Sexual Abuse, Online


Again, it's been brought to our attention that yet another online personality has allegedly sexually abused someone. Or some people. This kind of thing has been going on for a good few years now publicly, and who knows how long otherwise. Whenever people are dealing with these allegations, and coming to their own conclusions about them - they can get defensive, offensive and sometimes even abusive themselves.

It's not my place at all to discuss this and I'm not attempting to pass judgement or change minds on this whole situation - but I do want to talk about the backlash and response to these kind of allegations. I'm completely on the fence and it isn't my place to make conclusions or decide whether these people are guilty or not, the only people who know what really went down are the people directly involved.

A few years back I came across a master-post on Tumblr which featured a long list of youtube personalities that has allegedly abused their fans and friends to different degrees. The most notorious of these would have been Alex Day - who actually admitted to some of the cases. Despite the validation from Alex himself, and despite the copious amount of evidence against not just him but many of the other people on the list - nothing really serious was done about it (to my knowledge).

Now, if this was something that was dealt with off of the internet things would be a lot more discreet and hopefully would've been dealt with a lot more officially. However, this was on Tumblr so people were made to make their own decisions on what the truth was and it was more or less left at that. The youtube personalities' reputations were massively impacted by the whole debacle - and a lot of fans left the community because of it.

Bringing it back to today, in the past week or so another youtube personality has been accused of sexually abusing, manipulating and taking advantage of their fans and/or friends. Once one person spoke out about said personality, a flurry of other videos were posted by different people claiming they had also been abused in some way by him (Toby Turner). It can be argued that because of the first person speaking out, she enabled all of these other people to raise their voice and come out - because they aren't alone. On another hand, a handful of people are accusing these victims of lying for attention. These people have no right to voice these opinions - and it isn't in anyones best interest for them to be speaking their idea of the truth.

All in all, allegations and the truth can be two very similar or very different things. Only the people directly involved will be able to really know what happened, and having back-and-forth's online isn't really the best way to get through these kind of issues. In some ways, using the internet as a medium for opening up and seeking help is a great thing - it can really help people get through hard times and seek help. But, when it comes to things as serious as this, I think the internet is best left out of the equation. Things can get messy and out of hand so quickly.

If you're a victim of any kind of abuse, it's best to seek help from someone as soon as you can - no matter how hard it may seem. Things get better eventually and in the long run you're saving yourself from so much more trauma and mental illness.

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