In the world of entertainment, being on YouTube is a pretty tough gig when it comes to audience interaction. New media in general is one of the few platforms in which audience feedback is instantaneous and sometimes even brutal.
The comments that these personalities get on Youtube, Vine, Instagram or whatever new media platform they happen to be using, are uncommon and yet still incredibly hurtful. Vloggers, who voice their lives on the internet have discovered that reaching out to your audience while in a vulnerable state, while terrifying, acts as a form of group therapy.
In this video, Meghan Tonjes discusses sizeist mentality after an Instagram photo she posted was removed. The photo was flagged as questionable content by someone or perhaps several someone’s who wanted to bully a bigger girl and keep her from expressing her body the way she saw fit.
Through this, the story about Tonjes’ behind ended up being a major news story, and an empowering one at that. It gave birth to the #BootyRevolution, a movement that encourages people to love themselves and not let the bullies bring them down.
JC Caylen credited his viewers for pulling him through times of self doubt that were caused by the very videos he was creating. The love and support he received from his community enabled him to open up about the subject and even encourage others to create as well.
When someone crosses the line with a YouTuber in an aggressive bullying fashion in the comments section, we’ve seen people actually step in a stop the behavior. This self-culling of the herd so to speak, makes the comment section in a YouTube personalities audience a safe space to discuss some of the harsher parts of life.
SourceFed host Matt Lieberman regularly gives advice to the younger generation through his videos, and in turn takes the time to analyze himself and the behaviors he faced while growing up. In helping others with problems he similarly faced, Lieberman is also able parse what happened to him and process the event is a healthy way.
Even more importantly, his regular viewers have taken to the comment section in a way rarely seen, as a supportive group who engages with each other, offering support and help to those who come asking for it.
YouTube audiences are incredibly powerful, and for the first time in a while we’re seeing them affect their creators and each other in making the world a better place.