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.
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.
It's hard to decide which of YouTube star Sam Pepper's pranks is the most offensive. There was that one time when he tricked his viewers into believing they were watching a murder of a Vine duo dubbed Sam and Colby. That video featured a kidnapping, a gun held to Colby's head, a fake gunshot, and Sam's reaction to the death of his friend. That one was enough to generate a petition signed by over 100,000 people for Pepper to be banned from YouTube.
Arguably, Pepper's worst video is titled "Fake *ss Hand Pinch Prank" in which he groped unsuspecting women on the street while asking them for directions. A firestorm of criticism rained down, prompting Pepper to explain that the whole thing was "a social experiment." However, several women came forward to accuse Pepper of sexual harassment, and one 18 year old woman even alleged that Pepper had sexually assaulted her. The LAPD got involved, but no arrests were ever made. Needless to say, Pepper's reputation tanked, and he's now considered to be one of the most hated vloggers on YouTube.