I’d like to think that the majority of you will know of Casey Neistat and watch him on a daily basis. Well if you do you’ll agree that yesterday’s video came as a shock.
Yesterday Casey uploaded a video named “Who i’m voting for president“. There’s nothing wrong with this if all he was stating was his opinion, but half way through the video had taken a turn for the worst.
The NYC vlogger starts the video by telling his 5.3 million subscribers that he is voting for Hillary Clinton. There is nothing wrong with him stating his opinion – as everyone has on the matter on the past few months.
But 50 seconds into the video it seems to turn into a Clinton commercial as it appears to be read from a script. This is not the case though as Casey clears up the matter at the end of the video saying “This video was not sponsored by Hillary Clinton or any other political entity”.
“Im voting for Hillary because make no mistake there is only one person that can defeat him, one person that can keep him away from power and it is her. I’m not a huge fan of her stale politics, I’m entirely aware of the criticism against her, I’m aware of her failures and short comings but she’s intelligent and she knows what she’s doing. more importantly she’s mentally sound, she’s responsible and she’s sane.” – Casey Neistat
The next part of the video is probably the worst. Casey goes on to ask his large audience to call out their favourite Youtubers – not for not publicly announcing their political opinion, but tells them announce they’re voting for Clinton.
This just seems a lose-lose situation for everyone. Not only do they seem to be backed into a corner from their audience for not announcing who they’re voting for, but also if they announce they are voting for Donald Trump they’ll get hate and if they announce they are going to vote for Hillary Clinton (You guessed it!) they’re going to get hate as well.
Discussion forms a healthy democracy right? Where is the discussion when someone who has 5.3 million subscribers seems to be forcing his political agenda onto his viewers. If Casey had come out encouraging his fellow creators to tell their audiences who they’re are voting for and why – that would have created a healthy discussion. Instead he came out saying:
“This generation if we are all banned together we have the power to ensure that this tax avoiding, lying, racist stays away from power and out of the white house.
If this guy gets elected and you stood back with your arms folded and didn’t speak out against him it makes you complicit, it makes you partly responsible for giving him the rains of power.”
Controversial videos like these aren’t often published because if your view doesn’t appeal to your viewership then they will tend to unsubscribe and send hate because of your differed opinion. Or on the other hand if people do agree with what you’re saying they are quick to see if your content appeals to them. So you’d think people would go lightly on the insults in case they offend anyone and subsequently lose subs and money – but not in this case. Controversy brings in more views than anything. Look at Shane Dawson’s conspiracy theories for example.
Well Casey’s video has opened up a large loophole of people thinking using conspiracy theories to justify his rudeness to anyone who doesn’t agree with him. It’s like a “your favourite colour is red but mine is blue therefore we cannot relate” type of situation. It’s one thing to state your views to the world but another calling people wrong for having a different one. That’s why it’s so hard to believe that he has tried to get other large platforms to join the Clinton bandwagon or subsequently be opened up to the ever growing online bullying.
Yes youtubers should be using their large audience and public stance to send messages about stopping bullying, raising awareness of anxiety, sexual health etc – all the important things other that ‘what I ate for breakfast’. But this doesn’t mean people should force their opinions on others.
This case reminds me of an ancient Hannah Montana episode (I know, odd to refer to Disney in politics but it works!). Let me draw you the picture: There’s an episode were Hannah says on live television that she doesn’t like carrots. The next day, Miley (secretly Hannah) overhears a family conversation about a young girl who did like carrots until HM said she didn’t like them – and now she also dislikes them. Hannah Montana’s meaningful speech using carrots instead of politics is here. *Skip to 1:30*
Okay so where i’m going with this – Say a large Youtuber with large influence stated that they were also going to vote for Clinton. Their fan base will be swayed a lot more towards voting for Clinton because their favourite Youtuber is doing so – other than because it’s what they really believe in.