Before we set out on this
rant explanation about a current Tumblr endemic, we want to reiterate that this piece isn’t anti-porn or anti-sex at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. Whilst we celebrate the YouTube community and fandoms here on Unicorns, you’ll know that we’re also open to pulling up creators when they’ve done wrong (Sam Pepper, Steven Fernandez and Nicole Arbour…)
So it gives us a heavy heart when we have to call out certain people for taking things way too far. Because we love our faves as much as you do. We love spending hours on Tumblr, making gifs and making friends who are just as obsessive as we are. But we reckon we have serious need to cover the issue stated in our headline and think you’ll agree too.
Here at Unicorns HQ, we’re hired because we love YouTube- both as consumers and creators of content. During our day to day life, we research for articles, we film, edit, write and source all the best and most funny videos and memes for our social media channels to give you the lolz.
But during this process, we sometimes stumble across serious NSFW stuff. And this is what we need to talk about.
It’s not hard to stumble across photos of your faves in porn scenarios on Tumblr. Yup, we said porn. Dan’s comment about being a “bottom” taken way too far, Zalfie’s relationship in ways we’ve never seen and Lindsey Stirling getting familiar with an unknown, er, penis. These are just a few things we’ve unwillingly seen in the past twenty four hours just by searching for memes, gifs and pics of said YouTubers.
Here’s why it is NEVER OK to make and publish fake porn shots/nudes of your faves:
You’re soliciting their bodies in ways they absolutely do not agree to
Sure, we all have major crushes on some of our faves (oh hey, Jim Chapman if you’re reading) and – let’s be real – we’ve all imagined being whisked off our feet by our YouTube love. But those thoughts are kept to our imaginations – and maybe shared over a gossip with a bestie. So when you take those thoughts and turn them into something physical, it becomes something VERY different.
Whilst Dan, Phil, Tanya etc all happily document their lives for us online and seemingly embrace the fandoms that come with them, there are certain lines that should not be crossed- whether the creators are vocal about them or not.
If we used a photo of Zoella and had it printed onto a t-shirt and sold it through our website, we’d be in trouble for using her image without permission. So consider the impact of producing a pornographic image using the face of Zoe with the body of an adult star.
Emotionally, for Zoe, this would be highly upsetting. Who wants to see photographs of themselves in very adult, very graphic situations that they didn’t give their permission for? By using the image of a star and creating something offensive, you are absolutely soliciting their looks and brand in ways which are completely wrong.
D0 the people making these images want to upset the vlogger in question? Unlikely, they just want to bring attention to themselves and/or create an image for their own personal pleasure. But the thought of your fave getting upset at something you’ve created is surely a good enough reason to not do it. Remember how upset Zoe and Alfie recently were over people turning up at their home? This would no doubt be far greater.
Which leads us onto the next point…
Friends and family WILL see these images
Every single time you comment on Tanya Burr’s brother’s Insta or reply to Jim Chapman’s mum on Twitter, you’re engaging with people who never asked to be part of this world at all. The “fame” that family members of social media stars experience is something they’ve had to learn to deal with. When most of our favourite stars started out, they never predicted the impact it would have on their lives. And whilst they’ve no doubt been able to give their family a lot in terms of monetary value, there’s also an aspect of privacy in their friends and families lives that no longer exists.
So what’s stopping people sending Jim’s mum or Tanya’s brother these fake nudes? What’s stopping Jack and Finn’s mum, Markiplier’s friends or Hazel Hayes’ parents stumbling across these images which are appallingly upsetting?
Unless you keep it private (but see the point above… And below), you have no guarantee of these images being seen just by fans. Hell, we saw them and we were not happy at all.
Who is creating this content?
Most likely, it’s fans creating this content for other fans. But when you consider the average age for a lot of creator’s fan’s is anywhere from 12-17, the eyes viewing the fake material are not old enough to be viewing pornographic imagery. And there’s a reason for the 18 age limit (here in the UK, anyway)
As a concept, we’re not against porn. But the age limit stands for a reason. If you’re searching for YouTuber porn or indeed making these pictures, you will no doubt stumble across upsetting and potentially illegal content in the process. As adults, here at Unicorns HQ we’ve all accidentally seen material which has upset us because of the obscene nature. Despite young adults maturing quicker than ever, there’s no way many people are equipped to see upsetting content.
If we can get slightly graphic, we found an image of the Harries twins engaging in a sex act with one another. Incest is illegal, let alone the fact the image was highly graphic and upset us. No. Just no.
We’re not preaching here but if you don’t want to see potentially harmful pornographic content, don’t go and seek it out- whether that’s on Tumblr or other sites.
As well as it being illegal to produce or view pornographic content if you’re under 18, there’s also the fact that YouTube stars could sue.
Let us explain.
If you create and upload an image of, say, Markiplier engaging in a certain act, it’s pretty easy for his management to find out who you are and basically sue you for image infringement. And trust us, it’s really not hard to find out the details of a person behind a social networking site. No-one wants to finally meet their fave across a court room as they explain how much you’ve damaged them and how much money they’re gonna take from you.
All in all, we’re sure 99.9% of you agree with what we’re saying but there are still people out there who believe producing, engaging with and sharing this material is OK. And we hope to at least make them reconsider.