Cyberbully YouTuber LeafyIsHere Targets Man with Learning Difficulties
YouTube video maker LeafyIsHere.
Last month I wrote about how popular YouTube content creator LeafyIsHere uploaded a video in which he made fun of TommyNC2010, another YouTuber who has autism. After LeafyIsHere’s video – which poked fun at Tommy’s physical appearance, personal hygiene and his clear issues with communication – Tommy uploaded a video of his own, distraught and crying over death threats and hate-filled messages he had received from LeafyIsHere’s fans. This prompted LeafyIsHere to remove his initial video, before uploading another in which he apologized for his actions by saying that he didn’t realize that Tommy was autistic.
But here we are again, with LeafyIsHere having uploaded another video in which he continues to both engage in and provoke cyberbullying and harassment, all while remaining on YouTube’s payroll despite clearly abusing the site’s own policies with his content. This time around LeafyIsHere has targeted YouTuber Brendan Mitchell, known as wetmovie1 on the site, posting a video titled ‘THE BEST HUMAN BEING ON THE ENTIRE INTERNET.’ As is the case with the vast majority of LeafyIsHere’s content, he provides “commentary” atop Brendan’s video, hurling insults throughout its duration. The insults directed towards Brendan include: “What happened to this guy’s face? This guy looks like he went through five strokes in the past fucking hour,” “he looks like sadness, he looks like he’s just given up” and “I can’t decide if he’s creepy as fuck or just goofy as shit.”
LeafyIsHere deleted the video after it began garnering negative attention, but it can be watched as a reupload from another user below:
YouTube financially supports LeafyIsHere in the creation of these videos, paying him a percentage of the ad revenue he receives as it does with all of the content creators involved in its Partner Program. This is despite him having clearly, flagrantly and frequently breached YouTube’s own policies regarding harassment on the video-sharing site.
On its policy page, YouTube describes its definition of harassment as:
- Abusive videos, comments and messages
- Revealing someone’s personal information
- Maliciously recording someone without their consent
- Deliberately posting content in order to humiliate someone
- Making hurtful and negative comments/videos about another person
- Unwanted sexualisation, which encompasses sexual harassment or sexual bullying in any form.
But the harassment the targets of LeafyIsHere’s videos receive isn’t solely limited to the videos themselves. As was the case with TommyNC2010, Brendan has claimed that he has also received death threats and abuse from LeafyIsHere’s fans, which is hardly surprising given the content of the videos. With LeafyIsHere frequently targeting YouTubers with far less of a following than him and making childish attacks on their physical appearance, it’s no wonder that many among his 2 million subscribers therefore believe that it’s okay to do the same thing. In another one of his videos, LeafyIsHere says: “My channel is known for being toxic, and shit, I’m toxic myself, but I’ve never told anyone to go hate bomb someone else’s channel.” You’d think that acknowledging his toxicity would encourage some introspection, but instead these hateful videos keep piling up.
Watch the video Brendan made in the midst of the harassment he was receiving, detailing his own struggles with bullying in the past as a result of his learning difficulties, below:
But despite LeafyisHere continuing to bully people in his videos, ticking YouTube’s own boxes when it comes to what classifies as harassment on the site, he remains financially supported by the company. He has received no reprimand from them, with him being allowed to continue to do his thing, posting videos that clearly run afoul of the site’s policies that they’ve put in place to prevent this kind of behavior.
With YouTube frequently being called into question for the lack of moderation on the site when it comes to false copyright claims and DMCA strikes, the most egregious example of its complete ambivalence in regards to monitoring the content uploaded to the site is it continuing to financially support cyberbullies such as LeafyIsHere, allowing him to profit from his harassment with the only stumbling block he faces being criticisms from his victims and their supporters. It seems like only a matter of time before LeafyIsHere’s online actions have real-world repercussions, with him routinely targeting vulnerable people who will not be prepared to handle the strain of being humiliated in front of his millions of viewers. That YouTube continues to host his continues to host and support his content is reprehensible.