YouTube has long been criticized for the content it has allowed unchallenged on its platform. Controversial footage has often been ignored and has even been promoted in the trending topics section of the site, as we saw with Logan Paul’s Japan video. Now it seems the platform may finally be taking some action and handing out bans, including a permanent one to Calvin Lee “Leafy” Vail, who has had his channel terminated.
Leafy’s channel is known for its drama-fueled videos, in particular a recent campaign to “expose” Twitch star Imane “Pokimane” Anys, something that’s being stated as the reason for the channel’s ban. While Pokimane herself was quick to state that she “had nothing to do with” YouTube’s decision, Leafy’s seeming obsession with her stands out as the obvious cause.
His campaign against Pokimane began at the end of July when he posted a video titled “Content nuke – Pokimane.” While the video itself is no longer visible, it’s easy to see the aggression behind it based on his social media feed. The tweet below is just one of several in a similar style, posted to hype up the content.
The video centered around Leafy ‘exposing’ Pokimane by telling her audience she has a boyfriend. After Drama Alert host Keemstar reposted the tweet and joined in the debate with a drama alert video on the topic, Leafy’s rumors began to affect Pokimane.
Despite the fact that she has always kept her personal life private, her subscriber count began to plummet after Leafy’s video, something he clearly enjoyed. While we cannot verify the content of his now removed videos on the subject, we can see his pleasure in the backlash against her.
Amongst other comments, he says “CYA LOOOOOOL” about an article regarding her losing Twitch subs over the boyfriend controversy, as well as “Pokimane Cancelled looooooooool.”
For her part, Pokimane made a video addressing this issue, amongst others. During it, she states “I personally made the decision seven years ago or whenever I got into streaming that I don’t want my personal life to be a part of my content… That’s just what I’m going to stick by until I and whoever I’m dating at whatever time decide otherwise.”
Despite this long-standing stance Leafy seemed obsessed with Pokimane, continually tweeting about her and continuing to make videos about her channel, right up until his ban.
YouTube’s use of a permanent ban is presumably a message that harassment campaigns, which this has all the hallmarks off, will not be tolerated on its platform. It remains to be seen if any other similar content creators will suffer the same consequences if this is the beginning of a clampdown on toxic content.
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