We love a good bit of fanfic; whether we’re reading the Harry Styles inspired After by Anna Todd or just have a search through Tumblr. Fanfic is one of the funniest, most creative ways to express our love for the YouTubers and celebrities we’re writing about and there’s millions of people in the community all supporting one another and making friends.
However, we’ve recently stumbled across some fanfic that makes us feel seriously uneasy and we feel we need to do a little PSA about it because, well, it’s just not on. We’re all for freedom of speech and whilst may disagree with some forms of fanfic (overtly sexual stuff crosses quite a few boundaries, if you ask us) we know there are people out there who like and enjoy it and that’s fine.
However, we’ve increasingly been seeing a lot of fanfic pop up on sites like Wattpad, Tumblr and Twitter that- even if it’s enjoyable- shouldn’t really be published.
What we’re talking about is fanfic featuring YouTubers’ family members- and we don’t mean Joe and Zoe Sugg or Sammy and Niki Albon. From cousins to sisters, brothers to dads, we’ve noticed a trend for fanfic involving romantic and often sexual story lines between a protagonist, a YouTuber and/or celebrity and real members of their family.
One of the joys of YouTube is getting to know the creator and often their family members. Don’t even get us started on how sweet Louise Pentland’s daughter Darcy is or how lovely Emma Blackery’s little sister seems. And obviously we were chuffed when Tijan Serena’s mum made her own channel.
But often family members just feature in videos and don’t necessarily want or desire the same levels of fame and recognition their well known family member has.
So it comes to something when people are writing stories involving getting pregnant by a star’s cousin or having a certain star and their brother fight over their heart. Seriously.
Most recently, Oli White uploaded a video where he read out fanfic which was written in text message style and involved his female cousin getting pregnant and not knowing which Maynard brother she was pregnant by.
First off- let’s just discuss all the kinds of wrong it is to write about anyone getting anyone else pregnant but we’ve seen worse to be honest so we can let it slide (just). Now, we’re not entirely sure if Oli does have a female cousin or not but it’s likely he does. Can you imagine just how gross it must be for Oli to think of his cousin sleeping with his mates? But more to the point, how intrusive it is to his family to be publicly included in a story where she has sex with several people most likely known to her?
In the case of the Oli White, the name of his cousin wasn’t mentioned but we’ve seen many, many more cases where genuine names of sisters, brothers and other family members have been portrayed in either overtly sexual and romantic or down right odd situations all in the name of fanfiction.
We’ve discussed a lot about where the boundaries lie in terms of YouTubers and privacy. On one hand, these people open up a large proportion of their lives and their friends and family will often appear in the background happily. On the other, privacy is important to everyone no matter who you are and that extends to everything from the identity of their friends, family and significant others to their home address and the ability to feel safe in their environment.
When YouTubers reach a certain level, they know there may well be stuff written about them- either news articles and features like on this very site or sometimes potentially upsetting critique as was the case for Zoe Sugg when her ghost writing scandal hit the papers or Tanya Burr when the Daily Mail published pictures of her in a bikini on the beach. Whether we agree with it or not, it’s part of being in the public eye.
But potentially trashing the digital footprint of a family member of the famous person isn’t something that is or should become acceptable. We’re not going to link to it for obvious reasons but we’ve seen several piece of fan fiction which detail full names of YouTubers’ family members meaning, when someone such as an employer comes to search for them online, they’re confronted with pretty hardcore content.
Our view is, if you wouldn’t want it written about your sister then you shouldn’t write it yourself.
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