You can’t attack public figures for personal decisions
I think that the YouTube community brings up a lot of interesting questions about public figures and where the line is when we interact with them, whether that’s via social media, at a conference, what have you. YouTubers share a HUGE part of their live with us, more than we get from most celebrities in mainstream media. We see this in the rise in popularity of daily vlogging. We often get to see so much of their lives that it can start to feel like we get to have an opinion on what they choose to do with their lives. (for example, people are constantly criticizing jennamarbles and juliensolomita for how they interact with their dogs, how clean their house is, whether or not Jenna smokes cigarettes, and there was even the instance in which a woman went to their house. This is just one example in the YouTube community.) These things all constitute violations in privacy in this unspoken agreement between YouTubers and audience members: YouTubers often agree to show us their lives, for the purposes of entertainment, inspiration, or just feeling like we can relate to them and their content, and we agree to take that for whatever it is and not to criticize their very existence and decisions, not to attack them on social media or in person, and not to violate the spaces that they have made private.
Recently (and I don’t know where it started or when it spun out of control, because I don’t go looking for gossip about YouTubers personal lives, I only know from the video Hannah posted) Hannah was apparently attacked for her (very personal) decision to put her dog up for adoption. This decision has nothing to do with audience. She did not ask for our opinion, and she did not publicize or announce it any way yet. She held her part of the deal: she shows us her life, she films in her home, she did the very personal coming out series on YourHarto. She does this because many of us (especially many who are queer) feel inspired by her journey and found a home in her words and in this community. But in this incident, a lot of her audience broke their end of the deal. She was attacked on social media in vicious and unfair ways, for something that a) is a completely reasonable, adult decision and b) even if it wasn’t, IT IS NOT OUR PLACE TO JUDGE. The agreement we’ve made was violated, and she is suffering deeply as a result. I’ve read a lot of tweets of her audience members apologizing for judging too quickly, when really what they should be apologizing for is judging at all. It was never their place to pass judgement on her personal decisions.
I guess to sum up, I think that YouTube audience community members need to see this incident as a lesson– if we want the relationship with content creators to be the way it is right now (which I think is wonderful) we need to agree as a community to hold up our end of the deal. If we do not, we can expect to lose the personal nature of YouTube the way it is now entirely, because eventually, no creator will continue to make content if they are made to be miserable by their audience.
I’m sorry this happened to you, Hannah. Please know that many, many of your fans adore you no matter what, and really don’t care what decisions you make in you personal life. You personal life is yours and not ours.