Lievrouw quotes Arjun Appadurai saying, “online activists and artists create divers ‘mediascapes’ or ‘cartographies’ where they can ‘congregate’ and share minority or marginalized views.” I recognize that he tried to situate his argument within the context of history of new media, however, I saw so many parallels to this description of new media in a YouTube campaign going on today. YouTube has become a space for art, discussion and community engagement. It has also become a space for marginalized communities to organize. For example, the disabled community is often silenced in mainstream media. Additionally, it can be difficult for disabled individuals to organize in person because of differing access needs. YouTube and social media provide a space for disabled individuals to “congregate.”

Recently, British YouTuber, Sam Pepper, has come under fire for his sexist and objectifying treatment of women in videos. In response, many other YouTubers have organized a campaign to get him removed from YouTube. While his account is still active, he was dropped by his representative and many of his videos were removed from YouTube for violating the terms of use. The movement to get him removed from YouTube was lead by YouTube celebrities like Laci Green and The Vlog Brothers who serve as both content creators and social critics. I think this is a really good example of media providing a space for organizing and discussion. As a former vlogger myself, I always felt like YouTube was a safe space (I realize now how ridiculous that sounds) and it furiates me that people like Sam Pepper would use it as a space to perpetuate sexual violence. However, I think the fact that YouTubers have been able to use the space as a forum for discussions about sexual violence following the event speaks to the importance and value in having a media space dedicated to individual creators of content to organize together.

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2 responses »

  1. alexamuniz says:

    There recently has also been a lot of criticism within the YouTube community about racist content and content creators. Here is a video by Franchesca who has been a leader recently in criticizing YouTube celebrity Shane Dawson. It is interesting to note the difference in visibility and support for each of these campaigns.

  2. revandrewwright says:

    I agree that Youtube should be a safe space, but all I can think of is the potential for change. If the account has a solid subscription base, Youtubers should be trying to work with Sam Pepper to produce a more healing and peaceful message to the same individuals he has influence over. If we could tap his potential and personality to produce a message of love, more lives would be changed than just dropping the banhammer

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