YouTu­bers warned over fan re­la­tion­ships

Malta Independent - - TECHNOLOGY -

“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

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