I want to preface this blog post with some notes.
- I won’t be naming names. If you read this and know exactly who I’m referencing, I politely ask you don’t comment/tweet with their name.
- I had receipts on my browser and now I have to re-find them because everything crashed and I had to restore the factory settings – as I find them again, I will add them.
- When I refer to this person’s fandom; I mean it as a generalisation and not a “everyone in the fandom is like this!” I have friends in the fandom and they’ve been great with explaining certain things and even greater and understanding the POV from others.
- This YT-er’s fan base is quite young; MOSTLY early to mid teens. This is important to remember.
- I DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, believe that this YT-er is a paedophile. I AM NOT accusing them of that offence.
Read on after the jump for more.
I’ve found myself kinda stuck in conversations with some fans of a social media/YT-er and being ganged up on as someone who “Just Doesn’t Get It”. Usually when they find out I am a 31 year old woman they just stop talking to me as there “Is No Point”. So what am I on about?
This YT-er has been found, over the last 18 months, to be problematic by a large part of the tumblr community who used to support them. The word “problematic” has been thrown around a lot, but in this case I have to admit there is a point. I used to call myself a fan of this person until I saw the problem behaviour for myself.
There were accusations of ableism which the person corrected themselves on and apologised; to be fair they now do all they can to correct themselves and educate themselves if they find (more specifically, are told) that what they’re doing is some sort of “ism” as long as an explanation as to why is provided.
They’ve been attacked over that, however I can completely understand why they need an explanation because even I have to admit that tumblr-SJWs will find any reason to be fucking offended at something and sometimes even the best of us need to do our research and educate ourselves.
This specific issue is something that the YT-er has never actually addressed and refuses to answer questions about it or offer any explanation as to their thoughts on the matter; it is simply ignored and brushed under the carpet to be forgotten about.
This started with fan art either late 2016 or early 2017; it featured said YT-er in a compromising NSFW pose with another person. YT-er reblogged it because it was well done and they wanted to support the artist. It then came to light that the original artist was a minor and the other person featuring in the NSFW art was also, in fact, a minor.
It took four days and MANY fans messaging YT-er and tagging in posts to get it eventually take it down and even then it was tumblr themselves who removed it, not the YT-er. At the time, we all thought it was a one off event and wouldn’t happen again. Well, someone got curious while they were home from college sick and decided to spend the best part of 8 hours trawling this YT-er’s tags to find out if this really was a one off or maybe there was more that wasn’t known about.
The YT-er had reblogged quite a list of NSFW art and fan fiction/imagines etc that upon closer inspection were drawn or written by minors or users who were minors at the time of writing and a handful of the ships were YT-er with a person who was a minor. Not all of them; but enough that there would be a problem.
This same researcher compiled a list with links and sent them to the YT-er who acknowledged they had it and would look into it. That was the last of it. Nothing was removed at that point. Researcher messaged a few other members of the fandom who were also “older”, remembering that most the fandom is quite young, to ask their opinions.
After a while a long list was published on social media of the problematic content along with legal repercussions. i.e. the art (either drawing or writing) was by a minor and featured a minor with an adult in NSFW conditions…basically it was porn. Because it included a minor (for the sake of the UK & US laws, this is anyone under 18) with an adult (over 21) it is classed as paedophillic content. Sharing said art is an offence. I completely understand that you can’t check EVERYTHING that you reblog and sometimes shit is gonna slip through the cracks; it’s inevitable – but that’s why it’s pretty awesome when your fan base can just do a quick check and then drop a message saying “hey this artist is a minor so please don’t reblog anything NSFW.”
The second issue is that even if you reblog NSFW art from someone over 18 the blog is still followed by MANY minors; to which it was suggested the YT-er should start a NSFW sideblog. EVERYONE (including minors who had stated they were uncomfortable with NSFW reblogs) said this was a fantastic idea. YT-er basically just said “No. I wanna keep it all in one place.” So it was then suggested they just didn’t reblog anything NSFW.
It was roughly at this point I took a step way back out of the fandom because the fans were getting a little rabid. I mean this in the sense that if anyone spoke out and pointed out “hey, this is a problem and here is why” the fans of YT-er would make any line of excuses and reasons for the behaviour and then brand anyone who had valid reasons for concern as someone who just “Didn’t Understand”. The younger fans (anyone under roughly 17) would then start arguing to any fans who were older (over 25/26) that there was “No Point” as they weren’t “Real Fans Anyway” and would then block any and all content that said anything negative about Their Fave.
This YT-er is late 20’s I believe; I know not far off hitting 30. They regularly did and do skits that are school related and teenage-relateable. Their larger group of friends is varied and mixed and that’s great… however most are much younger than they are. 25 at the most, the youngest being (now) 19. That in itself is a little creepy. This was also pointed out to YT-er and the response was a simple “age ’tis but a number”… the younger fans found this endearing however the older ones such as myself, questioned it greatly.
Many of us sent private messages or conversations to YT-er, all were polite. We asked them simply to make a statement or address the issue with a “Can you please not draw or write me with anyone underage, whether real or fake. It’s actually an offence and it can get not only me but you into a lot of trouble.” That simple. Within a number of days we had all been blocked.
What their fanbase and they themselves don’t seem to understand, or don’t want to understand is that it is an offence to share this stuff. I don’t care how well written or drawn it is, keep up that shit…. but don’t write or draw NSFW content; it’s NOT that hard. Also dear fanbase; by excusing the behaviour, by coming up with “reasons” it’s okay (the main ones seems to be that a) they don’t wanna hurt anyone’s feeling or b) it’s not actually gonna happen it’s just a fantasy) means that you are complicit in the sharing of paedophillic content and the fact this YT-er won’t even post saying “Hi There! can you please NOT draw me or write me in NSFW situations with minors? We could all get in to a lot of trouble! Your work is amazing, just please no smut or porn. Thank you.” means that they too are complicit in the sharing of paedophillic content. I keep using that term because legally speaking, that is exactly what it is.
Is this YT-er doing it on purpose? Probably not, no. They just wanna encourage the artists work, which is a great thing to do. Is what they’re doing (reblogging the content featuring an adult and a minor) harmful? YES. Absolutely it is because it is “normalising” a sexual relationship between an adult and a minor – which should never be normalised. Paedophilia and Paedophillic content should never ever be normalised.
I try my best not to get involved with this YT-er’s fanbase for the simple fact, for the most part, they refuse to see any reason and simply shut down anyone who says otherwise before slinging insults about our own faves.
All of our faves can be and have been problematic; the mark of a good fan (and fanbase) is holding that fave accountable for their actions and making sure they do their best not to repeat their problematic behaviour.