David Dobrik was considered to be one of the most generous creators on YouTube. People praised him for his Tesla giveaways, enjoyed watching his vlogs with his group, “The Vlog Squad”, and often compared him to the likes of Jimmy Fallon. Unlike other YouTubers, Dobrik’s image seemed to be non-existent in drama and controversy; however, that clean/only do good image would completely shattered after the recent allegations of sexual assault came out against one of his closet friends, who he have platform to. Now as a result of this controversy, Dobrik has lost brand deals and his YouTube channels have been demonetized. Even though this may seem like a sudden fall from grace, the truth is most social media personalities have and most likely will face some type of backlash for their actions-it’s inevitable.
Often today YouTubers and social media personalities, like Dobrik are considered to be role models for today’s youth because of their massive following and appeal to young kids. While it’s good to be inspired by these personalities, branding them as role models is anything but helpful. Many of these personalities are in their late teens and 20s, and with that amount of money and resources at that young of an age, it’s not a surprise that such bad and reckless decisions are being made.
This type of behavior has been prevalent in child stars, such as Justin Beiber and Britney Spears. Both young stars were praised for the talent and activism, and especially their appeal to a younger audience. Unfortunately, both stars were branded as “role models” when that was far from the truth from who they were in their late teens and 20s. In my opinion, being a celebrity at that age is equivalent to being a college student: having independence and wanting to just have fun. The only difference with a young celebrity is the fact that they have money, resources, and everyone watching their every move.
Social media personalities like David Dobrik, Logan Paul, or KSI didn’t ask to be role models, but were simply branded as that because our society has an unhealthy obsession with celebrities, in particular young ones. These young people will make mistakes, and it’s unfair as a society to hold them up on pedestal just because they have a very loyal fan base.
Whether it was Logan Paul filming a deceased body in Tokyo’s suciude forest to now David Dobrik’s association with a friend who took advantage of women, these young internet personalities absolutely need to be held accountable for their actions. However, it is our responsibilty as a society to recognize that their young, rich, and are in the stage in their lives where they will make stupid mistakes, it just happens to be in front of the entire world.