Jake Paul is a YouTuber with over 8 million subscribers, he is losing his grip on reality and obtaining a vice like hold over YouTube. As creators and viewers, we need to do something about it.
Jake has become the forefront of our focus and most content creators are transfixed by his downward spiral. He perpetuates an aura of false sincerity easily detected by anyone other than impressionable children. It is no surprise, therefore, that the majority Jake’s fans are all preteens, or at least infantile in mind. The rest of us are acutely aware of his lies and can observe with disgust his tendency to manipulate his audience. As we are aware of this fact, it has become increasingly apparent that his videos are facades, and yet, they still manage to hurt people. Jake has disrupted a once quiet neighborhood with his presence, his immaturity mirrored by the hundreds of young fans he allows on the street around his house every day. The constant presence of screaming children and Jake Paul running up and down the street riding motorbikes and yelling has caused a rift in the hardworking families that are forced to live near him.
Jake lives his life like an open wound, inviting parasitic fans in and leaving it to fester in the public eye. He parades around life disrupting society under the guise of ‘non-conformity’, where in reality he is a petulant, spoilt, child. He has no regard for the well-being of others, as proved by his recent video in which he releases the address of a well-known celebrity without their permission. One might argue that any sane human being would understand the sensitivity of a celebrity’s address, and therefore, would not release it to 8 million impressionable fans. This is the type of thing we imagine a comedy character might do, something so utterly moronic a real person couldn’t possibly do it. We are faced with the reality, however, that Jake Paul did do it, he also set fire to furniture in his pool, creating a flame taller than his building. He has been accused of cheating on his girlfriend whilst she was in the house, multiple times, making her fully aware he was doing it: ‘he told me he loved me one night-a couple days later he flew a girl out from Ohio and was smashing her for like a week’. When interviewed by a news network and given the opportunity to apologise he babbled incoherently as a child might, using infantile deflection and claiming that he has no control over his actions. He is a self-righteous arse that mirrors the immaturity of a high school bully. Jake has come to epitomise everything that is wrong with Youtube creators and he is somehow none the wiser to this fact.
In my eyes, he is an example of social media at its most toxic, he has become a caricature of himself. Bound to commit outlandish things in exchange for ad revenue, Jake has gone too far. He has crossed the line from an ‘entertainer’ into a manipulator, lying in the title of every video, creating falsehoods and claiming them to be reality, all in the search for internet stardom and money. He has achieved his goals of wealth and fame but at what cost? It appears he has lost whatever trace of humanity he had in exchange for the childish notion of fame.
He is perhaps the only person who has become successful by acting like a child wanting to be popular in school. Doing stupid shit, manipulating people, and belittling those who don’t wish to follow him, are all characteristics of my high school bully. If you didn’t agree with him and do everything he said, he’d make you pay for contradicting him. He was manipulative and rude, he felt like the world had to listen to everything he had to say.
In many ways, the current nature of YouTube and Social media encouraged this behavior. At its core, Jake’s content is exactly what YouTube demands, it rewards him for being outlandish. Social Media encourages people to share more and more of their lives until every second of it is documented, sensationalised and monetised. Jake is a product of modern media, but he is a product of everything wrong with it. Instead of leaving a distinction between the lies he spins in his videos and his private life, Jake has confused the two and has become the spectacular character he created. He published his address so that his fans would always be outside his house, he lives in an echo chamber of people praising him for his deplorable actions.
Jake is reaching a zenith, either we do something about it and bring him crashing down to earth or he’ll reach the top and never fall down. He is representative of YouTube turning its back on creators, Jake is a danger to our community and a danger to his impressionable fans. He represents a potential wave of content that will smother hard working creators and change our platform immeasurably.
YouTube will never be a meritocracy again if we allow vapid shills like Jake to move in and take centre stage. If we allow people with money to muscle in and take the top spots, to buy large YouTubers and dominate our content feed, we will lose sight of what makes a YouTuber. We will never be able to get back what we once had, the average guy will never have a chance to ‘make it big’. The last media platform left will be bought by Hollywood and the people will lose another voice.
I implore you to make a stand and tell YouTube that this is not how we’re going to die, if you have a large channel, voice your opinion. I worry for the future of content creation, I worry that our time may be running out and we don’t even realise it.