Cole Carrigan's Video About Austin McBroom Shows That YouTube Culture Is Out Of Control
In this week's Please Like Me newsletter, YouTube is silent while one vlogger accuses another of serious crimes, and people need to stop picking on women who love fall.
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YouTube is silent while one vlogger accuses another of serious crimes
On Monday night, a huge scandal exploded in the YouTube community involving controversial vlogger Austin McBroom of the ACE Family. I think what happened shows how completely out of control the YouTube creator culture has become.
On Monday night, a beauty vlogger named Cole Carrigan accused McBroom of committing serious sex crimes in Miami. However, Carrigan is the only source for these allegations and provided no verified evidence in the video to support them. He didn't respond to our questions. In our attempt to verify whether any formal complaint had been brought against McBroom, I contacted the Miami Police Department and a spokesperson told me there are no investigations into McBroom as no one has filed a complaint.
"Me and my family are taking this situation very seriously on the allegations that have been brought upon me,” McBroom told me in a statement. “We are taking legal action to handle this matter of extortion." He’s hired an attorney, who didn’t get back to me.
Either way, this is a terrible situation. Did McBroom use his clout as a YouTuber to commit horrible crimes, as Carrigan claims? Or did Carrigan release a video falsely accusing McBroom, as McBroom claims? Or is there some other version of the story that we don’t know at this point because the details presented on YouTube are so vague? Carrigan’s video has so far been viewed more than 7 million times. YouTube didn't answer requests for comment.
YouTube has famously been laissez-faire about policing its content and struggled to balance its desire to keep its platform free and open while enforcing content guidelines. Over the past few years, it has begun cracking down on inappropriate videos, mostly geared toward or featuring kids, after a ton of bad press. The fact that Carrigan was able to upload this, though, shows it has a long way to go.
One thing that struck me about the video is that, despite the seriousness of the allegations, it feels like every other tea or drama video on YouTube. A big part of YouTube creator culture is constant feuds and gossip. Creators are rewarded by the algorithm if they keep upping the ante with salacious fights and bolder pranks. Many creators saw Carrigan’s video as an opportunity to spin this “drama” into more clout for themselves, posting “reaction” and “response” videos.
Fans responded by posting memes about the tea and tweeting #acefamilyisoverparty, as if McBroom had been accused of causing drama, not a sex crime.
My question for YouTube and its content creators is: When is this constant push for bigger stunts and more drama going to go too far? A video of a dead body? Oh, wait, that’s happened. Alleged child abuse and alleged child neglect? That too. Child exploitation? Yup. And that’s just the really bad stuff.
What will it take to change this culture? I am nervous to find out.
The world can be a dark place. Why mock women for loving fall?
I’ll be the first to admit I usually find influencers who go completely bananas over fall kind of annoying. It partly has to do with the fact that I love summer and heat (California native). To me, the changing leaves are an ominous sign of the bitter cold to come rather than something to be celebrated.
I also have rolled my eyes at bloggers who do waaay too much as soon as the calendar changes to Oct. 1. We poked fun at a few in our newsletter a few weeks ago for bundling up for fall OOTDs, even though the temperatures were in the 80s. Some people also go extremely overboard with pumpkins and decor. Don’t 10 pumpkins per room cost a ton of money?
This year, though, I have noticed a trend that is getting on my nerves. Rather than chuckling at the extremes some influencers go to be festive, people have been mocking women influencers for simply liking fall. Or pumpkin products. Or wearing boots and scarves. Or just...being basic, a catchall phrase that tends to make fun of women for liking girly things (sorry?!).
My colleague David interviewed two influencers in August who were the butt of a joke in a meme made by a teenage boy, who called them “Christian Girl Autumn.” This week, another image of “basic white girls loving fall” is going viral. A guy named @Mo_Wad found a photo of a group of influencers at a photo shoot, made fun of them, and posted it to Instagram. The Fat Jewish, the memer with 10 million followers who has been criticized for joke-stealing his whole career, took Mo’s joke and reposted it. Now his followers are mocking these women for, as far as I can tell, wearing similar matching outfits and looking “basic.”
This reeks of misogyny. Men can be literally the most basic dressers of all time (see @MidTownUniform for evidence) and get a fraction of the hate. Some women like dressing cute, putting on a hat and boots, and going to the pumpkin patch. Decorating your home for the holidays can spark joy. There is so much crap in the world — do you really need to spend your energy hating this?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a pumpkin to carve,
Want more? Here are other stories we were following this week:
Smutty fanfiction taught me more about queer sex than school ever could. A lovely piece by my colleague Lauren Strapagiel about how horny kids writing fanfiction filled in the sex education gaps for queer teens.
An equestrian was shot by her Olympic trainer, then pummeled online: This piece from the New York Times revolves around an online forum hosted by the Chronicle of the Horse, an equestrian publication, which is really all I need to say.
Peloton accidentally built a fitness cult. A business is a little more complicated. The Cut wrote the piece about Peloton and its culture that I have been dying to read.
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