It is rare that mainstream celebrities will express controversial opinions via social media. The sheer amount of backlash that is received from the public combined with the viral spread of celebrity rants makes voicing your stance, as a celebrity, a dangerous game.
Having a following on YouTube, however, seems to be a different story altogether. These are internet celebrities with small enough followings that they can broadcast provocative opinions without starting a colossal flame war. However, these YouTube stars still have a large enough fan base to influence their young and often impressionable followers.
Recently, Australian YouTube game reporter ChampChong launched into a Twitter rant expressing his belief that the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was a hoax.
The YouTube creator wrote several tweets denouncing the mass murder including “all the ‘victims’ of the massacre were trained actors, damn…”
The official ChampChong YouTube channel has over 103 million views with a subscriber count of fewer than 300,000. The controversial tweets were broadcast to the YouTuber’s Twitter, which currently has 23,692 followers.
The most troubling development of this story is that some of ChampChong’s fan base, over the course of the rant, retweeted and validated the creator. While the biggest draw of social media is the open platform it presents people, much of ChampChong’s audience consists of the young male demographic that is so commonly found among gaming channels.
This isn’t the first time the YouTube creator has taken to Twitter to practice his less than politically correct screed, as he wrote to one follower on January 5:
ChampChong has since deleted the controversial tweets, and instead took on a much more vague approach, writing, “I can’t believe so many people today are still close minded. It’s quite sad. I’m not talking about anything specific, but generally.”