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YouTube’s biggest star is taking a break next year (and that’s okay)

3 min read

The incredibly successful YouTuber is taking a break from the platform to protest several policy changes he believes are detrimental to the site’s content.

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Earlier this year Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg seemed to be on the top of YouTube once again, despite losing out as the most subscribed channel to Bollywood music channel T-Series, by setting the record for the first solo creator to reach 100 million subscribers. It’s also been a fairly strange year for Kjellberg as the YouTuber made a drastic change to his content all of sudden, posting Minecraft Let’s Plays almost exclusively for a string of weeks. It’s unsurprising given the trauma he no doubt experienced having his name evoked before the Christchurch massacre earlier this year. No doubt going through a lot of heavy emotions, Pewdiepie has announced that he’s taking a step back from YouTube at the start of next year although his reasoning is apparently more in protest than anything else.

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Announced at the end of his last video, Kjellberg stated that he was “taking [a] break” from YouTube following the site’s policy changes that ban videos that include “veiled or implied threats” as well as “content that maliciously insults someone based on protected attributes such as their race, gender expression, or sexual orientation.” Which honestly, sounds like a pretty good change in policy given how a large swathe of YouTube is videos that contain almost exclusively that form of content. The problem comes in with how the policy is implemented, something Kjellberg makes clear with how YouTube has thus been unable to discern between action and intent.

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Kjellberg ends his video by stating, “I think now is as great a time as any to announce, I have [a] special announcement to make. I am taking [a] break from YouTube next year. I wanted to say it in advance, because I made up my mind. I’m tired. I’m tired, I’m feeling very tired. I don’t know if you can tell. Just so you know, early next year I’ll be away for a little while. I’ll explain that later, but I wanted to give [a] heads up.”

It’s a fairly vague sign-off that doesn’t reveal much about what he intends to do regarding his YouTube channel, when he plans on returning or whether he will continue streaming; his Twitter account has also been deleting clearly showing that the creator is desperate for some space.

YouTube’s hungry algorithm is a relentless monster that requires non-stop content, and that’s going to be pretty draining. I think it’s easy to forget that the folks making the content we consume are people too.

Last Updated: December 17, 2019

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