Exploitation and Abuse for “Content”


Angela Chien, Staff Writer

Content creators going to “great lengths” to acquire content isn’t new. In 2018, it was Logan Paul disturbing and disrespecting the bodies of those who committed suicide in the Aokigahara forest in Mount Fuji, Japan. Now, in 2021, it’s David Dobrik and his former partner Dominykas Zeglaitis being accused of rape and sexual assault for a video released back in 2018. 

As arguably two of the biggest YouTubers on the platform, both have addressed their “situations” through apology videos and interviews, but it does not amount to the damage they’ve caused. However, they do represent the bigger problem in the new age of content creation: the exploitation and violation of persons and situations for “content.” 

Of course, Logan Paul and David Dobrik are not the only creators who have faced backlash for their “questionable” choices in videos; there are more than two bad apples in a community of millions of creators. Aside from the personal trauma these creators have directly implanted in their victims, it should not be forgotten that their audience mostly consists of pre-adolescent and young teens. The impressionable members of their audience, who derive entertainment from YouTube and TikTok for many hours a day, are also victims of their unethical means. They are impressed upon the mindset that certain actions are excusable and dismissible as long as they add an “It’s just a joke!” at the end. 

These content creators perpetuate inexcusable behavior, such as racism and sexual harassment, and get to call it a day because of their often too-loyal fan base. Even if they are called out, they can just post a Notes app apology on their social media pages, captioned with a red heart, or cry into their cameras about how much the backlash has been getting to them and monetize it on YouTube, rather than owning up to their actions. This type of sequence is apparent throughout the YouTube community, simultaneously emphasizing to their audience that unthoughtful and disturbing behavior can be forgiven as long as they utter an “I’m sorry.” 

As the Chinese saying goes, if apologies were effective, then why do we still need law enforcement? 

The platforms that give them these opportunities to go to such “great lengths” are nowhere near ethical either. YouTube demonetizes a few videos of creators that are receiving backlash, but the system is created so that said creators can just earn back what they “lost” with a few videos. Sometimes, YouTube does not even take down videos until the whole community is outraged. 

Beyond Logan Paul and David Dobrik are mountains of exploitation and violations for “content.” 

They are just the tip of the iceberg and the ones who have been exposed to heat, so who is to say that the iceberg won’t start melting and exposing more content creators’ unethical means?


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