The Online cartoon character Pepe the Frog appears to have been killed off by its creator in a bid to stop his image being hijacked by far-right groups. The question that we must now ask ourself is: Will this stop the memes? Is Pepe dead?
After losing his Youtube Red show and his contract with Disney, the owner of the most subscribed channel on Youtube, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg (aka "PewDiePie"), has released a video response to the Wall Street Journal and other mainstream news outlets, who have labeled his comedy videos variously as racist, fascist or anti-semitic. In it, he accuses the mainstream media of deliberately fabricating and misrepresenting the evidence used against him because they are afraid of independent content producers such as himself. In the video, PewDiePie discusses the recent actions of the Wall Street Journal, whose reporters sent nine cherry-picked and edited videos to Disney, which led directly to Disney's decision to terminate their relationship with him. These video clips and others used to "prove" PewDiePie's guilt have been edited (he claims) to remove all context, to the extent of using a pose of him pointing at something as a Nazi salute and using a clip where other players are creating swastikas in a game and editing out the part where he is asking them to stop. The most-cited video in the controversy involves seeing if he can use the site Fiverr to hire someone to create a video containing an over-the-top message for a mere $5. After a couple of laughing males unfurl a sign saying "Death to All Jews," he recoils with widened eyes and sits, apparently dumbfounded, for another thirty seconds before the video ends, without him uttering another word.
PewDiePie's video comes several days after a Tumblr post where he attempted to clarify that the videos were intended to be comedy showing "how crazy the modern world is." He has not yet used the phrase "fake news" in his response to the controversy, but given the current trends surrounding that phrase, it isn't surprising that his supporters are resorting to it frequently. Is this all just another unfortunate instance of collateral damage in the war against far-right political movements, is it a campaign of malicious retaliation by old media that is terrified of new media (as Felix claims), or was J.K. Rowling correct when she called out PewDiePie as a Death Eater? Err, I mean, ...as a fascist?
Update: Apparently, canceling his Youtube Red series was deemed an insufficient response. Youtube has now removed the mirror of PewDiePie's "Death to All Jews" video because it "violates Youtube's policy on hate speech." The original posting of the video had already been marked private by PewDiePie shortly after the controversy erupted. A quick check of Vimeo and Daily Motion came up empty, so you're on your own if you wish to find out for yourself what the controversy was all about.
He didn't make a joke about killing Jews. He made a dark joke about the fact that there's a real freaking website where you can pay $5 and someone else will happily wish death upon all Jews halfway around the world. It's surreal and unsettling and symbolic of all kinds of stuff that that's the world we live in. But the joke (and the wider point) doesn't work at all if the written message isn't an offensive one. If you honestly thought that Jews dying was the punchline of that joke, you are an android and your sense of humor simulation circuits are malfunctioning. You're like someone who thinks any work of fiction written in the first person must be espousing author's own thoughts and feelings.
Anyone with any sense of intellectual integrity can clearly see that it was all satire. They can also see through the dishonesty of the media. This is just a taste of what the media has been doing politically. Regardless of how you feel about the current POTUS, these tactics are exactly the same tactics used against him from the MSM.
Follow the dollars. This stuff generates clicks. It gets people to read their stories. They do it because they get money for it. Hopefully at some point soon this type of "journalism" dies down.
Piewdiepie had begun getting more and more red-pilled. Suffering from much of the same things Trump ranted about his entier campagn one must wonder if it came as a surprise that with his 55 million followers he wasn't seen as a huge threat in controling the narrative. The alternative media has been on the rise & Piewdiepie simply went too close to supporting the movement indirectly & intellectually. Piewdiepie could easily reach more people than infowars so i wasnt surprised at all when this "screen play" started rolling out.. It was expected but yet wrong and distrubing. If they thought they would silence Piewdiepie by doing this they were completly wrong. It has actually infact backfired in terms of more and more getting exposed to the hypocrisies, coming from the left.
Perhaps a day will come when Piewdiepie will decide to use his followers to do good in this world. When that day will come nothing but closing the Internet(either literally or by regulations) will be able to stop the momentum the "truth movement has" that branch into all subjects up for debate & life.