I’ll admit, amongst my YouTube guilty pleasures is #DramaAlert, hosted by KEEMSTAR. While Keem himself might not be the world’s most palatable man, and due to the sophomoric nature of much of the stories he covers has essentially become a God-tier meme, his most recent coverage of the minecraft paedophiles such as LionMaker and Yamimash has been thoroughly investigative and driven with a kind of palpable passion for justice and exposure that you wouldn’t expect of someone who reports mostly on the fruits of twitter fingers. It feels weird to say that this deviation of his content even exists. To know that Keem has gone from covering this to this is truly extraordinary, and to see it from a show which I’m so accustomed to expect the latest MLG gossip column from makes this even more unexpected.
But, to address the content of his videos and not merely the existence of them, in the last few months KEEMSTAR and his team at #DramaAlert have uncovered a handful of paedophile YouTubers who have been either uncovered as sex offenders or have been caught red-handed by Keem in the midst of fan grooming. This recent exposure gives me a lot of questions.
Firstly, in most of these cases there has been at least one victim or perpetrator who has been silent about the child abuse. In the case of Bashurverse, since his YouTube’s inception in 2011 he or anyone else has never seemed to think to reveal his place on the sex offender’s register until it was uncovered for him in a background check (which YouTube had no part in) in these past few months. Why is everyone quiet about these offenders? If Bashurverse, as a registered sex offender had the faculty to amass almost 2 million subscribers in these past few years, the majority of which I’m guessing are not of legal age, then there is something deeply wrong with either the site that allows him to publish, or with the people who must have known his real name, criminal history, and popularity amongst minors. Having said this, I don’t believe that just anyone should be obliged to reveal their true name online, despite any kind of popularity, (I don’t have one, okay?), and then again, currently the only way to even know if a famous YouTuber has a criminal history is if they give that information freely. If they are obliged to reveal it by their publisher, then we may find out just how many more Minecraft YouTuber sex offenders there are. But, then again, being forced to reveal your name online could lead to an unprecedented amount of doxxing, which would be an injustice even on a sex offender. If YouTube, however, demanded that information privately, they could do a background check themselves and take action accordingly. While complete internet anonymity has a veneer of morality, we must concede that evidently it is not a good thing for some, as it allows for the nadirs of immorality. One thing’s for sure, the hands-off approach YouTube has to its clients allows for sex offenders to have dangerous amounts of influence over the most impressionable of minors. Now, having said this, Bashurverse is thankfully not a paedophile, and while I personally feel his employment of his girlfriend for his videos surpasses the ‘slightly creepy’ mark, I know that he is deeply apologetic for what he did years ago. Although apparently not all are as excusable.
My second thought on the matter is whether we should allow this information to cloud our judgement about other minecraft YouTubers. Simply because there happens to be more sex offenders in one genre of YouTube doesn’t necessarily mean we have to associate the criminal activity of some with innocent Minecraft YouTubers. A handful of these people aren’t representatives for hundreds of others.
My third thought: should we just admit that we’ve always been suspicious anyway? I’m not sure if it’s just me but I find adult YouTubers with predominantly child audiences somewhat… unattractive. I’m not sure why, children’s entertainment isn’t any less valid than any other kind, but I’ve always questioned why certain entertainers, be it inadvertently or not, exclude adults from their content. Let’s not kid ourselves, Minecraft is a kid’s game watched mostly and played mostly by kids, and for an adult to gain as much enjoyment from it, and more importantly from it’s juvenile community as an adult-oriented game, I find slightly creepy, whether it’s justified or not. It’s most likely because I’ve been conditioned to know that there often is a kind of hidden motive behind striving to be popular amongst children, take a look at Rolf Harris, Jimmy Saville, and others.
My final thought, why do we allow the cycle of outrage for these criminals to be so unfortunately short? This isn’t exclusive to this particular instance, when any YouTuber is exposed sexually abusing their fans, they are met with immediate forgiveness from their followers as long as they keep producing content (I have no idea why YouTube allows this), and after a while the association of them with their crimes dissipates. The media presence of people like Rolf Harris and VeeOneEye (who is the most detestable man I think I’ve ever had the displeasure of hearing talk) alike is no more than normal unless a new mention of their criminal tendencies is revealed. Why do we end up caring so little about this after time passes? It’s not fair on the victims, and it’s not fair on the many more victims that we allow to be created if we aren’t angry, and vocal, indefinitely.