Three days after the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star, 38, launched her new collection of KKW Beauty body products — which includes a body foundation that the reality star uses to help mask her psoriasis flare-ups and even out her skin tone — the outspoken star of The Good Place, 33, shared that she would be spending her money elsewhere.
“Hard pass,” she wrote on Twitter alongside a video Kardashian West had shared promoting the products.
“God damn the work to take it all off before bed so it doesn’t destroy your sheets… I’d rather just make peace with my million stretch marks and eczema,” she continued. “Taking off my mascara is enough of a pain in the arse. Save money and time and give yourself a damn break. ❤️”
“You are selling us something that really doesn’t make us feel good. You’re selling us an ideal, a body shape, a problem with our wrinkles, a problem with aging, a problem with gravity, a problem with any kind of body fat,” she shared on Channel 4’s podcast. “You’re selling us self-consciousness, the same poison that made you clearly develop some sort of body dysmorphia or facial dysmorphia you are now pouring back into the world. You’re recycling hatred.”
“It’s so upsetting. It feels like such a betrayal against women,” she added.
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Addressing Jamil’s comments for the first time in March, Kardashian West said they only promote products they use themselves. The mother of four also said that she takes on the endorsements as they bring in money without taking her away from her children.
“If there is work that is really easy that doesn’t take away from our kids, that’s like a huge priority, if someone was faced with the same job opportunities, I think they would maybe consider,” she told the New York Times. “You’re going to get backlash for almost everything so as long as you like it or believe in it or it’s worth it financially, whatever your decision may be, as long as you’re okay with that.”
To understand just how severe YouTube’s kids problem is, take a look at the popularity charts.
You might expect the No. 1 channel on the most popular Google-owned video network to be a brash, foul-mouthed videogamer like PewDiePie (that was long ago), a new, up-and-coming teen sensation like a Kyle Hanagami or a celebrity-heavy tie-in, like music videos from Ariana Grande or footage from the Kardashian sisters.
Not in 2019. For today, think nursery rhymes. Potty songs. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.
The No. 1, most-viewed YouTube channel in the United States belongs to a team of animators from Irvine, California, that produces weekly animated preschool sing-a-longs, under the Cocomelon brand.
In the last 30 days alone, Cocomelon has pulled in over 2.5 billion video views, which averages out to 83 million young viewers daily. Combined, the major four TV broadcast networks averaged just 13 million viewers daily during the TV season.
This is a problem? It is when you keep going down the chart and see that six of the top 10 channels are also targeting babies, toddlers and first-time students, with a mix of more nursery rhymes, playdates and toy reviews.
YouTube’s most popular programming targets kids, the same group that’s supposedly not allowed to watch the channel, per Google’s terms of service. “The Service is not intended for children under 13. If you are under 13 years of age, then please do not use the Service. There are lots of other great web sites for you. Talk to your parents about what sites are appropriate for you.”
This week, reports surfaced that the Federal Trade Commission was set to respond to complaints from interest groups to get YouTube to clean up its act for its handling of children’s videos.
After all, YouTube is home to both nursery rhymes and coming out videos, sports recaps, makeup tips, tech reviews, and what critics have said are a cesspool of conspiracy, hate speech and racist videos.
Its algorithm uses data gleaned from Google accounts to match your viewing history with autoplay recommended videos of a similar genre. And sometimes the autoplay gets it wrong. If you watched a conspiracy video from the now-YouTube-banned InfoWars host Alex Jones, suggesting that, say, a high school shooting was fictional – not the truth – then slipped into cartoons for the kids, YouTube could slip more Jones-like videos into the autoplay mix.
Or just confuse the same child that’s looking up Toy Story videos with something USA TODAY easily found this week. Instead of clips from the movies, YouTube could also offer up “Woodie (note the intentional misspelling) and Jessie Make a Porno,” featuring the toy versions of the characters simulating sex, one of many Toy Story-meets-sex videos we easily found on YouTube this week.
This might not be what the parents had in mind.
Other recent controversies included pedophiles commenting on videos of young children, which provoked YouTube to say it would change its commenting policy, and not allow channels with minors to include a comment section.
(However, Cocomelon, with animated kids, is full of comments, as is the porn-tinged Toy Story video noted above.).
Now, according to the Wall Street Journal, YouTube is prepared to potentially do something radical, like remove all kid programming from the network, and put it instead on its little-used YouTube Kids app, which is aimed at babies and toddlers.
YouTube neither confirmed nor denied, saying “we consider lots of ideas for improving YouTube and some remain just that – ideas.”
Clearly, Google needs to do something. Variety suggested this isn’t the solution.
“What’s going to stop pedophiles from seeking out videos starring young children on YouTube Kids, as opposed to YouTube proper?” wrote Variety’s Janko Roettgers. “And how would a separate service prevent parents from exploiting their children for profit?”
Since the machine learning and artificial intelligence, combined with some human involvement, aren’t catching all the unsuitable submitted videos and comments, Roettgers suggests Google should turn its kids area into a curated platform, akin to how it’s done on TV. Videos would need to be submitted, watched and approved.
I agree. It would be a lot more work and very expensive, but a whole lot cheaper than paying the government a giant fine.
And way more responsible, too.
In other tech news
Facebook unveiled an ambitious plan to create its own currency. Facebook said it would launch a digital global currency similar to Bitcoin, called Libra, aimed at users around the world who don’t have bank accounts. The currency is managed by the Libra network, co-founded by several companies in both the payments and tech industries, including Facebook, eBay, Uber, Lyft, PayPal and Visa.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Talking Tech newsletter. Subscribe http://technewsletter.usatoday.com, listen to the daily Talking Tech podcast on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, and follow me (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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James Charles is back, proving that nobody stays canceled for long.
The 20-year-old beauty vlogger’s feud with his former mentor Tati Westbrook over his sponsorship of her company’s rival hair vitamins rocked social media. In her now-deleted takedown “Bye Sister” — a play off Charles’ chipper video introductions, “Hi sisters!” — Westbrook publicly ended their “transactional” friendship and said her former protégé sexually harassed other men, knowing that they identified as straight and wouldn’t return his advances.
YouTube drama is often contained to the community; when vloggers begin feuding and stans take sides, it rarely extends beyond the people who already religiously follow the creators involved. But last year’s explosive Dramageddon showed that when the drama is juicy enough, even the most offline people will follow along.
The James/Tati feud was no exception. After Westbrook posted her video, social media exploded with memes and hot takes. Charles’ paltry (also now-deleted) apology only fanned the flames. Others on social media pointed out that Westbrook must have known about his problematic behavior, and wondered why the spurned vlogger waited until her brand was threatened to speak out. As others questioned her motives and beauty mavens like Jeffree Star got involved, she uploaded another now-deleted video titled “Why I Did It,” explaining that her original takedown was a “last-ditch effort for me to really be loud and vocal and to wake up someone that I really love.”
Two days later, Charles dropped a 41-minute encyclopedic screenshot-laden explanation from his side, where he cited specific texts between himself and every person involved in the conflict. With receipts out in public, Star posted a video denouncing drama and declared that he would never get involved in feuds again. The war came to an anticlimactic conclusion via Notes app, in which Westbrook called for an end to the receipts and acknowledged her own immaturity in the situation.
Following along? To summarize: We canceled Charles, then canceled Westbrook, and we may have canceled Star for getting involved despite his own problematic past, then we uncanceled Charles and Star, Westbrook invoked a Notes app truce, and now all is forgiven and nobody is canceled.
Do people actually want to get rid of problematic YouTubers, or is everyone just bored? All of the creators involved in the spat took a short break from social media, but resumed posting again within weeks. None of them seemed to have faced consequences for their actions.
Sam Cooke, one of the men Westbrook alluded to being the victim of Charles’ harassment in her original “Bye Sister” video, said he felt “pressured” to pursue a relationship with Charles. Cooke originally detailed their relationship in May, alleging that when he didn’t want to go further than kissing, Charles tried to use his celebrity status to convince him to stay in his hotel room. In a follow-up video posted on Sunday, Cooke publicly apologized for painting Charles in a bad light, and blamed himself for leading him on.
“We villainized him for our own good and that was wrong,” Cooke stated, explaining that his family and friends pressured him into maintaining a relationship with Charles.
As tea accounts pointed out, Cooke appears to read off a script. Some YouTube users commented that Cooke seemed terrified, wondering if Charles had threatened him with legal action. Some joked that Charles was behind the camera, coaching him, and one person even commented, “This feels like a hostage situation.”
Regardless of the actual circumstances, Cooke’s video didn’t stir up much talk. It had been more than a month since the initial drama went down, and everyone seems to have moved on — so much so that when Charles returned to YouTube with a triumphant video titled “Hi Sisters” two days after Cooke’s apology, he was welcomed back with open arms.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of his lost subscribers, Charles hasn’t experienced any long-term repercussions from the drama. If anything, the month of laying low and then emerging with a Pride-themed makeup look only upped his clout; the video reached #1 on YouTube’s trending within hours of being posted. His SocialBlade page, which tea accounts gleefully livestreamed to show his rapidly falling subscriber count, shows that he has well over 15 million followers again — back to where he was before the hair vitamin debacle.
Sure, Charles, Westbrook, and Star may have broken a few friendships, but YouTube cancelations never last long. The drama-hungry stans are satiated for now, and even though Cooke’s apology would have incited days of memes and think pieces last month, everyone has lost interest. Knowing the spirit of YouTube bonds, all three are sure to find new allies to collaborate with.
That’s not to say that everyone has forgotten, though; Twitter users were surprised that people were so ready to accept Charles again.
I’m sick of seeing James Charles manipulating people to get his way and always trying to have his name being talked about in the drama community. He clearly is mad people are not paying attention to his sister stupid ass. We need a break from you Mr. Dickinson. You’re annoying.
While avid drama chasers joked that Charles’ career tanked with the feud, his return video proves them wrong. YouTubers only get canceled when audiences get bored — just look at Star, who’s survived controversy after controversy, and sits at the throne of a multimillion dollar makeup empire. You can attribute it to second chances, but more often than not, creators survive even the most turbulent cancellations because people don’t care enough to keep up the hate. While pundits lament how quick the general public is to fall into “cancel culture,” it’s rare to find someone who actually stays in canceled jail.
Since YouTube’s first video was uploaded in 2005, the video sharing platform has come a long way. At the beginning, it was a place for anyone and everyone to post whatever — a digital mosh pit teaming with grainy clips of people doing random things. Now, 14 years later, YouTube is home to over 1.8 billion users.
Included in those users are celebrities, gamers, beauty gurus, comedians, bakers, photographers, singers, pranksters, actors, and personalities, to name a few. People have quite literally made a name (and a lot of money) for themselves on the streaming site. Monetization has allowed for the platform to become extremely lucrative for its creators, who have stepped up their content games in major ways.
In celebration of a little bit of YouTube’s nostalgia, let’s take a look back at the earliest videos from some popular creators in all their grainy glory.
A two minute black and white video of “Sxe Phil” crudely explaining how to get out of an argument is the oldest clip available on DeFranco’s channel. I wonder if he knew he’d still be churning out vids over a decade later.
Aina’s earliest videos show that she’s been a master at makeup since the beginning. Here’s a “Twitter inspired” makeup look. Just beware, because it sounds like she recorded it while underwater with a Nintendo DS.
Jenna Marbles introduced herself to the ‘Tube with a video of her dog: Charles Franklin Marbles. However, she really made the world fall in love with her by telling silly stories, like this one about her roommate. Anyone with an internet connection in 2010 will vaguely recall Marbles hilariously declaring, “WHAT THE FUCK, BABY!”
Before the Paul brothers made their own channels, they had a joint channel where they’d post all their antics. Here’s Logan playing Fruit Ninja IRL. I guess they forgot they don’t need to burn things to the ground in order to make a video.
Talking directly into a camera? Check. While driving? Check. While pushing a cart around Target? Check. Liza Koshy was the ultimate #relatable girl with her silly vlogs about doing #random things, like buying a onesie at everyone’s favorite super store. Honestly, she’s still all that.
Perhaps one of the fastest blow ups in recent YouTube history, Chamberlain went from 0 to 7.8 million subscribers in just two years. It all started with a lookbook video, as things do these days.
After seeing how long these creators have been creating for, regardless of scandals, cancelations, or just questionable content, it’s hard to see them giving it up. By the time they do want to stop vlogging, we’ll probably be on Mars. And that’s gonna make for some good content.