s all well and good, until someone gets hurt or wants revenge or in some cases justice. The community, as it stands, still has valuable parts of it that I think should be celebrated.
When I think of the core YouTube community, the part of it that’s helping people be better, I think of a specific group of people.
Channels Like: Arielle is Hamming, Healthy Addict, Mr. Repzion, A Friendly Arab, Laci Green, Feminist Frequency, The Messianic Manic, The VlogBrothers, Rhett and Link, Ricky Shucks and Timothy Delaghetto.
These are just a few of the many people that post content that helps people grow and enjoy life. There are many others but those names are popular enough that I hope they help paint a picture. A picture of a community that is about creating content that entertains, educates and inspires.
I recently left YouTube because the medium wasn’t working for me anymore, I rather enjoy posting these blogs. Even though I’ve stopped making videos I’m still very much involved. One of the best things about the community is that you don’t have to create content to be apart of it. Every single person who watches continues to fuel content creators.
With that said, recently in the community it has been brought to peoples attention that YouTubers have been taking advantage of fans. In some cases, like Sam Pepper, there is actual evidence. Sam Pepper built a career on sexually assaulting people in the streets. I’m really surprised he was able to continue for so long. I think it’s wonderful that a community of people were able to bring shine a light on his actions. I’m glad that people like Sam Pepper aren’t being hailed for their ‘hard work.’
My concern comes from the recent allegations of a youtuber named Craig Dillion. I do not know Craig personally and frankly, I don’t watch his videos. I’ve only seen what was posted about him, watched the videos he made and his accusers have made. I want everyone to step away from their feelings for a moment and take a deep breath.
Rape is a serious issue and should NEVER be taken lightly. Accusing someone of rape is a serious thing and should NEVER be taken lightly. Raping someone and falsely accusing someone of rape is, in my opinion, equal in offense.
FOR THE RECORD: I am not saying Craig Dillion is innocent or guilty. I am only sharing my thoughts on how people have reacted to said allegations.
There is NO PROOF that Craig Dillion raped anyone. There are a group of boys who have come out with their stories via social media, claiming that Craig Dillion did rape them. Those boys have made the choice to share, which is fine, but just because they’ve shared a story doesn’t mean the world needs to assume it’s true.
We should always respond with the understanding that these allegations are serious and should be handled properly.
The Craig Dillion case is interesting to me because of how complicated it is. Five boys have made videos saying they were raped. That is a personal thing to share on the internet. It can even be a brave thing.
As we know, most rape victims don’t report their rapes and if they do, many of them don’t move forward with pressing charges. Many in the online communities wondered why these boys didn’t go to the police. Based on what’s been happening, they had a better chance at seeking justice via online.
With that said, it is NOT RIGHT for the internet to just assume they’re telling the truth. Many people have made it clear that we’re dealing with a group of young, gay, promiscuous and frankly childish people. They’ve made it clear that they party, drink and have sex without thinking of the consequences.
This can lead to morning-after-regret. This can lead to jealousy and misunderstanding. This can lead to rape. This can lead to false allegations. This can lead to lies and chaos.
As someone that creates content online, as someone that is friends with ‘big youtubers’ and as someone who understands how messy these things can be, I can see the Craig Dillion situation is complicated.
It’s also personal for me, because I identify with aspects of it. When I was seventeen I was outed to my family, after dating a girl at my high school, which I attended with my first cousin. My cousin accused me of molesting her, which lead to a family war. It literally tore my family apart.
I NEVER TOUCHED MY COUSIN, but because sexual abuse is prevalent in my family (on both sides of the family, stemming back generations) many believed her. It also doesn’t help that my family believes that homosexuals are all rapists and molesters.
I was shoved back into the closet. I denied that I liked girls and was sure I would be happy with just men. I was seventeen, I had just repaired my relationship with my father. I was depressed and feeling so alone. Eight out of the ten girls we were friends with in school left me. They NEVER asked if I did it. They just believed her, because, ‘why would she lie?’
It’s been eight years and I still don’t know why she started that rumor. It doesn’t matter what I did or didn’t do, my reputation was tarnished and never repaired because no one needed proof. No one asked me. No one cared enough. I was just too easy to hate.
I’m now twenty-five and don’t speak to my family, including my parents and most of my siblings. My openly queer and kink lifestyle is something my Middle Eastern Catholic family can’t stomach, and that’s fine. But there’s a difference between sleeping around and raping people. There’s a difference between being accused and actually committing a crime.
We’ve raised a society of people who don’t even know what rape is. We’ve raised a society of people who don’t understand that they are responsible for saying ‘no.’ We’ve raised a society of people who ignore that ‘no.’
No one is perfect, but we all have to pull our own weight. We are living in a beautiful time when people are actually trying to do what is right. We’re trying our hardest to be aware of how our actions really effect others. That’s beautiful but let’s not get carried away. A lot of us are still very young and haven’t been properly educated on the best ways to go about doing the right thing.
Remember ‘the right thing’ isn’t already known to us, we are conditioned to know it and to act accordingly. Many of the things we’ve been taught by our parents are incorrect and need to be fixed. Education first, action second.
There are so many things that I want to say, but mostly this: Rape is rape. Waking up the next morning and regretting a sexual encounter is not rape. That’s called regret and that’s okay. Regret is totally fine and you don’t have to keep sleeping with someone just because you did before. But accusing people of rape because you don’t want to admit you slept with them willingly is disgusting. Ruining someones reputation to save yours is wrong.
Remember: Being a selfish, money hungry, power tripping prick doesn’t make you a rapist, it makes you a fucking prick. What I’ve seen in relation to Craig Dillion isn’t a trial by social media, it’s a lynching.
Again, I’m not saying he’s innocent, I’m just saying that we need actual proof and frankly, I haven’t seen it. I’m not going to assume anything of someone that I don’t know. And frankly, at this point, since those boys have shared their personal rape stories on the internet, if they feel they really have been raped, now would be the time to go to the police.
Due process, my friends, due process.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and to challenge mine. We’re living in a world creating by our own ignorance, mine included 🙂 I look forward to hearing from you via Social Networks.