Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Calling Out Veeoneeye

 I think these past days (and week- you'll see soon) have been in the theme of the recent YouTuber situation in which popular vloggers are sexually abusing others. On Friday, I posted an article talked about Sam Pepper and his "social experiment" but today, I feel the need to talk about something that hits closer. As most of you know from posts about him (here ) I loved Jason- aka Veeoneeye on YouTube. I mean he was funny and carefree and had cool friends and a good taste in music and therefor I invested a good two years in watching his videos and supporting some guy I barely knew. At Warped Tour, I even met him. I really can't say much about our time together- I was over the moon about seeing this guy in real life and therefor didn't really judge our experience the day I saw him. I was just so happy I could finally meet him that I didn't really care. The two of us took a picture and I touched his hair (that felt like a load of hairspray and disappointment since I always believed it would feel like candy floss) and then hung around for another ten minutes since there were only three other girls at his little tent. Jason was the first YouTuber (and only one so far) I've met so I really couldn't compare it to anything. He said it was nice to meet me and signed my black Vans (I'm actually really sad now that I have his signature on a pair of my favorite shoes).

   There was one shady piece in which the girl standing with me (lets call her Maddy- we talked a lot while he was chatting with the two other people at the meet up) commented on how hot it was to which he replied,
"Maybe you should just take off your shirt." I realize it was just a little joke (let me just put out there Maddy was like fourteen years old) but things didn't end there. When he hugged her, his hands began traveling down her waist and towards her ass. Maddy pulled away in surprise and nervously giggled out something like,
"Whoa there." but you could tell how embarrassed and uncomfortable she was with how he almost touched her. Jason then laughed it off and went to the tent and didn't talk to us for the rest of the time we were there.
  There are multiple allegations against Jason that are all equally as important and frightening as the next because you would never imagine a guy like him doing something this terrible. Starting with one of the first blogs that came to my attention, I'd like to discuss "Vianon". Her story focuses on a flirty relationship she had with Jason this year when she was merely thirteen. He would send her pictures of his hickeys, drop strange hints towards liking her, and even at one point hinted towards wanting nudes. Though you should never ever doubt the victim, this girl does have proof of their interaction through screenshots she took of every single message. There is also another frightening story of a girl who befriended Jason online (she was a huge fan) they ended up in a hotel with a bottle of Vodka. Jason pressured her to drink more than a sixteen year old should and they ended up sleeping together and he never talked to her again. Overall, you can definitely gather that Jason's behavior is creepy and inappropriate.
   Jason getting underage girls drunk seems like a common occurrence within these stories as you can tell in Ania's video about her experience with him. The two of them met in London when she was fifteen and he was around twenty. They spent the night together and Jason decided to buy alcohol- through the night, he'd make comments such as "you need another drink" and Ania said clearly in the video that he seemed to have one goal: get her really drunk. It doesn't stop there though and instead of describing it in this post I just think you guys need to hear Ania tell her story here. I also screens shotted some of her tweets from her page that are really great.

   I also love Jason's (old) friend group very much and they are all responding very well and have all confirmed they had no clue this was going on and disapprove of his behavior. Even his former housemate, Luke Cutforth, says he really wasn't aware of this and wish it had never happened. Everyone who he used to be close with (excluding Patty- he's probably just too overwhelmed to go online right now) have now said publicly that they are not letting his get away with it and have pulled away. I am especially proud of Emma Blackery for her supportive tweets towards the survivors of Jason's abuse.
Emma hadn't found out about what Jason was doing unit tonight and she was obviously overwhelmed but cleared up her opinions on Twitter.

She was accused of knowing about Jason's relationships and having pre-written all her other tweets for the occasion when it got out but she immediately defended herself against that ridiculous accusation.

Emma is obviously extremely scared and upset by this (as a normal person would be) and I have faith in her that once she gets herself composed, she will be the intelligent and strong person she is within addressing the situation. 
Bribry speaking out about how corrupt YouTube is getting and also making sure everyone supports the victim instead of going towards people in Jason's former friends.

   Jason uploaded a video on Saturday night addressing the allegations which though I hate to say that he did something right in a situation like this, I do believe what he did was more professional than other You Tubers who have just run away from all their problems and pretend as though they didn't happen (at least it wasn't a social experiment!). The video overall is just him talking about his dependency on alcohol at that time. In the end, there is no excuse for having sex with a fifteen year old girl at age twenty but I really can't say how I felt about the video. I guess you guys just need to watch it for yourselves here.
      As I said in my Sam Pepper post, there is a lot we need to change about YouTube. We are treating these people as though we know them and put all our trust in them and that has been proven to be wrong. In Jason's case, we need to "amputate" him from here. That means no more Vidcon, Summer In The City, Playlist, Warped Tour etc. No more clicking his ads or watching videos- unsubscribe. We don't need abusers like Jason on here and since the viewers are what give him the power, we can take it away by not supporting him. I also believe these victims stories are super important and a warning to others and therefor we need to spread this. What is going on right now is very significant and therefor talking about it on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, blogs, etc is a great way to spread the message and hopefully stop things like this from happening.
   I also wanted to add two videos; One on the topic of the YouTube community and sexual abuse by The Third Pew and one very personal one about Jason by one of his former best friends, Evan Edinger here (I am warning you it is slightly painful to watch)

You've been you, I've been concerned about the YouTube community.

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