The controversy over “response” content material on YouTube has been brewing for years, however a current incident between two creators has refueled the urgency of the dialog.
The controversy facilities on Alia “SSSniperwolf” Shelesh, a YouTuber with over 34 million subscribers, and Jack “Jacksfilms” Douglass, a YouTuber with 4.9 million subscribers. The 2 have been feuding on-line over the previous yr, nevertheless it got here to a head this weekend, as Douglass stated that Shelesh confirmed as much as his house and filmed the surface of his residence on Saturday. Shelesh shared a video of the incident as an Instagram story, saying “let’s discuss like adults,” in line with a report from NBC Information. On Oct. 20, YouTube stated that Shelesh’s account could be briefly demonetized.
What led to this confrontation, and why did it ignite such a firestorm of controversy on-line?
What’s ‘response content material’ and why is it so controversial?
Response content material is an umbrella time period that applies to a content material creator responding to or riffing on an present piece of media. Response content material has been controversial for a very long time; in 2016, the Wonderful Brothers made an notorious try and copyright their “React” movies, which was met with close to unanimous criticism. In August, the dialog reignited as widespread creators like Félix “xQc” Lengyel “reacted” to long-form content material with little or no (if any) unique enter or transformative commentary.
How are Jacksfilms and SSSniperwolf concerned within the response content material debate?
Douglass has made content material on YouTube since 2006, primarily specializing in comedy movies. Previously, he has referred to as out “response” content material that he says fails to fulfill the bar for honest use, and has even made parody movies reacting to response content material.
Throughout the final yr, he set his sights on Shelesh’s content material, citing a scarcity of credit score or hyperlinks to unique creators and their work, and a scarcity of transformative commentary. Shelesh has been a content material creator for roughly a decade, together with making YouTube and TikTok movies. Her current work is basically response content material, which she posts to each platforms. Shelesh has been conscious of Douglass’ commentary, even making jokes concerning the YouTuber in her personal response content material.
Along with Douglass’ video callout above, he revived an outdated joke channel referred to as JJJacksfilms, poking enjoyable at Shelesh’s content material and celebrating instances she deleted clips. He additionally recurrently made content material on Twitch reacting to and even grading Shelesh’s response content material, full with a bingo sport for viewers to play. The JJJacksfilms streams have been designed to use stress to Shelesh, encouraging her to credit score unique creators and supply substantial commentary.
The SSSniperwolf doxxing accusations
On Oct. 13, Shelesh posted an Instagram story with the textual content, “Ought to I’m going go to @Jacksfilms? He lives 5 minutes away from my shoot.” She proceeded so as to add extra posts to her story all through the night time, which included a photograph of the surface of Douglass’ home and the caption “Let’s discuss like adults.”
Douglass was livestreaming on Twitch when Shelesh posted these photographs to her Instagram story, and he disconnected and posted the next tweet on Oct. 13: “Sssniperwolf simply doxxed me on her IG. Creepy, gross, violating,” wrote Douglass, alongside a screenshot of Shelesh’s Instagram story. “What you do is disgusting. You steal content material AND stalk youtubers. @YouTube demonetize this harmful ‘creator’ or simply get her off your platform. She posted an IG story proper exterior our house and deleted it.”
As Douglass’ followers waited for YouTube to reply, they scoured Shelesh’s content material, searching for potential extra rule violations. Shelesh additionally posted updates making gentle of the scenario, together with a since-deleted picture of her and her sister with the caption “We present as much as ur home wyd??” and a publish over Douglass’ tweet, captioned: “This creep has been harassing me for months then performs sufferer saying I threatened him after I simply wished to speak to him. I’ve no sick intentions. It’s so unhappy when folks should consistently create drama to pay their payments.”
The incident impressed a sequence of movies and posts from influencers and commentary channels, with public opinion largely being in favor of Douglass. In fact, the scenario additionally impressed a good few shitposts and memes — a few of which have been geared toward YouTube, encouraging the platform to reply.
Polygon reached out to Douglass, Shelesh, and YouTube and can replace this story after we hear again.
On Oct. 20, per week after the doxxing incident, YouTube and Shelesh each made public statements. YouTube posted a tweet confirming Shelesh had acquired “a brief monetization suspension per Creator Duty insurance policies.” The tweet additionally criticized “the habits on either side” and expressed hope that the incident would “transfer this convo to a greater place.”
Confirming SSSniperWolf has acquired a brief monetization suspension per Creator Duty insurance policies. Off platform actions that put others’ private security in danger hurt our neighborhood & the habits on either side isn’t what we would like on YT. Hoping everybody helps transfer this…
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) October 20, 2023
Shelesh additionally made an announcement on X, apologizing to “Jacksfilm, YouTube, the whole creator neighborhood, and my unbelievable followers for not being a greater instance of battle decision.” She has since posted a handful of latest movies to her YouTube account, with the remark sections disabled.
The response from each YouTube and Shelesh failed to deal with many followers’ issues, contemplating the official remark from YouTube spoke about “either side,” implying accountability on Douglass’ facet of the battle. The demonetization seems like a slap on the wrist, which has solely impressed additional commentary among the many neighborhood. It looks like, for now, YouTube is content material to keep away from the controversy round response content material and easily revenue off of it from afar.