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Articles on this Page
- 11/24/15--10:48: _YouTube's Holdernes...
- 11/24/15--11:14: _Justin Bieber has a...
- 11/24/15--11:39: _Samantha Bee's 'Ful...
- 11/24/15--11:55: _Sony Music orders K...
- 11/24/15--12:30: _These are the 10 mo...
- 11/24/15--13:19: _How a 5-year-old bo...
- 11/25/15--04:58: _Stephen Colbert moc...
- 11/25/15--05:42: _This Thanksgiving, ...
- 11/25/15--05:57: _Adele and Jimmy Fal...
- 11/25/15--06:00: _Meet the Muslim vlo...
- 11/26/15--06:00: _4 of the best Thank...
- 11/27/15--06:00: _Uplift wants to edu...
- 11/28/15--06:00: _The 5 best document...
- 11/28/15--07:27: _Meet the filmmakers...
- 11/28/15--11:11: _With music video fo...
- 11/29/15--10:08: _‘Seinfeld’ cast rec...
- 11/29/15--11:16: _Jared Leto apologiz...
- 11/29/15--11:32: _Taylor Swift meets ...
- 11/29/15--12:07: _5 emerging book cha...
- 11/29/15--12:28: _Kendall Jenner post...
- 11/24/15--10:48: YouTube's Holderness family serves up a catchy Thanksgiving mashup
- 11/24/15--11:39: Samantha Bee's 'Full Frontal' gets a 'Star Wars'–style trailer
- 11/24/15--11:55: Sony Music orders Kurt Hugo Schneider YouTube series
- 11/24/15--12:30: These are the 10 most overused movie sets in Hollywood
- 11/25/15--06:00: Meet the Muslim vlogger who reinvented the hijab
- 11/26/15--06:00: 4 of the best Thanksgiving movies you can stream
- 11/27/15--06:00: Uplift wants to educate the YouTube community about abuse
- 11/28/15--06:00: The 5 best documentaries on YouTube that will make you think
- 11/28/15--11:11: With music video for 'Borders,' M.I.A. speaks out on refugee crisis
- 11/29/15--12:07: 5 emerging book channels on YouTube
- SlateScore: 345
- Total Subs: 4,923
- Monthly Views: 3,240
- SlateScore: 572
- Total Subs: 135,465
- Monthly Views: 451,440
- 11/29/15--12:28: Kendall Jenner posted a new nude on Instagram—but there's a catch
Having already conqueredChristmas, Halloween, and the first day of school, the Holdernesses have finally set their sights on Turkey Day by putting their own lyrics to some of the year’s biggest songs (along with an older song choice). “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” “Hello,” “Hotline Bling,” and “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” all get giant-sized food makeovers, which will surely get stuck in your head just as quickly as your stomach starts to growl.
There will be a lot of us Chardonnay-nay-ing on Thursday.Screengrab via The Holderness Family/YouTube
Justin Bieber made history this week with a record-breaking 17 songs simultaneously appearing on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It's not that Bieber has 17 simultaneous singles off his new album, Purpose, but that he's mastered something the music industry is only just starting to understand: the power of the YouTube view.YouTube numbers have counted toward Billboard charts since 2013, but labels still largely follow the lyric-video-to-official-video model. Bieber's team was a little more savvy.
Purpose dropped earlier this month with a corresponding video for each song released on Bieber's Vevo channel. Per tradition, the big singles have full-blown, high-budget music videos starring Bieber himself. A majority of the 19 songs have simpler videos starring dancers.
"What Do You Mean?"—the most successful of the bunch—has more than 342 million views, but even the least-watched clip has more than 3 million views.
And those views add up. Here are Bieber's Hot 100 standings this week, according to Billboard:
No. 2 "Sorry"
No. 4 "Love Yourself"
No. 5 "What Do You Mean?"
No. 19 "I'll Show You"
No. 31 "The Feeling," featuring Halsey
No. 34 "Where Are U Now" (Skrillex & Diplo With Bieber)
No. 42 "Mark My Words"
No. 43 "Purpose"
No. 49 "No Pressure," featuring Big Sean
No. 53 "Company"
No. 54 "No Sense," featuring Travi$ Scott
No. 67 "Life Is Worth Living"
No. 74 "Children"
No. 81 "Been You"
No. 88 "We Are," featuring Nas
No. 90 "Get Used to Me"
No. 98 "Trust"
Unfortunately for Drake, Apple Music video views don't count toward Billboard's charts, which means that, even though millions of people loved his "Hotline Bling" video (and even made a meme out of it), none of those video plays affect his success on the charts. The rapper did not upload his video to YouTube as part of his partnership with Apple.
Next time, Champagne Papi.H/T Vulture | Screegrab via Justin Bieber/YouTube
Previous trailers for the series have been more political in nature, so it’s good to see that Bee also plans on busting out of her Daily Show shell and getting goofy, much like TBS’s other late night host Conan O’Brien.
The exact series premiere date still hasn’t been announced, but it’s set for sometime in January 2016.
In her own words: “May the fair use be with you.”H/T Vulture | Screengrab via Full Frontal/YouTube
Sony Music announced today that it is partnering with YouTuber Kurt Hugo Schneider to develop To the Beat with Kurt Hugo Schneider, a 10-episode digital series that will have the singer/songwriter/producer/videomaker interviewing Sony Music stars and creating new clips of them performing special versions of their hits.
Schneider’s YouTube channel has racked up 6.32 millions subscribers and 1.424 billion views with reinterpretations of hits by artists such as Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, and One Direction, made in collaboration with his friends and fellow social media influencers such including Sam Tsui, his former high school and Yale University classmate.
In 2010, Schneider directed the feature College Musical, shot on the Yale campus with Tsui and fellow Yalie (and future star of HBO’s Girls) Allison Williams. The film was released direct-to-digital in September 2014.
Earlier this year, Sony Music teamed with Above Average on the direct-to-digital documentary-style series Thank You and Sorry, starring Jack Antonoff, a member of the bands Bleachers and Fun and boyfriend of Girls creator/star Lena Dunham.
To the Beat will debut on Schneider’s YouTube channel in 2016.
Screengrab via Kurt Hugo Schneider/YouTube
Finding the perfect location to shoot your movie can be tough, so when one director tracks down the ideal spooky castle or crazy factory, others tend to follow suit.
Screen Rant put together a pretty comprehensive list of the top 10 movie sets that appear in every film, and some of the overlaps will surprise you.
Remember the gardens of Billy Madison’s mansion? The ones where he chases the giant penguin with his golf cart? They’re also Charles Xavier's schoolgrounds in X-Men. And the midtown Manhattan garden rooftop where Peter Parker drops off Mary Jane in Spider-Man?It makes an appearance in a recent episode of Daredevil.Finally, a universe where Kermit the Frog and the Dude from The Big Lebowski can hang out.
H/T Vulture | Screengrab via Screen Rant/YouTube
When Chad Carr was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma 15 months ago, his story—and his fight against the inoperable pediatric brain cancer—inspired not one college fanbase, but three. And two of the schools happen to be the most bitter of rivals.
Carr was the grandson of former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr and the son of former Michigan quarterback Jason Carr, but Chad's battle helped breach the gap between Michigan and Ohio State, especially when the two basketball teams came together earlier this month to decorate his house for Christmas.
On Monday, Carr died, leading all sides to mourn the loss of the five-year-old.For the past few months, as Chad fought for his life, he became an inspirational story, and after he died, the grief from around the Michigan community was all over the Internet.
From Michigan's football coach......To Michigan State's basketball coach... ...To other Michigan State supporters. When Michigan and Ohio State continue their football rivalry this Saturday, the sides will honor Chad's memory. Both teams will wear a decal on their helmets that show the image of a young boy flexing his muscles and the words "ChadToughFDN" to signify the foundation begun by Tammi and Jason Carr that will raise money for research for pediatric brain tumors. In November, the Michigan and Ohio State basketball teams visited Chad at his home to help bring a little holiday cheer—and, according to CBSSports.com, the idea actually came from the mind of Barbara Matta, the wife of Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta. The Michigan softball team also became big supporters. Despite all the support, though, the end was unavoidable. And despite his courage, the sadness about Chad's death was palpable throughout the Big Ten conference community. Photo via Tammi Curtis Carr/Facebook
With Thanksgiving around the corner, Colbert is thankful for Trump—mainly because, without the boisterous businessman who is currently leading in the polls, Colbert and the other late-night hosts would have nothing to discuss. Trump has had fact-checkers working overtime on a claim that he saw thousands of Muslims in Jersey City, New Jersey, celebrating after 9/11. Not only has he doubled down on that debunked claim, but he said that his 2000 book predicted Osama bin Laden's threats to America—which anyone probably could have predicted based on news headlines.
On The Late Show Tuesday night, Colbert took a stab at “predicting the predictable,” which will certainly have us looking back in amazement at just how right he got it, à la Trump.
“No matter what he says or does, Donald Trump will still do pretty well in the polls,” Colbert said in a prediction so spot-on that it worked as both a joke and a deadly serious statement.Screengrab via The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube
Whether you're on your third plate of turkey and stuffing or just starting out, it’s going to be hard for many of you to pass the gravy—we'll either be stuffed or lazy. But with a drone to move it around the table with ease, all we have to do is use a controller and soon enough we’ll be in Gravy Town.
Based on the first test run, however, Kimmel might need to go back to the drawing board to figure out some modifications. Maybe next year.Screengrab via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube
Luckily Jimmy Fallon is happy to fulfill that role, as he and the Roots serve as backup to Adele in a classroom instrument performance of the smash hit. The portable xylophone, kazoos, clapping hands, and the banana all add to the ambiance, but her vocals bring it all home. This won’t get old anytime soon.
We already have thoughts about why she has a flip phone in the “Hello” video. But now we’re left wondering: Why does she has a plastic flip phone?Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube
The first video Amena ever uploaded to YouTube, a tutorial on how to wear a pink waterfall hijab, quickly gained 2.6 million hits as viewers from around the world responded with appreciation for a creator finally making content for the Muslim community.Since her viral hit, Amena has grown her beauty and fashion-centered channel into a thriving business, Pearl Daisy, as well as her own makeup line, Ardere Cosmetics. Amena’s channel is organized much like a lifestyle magazine, covering all topics related to living a healthy, fulfilling life.
With her 280,000 subs, the mother of two gives advice on healthy skin, travel, weight loss, clothing hauls, hijab tutorials, makeup, and life as a married businesswoman. Producing a video every Wednesday and Saturday, Amena makes a point to create both tutorials for a general audience as well as content specifically tailored for the female Muslim community, a very underserved audience on YouTube and in media.
Shortly after starting on YouTube, Amena began receiving requests about a product she created and personally sewed, the hoojab. A hood with two strips of fabric, Amena’s hoojab provided the same coverage as the traditional hijab without the weight of extra fabric. The Internet loved them, buying out her entire available stock and inspiring her to start her clothing company, Pearl Daisy. Complete with accessories, hijabs, and hoojabs, the company opened its first storefront this year in Leicester, England.Confidence hasn’t always come easy for Amena, making these accomplishments feel even more deserved and inspiring. Bullied in school, Amena spent years battling depression and social anxiety before diving head first into the study of Islam. A poetry-writing biology major, Amena pursued teaching following graduation in London, where she developed a deep relationship with her religion and husband-to-be.
Her content is vital to the YouTube ecosystem, as she represents and addresses the needs of young women of color. Like Tazzy Phe, Amena is also tearing down stereotypes surrounding Muslim culture with a personal look into her life and thriving business.
To Amena, thank you for changing YouTube for the better.
Screengrab via Amena/YouTube
With Thanksgiving rolling around again, no doubt the Dot readership will be celebrating the holiday in a variety of ways. Regardless of whether you’re spending time with loved ones, wincing your way through an awkward procession of cranberry sauce and political arguments, or just trying to get from here to there in time for turkey, why not launch a new holiday tradition?
Movies set on or around Thanksgiving might not be as common as, say, Christmas movies, but there are still a few gems worth streaming. Well, at least one gem and a few also-rans that might help you get through your particular situation. Find a quiet corner, fight off the turkey sleep, and enjoy.
1) Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Netflix Instant)
If I had to whittle this list down to only one entry, it would be an easy call: John Hughes’ Planes, Trains and Automobiles is the definitive Thanksgiving movie, in spite of the actual events of the holiday not being the focus at all. Instead, my favorite Hughes flick of all time focuses on a universal experience: holiday travel. Steve Martin is Neal Page, an advertising executive trying to make it from New York City to his family in Chicago, foiled at every turn by ill luck personified by Del Griffin (John Candy), a jovial, optimistic stranger who Neal just can’t seem to shake during his three-day odyssey across multiple states and forms of transportation.
Like the best of Hughes’ work, the film is hilarious, heart-warming, and keenly insightful. Martin and Candy riff and rile each other wonderfully, and the scene midway through where Neal finally explodes at Del, trying his very best to hurt him, is my favorite thing John Candy ever did, proving he had real acting chops when he wanted to. Planes, Trains and Automobiles is thoroughly rewatchable, endlessly quotable, and might actually make you rethink your kneejerk antipathy towards that talkative guy in the seat next to you during your next plane ride home. Maybe there’s a reason he’s so desperate for human interaction.
Perfect if: You’re stuck in a terminal somewhere, just trying to get home in time for turkey dinner.2) Dutch (Netflix Instant)
John Hughes sneaks a second entry onto this list with a film he didn’t direct, but did write. A mid-Married...with Children Ed O’Neill stars as Dutch Dooley, a loud-mouthed blue-collar bloke dating a high-class lady named Natalie (JoBeth Williams). After Natalie’s ex cancels his Thanksgiving plans with their son, Dutch volunteers to drive to the kid’s private school in Georgia and bring him home, reasoning it will both impress Natalie and give him a chance to bond with the kid. Unfortunately, the kid proves to be a stuck-up snob just like his dad. Dutch is forced to hog-tie young Doyle (Ethan Embry) to a hockey stick and throw him in the car for a road trip neither of them will soon forget.
Look, Dutch is no Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It doesn’t comfortably fit in a Hughes resume that includes the likes of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, and National Lampoon’s Vacation. Still, it’s developed a bit of a cult following over the years, and it’s kind of fascinating to see Hughes returning to a similar structure as Planes, Trains and Automobiles—a holiday road trip shared by two people who initially can’t stand each other—and failing to find the magic that he did with that earlier film. Or hell, you could just watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles twice in a row. We won’t judge.
Perfect if: You’re dealing with obnoxious children who aren’t your own, or dragging an irritating relative cross-country.3) Scent of a Woman (Amazon Prime)
Long before he slipped on rubber nipples to play Robin opposite George Clooney’s Batman, a young Chris O’Donnell played Charlie Simms, a young student at a fancy New England prep school who takes a job looking after a retired Army lieutenant colonel over Thanksgiving weekend. The want ad conspicuously leaves out the details that Frank Slade (Al Pacino) is a blind, cranky drunk. Before Charlie can even get his bearings, Frank has dragged him to New York City and announced plans to kill himself at the end of the trip. Is it a joke? Charlie isn’t sure, but one thing that’s clear is that he really should have negotiated his fees better.
Scent of a Woman was based on the Italian novel Darkness and Honey by Giovanni Arpino, and was previously adapted into an Italian film in 1974. The American remake did quite well, earning Pacino a Best Actor Academy Award, with the film also picking up nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It also gave us one of the great Pacino scenery-chewing performances of all time. Hoo-hah!
Perfect if: You’re having to work on the holiday and would rather be anywhere else.4) Son in Law (Hulu with Showtime)
Listen, there aren’t that many streaming Thanksgiving movies to choose from. They can’t all be Oscar winners, buuuuudddyyyyy. In 1993’s Son in Law, Pauly Shore plays a guy nicknamed “Crawl,” and if that alone makes your skin crawl, there’s a chance the filmography of the Weasel is not for you. Crawl is the resident advisor at a coed UCLA dorm, and it’s there that he meets Rebecca (Carla Gugino), a small-town girl from South Dakota who is feeling in over her head and considering returning home. He takes her under his wing and the two bond, and when Thanksgiving break rolls around, she realizes he has nowhere to go and so invites him to her family’s gathering back on the farm.
Things go about as well as you’d expect when one brings Pauly Shore home for the holidays, and Rebecca’s family is put off by the influence the big city—and Crawl—has had on her. Things get decidedly more complicated when Crawl, sensing that Rebecca isn’t happy that her boyfriend Travis is about to propose to her, claims that the two are actually already engaged. Suddenly, the “weird friend our daughter brought home from godless Los Angeles” is transformed into “our little girl’s dipshit hippie future husband.” As you’d imagine, that creates some drama, and Crawl must try to impress his fake future family while figuring out how to get out of the situation. Or figuring out if he even wants to get out of it.
Perfect if: You’re spending the day with in-laws who don’t like you. And you have a high tolerance for Pauly Shore.
Photo via David365/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed
It starts out as an Internet fandom fairy tale.
You’ve been following your favorite YouTuber for years when he follows you back on Twitter, then sends you a DM that he wants to talk directly to you. Overjoyed, you start communicating regularly. Innocent chatter gives way to flirting, and then he asks you for pictures. Then he suggests what you show him in the pictures. When his tour comes through your town, he tells you to meet him afterward. You go back to his hotel, and some of the things you do make you feel uncomfortable, although you never directly told him no. He stops talking to you after, and now he’s dating another famous YouTuber.
What’s happened to this fictional fan is not far off from allegations of sexual misconduct across digital communities in recent years, where the interplay of access, fame, and power combine to encourage a murky situation that’s threatened to disrupt community trust and destroy reputations. A group of young women inside the community decided last year that something needed to be done to help their peers, and so Uplift, an educational series dedicated to “combating sexual abuse in online communities through education and advocacy,” was born.
Why is this necessary?
The history of sexual abuse in the YouTube community stretches back as far as 2012, but in 2014 there was a concentrated outpouring of allegations that mostly prominent male creators were taking advantage of their female fans and fellow female creators. As stories came to light across platforms like Tumblr and Twitter, the YouTube community began to take stock of the dangerous combination of celebrity culture and a lack of sexual education.
“It started out with one person,” explained Uplift co-founder and co-Executive Director Katie Twyman, a 23-year-old who works in preschool education. “And when it comes to things like sexual violence, the more you see people finding the support after coming out that they need, the more comfortable people tend to feel telling their own stories. We all had this incredible desire to do something about it, but when you have these giant communities like you do with YouTube, it can be hard to know how to actually work together to get something done.”
Twyman and her fellow co-Executive Director Sahitya Raja are both Nerdfighters, part of the fandom around Vlogbrothers duo Hank and John Green, which was at the epicenter of much of the sexual violence issue on YouTube, since several accused abusers were part of their DFTBA music label. Raja sent a message to John Green after talking with fellow co-founder Grace Miller about actions the community could be taking in response. Green shot a message back, pledging that the Vlogbrothers could back up this effort if they went forward. And so they did.
What is being done?
Originally, Uplift was born as YouCoalition, a task force organized on Tumblr specifically to target survivor resources and education for the YouTube community, but the founders quickly decided to broaden their scope to Internet communities in general.
“We started out just as a blog that was talking about how do you recognize problematic behavior, how do you speak about boundaries, how do you intervene as a bystander, how do we update people in the community on what’s happening,” said Twyman. “It just grew from there to something that’s a lot bigger and inclusive of different communities as well.”
From there, Uplift moved to the hub of its community, YouTube, to start a webseries with host Kat Lazo under the tagline “real talk for real change.” Episodes cover topics like how to get help—physical, emotional, or legal—after an assault. There are also panel-style episodes that welcome prominent YouTubers to discuss subject matter like power dynamics between fans and creators and the implications of that on sexual relationships.
While digital is the focus, the Uplift team knows that the problematic behavior comes often when the digital screen is lifted and fans are in physical contact with their idols at meet-ups, tours, and conventions. With the Green brothers’ support, Uplift had a presence at VidCon 2015 with a no-frills booth. GeekyCon and LeakyCon founder Melissa Anelli is also on the Uplift advisory council, and so the team plans on working with those events as well. In addition to being a presence for attendees, they’re also aiming to consult on codes of conduct and institute training programs for volunteers at those cons to help them prepare to deal with issue.
“We’re here to help people take back their communities, and make their communities feel safe again,” said 27-year-old Communications Director Jennifer Dorsey. “We want to start in the communities we know and start training those.”
Twyman added: Uplift wants to teach “how to prepare volunteers for if they witness something dangerous, or if someone approaches them to report something. We have had a few other cons that have reached out to us, where we haven’t been at before.”
The YouTuber convention scene varies widely: Some are just thinly veiled money-generating autograph events, while others are well-established events with diverse panels and attendees that range from industry to community. But all of them ultimately aim to give fans in-person access to their idols. While Uplift has developed within the convention communities of VidCon and GeekyCon, there’s a wider world of cons that don’t have the ingrained social justice and community aspects, like MagCon, which caters to fans of a particular sect of teenage Vine boys that historically include creators like Carter Reynolds, the 19-year-old Viner whose nude video of him pressuring his then-16-year-old girlfriend for a blowjob went viral and sparked debates over sexual pressure and abuse.
“MagCon in particular commodifies the excitement and passion these fans have for this very stratified social situation,” said 22-year-old Operations Director Grace Miller. “Something we’re really trying to work on is ways to reach the fans and creators to have conversations with them about this kind of dynamic. So when it comes to being in those physical spaces it doesn’t becomes a fervor. There’s not so much idolization going on in the physical space.”
For Uplift, that means starting the conversation before the event starts in the space where all the stakeholders are gathering: online.
“The best way to prevent a bad situation at MagCon or Digitour is doing that outreach before getting into that situation,” Miller said. “Consent is applicable not only within sexual situations, but in almost every facet of your life. That’s another reason why those foundational interactions and resources are important.”
How has the community responded?
At this summer’s VidCon, Reynolds showed up on site and was removed by convention planners from the official hotels because he was a “threat.” While some of the convention’s 20,000 attendees called him trash and applauded the decision to have him removed, others were still vocal supporters, claiming him as one of their favorite digital stars despite the controversy.
“It is really challenging as a viewer and a fan to admire someone’s work and then to disconnect yourself from it so abruptly,” said Twyman. “I think that’s something we do see people struggling with a bit. There’s a disconnect between supporting the idea of pulling away from people who are doing things that are hurtful to others, and actually doing that when someone you’re a fan of is doing something that’s hurtful to others.”
Miller continued: In “his case and also the case with Curtis Lepore [a Vine star who took a plea deal following rape allegations by fellow Viner Jessi Smiles], both of these people have ‘proof,’ quote-unquote. You have a video, in Carter Reynolds’ case, for example. Part of what makes it a gray area is people don’t understand what consent is, people aren’t taught what consent is, and people aren’t taught what sexual assault looks like.”
Community members are confiding in the organization and reaching out for help.
Uplift approaches this by starting with the foundations: defining assault and consent.
“That’s where we are coming from in our work,” she said. “You can’t have a conversation about it unless you’re on the same page.”
Overall, the Uplift team says they’re seeing strides, especially when they show up in person to an event. Community members are confiding in the organization and reaching out for help.
“People come up and tell us things that were happening to them,” said Dorsey. “They didn’t want to report necessarily, saying, ‘I didn’t want the drama,’ or ‘I didn’t realize it was wrong until someone told me it was wrong.’ It’s not the full-on abuse, but it’s inappropriate touching, not respecting boundaries, not taking no for an answer. It’s just enough to see those patterns beginning. And that gets worse when you’re dealing with famous people.”
While the issue of sexual misconduct isn’t completely relegated to heterosexual cisgendered men preying on their heterosexual cisgendered female fans, those relationships make up a vast majority of the problems that have come to light in the community to date.
“At our booth at VidCon, almost every girl stopped, while a good third of the guys looked at the poster and kept walking,” said Dorsey.
Overall, there’s a large swath of male creators with female fan bases, many of whom want to be supportive of Uplift’s goals and messages, but Twyman said there’s some hesitation around what it’s appropriate for them to be saying in support.
“That’s a conversation we had a lot at VidCon with both male creators and male attendees, about how can you use your words to support the women who are experiencing these things more directly,” said Twyman. “That’s the biggest suggestion we’ve given people. If you haven’t had these experiences, and you are in a position of privilege or power, then you have the responsibility to elevate the voices of people who are fighting the battles against these particular issues.”
“John [Green] said many times, ‘I can’t do much but give you my full support and my money.’ In reality, that’s exactly it,” laughed Dorsey. “A big part of our conversation is what can you do to help us elevate these voices. We’ve seen very little hesitation from the male cis het community.”
How are the platforms reacting?
Once a creator has been accused of inappropriate behavior, his or her future can be affected both by the reception of the community and by the platform itself, if it chooses to deny that creator service. YouTube does not have a direct policy that disallows users with a history of sexual abuse from using the platform, but there are several content restrictions that, depending on how interpreted, could eliminate specific content from those users. There’s a rule against “nudity and sexual content,” “harassment and cyberbullying,” and even “hate speech” that can be applied to specific content if users flag the videos for violations.
However, in the cases of these sort of allegations, the company enters a murky area of passing judgment and limiting someone’s income—or even opening them up to litigation. For those reasons, Uplift strives to educate the platforms as well as the users.
“One thing that I would encourage these platforms, these big platforms that are hosting so many different kinds of content, to [do is] step away from is the idea that in order to do something they have to condemn somebody,” Twyman said. “That’s where they get hesitant. I said, ‘If you want to support this issue but don’t want to become liable for taking away this person’s livelihood, you can still say: ‘Hey, online sexual violence and emotional abuse is an issue. Let’s talk about what the issue is.’ It does not necessarily have to be in a place where you are putting yourself in a legally compromising position.”
“They don’t spend as much time in their communities,” said Dorsey. “Maybe, for example, YouTube is too big. But if they aren’t careful, that’s going to backfire on them. People love their platforms because they’re communities. It’s about, ‘who the heck uses my platform and should I care?’”
What is the endgame for this kind of work?
In September 2014 Internet prankster Sam Pepper uploaded a video in which he pinched unsuspecting women on their behinds, sparking a debate over prank culture, sexism, and consent on YouTube. For Pepper this also unearthed other accusations of sexual misconduct with women he knew in real life, including a formal complaint filed in Los Angeles.
While the offending videos have been removed under YouTube’s nudity and sexual conduct rules and Pepper was dropped by his multichannel network, he still uploads videos on a monthly basis for millions of subscribers. Others accused of misconduct have left the platform completely, abandoning channels with thousands of followers. One of the biggest debates among community members is how to advise people on dealing with those accused of abuse who stay in the community. For Dorsey, there are distinctions depending on what kind of behavior someone is accused of and where their long term place is in the world of digital entertainment.
“The community belongs to the survivors now.”
“There are two areas,” explained Dorsey. ‘There are people who are making really bad videos with sexual jokes or who are doing things that are much more culturally problematic. Then you have people who … have done things that are full-on abuse. I don’t think it’s OK for them to be in the community anymore. I think it’s great for people to forgive them; I think that’s healthy. I don’t think that their growth and their change … belong in that community because the community belongs to the survivors now.”
As for the other side?
“It was a dumb decision,” she said. “But if they prove they've made changes and they don’t screw up anymore, [that] they’re willing to listen and say ‘I'm actually sorry,’ not ‘I’m actually sorry, but…,’ slowly but surely it may be possible for them to work back in. Will everyone forgive them? Maybe not.”
“The ultimate priority has to be the survivors feeling safe,” emphasized Twyman. “If the presence of a certain creator jeopardizes the safety or mental well-being of the survivor, that has to be placed above all else.”
Illustration by Jason Reed
YouTube may sometimes seem like a bottomless pit of makeup tutorials and cat videos. But along with unfortunate covers of Adele’s “Hello” and fan commentary on Minecraft: Story Mode, you can access some of the best documentaries ever made on YouTube. These include documentaries that will school you on the great stock market crash of 1929, Ronald Reagan’s path to the White House, and the perils of agribusiness.
Both insightful and fascinating, these five documentaries can fill the gaps in your education that happened as a result of… well, spending too much time on YouTube.
1) The World According to Monsanto (2008)
Few corporations have as evil a reputation as the agricultural technology company known as Monsanto. But for a thorough primer on what Monsanto did to earn its reputation, look no further than this compelling documentary by a French journalist.
The documentary’s full title, which is The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of Our Food Supply, gives no illusions of being unbiased. Filmmaker and author Marie-Monique Robin digs deep into the history of the American multinational corporation. Monsanto’s numerous claims to infamy include producing Agent Orange for use by the U.S. military, creating the bovine growth hormone, and being the largest producer of genetically modified seeds in the world.
The World According to Monsanto reveals how the corporation ignored scientific evidence, coerced third-world farmers, and pressured government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture into doing its bidding. Robin isn’t shy about digging through the archives in order to detail Monsanto’s grim trajectory to global dominance. A particularly chilling 1987 clip shows then-Vice President George H. W. Bush being given a tour of a Monsanto lab, during which he tells Monsanto officials that if the company runs into any problems winning approvals for its products, they can call him. “We’re in the 'de-reg' business," he quips.
2) The Men Who Killed Kennedy (1988)For a crash-course on how to get censured by the British Parliament and draw the ire of two former presidents, look no further than The Men Who Killed Kennedy. Multiple conspiracy theories surround the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (“theories” being the operative word), and this nine-part British documentary series covers many of them, in a way that some criticized as blurring the line between facts and speculation.
The most troubling theory—that President Lyndon B. Johnson was behind Kennedy’s assassination—surfaces in the ninth episode. After “The Guilty Men” aired in 2003 on the History Channel, the network and its parent companies got in a whole heap of trouble with Johnson’s former aides, including former Johnson press secretary Bill Moyer, along with former presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. In a letter to network executives, President Ford called the charges made in the documentary, “'the most damaging accusations ever made against a former vice president and president in American history.”
Controversy behind The Men Who Killed Kennedy didn’t begin stateside; the series’ questionable research ethics resulted in documentarian Nigel Turner getting censured by the British Parliament after the initial two-part series aired in 1988. Watch The Men Who Killed Kennedy with the discerning eye it deserves, and you'll give your critical thinking skills a real workout.
3) 1929: The Great Crash
This BBC2 documentary gives a fascinating look at how the stock market crash of 1929 rudely ended the decade of carefree consumption known as the Roaring Twenties. The 1929 crash happened when Wall Street was booming, Americans were investing in record numbers, and financial regulations were the last thing on Congress’s mind. But then over a period of six days in the fall of 1929, shares crashed by a third on the New York Stock Exchange, and the Dow dropped $30 billion in market value—more than the total cost of World War I.
1929: The Great Crash shows how those six fateful days on Wall Street would set of a sequence of events that culminated in the Great Depression. In the years following the crash, banks shut down and people’s savings were eliminated. Businesses, even entirely solvent companies, were unable to get loans. Many companies declared bankruptcy, and unemployment skyrocketed. The film includes interviews with a variety of academics, historians, as well as people who witnessed the crash first-hand.
4) A Brief History of Time (1991)
A Brief History of Time is a documentary on the life of Stephen Hawking, the famous astrophysicist whose best-selling book with the same name explained black holes and Big Bang theory to everyday audiences. Unlike the book, this documentary focuses on Hawking himself. Directed by Errol Morris of The Thin Blue Line, the film includes interviews with Hawking’s mother, sister, students, professors, and legions of his friends and acquaintances. The film offers a candid look into the life of the renowned scientist as he lives with Lou Gehrig’s disease, which has left him confined to a wheelchair and only able to speak through a complex computer technology that he operates with his cheek.
5) BBC Storyville: Ronald Reagan (2011)
This BBC documentary on an iconic and polarizing U.S. president is not only one of the best; it also offers a fascinatingly continental perspective on a figure whom many see as quintessentially American. BBC Storyville: American Idol encapsulates the long, storied career of former President Ronald Reagan and his administration’s impact on foreign policy. We learn how a group of wealthy California business owners weary of Big Government in the ’6os set the stage for a former movie star to become the new face of the White House.
Photo via Michael/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed
It’s easy to fall under the spell of a teen movie. Whether you prefer the hazy romance of Sixteen Candles, the electric last-night-of-high-school vibes of Can’t Hardly Wait, or the cynical wit of Mean Girls, there’s an undeniable magic to these pubescent popcorn flicks. They take us to worlds where crushes can be won over, lives are transformed over night, and there’s no problem so big that the perfect house party can’t fix it.
But something is missing: Where are all the black girls?
Lauren Domino and Angela Tucker have always loved teen movies. But growing up, they never saw girls quite like them in the movies they loved. After years of working in film, the New Orleans-based duo have decided to take matters into their own hands and create the first teen comedy starring black girls: Paper Chase.
When the traditional funding route yielded less than spectacular results, the two turned to Kickstarter, and their campaign has already received attention and support from noteworthy filmmaker Miranda July.
Tucker told the Daily Dot, "[We started the Kickstarter] because obviously we need money for the film but we also feel like there’s a community of people who are really interested in these kinds of stories. This is a great opportunity for us to engage those kinds of people and build community."
Domino and Tucker are confident that people are hungry for diversity in the kind of feel-good comedies where fumbling friends form alliances, navigate romance, and quest to become cool. And if you've always thought of teen movies as trivial, Domino and Tucker are quick to point out the value and importance of such a film starring a black female lead.
“This film is our chance to tell a story that isn’t about poor black girls suffering," Tucker told the Daily Dot.
Domino added, "If you think about the portrayal of black women on screen, they’re constantly suffering. She’s either a madonna or a whore. You can’t be book-smart and sexually active. [But in reality] you can be both. Black women are multifaceted, and we want to see more of that on screen.
"Our lead character is not a perfect girl... she can be loving, she can be hateful. She’s a three-dimensional person and I think it’s important for a teen girl to see that and feel like 'Okay, I’m normal.'"
The pair envision the film as a portrait not only of young black women but also of life in post-Katrina New Orleans—the city seen through a lens that renders it neither sensational nor pitiful.
Domino, who was grew up in New Orleans, added, “Seeing New Orleans on camera, it’s always missing the neighborhood I grew up in. You would never think these neighborhoods—predominantly African-American, working-class, tight-knit communities—exist.”
Coming on the heels of yet another all-white Hollywood Reporter actress roundtable, Domino and Tucker are hopeful that their film and the campaign to fund it will contribute to a change in the conversation around black women in film.
Said Tucker, "The thing that's interesting about the Hollywood Reporter [cover] is we know that they choose [the actresses] and that’s what makes them have Oscar potential."
There's no telling how many more all-white actress roundtables we may have to endure, but Domino and Tucker aren't letting that dissuade them from creating and connecting. The popularity of new shows like Master of None, which foregrounds the experience of immigrants and people of color, make the two feel hopeful that their project will speak to a larger audience.
"It makes me feel like more diverse things are possible," said Domino. "I think it shows how great your show can be if your writers aren't all white guys and you just get some other opinions."
And who knows? Perhaps Paper Chase can start the party that shakes up the seating arrangements at the table.
Screengrab via Lauren Domino and Angela Tucker/Kickstarter
Never one to shy away from political controversy, rapper M.I.A. just went toe to toe with most of the U.S.'s state governors in a strident defense of the disenfranchised migrants of the Syrianrefugee crisis.
The music video for "Borders," a single from the upcoming album Matahdatah, sees the British artist joining a group of refugees and detailing their struggle in a tense quest to escape safely through dangerous territory and find a new place to call home.
The physical obstacles are just the beginning for the refugees in this video, which sees M.I.A. blatantly calling out the privilege and identity politics of the regions of Europe and North America that have called for a closing of borders. "We sully them, we don't need to kick them," she sings against a backdrop of barbed wire.
The video, which M.I.A. directed, strikes a very personal stance on the reigning political issue of the moment. Born Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, M.I.A. and her family fled their home in war-torn Sri Lanka when she was just a child, battling poverty and displacement and many of the same issues facing Syrian refugees today.
Screengrab via Apple Music
When Seinfeld was one of the top-rated shows on TV, the creators prided themselves on a “no hugging, no learning” policy. It’s what made characters like George and Elaine seem so self-centered, unsympathetic—and utterly hilarious.
In real life, however, series stars like Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Wayne “Newman” Knight are far better people. And they proved that recently after learning about a dying Seinfeld fan—as the series stars flooded the man with kind-hearted video messages in the days before he succumbed to lung cancer.RELATED: Cops put the squeeze on Jerry Seinfeld and his illegal lemonade stand
“Hi Jim, Julia Louis-Dreyfus here,” says the actress in one of the videos, which 67-year-old super-fan Jim Calder was able to view just hours before his Nov. 7 death. “I’m so thrilled and happy to hear how much you’ve enjoyed Seinfeld along with your family … You have a wonderful son who clearly adores you, so, congratulations on that.”
Calder’s son James and his wife came up with the idea, to cheer up their father after his two-year battle with the illness. “We immediately thought of his favorite TV show, Seinfeld,” he writes onThe Huffington Post, saying they wanted to make his most recent birthday extra-special. “We started planning how to pitch this to the Seinfeld characters and started to reach out through published articles about the project, social media outreach and word of mouth. The Seinfeld birthday project was born, but we really weren’t sure how and if it would flourish.”
The first to respond—hilariously in character—was John O’Hurley as the cocksure J. Peterman. Soon after, Patrick Warburton’s dim-witted fan favorite David Puddy told Jim about his adventures eating a 1-pound bag of M&Ms.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an appropriate Seinfeld birthday party without Jerry’s arch-enemy Newman, who was told there would be cake. Other hilarious videos feature Soup Nazi Larry Thomas, Kramer’s little buddy Mickey (Danny Woodburn), Walter (Wayne Wilderson), delivery biker Ping (Ping Wu), Lippman (Richard fancy), Carol (Lisa Mende), and more. Even Al Roker—who played himself on the classic sitcom—made a video as … well, himself.
Jerry Stiller—who played George Costanza’s Festivus-loving father Frank—and Lawrence Madley (Larry the cook) both sent in-character videos, but requested that the family keep them private. The most powerful response, however, may have come from Cosmo Kramer himself.
Michael Richards contacted James Calder and asked if he could schedule a personal phone call with his father. “[He] wanted to actually call my dad on the day of his birthday to wish him the best and have a chat,” James writes. “I was blown away by his kindness and generosity. I did try to coax him to create a video message as well, but he shared that he wasn’t interested in the publicity and just wanted to help me wish my dad a happy birthday.”
Sadly, Jim never lived to see his birthday. But that makes James all the more appreciative of the messages from his dad’s favorite cast—and thankful that he decided to show his father the videos early to lift his spirits.
“He was shocked and mystified about how we were able to reach the Seinfeld cast members,” James writes. “He really felt the love and support.”Screengrab via James Calder/YouTube
The good thing about having Jared Leto as your neighbor would be sharing your ‘hood with a sexy, Oscar-winning rock star next door. The bad thing? Loud, raging parties like the one he threw this past Halloween.
But wait, there would be one more good thing: Free pie.Laurel Canyon neighbors of the Suicide Squad star, many still angry about the rager Leto threw last month, were surprised to discover an unusual gift this Thanksgiving: A Whole Foods pie with a hand-written message on each box.
“Happy Thanksgiving! From: Your Neighbor, Jared Leto,” the actor wrote on the boxes that were delivered just before Turkey Day. Shortly after moving into his new house, Leto threw a Halloween party that TMZ says “wreaked havoc” in the neighborhood, and it appears that he is trying to repair community relations.
At least one of his neighbors, however, doesn’t seem to be holding a grudge—an entrepreneur named Craig Brockie posted a picture of his pumpkin pie on Twitter, writing “Happy thanksgiving to you too Jared Leto. Thanks for the pie. So good. Welcome to the neighborhood!”
Another neighbor, author Gwen Banta, seemed similarly prepared to embrace the season’s messages of compassion—and she should, because she got a yummy-looking apple pie. “Thanks to my super cool neighbor Jared Leto. How classy is that???”Screengrab via Gonnynodaythat1/YouTube
Australian fan Jorja Hope, who wanted to meet her idolTaylor Swift before a degenerative disease took her hearing, got to live dream thanks to social media.
Jorja was diagnosed with a condition that would cause her to one day go deaf. Although she doesn’t know when she’ll completely lose her hearing, one of her concerns was never being able to hear her favorite singer, Swift, again.
In response, Jorja’s twin sister Chloe started a Facebook page and hashtag campaign to raise awareness and give Hope her dream of meeting Swift. After the hashtag went viral in Australia, Sydney radio station, Nova 96.9, stepped in an facilitated the meeting.“I didn’t expect her to be as tall as she was,” Jorja told her hometown paper, Maitland Mercury. She brought Swift UGG boots as a present.
Jorja’s story is far from the first hashtag campaign to get a deserving child an audience with Swift. In May Delaware police helped a campaign for a young cancer survivor with Down Syndrome to meet the pop star as well.
YouTube is, in many ways, the cutting edge of media. It provides creators of all stripes with a platform on which to be seen and in so doing has minted a hundreds of new media stars. However, the medium has also been a boon for those aspiring to talk about or create in old media as well. Literary YouTube creators, a subcategory sometimes referred to as “booktube” have taken off in recent years with a number of aspiring an established authors sharing their work and even more fans and enthusiasts joining the conversation about their favorite books.
OpenSlate, carefully tracks emerging content creators across multiple verticals and they’ve identified five emerging channels that put books front and center.
1) AshleyB Books
2) Clau Reads Books
Read the full article on the Video Ink.
Screengrab via Clau Reads Books/YouTube
Model Kendall Jenner posted a provocative nude photo on Instagram for her 42.2 million fans, but the while the woman on the horse looks a lot like Jenner, it’s not her.
Jenner's given no explanation for why she posted Meliani's nude on Instagram, or given credit to Meliani or the photographer in question. For Meliani, she's back to business as usual, posting more of her own nude photos on the photo-sharing platform.