2016 has been a year of evil cosmic alignment, when dark forces beyond our comprehension broke free and unleashed pure horror upon the world – so it’s unsurprising that it has also been a great year for online meltdowns.
Unfathomably popular YouTube gamer PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, who makes an estimated $15 million per year for playing video games and screaming, is currently threatening to shut down his account when he hits 50 million followers and start. His reasoning is that YouTube is deliberately trying to destroy him.
He says the main reason he wants to ditch the ‘Tube is that the platform is pushing clickbaity chum to users rather than the channels they’re actually subscribed to, specifically calling out “videos that have nothing to do with personality, has nothing to do with content, just has a really great title and a really great thumbnail.”
He also says (half-jokingly) that he’s being targeted because he’s white, and YouTube would rather more diverse stars at the top of their charts. It does seem thoroughly unlikely that YouTube would jettison the ad revenue Kjellberg brings in for some social justice equality crusade, but who knows.
It’s also worth noting that Kjellberg produces a whole buncha content for the premium YouTube Red service. He’s a big sell for that service, and again it would be weird for YouTube to ditch a clear moneymaker.
He took to Twitter to say that progress had been made, so maybe this is just a strategic tanty – we’ve all done it – to get some changes made:
Talking to YouTube about what the issue is with their site lately.
Some progress being made.
Holding pitch forks and tourches off for now.
— pewdiepie (@pewdiepie) December 2, 2016
For their part, YouTube are claiming that his claims of sabotage are nonsense, according to The Independent:
Some creators have expressed concerns around a drop in their subscriber numbers. We’ve done an extensive review and found there have been no decreases in creators subscriber numbers beyond what normally happens when viewers either unsubscribe from a creator’s channel or when YouTube removes spammed subscribers. We do the latter to ensure that all creator subscriber numbers are accurate.
YouTube. It’s serious bloody business.