YouTubers warned over fan relationships
“Blurred boundaries” between prominent YouTube stars and their viewers can put young people at risk, a leading children’s charity has warned.
Emily Cherry, of the NSPCC, said YouTubers had a “responsibility” to make sure relationships with young fans were appropriate.
Claims of inappropriate behaviour have been made against a small number of internet personalities.
Google-owned YouTube said that educating fans and creators was key.
Ms Cherry warned that online stars have huge power and influence on young people and the way they think about the real world.
“One child told me that checking their social media accounts and what their favourite YouTube stars are up to was as important to them as eating,” she said.
In 2014, Ania Magliano-Wright published a video in which she alleged a YouTube video-maker known as VeeOneEye - real name Jason - had sex with her when she was 15.
She said she had offered Jason a place to stay after a fan and creator meet-up in London.
“He bought a big bottle of alcohol,” she said.
“I wasn’t really aware of how much alcohol it would take for me to lose control over myself.
“I didn’t want to seem uncool or boring and I wanted to seem normal… it didn’t ring as many alarm bells as it should have.”
Ania says she did go to the police with her allegations but decided not to press charges.
Jason declined to be interviewed but said: “I like the topic for your piece and it is something that does need to be talked about.”
He also published an online apology to Ania blaming his