Sunday, October 5, 2014

YouTube: The Darkside

I hate to sound like I don't care, but it's a bit annoying to hear about another YouTube personality or ten, that have broken the trust of their followings. So now that people are anxiously awaiting the next move from #TeamJason, #TeamLaci, and #TeamSam, let's look at the big picture. I bet before I finish this sentence several hundred tweets, a dozen or so videos and multiple, including this one here, posts will be written about the "latest" hot mess some social media star has gotten into.
I don't pick sides, but I damn sure don't condone sexual assault of any kind on any gender.
Rather than talk about what happened as well as some things that may have happened just not been found out, let's discuss what to do about this.
It should not be necessary to educate anyone over age five that you "don't touch" without permission. I guess my mum made it crystal clear when at the stores, if I even reached toward an item, her stare alone was enough. When I was a training coordinator for a legal office, they had mandatory trainings, one of which being sexual harassment. Attorneys don't need to be trained for that? Yes! Because if a woman files a claim, the company wants to eliminate itself from any litigation so they have their arse covered. "We told you, you acted, we're out of this."
I don't know what shocks me more, the level of loyalty people have for their idols or the things they are willing to do to not make them upset. I'm a grown woman, I get the pressure to give in or feel obligated in the "moment" and realise that what occurred didn't feel right. There's nothing worse than feeling unrequited emotions by someone you adore, and posed as someone who felt the same in order to get something and then throw you out like stale Chinese food.
Why isn't this discussed at the executive level? Are their managers, agents, publicists not putting clauses in their contracts? Is Google not afraid of the potential lawsuits which may involve them based on the current allegations?
I know people are concerned about the victims, but is there a committee set forth to help them? Victims advocacy is crucial at a time like this, not only to educate, but prevention and awareness. The victims have a long, scary, and intense journey ahead of them.
They will be getting exams, tested for STIs, giving statements, signing forms, getting direction from lawyers, family, law enforcement, even the perpetrator. What's more, who will be with them in the times that they feel alone, scared and that they are somehow at fault? Who can they look at in a courtroom that will simply nod in affirming they are their for support and that he/she is doing the right thing? What about all the harassment from this person(s) peers or supporters? Who will let them know they aren't alone not only with words but actions?
It's all well and good to offer support during the height of the scandal but when people move on until the next exposure occurs, who is going to continue to offer support?
I hate to say that this won't be the last and that people have learned from this and we can expect better; however, I'm sure someone is getting a direct message right now.
Young people given the spotlight, lots of money and access to things they never dreamed of in a short span is a set up. Many of the people who are huge in social media, are admitted nerds who had no friends or suffer from mental illnesses that compromised their social skills greatly. They go from virtual no one to internet stardom followed by a rabid fandom in rapid succession.
I hope that the promises of support and the call to action will be heard. I offered support to as many creators possible and have heard nothing. Maybe that is because they are busy tending to those who are taking them up on their offer of help during this difficult time.

xo