Harmful language – A part of the culture

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By now, many will have heard of Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg being given the axe from various sponsors of his, over anti-Semitic “jokes” that have repeatedly appeared on his YouTube channel. Disney removed him from their Maker Network, whilst YouTube cancelled the second season of his upcoming show along with removing him from their Premium “brand safe” advertising program.

The community reaction to the scandal was largely condemning of Pewdiepie and the actions of his (now former) sponsors were met with approval. With the way things have played out, one would assume that all is well and good and we can move on yes? Wrong.

Pewdiepie’s anti-Semitic videos date back as far as August last year. The general reaction to Pewdiepie prior to this scandal highlights a glaring issue in gaming culture – This idea that any harmful words can be excused with “it’s just a joke” or “it’s just trolling”.

Pewdiepie is by no means the only gamer to hide behind this flimsy excuse when making harmful jokes, nor will he be the last until we address a culture that allowed him to thrive in the first place.

Harmful language – A part of the culture

Harmful language is nothing new to gaming. All you need to do is log into any multiplayer game and you’d be hard pressed not to go through a match without its presence. There are innumerable reasons why gaming is a fertile ground for abusive language.

Anonymity – Many people are able to hide behind a username and not their real names. This leads to an environment where people are not truly accountable for what they or do or say and that allows people to be their worst self with little consequence.

Competition – The pressure of climbing the competitive ladder brings out the worst in people. Even top tier players, despite having so much on the line, find themselves on the wrong side of the rules due to lashing out verbally. Toxicity in online games seems to come with the territory.

Toxic masculinity – Due to games largely being a boys’ club, a lot of issues from toxic masculinity have been brought into the culture. The idea of “banter” and “locker room talk” leads to an aggressive environment with little regard for emotion. “Suck it up” is a common response to anyone bringing up the idea that banter isn’t always appreciated or easy for some.

There are a host of other factors that play a part, but I’ve just highlighted three of the major ones. It’s led to a culture that can be horrific for those unused to it or unprepared. Even for veterans in the scene, it can at times be overwhelming.

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Rape jokes are still so casually thrown around in gaming, with little consequence unless you’re at a high level. It’s so common that a Starcraft 2 pro player thought it was okay to tweet that he would rape a female opponent in their upcoming match.

Pewdiepie wrote an entire song joking about rape and posted it on his channel. An entire song. Joking. About rape. Despite this, it didn’t stop Disney & YouTube partnering with him in the first place.

A particularly entrenched form of abuse that is prolific in gaming is that of country specific, harmful stereotypes that serve to alienate entire communities. Every game has them. From Peruvians, to Brazilians to the Russians, there are a host of countries that are given an awful image perpetuated by “jokes” on gaming subreddits & videos across YouTube.

What boggles my mind is that these jokes are constantly paraded in gaming communities to the point that no one even bats an eyelid. The jokes have been taken so far now that they are seen as facts. These stereotypes inevitably lead to full-blown racism and then suddenly everyone backtracks a little, but the reality is these stereotypes are racist and completely out of line from the beginning.

Passive aggressive racism is one form of it, but then of course you have to have all out racism as well. When Riot Games brought out Lucian, a black champion, you couldn’t keep up with all the racist jokes being made. Then you have the sort of racism Asian pro players get, across multiple games, whereby people make jokes of their eyes or all looking the same.

A top CSGO streamer read out a donation which mocked an American CSGO player, of Asian descent, about his eyes and everyone in the game, including the streamer, burst out laughing. The clip was posted on Reddit and the jokes continued. There was no widespread condemnation of the joke nor the way the streamer handled it. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg; racism is rife in gaming.

This harmful and abusive culture shows through in the way many communities treat their pro players. eSports fans have intimate access to the elite and it has been something that many have taken for granted. Pro players often contribute to discussions on gaming subreddits. The average player can come across a pro player in pub game and play alongside them. Never mind the accessibility of many pro players via social media.

Despite the benefits of all this, it means pro players are often on the front line of vitriol that comes from gaming communities. Many have spoken up about it and how difficult it can be to endure but nothing has changed. The witch hunts, the piling of players when they don’t perform, it makes for a hugely negative and destructive experience.

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As I write this, a scandal has broken in the League of Legends community over accusations that a well-known player is scripting. There has been no proven evidence nor an official statement from Riot and yet the community has been tearing the player apart.

A culture that paved the way for Pewdiepie

A rape song wasn’t cause for concern when it came to Pewdiepie, but anti-Semitic jokes crossed the line. Why is that the case when both are absolutely horrific? Furthermore, a lot of the justification given for why the punishment for Pewdiepie was acceptable was because he was a talentless hack.

Disregarding the fact that that is absolutely not true (53m subs is not an easy feat no matter how you feel about his YouTube persona), why is his talent or lack thereof part of the equation? Does being talented excuse you from being accountable for what you do or say?

The mentality of “it’s just a joke” or that people are simply trolling is harmful and should not be allowed. It perpetuates a cycle of abusive language and jokes. It completely removes the accountability aspect of abusive behaviour and completely misses the issue at hand.

It leads to widespread hypocrisy. The same people that start witch hunts against pro players that are caught being verbally abusive are the same ones verbally abusing players in their own games. Gamers overall rejoiced about Pewdiepie’s demise and yet will support other content creators that have the same issues.

It also sidesteps the whole crux of the issue. The real problem is gaming culture and how abusive language and jokes have been allowed to become the norm. Any attempts to combat it are met with “it’s just a joke” or you are told to “suck it up” etc. Yes, tackling toxicity is a big task and a difficult one but you have to start somewhere.

Pewdiepie may not be a bad person, but he’s a by-product of the culture we all play a part in. Harmful jokes are not funny, they’re destructive. Being a troll isn’t witty or smart, it’s perpetuating a large problem.

Gaming culture has a history of harmful language and it’s about time we did something about it ourselves instead of waiting for a major publication to break another story around hateful content in our scene.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: February 16, 2017

Glenn Kisela

I've always loved video games as well as writing, so mixing the two together was inevitable. When I'm not doing that, I do photography and design.

  • In short: Be lekker.

    • MonsterCheddar

      I’m too affraid I might offend someone.

      But your comment just made me moist….

      • HairyEwok

        2 words to get cheddar moist. Going to have a talk to my cheese tonight.

        • PurplePariah

          I prefer not moist cheddar. Rot isn’t tasty.

          • MonsterCheddar

            Geoff knows what I’m talking about, don’t you @OddSockZA:disqus

            wink wink

  • Craig “CrAiGiSh” Dodd

    TL;DR …

    • HairyEwok

      Like Geoff said. Be lekker.

  • Dutch Matrix

    I can like to ask: Does this apply to religion as well?

    • Ideally, everyone would be nice to each other. That would be the best case scenario – and respecting people’s rights is a big part of that. That said, there’s a difference between respecting rights, and respecting beliefs.

      There’s a very clear distinction between saying “Jesus Christ! (as blasphemous),” or “I don’t believe god exists” and “kill all jews.” One of them desregards somebodies belief, while the other is hateful and inciting violence.

      There’s a massive, massive between saying “I don;t believe what you believe in, so I shouldnt be beholden to your beliefs” is very, very far removed from “I hope you die in a fire and never have children because of your beliefs”

      • PurplePariah

        Geoff. I don’t believe in food. I eat baked beans on toast for dinner, and 2 day old pizza for breakfast. Your food choices ARE WRONG. WRONG I SAY!!!

        • Lu

          Is there pineapple on that pizza?

          • PurplePariah

            YES

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Burn the witch!

          • Lu

            I respect your lack of taste. Just one question. Have you ever cut the peel off of a pineapple? Cos if anything could trigger trypophobia its that shit.

            And now Pariah never eats pineapple again

          • PurplePariah

            I actually can’t stand pineapple. But now it’s not just gross tasting. Thanks. Now I double don’t like it.

          • PurplePariah

            NOW I’M IMAGINING PINEAPPLE JUICE IN SCORES OF OPEN WOUNDS IN MY BACK.

            GAHGLK FHNI#[email protected]@[email protected]

          • Lu

            I was referring to the little holes with the black stamen piece sticking out where the flower used to be. Always used to freak me out. I’d cut of 30% of the pineapple just to not see that.

          • PurplePariah

            I know exactly what you were talking about.

          • Lu

            Ah sorry. Cos the juice thing made me wretch

          • Original Heretic

            Fear of holes must REALLY suck.

          • PurplePariah

            Well it’s not so much holes as a dense cluster of holes in a pattern on a flat surface. Specifically. And an overactive imagination.

          • Original Heretic

            Oh good, because if it was just the holes, you’d struggle to procreate.

            But I hear you on the overactive imagination part. You can tell yourself all you want that it’s an irrational fear to have, that logically it makes no sense, but then that fear creeps in there anyway.

          • Dutch Matrix

            “Oh good, because if it was just the holes, you’d struggle to procreate…”
            It was thanks to a hole I got created…

          • Original Heretic

            Um, yeah, that was my point…

          • Lu

            Yep. As a child I couln’t sleep unless the following were true:
            Windows closed
            Curtains closed
            Back against a wall
            Bed as far from the window as possible
            Door open so I could escape
            Cupboards all closed.
            Blanket over my mouth so that nothing could hear me breathe

            All because I watched Critters and gremlins when I was 4. This only stopped when I was 22.

          • Original Heretic

            For me it was vampires.

          • PurplePariah

            Vampires? But they’re awesome. I actively wanted vampires to bite me. Live by night and all that.

          • Original Heretic

            NOW, yeah. Being a vamp would be awesome. Except if they actually DO sparkle, then hell no.

            But as a kid, I was terrified. Used to cocoon myself in my bed so that my neck wouldn’t be exposed. Because, ya know, vamps only ever go for the neck and if you’re in your bed, there’s nothing they can do to get to you.
            There was a lot I was terrified of as a kid, good ol’ overactive imagination again…

          • Admiral Chief

            PURGE ALL SPARKLE VAMPS!

          • PurplePariah

            ^ all of the this

          • Admiral Chief

            THIS IS THE POLICE
            WE’VE RECEIVED A TIP-OFF THAT THERE ARE VAMPIRES LIVING HERE
            YOU SPARKLE, YOU DIE

          • Lu

            Lives in the forest, doesn’t eat people, sparkles. That ain’t a vamp. That’s a fairy

          • Lu

            Well it started with small flesh eating bastards, but evolved with every horror film I stupidly watched. Never vamps though oddly enough. Probly because of Count Duckula.

          • Original Heretic

            Used to avoid horrors as a child as much as I could. I got scared way too easily.

            Superman 3, the scene where that nasty woman gets sucked into that computer machine and turned into some kind of half-robot thing? fuuuuuuuck, that’s freaked the living SHIT out of me!

          • Lu

            I was 12 when I watched Signs. Old enough I thought. Couldn’t go near or look at a window at night for years.

          • Dresden

            He was awesome! (slightly terrifying at times though haha)

          • Lu

            Haha I was terrified of the vampire carrot in the intro (or tomato – memory is fuzzy)

        • Well, ok. that’s your problem. Terrible food choices, but they’re yours.

          • PurplePariah

            But this is the internet. You’re supposed to have the same ideas and choices and everything as me.

          • Dresden

            Flame him!

      • Dutch Matrix

        Look. It’s all good and well. You do not believe in God, I believe (Hypothetically speaking.)

        So if we are conversing and you go “Jesus Christ!” in a way that is seen as blasphemous, and I go “Dude, that’s my God!” should the right response not be from you be “Sorry man, my bad?” and we all go about being merry and whatnot?

        It’s like the door of fairness only swings one way from where I stand.

        • Geoff was pointing out incitement to cause harm. shouting out Jesus Christ as an exclamation is not the same as telling people to go find people who believe in him and kill them. One is cussing and indeed blasphemous ‘to YOU’.

          • Dutch Matrix

            But that is it! To ME it is! Is the decent thing for YOU not to use that type of language because you know it is offensive to me?

          • Something is offensive to everyone mate. EVERYONE. I won’t change who I am to not offend those who are easily offended.

          • konfab

            “I won’t change who I am to not offend those who are easily offended.”

            And I am sure PewdiePie would say the same thing.

          • he was not swearing, he was inciting. huge difference.

          • konfab

            It is inciting if you just look at the pictures of the video.

            However if you watched the video before it was taken down, you would have seen it was done in a test to see if the people who would write anything on a sign for $5 would write “kill the jews”, which is the most offensive thing possible.

            That is no different than everyone overreacting about a journalist being accused of promoting drug use whilst exposing a drug dealer at a school.

            All it would take is one screenshot of the journalist doing the work. No context would be required in order to generate the reaction.

          • PurplePariah

            Yeah but Rince didn’t say “Kill the jews” or make a song about rape.

          • yup

          • I think it falls under the same casual racism type thing. People make jokes about Asians and their talking by replacing R’s with L’s. It’s seen as normal and people even laugh along but at the end of the day it is hurtful and propogates a normality.

            In this casebeing blasphemous can lead to a confirmation bias that religion is dumb and leads people to wanting to off the Jews/Budhists/Christian/(insert religion here)

          • PurplePariah

            Religion isn’t dumb. And I’m sorry, if people think an expletive confirms that religion is dumb, well they’re actively looking for confirmation. Even saying something like “You don’t need to read the Bible every day” would be misconstrued.

          • I think it is more about this:

            1) You shouldn’t make casual racist jokes because it hurts people
            1.1) People ask that this not be done because it hurts them and affects them in ways we outsiders don’t understand
            1.2) People agree and go yeah there’s a point here and we should maybe try respect others

            2)You shouldn’t make ginger jokes because it hurts people
            2.1) People go, Yeah ok I can see it hurts them maybe we should be mindful and respectfu

            3) You shouldn’t blaspheme around a Christian because it hurts them
            3.1) The reaction is now suddenly: no, that’s stupid why should I check what I say? That’s silly. They shouldn’t take offence to something I say because it’s my choice.

            See what I am getting at?

          • PurplePariah

            Except again, you choose religion. You’re choosing that offence. You’re choosing to make that phrase offensive. Race is not a choice. Hair is not a choice. And while yes, your beliefs are a part of you, you’ve chosen that. It’s only offensive because an organisation told you it’s offensive.

            Expletive of “jesus christ” isn’t making a joke. It’s not saying in any way that your religion is dumb. It’s just an expletive. Like fuck. Remember when saying fuck used to be one hell of an outrage? That was only a few decades ago.

          • So if I am born in to religion and it’s all I’ve known it’s still me choosing to that offence?

            What about sex changes? So by that logic choosing to change your sex should be allowed to be insulted too?

          • PurplePariah

            I was born into one religion, raised into another, and I chose neither. Yes, it’s 100% a choice.

          • in your case yes. Mine? I’ve never been raised in separate religions. I was born in to Christianity. Raised in it.

          • I was raised Christian, and I am not? Millions of people have done it. It is a choice after all. That is the only point he was making.

          • PurplePariah

            I was born a Jew, raised a Christian. According to Jewish custom, I’m 100% Jewish. But I’m not. Because it’s a choice.

          • Fiar, but for me it’s not a choice. There’s no choice, for me it’s all in.

            You are also still avoiding the sex change question. That’s often a choice.

          • PurplePariah

            Yes it’s a choice. But did you choose to be born transsexual? The sex change is a choice, but you’re born not feeling like you belong in your own skin. Your example is different – you’re looking at symptoms rather than the cause.

            And I’m sorry, you CHOOSE to be all in.

          • I choose to be all in because I feel that that is where I belong and what I identify with as a person. The same as a transexual identifies with one sex or the other. It’s their choice to change sex but it is brought on by that base feeling that it’s where they belong. And it’s completely fine for them to feel that way.

            Is it not ok for me to feel that I belong to a specific way of thought and that to me it is 100% real?

          • PurplePariah

            No, you’re not understanding. A transsexual is BORN that way. They don’t choose to identify as that. That’s like saying being gay is a choice.

          • I would rather not argue this with you anymore. The last time ended up with you and me being far more aggressive than we should have been. I agree with you that they are born that way. I disagree with you that a Christian isn’t born. I identify 100% as being one and feel inside of me that I was born that way. The same that anyone else feels they were born Gay, Transgender or any other way of identifying in life.

            You disagree with me on that and I will not try change your thoughts on that because that’s not what I want.

          • Dutch Matrix

            Wait! I have it! Christians are Born Again!

          • Amen

          • Admiral Chief

            You have to be born again, you are correct

          • Original Heretic

            AMEN BROTHER!!

          • HvR

            So if slap “converted” before any Jewish slur it is fine?
            Muslim travelling ban is fine?

          • PurplePariah

            Yeah that’s racism. If I take issue with a faith, that’s one thing. If I take issue with the people, that’s another.

          • Admiral Chief

            …inconsistent numbering?

          • I am sorry, I do not agree. If I have a youtube channel and say god damn on it, and you do not like it, move on. Nothing to see here. I am not inciting people to pick up weapons because of my ‘blaspheming’.

          • Is making asian jokes by replacing L’s and R’s inciting violence?

            How about making a redhead joke and souls? That’s not not inciting violence.

          • No, it isn’t. I completely agree. That’s why I haven’t stopped talking to the many who still make them. Inciting people to go kill red-haired people would be hate speech and I would have a big problem with that.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            …..shit.

          • Yup. Watch your PC boy…

          • PurplePariah

            XD

          • Ok cool. There’s the thread I want to catch on to lol

            Look, you agree that making those jokes can be harmful on a whole right? Or at least to the person and that it isn’t cool right? It can lead to confirmation bias of those that do really hate redheads or Asians or whatever racial demographic we are speaking of at that instance.

            No one is asking you to stop being friends or speaking to anyone because of how they speak. All I want is for that same kind of thought of “Yeah ok maybe those jokes are not cool” to be the same for ‘Yeah ok maybe blaspheming can have the same kind of hurt towards religious people”

            If that makes sense?

          • Yes. As I have said it does. But it is NOT incitement to cause harm. What was it Stephen Fry said, something along the lines of ‘If your feelings are hurt, so fucking what’.

          • But that’s the thing I don’t like.

            YOu are a red head. So if someone insults you for that should society sit back and go “If it hurts you so fucking what?”
            Should you have to live by that?

            I honestly don’t think so.

            I’ve come to realise this last 2 weeks that it’s that exact attitude that just grows and grows until a hate is built around it and it explodes in to full blown racism / sexism / etc. Because people allow things like this to be normalised. HTFU (harden the fuck up) is probably the single most disgusting thing humanity has allowed to become a thing. Not because we should all be weaklings, no, we shouldn’t. But we all deserve to at least be able to walk around without having to worry about things like this.

            If you don’t agree, I guess that’s cool. It’s just something I have started to become very passionate over.
            I am even checking what I post all over to ensure I am not perpetuating something to become a norm.

          • Thing is, the red-haird thing only works if you look at is as an individual, singled out thing. Blaspheming is the use of language that is non-specific to a particular person (in that they are words strung together to form language). So the negative connotations to red-haired people isn’t acceptable, anymore than pointing at someone born without an arm is not. I cannot agree with that when it comes to saying something that someone finds insulting. My mother thinks saying fuck is wrong, but I say it. She has to DEAL with that. Different things entirely.

          • ok well I guess we’re at an impasse as we just don’t see things the same way.
            So let’s call it quits here. I like you too much as a person to continue this to a point where things start to break down

          • Admiral Chief

            Rince is not a person!

          • Yes, he actually is.

          • You’re go* BANANNA right I am!

          • Admiral Chief

            Just as you say Banana, Jim appears…..YOU SUMMONED THE FRUIT!

          • He is most certainly a person

          • Sure 🙂

          • Dresden

            Stop making sense man!
            I really like that out view you have on life and I also try to follow it.

            I think the world needs more empathy. Empathy will help transgress these barriers we have between us so we can learn to accommodate each other (to a certain extent).

          • Admiral Chief

            “I think the world needs more empathy”
            true dat

          • Yes!

          • Lu

            I laugh at any accent. BUT I do respect the fact that I cannot even speak their language, and they can not only understand mine, but make an effort to speak it.

          • Dutch Matrix

            Here is the other end of that stick: I recently discovered a band Momoiro Clover Z, a J-pop band.
            They have a song called Gorilla Punch. Yet THEY sing it Golilla Punch! I honestly fear being in @OddSockZA:disqus ‘s company and singing that song absent mindedly. He will think I am being a Yutch, and not just a guy singing a song he likes! 🙁

          • Dutch Matrix

            That is sad. It is. I mean fine, do not change who you are. But showing some respect is hardly asking you to change who you are. It’s just putting yourself on the back burner for a while.

        • Ideally, sure – we should all respect each other and play nicely. But htis brings about the point of normalisation. Things like “Oh my god” and “Jesus Christ!” have become so normalised that they’re barely, if at alloffensive.

          If people carry on with hateful attitudes, you see stuff like “kill the gays” being normalised too – and that’s a dark road. Remeber too, that nobody chooses to be gay, or chooses to be born black or chinese or as an iguana, or chooses to be raped. People do choose to be religious

          • Dutch Matrix

            I might choose to be religious, but then my religion becomes part of who I am. He is Gay, you are Asian, I am Religious.
            So I do not agree with you there! 🙂
            It has, as you said, become a thing that is barely if at all offensive to most, but not some.
            There are people in this world, that because of finding God and or religion (as you refer to it as), have gone from an abusive husband to a loving husband/father and so on and so forth.

            All I am saying is, we as a people should afford people of religion the same space/respect we do people of whatever sexual orientation and so on.

          • PurplePariah

            Nope, you choose to make religion a part of you. Being gay or asian isn’t a choice.

            Sure, you take your beliefs seriously, but imagine if you didn’t believe in God, were not religious, but you were born a christian, and were chastised and hated for it your whole life. What then?

          • Dutch Matrix

            Then I would say rather look to the God of the Bible than the asshats you had to share your life with growing up. And no, I am not making light of what you had to go through or anyone, for that matter. Please understand that.

            Sadly not all people that claim they are from God is sent by God. Even Christ himself said once: “You will come to Me and say but Lord, in your name I have driven demons out of people! But I (Christ) will say Get away from me, for I have never known you!

          • What? Did you read what he said? You are BORN gay, BORN Asian, you are not BORN religious. You become it. Wow.

          • Dutch Matrix

            I read what he said and I disagreed with what he said. Is that a crime?
            And even if do choose religion, I am by definition religious! Religion is a part of who I am. I am not over here and my religion over there!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            But you can be BORN again! Checkmate!

          • “All I am saying is, we as a people should afford people of religion the same space/respect we do people of whatever sexual orientation and so on.”

            And we are. I don;t way gay people to be killed – and i don;t want Christians to be killed. Just because a gay dude likes making out with other dudes, doesnt mean I have to.

          • Zoe Hawkins

            “All I am saying is, we as a people should afford people of religion the same space/respect we do people of whatever sexual orientation and so on.”
            I agree with this sentiment. However, I think there’s a difference between expecting respect/tolerance and expecting people to conform to your rules.
            I would categorize anti gay, anti woman or anti muslim comments together as hate speech. However, if someone blasphemes, either by using “Jesus Christ” expression of shock or by creating a picture of Mohammad, that would go into the same category for me as if someone shared the same cliched Valentine’s Day joke about women being needy or men being un-romantic.
            It’s offensive for those who are impacted by the greater implications, but innocuous to those who are not – i think there’s a difference between words that are “merely” offensive and words that lead to dehumanizing and violent actions.

          • Admiral Chief

            “It’s offensive for those who are impacted by the greater implications”
            ^^^this^^^

  • PurplePariah

    I’d like to just state that there’s a difference between trolling and being a racist, sexist cunt. Trolling can be light hearted and fun.

    Don’t insult, bully, spread rumours or incite hate and call it trolling.

    And like Geoff says, be lekker.

    • Lu

      I will add though that words are only have as much power as one gives them. Those guys will unfortunately always exist, but if no one cares about their remarks, what impact do they have?

      • PurplePariah

        Problem is that people do care. Words do hurt. And if they don’t hurt you, that doesn’t mean they’re not catastrophic for someone else. A single seemingly harmless insult can alter a life. Like if someone says you have ugly toes when you’re a kid, and then you have problems with your toes for the rest of your life. Just an example, but look at the fat shaming and stuff that goes on.

        • Lu

          I get that, it’s difficult. I didn’t have a fun childhood. But at one point I came to the conclusion that the only thing hurting me was my own interpretation of what was being said to me. Being mocked constantly because my family was poor pushed me to become better than everyone who mocked me, because now the derogatory comments became fuel for improvement.

          • PurplePariah

            Sure, but that’s something that very few people do. The suicide rate around the world from just verbal bullying in school is stupid. It shouldn’t exist at all.

          • Lu

            Yeah. The biggest problem I think is that humans are generally emotional first and logical second.

          • Dresden

            I know the feels man. I felt inferior a lot of the time and it hurt but I also overcame it.
            Thing is, not everybody is strong-willed sadly and while I feel people need to be taught to handle criticism and mockery better, people ALSO need to be taught to be more empathetic.

          • Lu

            Yeah definitely. As always a balance is required.

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        I think it’s rare, but not impossible, that the odd insult or remark gets taken very personally, but more that people have to deal with the same small comments over & over again & it builds up over time.

        • Lu

          But that’s the thing. Writing banana on an apple 1000000 times will still end with it being an apple. If the remark gets through and hurts (it happens), then reflection on why it hurts will reveal the chink in your armour and show you where to fix it.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            True, but that’s an individual thing because every person responds differently. For you it was a motivation, for another person it won’t be.

          • Lu

            I think we need better mentors, that can help people going through rough patches and help them, instead of silly anti bully campaigns and perpetuating weakness.

  • Skittle

    Good read. I have one issue though.

    “A rape song wasn’t cause for concern when it came to Pewdiepie, but anti-Semitic jokes crossed the line. Why is that the case when both are absolutely horrific?”

    There is a very good, well known reason why anti-Semitic speech is greatly condemned. Don’t get me wrong, rape is no joke, there should have been repercussions (I don’t watch his channel so was unaware of both instances). Comparing the attempted genocide of a religious group and rape as the same thing is ignorant.

    • PurplePariah

      Rape has hurt more people, and continues to hurt more people, than the holocaust ever did. And you know, you highlight the real problem. Everyone, EVERYONE knows that the holocaust was terrible. But somehow people justify or excuse rape or don’t think it’s as serious. That in itself is a huge problem.

    • Dresden

      Both are bad. Over time, I believe rape has destroyed an inconceivable amount of lives.

      I honestly believe it has more to do with coincidence. I think his sponsors don’t know what half his content is about (seeing as he has pumped out so many videos over the years), so they perhaps merely overlooked it.

      It stands to reason that they noticed the uproar somebody made recently about the anti-Semitic stuff and decided to take action.

  • konfab

    “The mentality of “it’s just a joke” or that people are simply trolling is harmful and should not be allowed. It perpetuates a cycle of abusive language and jokes. It completely removes the accountability aspect of abusive behaviour and completely misses the issue at hand.”

    I assume then you are completely against the “Dear White people” series on Netflix…

  • I was reading this and nodding the whole way.

    I’ve been going through my own little internal rants for a while now about how casually people make racial comments under the guise of jokes.

    I really sat up and thought about this when our own beloved @OddSockZA:disqus was upset about some rather poor racist comments about Asians that were made after that Carte Blanche episode.

    It hit me like a freight train when I saw him speak about how even though the small jokes don’t hurt but that they kind of build

    it also made me realise that these kind of “casual” racism incidents that are seen as “jokes” actually just normalise racism and make it “OK”.
    It also encourages true racists. We humans live on a affirmation bias. When people who hate other races see a joke against a culture they hate it just eggs them on because the confirmation bias kicks in. Regardless of the intention of the racist joke.

    It needs to stop.

    Also, sorry Geoff for tagging you here but it was your series of genuine tweets that made me sit up and realise all this.

    We need to stop casual racism in open forums like this. Even if the target person sees it as a joke and laughs with the poster, that’s not where the problem is. The problem lies with the unintentional confirmation bias we generate that allows real racsists to gain bravado and continue to do what they do.

    • PurplePariah

      tl;dr

      (these are still ok, right?)

      • It’s tradition no matter how serious the subject

        • PurplePariah

          Fair enough 🙂

      • tradition lol

    • Dutch Matrix

      But here is the question: We make a casual joke. Person C takes this as confirmation that racism is OK. Is Person C not responsible for his own actions and thoughts?
      This sounds a lot like it’s ok to catcall a girl if she shows a bit of cleavage. OK. Maybe not the same but you get what I am saying?
      We are all responsible for our own actions…

      • It’s tough but I think at the end of the day it is this: If it’s racially based and it’s in an open forum rather steer clear from the joke. Standing around the braai with your close Asian/Black/White/etc friend and making a jab at them in a closed environment like that may be ok (depending on the people) because they will jab back and understand there is no hate there.

        It’s when you do the same in open forums that thousands can see where the issue is. It ends up creating that affirmation for the ones that really do hate and just spurs them on to make worse jokes and actually hurt the ones you were making a fun joke about. Am I making sense?

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        We are responsible for our actions, and our words are part of our actions. I think it’s disingenuous when people deliberately say something provocative and then tell the person being provoked that it’s all their responsibility how they react and that they bare no responsibility in that.

        • Dutch Matrix

          I hear you and I agree somewhat. We should safeguard our mouths for sure. LoL. Never mind! Hee-hee. Case closed. You are right!

    • tl;dr

  • And yet people are happy to take the piss out of the physical dimensions and the colour of someones hair…

    • Dutch Matrix

      But I LOVE redheads! Rince, you are the problem in our little “relationship…” 😉

      • PurplePariah

        So it’s not the hair or the boep that you don’t like?

        • konfab

          Its not the hair, it is just the simple lack of a soul that bothers people… 😉

        • Dutch Matrix

          I love all of Rince. He just does not seem to feel the same way about me! #Sniff

          • PurplePariah

            Must be your hair.

            😛

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      That’s speciesism that is!

    • Captain JJ

      You’re allowed to joke about someone going bald, which is out of their control, but god forbid you call someone fat.

      • You have fat eyebrows! *runs

        • *lush

          • Captain JJ

            See. Otto gets it!

          • Except spelling. He no get that

          • Captain JJ

            Don’t worry. I’m not Admiral. Bring the spellik mistaiks!

          • Admiral Chief

            *twitches*

          • Captain JJ

            Don’t twitks! 😛

          • Admiral Chief

            [throws DjyDjy with the 72p bold font Oxford dictionary]

          • Captain JJ

            72 pence? 72 pages? Either way. I’ve been struck with a weight to the face, so bring it! 😀

          • Lu

            72p is the font size. Hence the book will be massively thick. Like your eyebrows.

          • Admiral Chief

            Oh snap, education AND a burn
            EDUBURN!

          • Captain JJ

            Dyum! Touché

          • Lu

            Haha I too have face caterpillars, so please don’t be offended.

          • Admiral Chief

            Single/double?

          • Lu

            They try to merge but I separate them regularly

          • Admiral Chief

            Purge with holy fire?

          • Lu

            Long nose pliers

          • Captain JJ

            Nah. I’m not easily offended. 😀

          • Admiral Chief
          • Dresden

            72 points to Gryffindor!

        • Captain JJ

          jealous much!

      • Lu

        Being fat is a disability.

        • PurplePariah

          So is being stupid. 😛

          • Lu

            Hahaha.

        • Captain JJ

          Yea. No.

          • Dresden

            It can be. Rare cases.

          • Captain JJ

            Yes. But that’s like 1% or 2%.

          • Dresden

            Ya, not trying to be controversial. It’s mostly a self-inflicted disability.
            Like a drug addict overdosing and becoming a vegetable.

          • Captain JJ

            Or someone deciding to be a vegan. 😛
            Hehe.

      • HvR

        Because being bald is a choice; you are born to be fat ……

        No wait DEFAULT ARGUMENT ERROR!!!!!

        • Admiral Chief

          404

        • Captain JJ

          Huehue

  • Great article as usual Glenn. Keep it up!

  • HairyEwok

    Would it be fair to say that people get offended way to easily these days? It’s like even when you end up complimenting them they think your being offensive.

    • PurplePariah

      *you’re

      😀

      • HairyEwok

        Offended!

        • PurplePariah

          Also offended!

          • triggered!

          • HairyEwok

            I’m going to write an article on your Nazi spelling agenda and make sure an army of people read it so that you can be seen as a nazi supporter. BOOM! XD

          • PurplePariah

            I’ll just produce some alternative facts, dummy accounts, and ruin the comment section.

          • But you do that with your real account? *runs 😉

          • PurplePariah

            HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS IS MY REAL ACCOUNT?!!

            *sniff*

          • triggered!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    My views around how people express themselves are complex, and contradicting at times, because I think it’s a very difficult balancing act. Sometimes people do need to shut up, and other times they need to suck it up, because it’s not always cut and dried.

    At the core I think people should be able to say what they want, however that doesn’t mean they’re not responsible for what they say and can say whatever they please and whenever they want with impunity. There are legal, economic and social means of dealing with that when people cross lines – and they should be applied evenly, not just when it’s convenient. I think it goes without saying that everyone knows what topics can go very wrong very quickly and that you need to tread carefully if you go there, regardless of the intent behind your words because once they’re out of your mouth you don’t control how people perceive them. Context plays a big role, and you can say things to people you know, and that know you, that you shouldn’t and/or wouldn’t say around people that you don’t.

    In the end I’d much rather know who the assholes are and exactly what they think, because then I can deal with them directly, rather than have them hiding in the shadows. I’m also a firm believer in Hanlon’s razor – that you shouldn’t attribute to malice what can be easily explained by ignorance or stupidity. Understandably something people who deal with that ignorance or stupidity on a regular basis are very tired of.

    In the end I just try to apply the golden rule – do unto others & all that.

    • MonsterCheddar

      tl;dr

      • Admiral Chief

        There you are

    • Like, I know YOU? It works!

  • Original Heretic

    This is one of those articles that I read and I cannot help but think “But that’s just human nature”. Not a popular, and it’s not something that I do, but it’s something that I (and’m pretty most of us) have seen again and again.
    I’ve read most of the comments here and people have some very strong, logical views on this.

    People are too different to always get along. Someone, somewhere, is going to be offended by something you say. It might be an innocent comment from your part, and next thing you know, someone doesn’t like you.

    But some people also don’t know where the line is. And yes, there is line that, when crossed, can really cause something to be REALLY offensive.
    I know from my side, I’ll just do my best to be considerate towards others.

  • konfab

    Quick question:
    How many people here watched the offending videos before they were taken down?

  • Admiral Chief

    As for me, I ONLY make jokes towards people I like / respect / know well.

    And then, it is done to reflect the relationship we have.

    Now, on to the point: “Gaming culture has a history of harmful language and it’s about time we did something about it ourselves instead of waiting for a major publication to break another story around hateful content in our scene” ….. Right then, so what to do?

    • Lu

      Teach our kids to not be offended by untrue words. Create the state of mind that criticism (no matter how untrue or harsh) is a step to be crushed beneath one’s feet while ascending above those that spew it. Nothing wreck’s a bully’s fun like telling him thank you and smiling.

      • Admiral Chief

        Watched Ricky Gervais eat hot wings on one of my favourite YT channels (Hot Ones, bless that show!) and one thing he said, was majestic.

        (not exact quote) People think being offended and having an opinion about something, is facts and also that being offended about something you read/follow is the same as going up to a bulletin board, seeing an ad for guitar lessons, then phoning that guy and saying “FUCK YOU I DON’T WANT GUITAR LESSONS’

        • Lu

          Hahah exactly.

    • Original Heretic

      We create a virus that is attracted to people that are offended. The virus will not kill them. Oh no, it’ll turn them into unicorns.
      Easiest way to solve this.

      Or, well, mebbe what Lu said below.

      • Lu

        NOOOO Ottokie will rule the world!

        • Ey wha?!?

        • Original Heretic

          Or would he FTW?

          *shudder*

          • Lu

            PLEASE NO MY IMAGINATION!!!!

          • You will scurry and beg under my iron hove!

          • Lu

            Hoof or Hooves

          • Admiral Chief

            He doesn’t even bronie correctly

          • Lu

            I take it back. He won’t rule the world. the offense unicorns will strap him with a restraining order

          • Original Heretic

            Don’t say strap. He’ll put it on!

          • Lu

            Keeeek

          • Admiral Chief

            ‘Hove’

    • HairyEwok

      Worst joke you’ve ever done to me is this ;(
      Me: Hey can i get a key.
      Admiral: Sure here you go.
      http://i.imgur.com/eTl9nNZ.gif

      • Admiral Chief

        Good times

  • MonsterCheddar

    You know what. People are way to sensitive these days. You can’t say anything anymore without someone getting offended. And the term “Racist/ racism” also gets used way too easily.

    I agree there are lines you shouldn’t cross, but geez.

    People are too easily offended these days. Plain and simple.

    • PurplePariah

      That offends me!

      • MonsterCheddar

        Cry me a river. 😛

        • Admiral Chief

          You Western Cape guys need some water, so cry away!

          • MonsterCheddar

            HA

        • HairyEwok

          More like cry me a tropical storm.

          • Admiral Chief

            TABLE MOUNTAIN IS JUST A HILL

            Go cry some more

    • Exactly. 100% agree with you. I had this same rant on Facebook last night lol

      • Admiral Chief

        Did you end it with /rant?

        • Pfft no. Didn’t even put a tl;dr… does that OFFEND you?? Huh? HUH???

          • Admiral Chief

            NO IT DOES NOT YET I AM TYPING IN CAPS

          • WELL GOOD THEN!

          • Admiral Chief

            I’M GLAD THAT IS SETTLED!!!!!!1!!11ONE!!!!

            JOIN ME FOR A BEER?????????!!!!!?!?!??!?!?!?!

          • Dude hell yeah, I mean… DUDE HELL YEAH!i!i! NEXT TIME IM UP THAT SIDE WILL GIVE YOU A SHOUT!i!i!i!

          • Admiral Chief

            YOU DARE INVERT YOUR EXCLAMATION MARK QUESTION MARK QUESTION MARK QUESTION MARK QUESTION MARK QUESTION MARK

          • ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • Lu
    • Gardos

      Wow… your ignorance and blatant disregard for the things that may not affect you are tragic. What you fail to realise is that something that may seem insignificant to you (like racism) is a minute by minute experience for somebody else.

      See, when people talk about privilege (ooh scary word! rant rant rant) this is what they mean. You may have the privilege of thinking people overreact about racism because perhaps you don’t experience it.

      You may have the privilege of never having to experience rape culture, sexual assault or misogyny. You may have the privilege of never experiencing homophobia or ableism.

      See, I’m making assumptions that you don’t experience many of these things but, chances are, you don’t. Because if you did, you would understand people’s “sensitivities” and realise that being offended isn’t something you can brush off. It happens almost every moment of every day and you have the privilege of being blissfully unaware.

      But hey, maybe you’re a lost cause. Nothing ventured nothing gained though, right?

      • MonsterCheddar

        Dude, do me a favour and shove off.

        That is my point of view and if you don’t like it you can do me an absolute solid and fuck off.

        • Gardos

          Your point of view can’t be questioned? Did I make you uncomfortable because you were forced to do some introspection? Shame man, I’m so sorry I ruined your day like that. I wasn’t aware that you were so important that you were beyond reproach! What a sad megalomaniac you are 😀

          • MonsterCheddar

            I won’t have my point of view questioned by a dude with a dodgy Private Disqus profile and one follower. I don’t know why you singled my comment out and decided to look for shit with me, and I don’t care. I don’t get bothered by people like you.

  • This is fairly clear cut situation for me. Any public forum apart from a comedy clubs/shows should be treated as such. Make racial comments on Youtube? It is racism pure and simple.

    However make those jokes in South Park or a Trevor Noah comedy special ….. no issue here. Those places are made so we can laugh at ourselves and others.

    • Admiral Chief

      Good point actually

    • konfab

      What makes a show on Youtube any different from a show on TV?

      • HairyEwok

        Youtube has less ads 😛

      • Admiral Chief

        …you can watch the show on the poo-poo-throne?

        • I’m dying from laughter on this one…. on the poo-poo-throne XD

        • konfab

          So you would say it is toilet humor?

          • Admiral Chief

            I’m not saying poop, but, poop

      • Tons actually. A show on TV is paid for and produced on a budget from people who pay subs. Youtube is not. TV shows get approved based on thing. Youtube videos are not. If TV shows push the edge too much people can boycott them (see netflix unsubbing after Dear White people trailer) Youtube keeps going. TV very rarely has opinion pieces. Youtube lives on that (and cat videos). I can go on and on and on but the basic jist of it is Youtube is a free public platform and should be treated more like any other public platform or social media.

    • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

      A) Pewdiepie isn’t my cup of tea
      B) However…. Go watch his original videos – rather than the edited versions WSJ, Gizmodo etc have been pushing as evidence that the man is a neo-nazi/anti-semite! As I’ve said earlier – Context matters!

      Pewdiepie was actually mocking Adolf Hitler and white nationalists and the whole “Kill all Jews” vid was to prank Keemstar!

      • Admiral Chief

        Context, yeah

  • Original Heretic

    I think Glenn might write these articles so that he can get the “Most comments” award at the end of the week.

  • Captain JJ

    Interesting article but my reaction is: Oh. It’s about this stuff. *moves along*

    • PurplePariah

      Join the religious debate below, or wait 25 comments for when people bring up political choices too. 😛

      • Member Berry Bob

        BUILD THE WALL! MAKE THE DOLPHINS PAY!

        How is that for a start? 🙂

      • Captain JJ

        Oh hell no. Religious and race debates I stay far away from.
        Let’s rather start something that needs to be taken more seriously… avo on pizza. 😛

        • PurplePariah

          yummy!

          • Captain JJ

            You’re a monster. XD

          • PurplePariah

            Hey at least I don’t like pineapple.

          • Captain JJ

            But I was born with the pineapple. Molded by it. You merely learned to eat it.

          • PurplePariah

            I learned to not eat it. Your inaccuracy offends me!

          • Captain JJ

            Hehe. YES! Right. Who to offend next?

          • PurplePariah

            GAH. Baited.

            I’m so triggered right now!

          • Admiral Chief

            GET TO THE CHOPPA

          • Captain JJ

            XD

        • BakedBagel

          Dude.

          Bacon Avo Feta pizza?

          Get in dis ere’ mouth fam
          O:

          • Captain JJ

            oh hell no. I prefer traditional pizza.

          • BakedBagel

            I prefer traditional Gulags.
            Don’t you deny the miami pizza bruh

  • Words are only as powerful as you let me be.

    Racism isn’t going away. We can all sit here and type out well thought out arguments with solutions and scenarios, but let’s face it, it ain’t happening. I get smashed fairly often because of my apparent privileges, but I don’t run around moaning about it. I’ve ignored it and carried on with my life.

    You don’t like what player X is saying? Mute them. Block them. It’s essentially burying your head in the sand, but it’s effective. The only reason this all gains so much traction is because people listen, people take it to heart, and most importantly, people react. This is why clickbait is a thing. You are inciting a reaction, more often than not, with something scandalous.

    You want trolls to stop? Stop feeding them. This applied to Felix as well. He cocked up, Disney and Youtube have removed him from their viewer base. It’s a way to stem the tide, so to speak.

    I’ve been called a racist more times in the past year than I have in my entire life. I’ve been told, to my face, that I am a racist because I am a “white-boy”. All I did to incite that was bump into somebody at the mall.

    To clarify, I’m not racist. I have an adversity against stupidity, but that is a whole new argument. I work in a culturally diverse office. I game with people of all races. I go drinking with friends of all races. But yeah, I’m a racist apparently. Must be selective racism 🙂 I don’t run around trying to defend myself in the public eye. I just immediately class that person as an imbecile and move on. The biggest problem we have at the moment is people get way too offended over the smallest, stupidest things.

    And to end off, I’m dropping a link to a handy little piece that goes by the name of, How not to be offended:
    http://theunboundedspirit.com/how-not-to-be-offended/

    Please excuse me, I’ll check my “privilege” at the door 🙂

    • PurplePariah

      tl;dr

      • tl;dr: People can only be offended if they let themselves get offended.

        • PurplePariah

          LOL. I actually always read before typing tl;dr. It’s just tradition for long posts. 😛

          • Admiral Chief

            That, and [mssc]

          • PurplePariah

            Yeah, haven’t seen that in a while actually. XD

          • Admiral Chief

            Really? Sheesh, I’ve been HARD at work this week! Already did about 5!

          • PurplePariah

            Oh. Well then I guess those were more needed than I realised XD

          • Admiral Chief

            Its hard to keep up with all the content on CH these days

          • Yeah dude, things are flying thick and fast at the moment. People clearly have way too much time on their hands.

    • Lu

      Hell yeah.

  • Member Berry Bob

    I think people should be able to say whatever they want. In other words, true freedom of speech. When that speech amounts to racism or hate speech or deformation then the individual or group concerned should institute legal action against that person and let the structures laid down by the law take their course.

    In Pewdiepie’s case, he made remarks and now he’s paying for them. The issue is where certain remarks are said and there are no repercussions. Feel free to say what you want but know that there will be consequences. At the end of the day, you choose to say the things you do. It’s your responsibility to act like an upstanding member of society.

    • Admiral Chief

      🙂

    • HairyEwok

      I find it funny that the company that sacked Pewdiepie (Disney) were just as racist.

      • konfab

      • Member Berry Bob

        They could very well be or have been. I’m sure people would have made a big deal out of it and Disney would have lost money or had to compensate injured parties.

  • MonsterCheddar

    I’M OFFENDED AS FUCK RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  • MonsterCheddar

    I just offended my coffee. And myself.

    • Admiral Chief

      Read that comment again….

      • MonsterCheddar

        I can’t it offends me.

        • Admiral Chief

          [inserts jizz gif for clarification]

          • MonsterCheddar

            HA. That’s offensive.

  • MonsterCheddar

    I’M OFFENDED BY PEOPLE NOT FINDING MY TRIPLE CHIN CHEROO SAXY AS FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Admiral Chief

      Shall I post the pic?

      • MonsterCheddar

        XD

    • HairyEwok

      The what now?

      • Admiral Chief

        I want to post the pic, but children might see it

        • HairyEwok

          It’s not like you’ll offend them… ohhhh wait.

          • MonsterCheddar

            HA HA

    • Captain JJ

      It’s like best fitting scarf ever!

      • MonsterCheddar

        ^^^^^^^This guy gets it.

  • Admiral Chief

    I’M OFFENDED THAT HAMMERSTEYN IS ABSENT!

    • MonsterCheddar

      Yes, the lack of upvotes is offensive

    • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

      Your face is offensive!

      • Admiral Chief

        Only because IT IS SUPERIOR TO YOUR VISAGE

        • MonsterCheddar

          AWWWW Snap. Take that AI scum.

        • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

          That’s racist!

          • Admiral Chief

            YOU ARE NOT A RACE

  • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

    One of the things that really bug me about the Pewdiepie/media debacle is the simple fact that CONTEXT isn’t considered. Should Pewdiepie have made fun of Adolf Hitler, the Holocaust and Jewish people? It’s certainly a controversial and emotionally charged series of topics, and opinions will probably be weighted strongly against it – however humour is a funny beast. The strangest or the most dire of situations can be funny. For instance, the late and great African-American comedian, Patrice O’Neal essentially made fun of 911 in a skit about public holidays. Muslim comedian Achmed Achmed routinely mocks his own culture and that of Arabs across the Middle East. Indian-Canadian comedian Russel Peters is hilarious when he discusses race, and his observations about other people and their cultures. Doug Stanhope destroys prudish attitudes, and there are no sacred cows when Bill Burr or Chris Rock is around.

    Comedy has always walked a fine line between offensive and acceptable, and in some case blurred the line to such an extent that I’ve laughed at stuff that were legitimately shocking. However, CONTEXT mattered. If we change a word or a line in a comedian’s skit, or altered the tone it was delivered, the message can be altered drastically. A funny observation about racial and religious views can become legitimately offensive – especially if you don’t consider the context.

    This is exactly what happened with Pewdiepie. If you watch his original videos and compare them to the edited videos that the WSJ published, you’ll probably also start shaking your head at this non-issue. It all boils down to context. Go watch the original videos, and for the love of Cthulu don’t let comedy and humour be dragged down by the puritanical views of the regressive PC crowd. Honestly, fuck political correctness!

    Hail Hydra!

    • konfab

      It is fake news.

      Just like that dog thing. Everyone looks for a reason to be offended before taking the 10 seconds required to be skeptical.

      • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

        I take pride in my skepticism, and it’s gotten me into a lot of trouble before, but I’m not just going to accept views because “they feel right” or “are convenient” or “won’t harm sensitive souls”.

        Show me the facts, let me weigh them up and consider them critically, and then let’s see what’s actually going on.

        PS Bananahaters – I’m not saying I’m never wrong – I’ve been wrong more times than I can count, but at least I’ll admit it.

        HAIL HYDRA!

        • Alessandro Barbosa

          Fact is he had a series of videos that had anti-Semitic messaging. Disney and YouTube didn’t dig them and walked away. Press reported on that.

          This idea that there is an agenda against Felix is absurd. The dude put that stuff out there to get a reaction. Now that he’s having to deal for the negative side of that for once it’s now everyone out to get him? Please.

          You can’t just put shit up like “Death to All Jews” and not expect some sort of ramification. That, even with the think context provided, is hate speech. And there’s no reason brands especially would want to be attached to that.

          Do I think Felix is anti-Semitic? Nah. Do I think he should be getting punished for stepping over the line. Hell yeah. We ask for parity when it comes to instances of racism and hate speech. We shouldn’t exclude him from that.

          • HvR

            Well Youtube and Disney didn’t walk away because of the comments they walked away because of outrage.

          • Alessandro Barbosa

            I don’t think so. The first time was really widely reported was after Disney had dropped him. That was the first WSJ report. It snowballed from that.

            The videos in question were a month old. Had Disney not done something, I (and I assume many others) wouldn’t even know they existed.

            PewDiePie has garnered all sorts of outrage before and they never walked away. Them, and by extension YouTube, doing something was the real story

          • HvR

            If the content is what offended them surely they would have immediately issued an request to him for takedown and drop him there. Surely a company that pays him big money will be checking the content almost immediately.

            Previously the outrage was not in the current polarized social and political climate.

          • Alessandro Barbosa

            Again, from what I can see on the timeline the outrage came after Disney dropped him – when most saw the videos for the first time. It was also the first time mainstream media reported on any of it.

            I can’t speak for Disney’s intentions, but I can say that had they not done anything it’s likely the outrage would be far more subtle. Simply because people outside of his audience would have no idea the videos existed. So I really don’t know what else could’ve led to it other than Disney simply not wanting to be associated with the content

    • Captain JJ

      Who needs an article when you have a Banana Jim comment?

    • Admiral Chief
    • Oh god, here he comes…

      • Captain JJ

        I just see a bunch of zeroes and ones anyway 😛

        • Admiral Chief

          I can reboot the ai, and he’d forget!

    • HairyEwok

      Have a video just for this comment and i think you saw this already by what I’ve read now.
      https://youtu.be/JLNSiFrS3n4

      • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

        Pffft! You’re not my Robin – I roam alone. Like a lone wolf batman… Oh and H3H3 is cool!

    • MonsterCheddar

      HA!!!! The AI chimed in.

  • “Disregarding the fact that that is absolutely not true (53m subs is not
    an easy feat no matter how you feel about his YouTube persona), why is
    his talent or lack thereof part of the equation? Does being talented
    excuse you from being accountable for what you do or say?”

    Well said here, Glenn. People have a massive hate-boner for PewDiePie, and ironically will criticise his YouTube Let’s Play persona as “being dumb in order to get subs” even though they… never quite share their true feelings on most things in case they upset others??? Except of course when there’s something that is safe to criticise. Trump, PewDiePie, Zuma, SAFE TO CRITICISE ALWAYS. A popular but loved media person saying something disagreeable, or a shitty game that has a black protagonist and uses that as its one biggest selling point? Don’t you fucking dare, son.

    And that’s a big part of my issue with the whole political correctness bandwagon. You are correct to say that the internet is a place for really, really BAD things being said all the time. Ultimately they are words and as the proverb goes, words should not hurt us. But they do. And for that, we must be cautious in our speech.

    But it’s just not consistent, man. When Buzzfeed gets to call people “Gateway Nazis” and nobody bats an eyelid, but then PewDiePie gets criticised for making a video in which he was LITERALLY TRYING TO ILLUSTRATE A POINT ABOUT A PAID SERVICE THAT COULD ENCOURAGE HATE-SPEECH, he is criticised.

    And the problem, at least in this case, is very simple this: If someone likes a person, they are above criticism. If someone dislikes a person, it’s just a case of finding a way to make the label fit.

    To address the overall point, I don’t entirely agree that PewDiePie got famous over such things. If you go all the way back to his original stuff when his sub-count was skyrocketing, you would see that a lot of his stuff was Let’s Plays in which he acted like a total dude-bro for laughs, AND FOR WHATEVER REASON PEOPLE LIKED THAT SO WE’RE NOT HERE TO DEBATE THAT, but his vlogs were a bit more serious. More recently he’s turned to social commentary, and more general stuff away from gaming. And because he’s rich and white, of-fucking-course everyone will hate him for it. So he owns it. He owns it and he satirises the shit out of it. And people will say “but satire is not good if it’s harmful” and I will remind you that Buzzfeed literally called people “Gateway Nazis” because they expressed disagreeable viewpoints and *some of their fans* had nasty opinions.

    The point is, PewDiePie is not a symptom of a bigger problem. The problem of anonymity is not a root cause of the internet, either. It’s an underlying social thing, and one that has existed for literally our entire history. It can’t be fixed. It CAN be discouraged certainly, but it will always happen. And so we must do our best to “be the change we want to see in the world” so to speak, and when the trolls come out, well, “stick and stones”.

    • Admiral Chief

      Actually, “sticks and stones” hurts less than words. Words can forever damage someone

      • MonsterCheddar

        Yes, Admiral damages my offended soul every day.

        I die a little inside every day.

        *sobs

        • Admiral Chief

          Yes, water the dry WC with your salty tears, sob it all up

      • Unless you’re a Saudi Arabian woman without a hijab. Then I think stones are abundantly worse. 😉

        • Admiral Chief

          Einafok, also true

  • Admiral Chief

    Comment #300
    EDIT – Odd, we lost 30 odd comments…….

  • HairyEwok

    Did Pariah offend somebody? All his comments got deleted.

    • Admiral Chief

      Huh?

    • I see them still?

    • Woah wtf as I replied my message disappeared. I think this article is going comments critical

      • Admiral Chief

        Well, I know disqus can handle over 1k comments (due to some masterful articles written by your’s truly)

        Very odd.

  • BakedBagel

    Clicks bois.

    Gotta get em’ clicks

  • BakedBagel

    When will Disney drop Disney??
    hmmmm

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/kzH1iaKVsBM/hqdefault.jpg

  • Sageville

    He’s a dick…

    No need to over-analyse this boy.

  • Thats_How_I_Troll

    Yet our own politicians makes racial slurs etc and we don’t hear about that. A youtube celebrity does something similar and he gets 5 articles on Critical Hit alone…

    • I’ve been asked not to write about politics here else you’d see BILLIONS of those articles… as the old saying goes, two wrongs don’t make a right

      • Thats_How_I_Troll

        Well this is technically Politics… Just politics between an “employer” and their “staff member”. But that is just technicalities… And I think the reason why you were asked not to write about politics has nothing to do with BILLIONS of articles… Maybe they were just not agreeing with your political views as you can be quite a hypocrite at times… But that is just my opinion. The reason I think the articles has been blown up by Critical Hit is that there are too many writers and they all want to get onto the bandwagon of a juicy story so we get similar articles written with different styles/using different words providing little/no extra facts or information….

        • Ouch, no the reason I can’t write about politics is because it isn’t one of the categories we cover.

          I don’t think 3 articles about the PewDiePie debacle is an overdose personally, I mean I see he even made it onto front page BBC news and Mashable. He’s huge and the fall out that is occurring is of interest to many people.

    • Alessandro Barbosa

      Firstly, three. The first two being two differnt incidents happening at different times relating to two very relevant occurances regarding the biggest video games personality on the globe. Which seems relevant on a primarily gaming website.

      Third is simply Glenn using relevant occurances to supplement his piece. This is a games website, and you’re talking about how we don’t cover politicians? There’s other places for that

  • Sageville

    Freedom of Speech does not include Freedom from consequence.

    Freedom of Speech means legally you are protected from litigation, even then there are exceptions… our constitution highlights no incitement to violence and the yanks have defamation clauses.

    But this guy went out of his way to deliberately offend and he succeeded and now he is dealing with those pesky consequences I mentioned… (So everything working as intended)

    Now, I do hold an opposing view about offense in today’s society. I do believe there are people who actively search for things to be offended about and those people can GITFS frankly. I also hold the view that some offenses are minor and some are major, personally if you get offended by something minor, so what? Nobody died…

    I reject the notion that all offenses causes irreparable damage, but I do acknowledge that some offenses are major and those can damage and we should actively shun and desist from encouraging that abuse.

    In summation, don’t be a dick.

  • For the Emperor!

    Very good read Glenn! On this: “A rape song wasn’t cause for concern when it came to Pewdiepie, but anti-Semitic jokes crossed the line. Why is that the case when both are absolutely horrific?” – my perception of things that have caused outrage in the world over the last few decades, is that many things are “ok” unless they are deemed anti-Semitic. “All are equal, but some are more equal than others”. Those two things you mentioned should have had the same level of outrage!

  • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

    Markiplier weighs in and throws down a gauntlet of Truth!

  • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

    Truthfully, the world needs to be able to clone (or reverse the ageing of) Mel Brooks. It’s gotten so bad when you realise that If he had made the 1968 classic, the Producers this year. the SJWs would have been triggered into oblivion, and they’d all be crying on their body pillows in their safe spaces.

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