In today’s world, there’s a fine line between admiration and pure obsession. When a Tumblr dedicated to anonymous, dirty submissions is created, who is to say where that fine line is drawn?
For the past four years, I’ve been a part of the YouTube community, in which I’ve been involved in video making, video watching, collaboration videos, and a group of friends from all around the world. Being a part of the YouTube community for so long, I’ve see the strangest things created. I’ve seen different sites trend and different opinions on each site. I’ve also gotten to know the so-called vloggers on the site, personally or through their videos.
Popular website Tumblr allows individuals to create free accounts and access mass amounts of pictures, videos, and posts re-blogged by other users. Among these accounts is one called “Dirty Vlogger Confessions,” in which users can submit anonymous confessions about vloggers on YouTube. These confessions are the opposite of ordinary with their explicit language and references to ideas fantasized about the vloggers. The account is somewhat like a dirty, internet Post Secret.
As odd as this may sound, it’s true, and the truth has created a large amount of controversy in the YouTube community. Film makers are picking sides on the subject and fighting each other over it, creating a divide down our community.
One side of the argument is saying it’s immoral, psychotic, and an invasion of their privacy. The other side fights back saying it’s all in good fun and provides a laugh or two. It’s “a hilarious website filled with fun and magic,” according to 18 year old Rachel Laprevote, a fellow vlogger on YouTube.
Laprevote sat down with me on Skype, seeing as how she lives all the way in Arizona, and gave some insight on her experience with Dirty Vlogger Confessions. She goes by WayhoRachel on YouTube and has an incredibly strong, supportive opinion on the site. She can acknowledge where the opposing side is coming from, but she thinks they are absolutely wrong. As an active submitter, she has entered about 50 confessions to Dirty Vlogger Confessions, but only about half of them have made it up.
I’ve even posted to the site once myself, purely as a joke. I think the site is hilarious. I don’t take into consideration whether the submissions are serious or not that I’m reading. I also don’t think the site is anything to get worked up over. There are more important things to worry about.
Another follower of Dirty Vlogger Confessions is 20 year old Whitney Galaher, also known as Witified on youtube, from New York City. Galaher knows first hand about the controversy. She created a video portraying her feelings about the site, which lead to first person controversy. Others who had the exact opposite opinion from hers were not shy to let her know exactly how they felt, creating an uprising in both sides of the fight.
I was one of the people to comment on her video. I do think the posts on the account are rather creepy, but they are doing no harm if you see it all as a big joke. Nobody is personally contacting the certain vloggers and saying these things to them. The site does not contact the vloggers in anyway. They tag the user name of the confession subject for those who don’t know who the submission is about. If anything, these submissions are gaining the vloggeres more viewers on YouTube.
Some argue that using pictures of the vloggers are copyright infringement. The pictures used are all stills from videos posted by each vlogger. Anything you post on the internet is free gain to the public unless copyrighted.
There comes responsibility along with posting on the internet. Even though YouTube is not as strong of a media source as the news or movies, people are still watching you. Those with a strong subscriber base get more attention than others, and this automatically makes you a public figure. All celebrities have to deal with the mess the media creates about them every day of their lives. Everything they say can be twisted at any second.
YouTube has become a popular social media site. It has gotten a few vloggers on TV, including Fred, KevJumba, and Nigahiga. Justin Beiber and Owl City have both started their career on YouTube. If you aren’t prepared to be judged on all different levels, the internet is surely the wrong place for you.
Galaher has appeared on the site a few times and is also guilty of submitting to the site, as well. She admits that she supports the site, whether she’s happy or not about the submissions. She wants everyone to know, “It’s nothing that people should be ashamed about… just because it’s not the best sense of humor there is.”
Matt Hargreaves, 22 year old vlogger from London, known as WallyCube or MattLobster on YouTube, is also nonchalant about the subject matter. He says, “My opinion was generally ‘Ha, that’s funny but it’s [kind of] wrong. Let’s not take it seriously.”
Hargreaves has been on the site quite a bit. His pictures can be found taking over most of the sites feed. He says, “…at least you can avoid that place, but after about the seventh submission, [I'm] admittedly a little creeped out.” This feeling is understandable, but Hargreaves hasn’t irrationally whipped his words around and insulted the site and the people that post on it. He is a good sport about it, just as anyone should be.
Other vloggers are not such good sports, threatening the account and even going as far to trying to get Tumblr shut down. Unfortunately for them, the First Amendment allows the right of free speech in America, where Tumblr is run. There are
no death threats on the site, there by providing no content to take the account down.
The two girl vloggers refuse to stop submitting. Laprevote goes on to defend her position and says, “I’ll stop submitting when I get bored of submitting.” The pressure of the other side will not convince them to stop, but only fuels them to submit more. “It actually led me to making more posts…” says Galaher.
Although I don’t see too much harm in the site, I do think it is splitting our community apart. When I began my Youtube career years ago, it was a place where we helped each other out, not a competition against one another. I can only hope for the tension to pass and for our community to once again be reunited. We all, after all, have the same goal in the long run; To have fun, do what we love, and make a few friends and fans along the way.
What it boils down to is how well viewers can handle different types of humor. The public will submit to Dirty Vlogger Confessions whenever they like to, if they wish to, and there is nothing that can be done about it.