Recently, there has been a lot of mass media speculation on YouTubers, as they post personal content and user generated content on their YouTube sites. A big issue that has appeared among news media was in regards to PewDiePie, or Felix Kjellberg, who was speculated as being pro-Nazi by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The Wall Street Journal posted an article earlier this year stating that PewDiePie was supportive of Nazism because of the content he had been posting on his YouTube page. The article stated that PewDiePie hated Jews, following a YouTube video PewDiePie posted where he went on Fiverr.com and ordered two men to hold a sign saying “DEATH TO ALL JEWS.” This video sparked a response from the public, as some viewers considered this act funny, while others thought it was offensive. This mixed reception of the video influenced the Wall Street Journal to post an article and this became the spark to the feud between PewDiePie, YouTubers, and mass media.
PewDiePie was not the only YouTuber who responded to mass media libeling YouTube celebrities. Markiplier, or Mark Fischbach, who is also a famous YouTuber, posted a video a couple days following PewDiePie’s feud with the Wall Street Journal, calling for the end of the feud between YouTubers and mass media networks. He felt that the activity against PewDiePie was not right and was an act of libeling a celebrity. The public took this video overwhelmingly positively and supported Markiplier’s stance. As a result from this standoff, the Wall Street Journal lost many of its supporters, as teens and young adults voted the Wall Street Journal as one of the most unreliable news sources in the modern day.
From this, we can see that celebrities from television are not the only ones who suffer from online activity and social media postings. Even those of us who live off of commenting and interacting online suffer from media backlash and speculation. To this day, PewDiePie is still pressured by the media and is trying to recover from the speculations that started with the Wall Street Journal, as he lost sponsorship deals and his biggest deal with Disney.