YouTube and TikTok are popular apps which people use to support their favorite users and view their content. Unfortunately, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the influencers behind these accounts have been acting irresponsibly and displaying their actions to impressionable young audiences.
YouTuber Jarvis Johnson recently posted a video titled “Maybe Stop Going to Parties?” to call out the irresponsible creators, which raises the point of how much damage these influential people could cause.
Johnson is a YouTube commentator, comedian and founding member of the Sad Boyz podcast, whose account varies from commentary on software engineering to the Zeffo Overlord of 1-2-3 Go, which is a running gag on the channel.
“There’s a pandemic sweeping the nation and it’s not the one you think,” Johnson said. “Kids everywhere are being affected by what experts are calling a brand of FOMO known as FOM-C: the fear of missing clout.”
He goes on to mention YouTuber Jake Paul, who had a party at his California home with no masks and people riding a construction excavator. The worst part is revealed when another content creator Tanner Fox, who attended Paul’s party, tested positive for COVID-19. Paul seemed unbothered, laughing at the news, with one person even shouting “who cares.”
This in itself is disturbing, but Johnson goes on to share that Paul is just a part of the problem. Creator houses, which Johnson says is closely associated with TikTokers, are popping up left and right during the pandemic.
“So we’re just still making creator houses in the pandemic? Now that’s sick,” Johnson said.
He continues with his explanation that these creator houses have parties every night, with one party having 150 guests. Johnson backs up his claims with a New York Times article which interviewed influencers and questioned why they continued throwing parties.
These creator houses have recently had utilities shut off in order to discourage the large parties they throw. The fans of the creators seem annoyed by this, from what Johnson stated.
The influencers have received their share of clap-back and Johnson reports that many of these people have issued apologies.
“A bunch of influencers have already apologized for showing up at these parties, because everyone got mad at them and their PR [public relations] people told them to,” Johnson said.
These apologies seem to be meaningless, as influencers keep going back to parties regardless of their statements. This is a huge problem as many people hang on to every word of these influencers due to their large followings.
A positive, and negative in this case, of the format of YouTube and TikTok is that the apps make it feel as though the content creators are addressing their audience directly. This gives it a personal feel and makes it feel as though these creators are one’s friends. This perceived friendship also makes fans likely to follow the favored influencer’s lead and defend them even when they do something stupid.
This is why influencers have a moral obligation to act responsibly, which these creators seem to not understand, or not care about. Not all YouTubers are the responsible and well-researched Jarvis Johnsons of the world. Audiences have a responsibility to discern when these creators are acting irresponsibly and call them out on it just as the creators do to be responsible.
Influencers are putting themselves in dangerous situations by surrounding themselves with people during a pandemic, as well as their fans who are likely to imitate them.
“I kind of get that it would feel like you’re putting your life on hold if you stopped partying, but what you have to understand is that if you keep partying, you may be putting other people’s lives on stop,” Johnson said. “And this is just a little business tip; You don’t make money if you die.”
Johnson does an amazing job of compiling information and presenting it to his audience. He is very informed and researches in every video he makes. He is knowledgable and can always be counted on for great content for his Unnamed Fanbase. Hopefully, other content creators can follow in his example and act as responsibly as they can in order to keep their fanbase safe.