What is #VoxAdpocalypse? YouTube's latest controversy explained - Dexerto

What is #VoxAdpocalypse? YouTube’s latest controversy explained

Published: 5/Jun/2019 22:22 Updated: 5/Jun/2019 23:04

by Eli Becht


Following the controversial move of YouTube saying Steven Crowder’s attacks against Vox Media journalist Carlos Maza didn’t violate Terms of Service, #VoxAdpocalypse began trending as many creators reported that their channels were being demonetized.

Making your living from YouTube can be pretty tough to do considering how volatile the platform is, and things appear to be getting even harder now following the latest string of controversy.

Maza flagged YouTube to Crowder’s channel with a video showcasing all of the times he said racist and homophobic insults directed at him. YouTube went through his channel and deemed that while the videos were inflammatory, they didn’t break TOS and were able to remain on the platform.

The decision sparked outrage from Maza and members of the LGBTQ+ community as they felt YouTube didn’t actually care about them, despite YouTube openly celebrating Pride Month.

“I don’t know what else LGBT people are supposed to do,” Maza quote-tweeted in a reply to YouTube’s decision. “I compiled the clips for them. I sent them everything. Publicly begged them to pay attention. It’s never enough. Because YouTube does not give a fuck about protecting marginalized people. It never has.”

Who is Steven Crowder?

All of this stems from Crowder’s prolonged attack on Maza, and it looks like it could have some serious repercussions for YouTubers all across the platform.

Crowder is a YouTuber with more than 3.8 million subscribers, and he calls himself ‘the number one conservative late night comedy show’, according to his About section on YouTube.

He maintains that if his channel were to be taken down, you’d have to remove other late-night hosts from YouTube such as Stephen Colbert, a host well-known for his criticisms of President Donald Trump.

While his channel was able to remain on the platform, it was demonetized – but the door is open to get that monetization back.

He says YouTube sent him an email saying the following things violated the monetization guidelines: use of his “Socialism is for f*gs” t-shirt, his 2017 video titled “#204 TRANS TROOP BAN, OH NO!!”, and his 2015 video titled “Muslim Rape in UK Exposed by Toni Bugle.”

This was revealed by him in his live show held on June 5.

Crowder also said he spoke with YouTube, and deduced another adpocalypse was upon us. This means he believes advertisers will be pulling their ads from YouTube, making it difficult for creators to bring in any revenue.

“Just spoke with YouTube,” he tweeted. “Confirmed, the second Adpocalpyse IS here and they’re coming for you. More details to follow. Stay tuned.

Drama Alert host Daniel ‘KEEMSTAR‘ Keem says channels have already become demonetized as a result of this situation. Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro called YouTube a ‘joke’ over what has transpired so far.

“If YouTube is now going to police insulting speech — not violent speech, not incitement, not actual fake news — because a virulently censorious, radical activist masquerading as a journalist complains about being insulted, they’re a joke.”

This will definitely be something to keep an eye on and see how YouTube responds moving forward.


FBE founders Benny & Rafi Fine called out by staff for “toxic workplace”

Published: 16/Jan/2021 19:54

by Charlotte Colombo


Benny and Rafi Fine, the two creators behind the FBE (Fine Brothers entertainment) brand have come back into the spotlight today a year after they stepped back from FBE after former employees publicly accused them of racism and a “toxic” working environment.

In an investigative article by Insider, 26 former employees spoke out about their experiences working for FBE. The company’s former head of casting, Steve Caustey, revealed that the Fine brothers used a three-tier system to rank their “reactors”, and demanded that at least 33% of the people in their “react” videos involved people in the top tier before an episode could be made.

Causey told Insider that there were “more white people at the top” of the tier, which meant that episodes ended up being predominately white.

He said in an interview with them: “It was noticeable, but I don’t think it was intentional. I feel like it might’ve started as unconscious bias, but after a time enough people brought it up that it should have been addressed.”

A former researcher told Insider that FBE staff “profit from the idea that they’re diverse without valuing it authentically. They try to capitalize and commercialize on it as much as they can.”

FBE’s lawyers said to Insider that race wasn’t a factor in decisions such as tiers and video thumbnails, with a spokesperson adding that the Fine brothers “have always endeavored to feature a majority of underrepresented voices in FBE’s content.”

What happened with FBE last year?

In June 2020, a video resurfaced of a comedy sketch Benny Fine did with fellow YouTuber Shane Dawson, wherein Benny was wearing blackface. The footage went viral and led to the two founders receiving extreme backlash.

High profile members of their ‘React’ series, such as Kennedy Zimet, made the decision to leave the channel after the footage went viral, with Zimet saying in a statement shared to Twitter that they felt “blindsided and flat out used, especially since they have not owned up to their actions by apologizing publicly or to their black cast members.”

This led to Mark Plier, who claimed to be a former producer for FBE, to claim on Twitter that the Fine brothers “wanted to benefit from the “diversity” but not benefit diversity”, alleging that YouTube video thumbnails with more than one BAME person were frequently turned down by the pair.

He also claimed that they “would frequently ask for the person of color to be on the right of the thumbnail and not the left, our only conclusion as to why that would be is the left person is the first one you’d see and thus the first impression.”

In further Tweets, Plier alleged that “the culture was so entrenched and they were so unwilling to hear our demands for changes that employee turnover became larger than the company’s actual size in just the 3 years I was there.”

The brothers released a statement apologizing for their “terrible errors of judgment” and ultimately decided to take a step back from the FBE company following the backlash.