On YouTube, there is – or was? – a flourishing sub-genre of commentary channels.
These are owned and grown to millions of subscribers by what can be described as the YouTube incarnation of the shock jock radio format, with the more extreme among them banking on their “content nuke” to start controversies and promote gossip about other creators and influencers.
The format worked well for YouTuber Leafy and his LeafyIsHere channel that had some 4.9 million subscribers – until, that is, it didn’t.
The channel has been banned for violating the video giant’s controversial guidelines against “threats, harassment and bullying.”
It isn’t clear which of Leafy’s content targeting exactly which other creators earned him this ban, but reports seem to indicate it might have been a series of videos he uploaded against YouTuber and Twitch streamer Pokimane.
Pokimane is the bigger “star” here – with a total of 6.5 million subscribers on YouTube and 5.3 million followers on Twitch. So it made sense for Leafy to go after her, for strictly business purposes – you target the bigger creator, you get more attention in the ensuing rippling and self-perpetuating controversy, whose ultimate goal is to make as many ad dollars as possible.
Fair enough – but should Leafy – who previously left YouTube of his own accord two years ago, only to return in early 2020 with “drama videos” about the likes of iDubbz, H3H3, and KEEMSTAR, initially be allowed to do that for months – only to get banned now?
The implication here is that the bridge-too-far moment that led to the ban occurred because Pokimane happens to be a woman. (She’s denied reporting him to YouTube herself.)
Either way (and of course we can’t count on any clarity from YouTube, so speculation is free to fester) – some people are glad to be rid of Leafy, while many are worried that even less controversial creators might soon be getting the boot, which wouldn’t be surprising with the way things are going lately.