If you’re engaged online you most likely have heard of Youtubers such as Zoella, PewDiePie, Marcus Butler and Dan and Phil. Although, this is naming just a few of the “big faces” of Youtube, an extremely popular video platform. Whether you’re a fan or couldn’t care less about them; there is a worrying fact about all these famous creators – the vast majority of them are white.
Your initial response might be “So what? They make enjoyable content and work hard for their status!”And undoubtedly, they do. But when was the last time you heard a “big” Youtuber talk about social issues in an educational way by actually taking action?
Some of these creators have more than four million followers on each of their social media pages. A tweet or picture in response to recent events is the bare minimum one could do to express their solidarity. We’re urged to click a link and watch someone’s newest vlog versus actively seek social awareness through an article. Truth be told, they’re not obligated to do anything to propel their audiences towards one cause or another. The problem with this “bury your head in the sand” mentality, however, is that most of them confuse their pledge to “be a positive influence” with “ignore everything that could potentially weaken my brand and reliability”.
At the same time, we have to acknowledge the fact that most of the known YouTubers couldn’t be able to relate to any battles people of color endure. With a number of them being privileged, white cis-males, discussing feminism and racism would be ridiculed and criticized. In their position, the best thing to do is to allow creators of color to speak out.
Luckily we do have people that want to educate others, inspire and build a strong community. Sadly, not a lot of these “controversial” creators get featured on YouTube’s popular page. It isn’t hard to see that the algorithm isn’t in favor of smaller, diverse channels. The representation of different races, cultures, and content on Youtube currently is pitiful. With the occasional Lilly Singh and Liza Koshy thrown into commercials, Youtube loves to label themselves as diverse. What they’re missing is giving more people of color a voice.
The blame is to be put on both parts. Youtube’s main target audience is “teens aged 13-24”. By giving white vloggers a platform instead of creators with less common content, we’re also part of why there’s less varied content recommended to people. It is a vicious cycle of recycled content because according to the statistics, this is what the majority of us want. So Youtubers feed into peer pressure and produce the same type of videos.
Thus, we need to promote and strive for a diverse representation of online creators. Because, obviously, there are tons of people that make less conventional content on Youtube. Youtubers with small followings that talk about feminism, racism, and sexism as well as the struggles of poverty. Black comedians and brown, female beauty gurus that don’t appeal to euro-centric beauty standards. They just don’t get to appear in the public eye as often as their white colleagues. Therefore let’s all collectively agree to help small creators of color raise to fame in 2017. What are some of your
What are some of your favorite small POC Youtubers? Help people explore more of them!