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With major advertisers like Disney, Nestle, and Epic Games pulling out of advertising deals with YouTube, a number of content creators are blaming—and bashing—the YouTuber who exposed a “softcore pedophile ring.”
YouTuber MattsWhatItIs—whose real name is Matt Watson and who has about 26,000 YouTube subscribers—uploaded a video on Sunday where he revealed a “wormhole” that allows possible pedophiliacs to trade child porn with each other.
But instead of praising him, plenty of social media users are upset with him, and platform star Keemstar has continuously called him a fraud and said he’s trying to make a bigger name for himself.
On his video description, Watson wrote, “YouTube’s recommended algorithm is facilitating pedophiles’ ability to connect with each other, trade contact info, and link to actual CP [child pornography] in the comments. I can consistently get access to it from vanilla, never-before-used YouTube accounts via innocuous videos in less than 10 minutes, in sometimes less than five clicks. Additionally, I have video evidence that these videos are being monetized by YouTube, brands like McDonald’s, Lysol, Disney, Reese’s, and more.”
Watson, who’s received nearly 2 million views on his video, blamed YouTube for facilitating the problem.
But Keemstar and others have turned their ire on Watson with some YouTubers apparently worrying about another adpocalypse—the last time that occurred was in 2017 when some creators lost up to 80 percent of their revenue because advertisers were upset that their products were being attached to videos that included derogatory content.
Keemstar said Watson trying to expose pedophilia on the site was good, but “then he tried to ruin all of the YouTubers’ livelihoods by getting the new fans he got from this campaign to spam advertisers and pretty much try to start the next adpocalypse.”
The two YouTubers spoke on the phone where Keemstar said he tried to explain that attacking YouTube’s advertisers wouldn’t help stop the pedophilia problem, but “he keeps saying YouTube is doing nothing. Which is a complete lie.”
YouTube told the Daily Dot that it disabled comments on tens of millions of videos that includes minors. YouTube also said that it terminated 400 channels and reported other users to authorities.
“Any content—including comments—that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube,” the spokesperson told the Daily Dot on Wednesday. “We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling comments on tens of millions of videos that include minors. There’s more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly.”
Keemstar also called Watson a hypocrite, showing footage of what he said was Watson harassing a female walking down the street and asking her if she wanted to star in an adult video.
Keemstar also derided Watson for monetizing his own videos.
Others are also bashing Watson.
He’s purposely trying to usher in another Adpocalypse...— Roberto Blake #AWESOMESQUAD (@robertoblake) February 20, 2019
YouTube has problems, fixing them doesn’t mean you go telling people to call up advertisers...
This isn’t some heroic crusade, it’s a vendetta...
There won’t be a hole deep enough for you to hide in when this is through. Pedophiles are disgusting and little kids shouldn’t be uploading videos to YouTube. YouTube needs to do a better job at this shit. But you spreading your fecal matter ideas to ad companies?— Rob Gavagan (@RobGavagan) February 20, 2019
Clearly you don’t have a clue what the Adpocalypse did to 99% of the YouTube population. Creators with businesses that support their families. Their CHILDREN. And you want to start another one. Man. Plus all the other shady shit? You can go fuck right off.— Rob Gavagan (@RobGavagan) February 20, 2019
Matt Watson: YouTube isn't doing anything about the pedo problem. We need to get advertisers to pull out.— Allison @ Naka-Kon 2019 (@AlliAwesome420) February 21, 2019
Us: But YouTube did respon—
Matt Watson: Hey Disney there's pedos on YouTube and YouTube isn't doing shit about it please pull your ads to make them listen.
In a new video, YouTube commenter Philip DeFranco said that the idea that YouTube is happy for this kind of content to appear on its platform is “an insane argument,” while another popular YouTuber said Watson is causing even more damage.
“Why is he assuming that the solution to a problem is to create a catastrophe,” Eion from popular YouTube channel Nerd City told the Verge. “That’s what he’s absolutely doing.”
Watson, though, has his defenders.
Here's the thing on the #youtubewakeup guy (Matt Watson)... He may be seeking attention, he may not be a great person, but there's no real evidence of that & we can't read his mind. Everyone's too focussed on his character, not the fact that YouTube has a problem ... 1/2— Daniel James (@dulhunty) February 21, 2019
They have known about the problem for a long time and have failed to implement effective solutions to keep kids safe. If it wasn't Matt it would be someone else pushing this. Yet, everyone keeps attacking his character. YouTube needs to fix this and stop chasing its tail. 2/2— Daniel James (@dulhunty) February 21, 2019
Watson seems to have remained mostly silent on social media for the past few days. But he’s benefited from the story he’s told. Since he uploaded his video, he’s added close to 11,000 new YouTube subscribers.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.