Let’s be honest, there are a lot of terrible people on YouTube. When you give the masses an online platform from which anyone can perform or preach, things are bound to go wrong. YouTube has over a billion users, and according to recent statistics, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
Aside from a swath of pointless videos, this translates to a constant need for YouTubers to one-up each other. In a world where turning off the camera could mean losing out on viewers and ad revenue, vloggers are pushing the limits of what is deemed acceptable for Internet consumption. This raises the question: How far is too far?
The worst YouTube stars have contributed to an online environment so offensively toxic that the site is scrambling to clean up its act after major advertisers started a boycott.
So, what does it take to walk among the worst YouTubers ever? It depends, but it’s hard to defend videos that sensationalize suicide, encourage child abuse, or promote antisemitism. Here’s a roundup of some YouTubers who are the worst, no matter how you look at the situation.
Austin Jones, Who Told A 14 Year Old Fan To "Prove" Her Devotion, And Was Arrested For Child Pornograhy
This guy needs to be moved ot the top of the list. Austin Jones is an acapella singer whose YouTube videos amassed millions of views, often covering pop artists such as Justin Bieber and Fall Out Boy. Of his 500,000 plus subscribers, many are young girls, and it was his interaction with such fans that led to his arrest at Chicago O'Hare Airport on counts of child pornography.
Jones is now facing two counts of production of child pornography, that could land him in prison for at least 15 years. According to the accusations, Jones was chatting with a 14 year old fan on Facebook, while he was nearly a decade older (facts he acknowledged during their exchanges). She told him that she was his "biggest fan;" he told her to, "prove it." The girl proceeded to send Jones 25 videos, including eight in which she exposed her genitals.
This is only one of multiple interactions of the same nature, all involving teenage girls around the age of 14. He reportedly asked multiple girls to send him videos of themselves twerking, which he called, "auditions," and told some of them that if they were, "lucky," they would get to engage in a sex act with him. The fans obliged, and after his arrest, Jones admitted that the videos were requested for sexual pleasure.
Toy Freaks Caused Psychological Damage To Kids
What is it with parents abusing their children for the sake of popularity? Gregory Chism, single father and founder of the channel "Toy Freaks," garnered millions of subscribers by putting out videos wherein he"pranked" his two daughters, both of whom are under ten.
In the videos, Chism is seen scaring his daughters as they bathe by throwing a live frog in the tub, and, in some of the most criticized videos, forcing them to act like babies by having them wet themselves, spit on each other, and even ingest and regurgitate things like crayons.
Chism was kicked off of YouTube after concern was raised that the videos not only caused severe psychological damage to the children, but encouraged sexual fetishes involving violence directed at children.
DaddyOFive, The Father Who Abused His Children To Gain Followers
Heather and Michael Martin are a Maryland couple whose controversial YouTube channel, "DaddyOFive" largely featured family "pranks" involving their five children. DaddyOFive was the moniker Michael went by, while Heather was MommyOFive. Together, they posted videos that were supposed to be funny, but that were in actuality quite cruel to the children.
The videos showed the parents destroying the children's belongings, as well as yelling and swearing at them until they cried. They focused particularly on their two youngest children, Emma and Cody, who were around 11 and nine years old at the time the videos were posted.
Authorities got involved after critics and viewers slammed the Martins for the abusive videos. Both parents have plead guilty to two counts each of misdemeanor child neglect, and have even lost custody of the two kids, who are Michael's biological children from a previous relationship.
The videos deemed offensive have long since been removed, but that hasn't stopped the parents from posting new videos under the name "MommyOFive." This is especially surprising considering both parents face up to five years in prison, and have already lost their children due to their YouTube blunders.
YouTube sensation Logan Paul is considered one of the site's top vloggers; his channel boasts over fifteen million subscribers, many of whom are teens or tweens. However, the "Logang" was subjected to a serious lapse in judgment after Paul decided to film a dead body he found in Japan’s Aokigahara forest, also known as the "suicide forest."
Located less than 100 miles from Tokyo, Aokigahara is known as a place where hundreds of people have chosen to end their lives. In an attempt to make a video, Paul and his team took the "haunted house" approach, and planned to spend the night in the forest. However, they got more than they bargained for when, in broad daylight, they came across the body of an apparent suicide victim.
Instead of turning off the cameras, Paul decided to keep rolling, zooming in on the victim's hands and personal belongings nearby. His commentary only adds to the insensitivity as he asks "Bro, did we just find a dead person in the suicide forest?" After this, he tells his viewers to "buckle the f*ck up, because you’re never gonna see a video like this again.”
Turns out he was right; the video was quickly removed due to the reaction it garnered. Before this could happen though, the vlog racked up over six million views, even with a discretionary warning. In his intro, Paul called it “the most real vlog I have ever posted on this channel” and “a moment in YouTube history.
Paul has since made two separate apologies, wherein he points out that he had at the very least demonetized the post, and hence wasn't "doing it for the likes." He insists he was truly trying to spread awareness about suicide and mental health disorders by filming the victim.
In July 2018, Paul announced he was working on a documentary that touches on the "state of mind" he was in when he opted to release the controversial video.
"I’m actually filming a documentary about everything that’s happened this year, all the stuff that went down in January, where I was at in my life and kind of the psyche of what actually happened," he said in the video.
He is already catching flack for the documentary, with critics saying he has had enough time to sit on the incident and now has the ability to control and tweak the criticism to fit his victim narrative.
Despite Paul's paper-thin repentance, there is plenty of research suggesting that exposure to videos like this can be extremely dangerous to vulnerable individuals, especially when shown to a young audience. Not to mention it was extremely disrespectful to the victim and their family. Way to go, Logan Paul, you may just be the worst YouTuber ever.