As Youtubers and TikTokers fought the battle for supremacy, We wondered who wins & who looses in this war, & what are the spoils of this war ?
On May 8, 2020, Ajay Nager through his channel ‘Carryminati’ which is the fifth most subscribed channel of India, released a video called ‘TikTok vs YouTube’ that earned 2 Million likes in 5 hours and Most Subscribers Gain (1.3 Million) within 24 Hours.
The whole feud began with Amir Siddiqui uploading now-deleted IGTV video in which he tells YouTubers to not envy TikTokers, tagging Carryminati in the post. In response, Carryminati releases a roast video of Amir Siddiquie, which entails a lot of homophobic and transphobic references to belittle him.
This caused huge controversy on the internet by queer activists and organizations for the compassionless use of homophobic and transphobic derogatory terms in the video. It was called out, scrutinized, and discussed on social media platforms, online news portals, and articles for the amount of support it has received, which reflects the queer-phobia that exist in our society.
But is it just particularly Carryminati to blame? Or is it the society that we all have grown up in? That has normalized Queerphobia to an extent that even college-educated youngsters are not able to recognize the problem in using those words. Where have we failed as a society? Where have our culture and educational institutions failed that our young have become the torchbearers for the act of marginalizing the vulnerable ? we have built a society that outcasts and preys on the most weak & vulnerable.
On the 14th of March 2020, the video was taken down by YouTube for use against its community guidelines. This struck a wave of support for Carryminati with popular hashtags #justiceforcarry, #bringbackcarrysvideo, #shameonyoutube on the latest trend. Including the fellow YouTubers who came in support like Ashish Chanchlani, Hindustani Bhau, Bhuvan Bam, Elvish Yadav, Abhishek Yadav, Lakshay Chaudhary, actor Himanshu Kohli, and many more. These are not just simple people, they are professional social media influencers. These social media influencers get paid in lakhs of rupees by huge brands to create a social influence, but they deny their social influence-ability when it comes to queerphobia originating from their “work of art”?. They uttering a brand name (charging a ton of money) in their video for a second can create social influence. Now imagine what happens when a social media influencer constantly uses queerphobic slurs in multiple videos? It does more than influence us, it adds these slurs to our daily vocabulary. It normalizes the abuse and insensitivity.
Even though the whole country seemed to be talking about it and we all have raised our voice against the use of problematic words in the video, Carryminati in a follow-up response video said he still does not know exactly understand what went wrong. This shows how normal it is to use such queerphobic slurs and people don’t even realize that it is a slur. it has become completely okay and in fact-funny to use the homophobic terms to degrade a person.
Creators are Social influencers. They have to be made aware of the horrible consequences people face because of them validating the expression of hatred towards the marginalized. This responsibility also lies with the content streaming platform like Tiktok & Youtube. As these companies regularly sensitise their staff on inclusion on diversity, It would also help if some sensitisation was delivered to its top creators as well.
This is not just about Carryminati or YouTube for promoting content which triggers a sensitive topic. There are numerous videos to be found on TikTok as well that celebrates rape culture, child sexual engagement, religious violence, acid attacks, animal cruelty, toxic relationships, moral policing, and whatnot. We have been living in a world where these slurs are normalised and adapted in our culture.
No matter how long and ugly this fight becomes, it is a pity to see that In the competition of these two groups, queer identities are used as cannon fodder, where none of the parties are concerned about the human cost of our lives.
Now to answer the question we began with, As the battle continues unfortunately neither do rich YouTubers or TikTokers lose in this battle. Both their fan base is loyally defending their heroes on social media. Both YouTubers & Tikokers get to win and strengthen their fan base by validating & polarising them. The real losers of this war are the most marginalized, the queer community. And the spoils of this war are long term Queerphobia, and more violence Towards transgender people & misogyny.