Friday 31st May

| BY Paul Toner

Ten Tips on Getting All Clued Up on Youtube Drama

Is our infatuation with celebrity drama ever going to draw to a halt? Probably not. What kickstarted as boozy tabloid bust-ups, celebrity feuds and exposures, quickly hurdled into a TMZ virtual stratosphere in the noughties. Chiming into celeb beef is a certified guilty pleasure of the masses – whether we like to admit it or not. I can recall my pre-teen self scavenging through Perez Hilton dot com for any new developments in the Paris-Lohan feud. Yet now the infatuation has shifted from silver-screen starlets to the multi-millionaire beauty gurus who are causing a media frenzy – all from the comfort of their bedrooms.

Yes, specifically here I am talking about James Charles vs. Tati Westbrook. I have never watched a James Charles Youtube video, nor have I heard about Westbrook. In no way can I call myself a “sister” (the name of Charles superfans) and in the same instant, I can’t say I dislike him either. I know virtually nothing about either, but like many others, I became totally engrossed in their very public fall out. Though you don’t need me to fill you in on the lowdowns that caused their bust-up, there are Youtube channels wholly dedicated to ‘spilling the tea’ on these self-made make-up moguls. Channels aptly titled ‘DramaAlert’ and ‘Here For The Tea’ rake in views entering the millions. Their videos are lengthy, hyper-sensationalised exposés on Youtube’s biggest names – built off rumours circulating online and hush hush tip-offs.

Youtube friendships break up and make up faster than they do on the Corrie cobbles, and such drama channels are there to capitalise on the demise. Their videos are pulled from the “receipts” they find on Twitter and buried deep into the virtual universe that is Reddit – an online forum where users are free to join online discussions. Tidbits on the latest fiascos come through as solid facts – text message screenshots, voice notes and sometimes even leaked videos. Then there’s the speculative jargon. Information from a friend of a friend, who’s sister knows a friend who somehow knows the person(s) in question can flourish into a full-blown Youtube video which can rake in views in the hundreds of thousands.

More and more people are capitalising on this culture. Remember Nick Snider? Once a face of Prada eyewear, the model-cum-online sensation once infamously offered sexual favours to a police officer following his arrest for public drunkness back in 2010. Now he’s known to most as The Viewers Voice, the Youtube drama channel who’s video chiming in on the ‘exposing of James Charles’ reached over 800 thousand views. Such videos capitalise on our tendency to procrastinate. All it takes is for one click-bait video to plonk itself onto my Youtube suggested page and a quick little break from writing turns into a forty-minute detour into the deepest corners of a drama between two Youtubers I probably don’t know anything about. It’s as petty as it is catty, but we are hooked. These Youtube drama channels are spilling the tea whilst we eagerly wait to sip the dregs.