How Drama Took Over YouTube: Featuring LeafyisHere, Keemstar And More

YouTube Drama encapsulated
YouTube Drama encapsulated YouTube via AncientReality

This was the year low effort content took over YouTube. By low effort content, I’m specifically mentioning commentary channels or YouTubers who play a video game, throw a voiceover over it and then post it to YouTube. These videos are extremely popular in 2016, garnering millions of plays a day from internet denizens who want to hear the words of their favorite popular YouTuber.

Commentary channels have always been a mainstay of YouTube: they are simple to produce, get easy views and in concept aren’t bad. Big YouTubers like Philip Defranco and Boogie2988 have been creating quality videos since YouTube was still in it’s infancy. YouTubers have become the next big celebrities, allowing communities to create their own false messiahs to follow and worship without old media’s influence.

In order to get your 15-minutes of fame before YouTube you had to play by the media’s rules, doing something stupid on television. Now all you need is a microphone and a computer and anything is possible.

The Fine Bros. Rant

Commentary channels have become drama recycling plants. YouTuber A makes an “exposed” video about YouTuber B, who then responds with his own video, creating this infinite loop of videos about mostly nothing. The trend has always existed on YouTube, people love watching people fight, but it didn’t become YouTube’s identity until the Fine Bros. “React World” scandal.

In February of 2016, the Fine Brothers, who make react videos on YouTube, pissed off the whole internet by trying to claim copyright over the word “react.”

YouTubers went nuts over the news, creating videos to try and call out what many on the site called bullshit. From titans like Boogie2988 to channels that were just starting to grow, like h3h3, everyone took a swing at what they felt was an injustice.

These videos did alarmingly well. H3H3’s “The Fine Bros Rant” is sitting around 4 million views, Boogie2988’s “ Reacting to React World by the Fine Bros ” had 3.4 million eyeballs over the course of a few weeks. YouTubers got a taste for blood in the water, and realized going after drama was a lot easier than creating original or unique content.

Content Cop

Since then, channels like LeafyIsHere and Pyrocynical have dominated YouTube, with each commentary channel garnering millions of views every day. These commentators, unlike Boogie or Philly D, would go after much smaller channels and make fun of them relentlessly. Leafyishere made videos of himself insulting children and the mentally handicapped, but the latter was taken down after he became the target for drama .

These YouTubers were doing so much in-fighting and name calling that channels started to pop up just to catalog what was going down. DramaAlert and Scarce are two of the biggest “news” channels on YouTube and they solely focus on the drama that’s been created by YouTubers.

There’s no reason for these drama instigators to stop, they are making truckloads of money. Leafyishere uploads a video everyday and gets one to two million views on each video. It’s expected that he earns upwards of $20,000 to $30,000 a month . YouTube’s algorithm helps content creators who upload long videos as often as possible, showing subscribers their content in the “recommended” section and sidebar of the site.

Can Drama Be Stopped?

No matter what happens, drama will be a huge part of YouTube. There’s nothing a kid likes more after coming home from a long day of school than to curl up with a Red Bull and watch iDubbbz rip another big YouTuber a new one on Content Cop . Asking people to be nice for the sake of being nice just won’t happen when there’s this much money on the line.

My point? YouTube has to change their algorithm to support content creators who put value and time into their work. The amount of uploaded videos a week shouldn’t mean anything, if you subscribe to a channel you should be able to see their newest videos regardless an insignificant statistic.

I have faith that YouTube can be a less toxic community and I can watch Let’s Plays without vitriol and hate being spewed across screen.


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