Collectively the internet eventually forgets things, which is why I wanted to take some time and talk through some recent events to this small audience.
I try to avoid public callouts, but this is not public, it’s a newsletter.
Last week a YouTube creator and Twitter account user, sent some questionable DMs (and emails apparently) to Anastasia Marchenkova, another YouTube creator (subscribe to her channel, its great stuff).
Now for clarification, I was not aware of the existence of Hays before last week, but I do follow Anastasia. I explicitly follow several female YouTube creators intentionally, because I am always trying to diversify my thinking and experiences. I recognize that I cannot know everyone’s experiences and centering my thoughts on my Florida public school education would not be ok. This is also why I follow trans/non-binary folks on Twitter, to share in their experiences even if it’s only 240 characters.
“I am not the main character, and that is ok.”
I’ve never put someone in the hotseat, but this person has 25k followers in the tech community and sending messages like this. Even yesterday he was retweeting me so not sure what happened @haysstanford
Folks have collectively moved on from Hays, and agree he should find help or delete his account. He is/was an up-and-coming content creator and may have been sidelined (not canceled, more on that later) for now. What I found interesting about this, is the response from Brad Traversy, Udemy author and YouTube content creator with 1.5 million subscriptions. His response to the situation was cryptic and has since been deleted. He was a well-respected content creator and legitimately started an empire from nothing.
Brad is someone who I was not aware of until last year. I have skimmed his content, and find it to be great explainers to coding tools and concepts. I also find YouTube accounts at that level can be mostly hit or miss. The technical content is great for beginners, but my need for information is usually paywalled in a course – which I will say is a genius way to make an income. The path to monetization is not through YouTube or Twitch payouts, it’s through courses and brand deals.
I think there is a time where folks on the internet all get their time to shine and it is all about capitalizing on it. Reddit users do this with quick jabs to posts with quick and terse inside jokes or comedy. Facebook is the place where provides memes on politics and vaccines. TikTok is the place to this now, grow a 500k following and sell t-shirts on memes. Twitter is interesting because it is truly about the network effect. Any tweet that has been successfully viral has been directly correlated to a big account retweeting it. It does not matter how funny or on point it is, retweets and replies are endorsements. Keep in mind if your retweet is a quote tweet to mock another, it is still an endorsement.
Folks truly believe that if they place “Tweet are my own opinions.” That doesn’t matter, folks create alt accounts instead if you want to trash talk (Ask Kevin Durant). Everything you tweet is like a future footprint that can be construed as facts about what your character. I recently complete a round of developer advocate interviews this week and know firsthand how easy it is to see tweets from 2012 (Also so does Chrissy Tiegen).
YouTube built an audience on raw videos from creators willing to upload in 480p on DSL in 2007. But the reaction videos is how you blow up.
I am baffled that someone with 1.5 million followers and a network of really great (free/paid) developer content would bother to reply to folks after giving a public apology. What Brad did was center his feelings about the Hays situation while bulldozing those of others involved.
Let me say this clearly, Brad is not the victim in this situation. He could had easily apologized and muted the thread. Instead he spent time cutting all the non-apology critiques.
Bruh, you got 1.5 mililion that like your content, why spend time here?
Brad has since deleted the thread, and I think was the right move for him and his new public relations team (he should hire someone). Brad has not been cancelled, he did successfully build the Brad squad to validate that it is okay to completely miss the point.
It is not clear if he has learned from it though since the deleted tweets included his apology. What was clear is that his response towards gaslighting himself out of the situation has folks considering if they would like to work with him in the future. Leveraging Twitter to grow your side is not without its consequences, whether its to complain about airline service or to tell your audience you are not misogynistic. You choose your platform and you choose if you are cancelled. Brad is still uploading videos and Hays is still liking and retweeting. No word on those DMs yet.
Having a public presence on the internet is hard and not for everyone. There is no shame in admitting you are wrong about something.
I will end all this with this happens once a year in tech. Its ok to have your beliefs, or share hot takes every now and then. But don’t let your success get in the way of the fact that keystrokes are finite and a couple tweets could change your entire persona on the internet for better or worse.
This all happened to John Somez in 2019 and he no longer creates tech videos. He is now an Bulldog Alpha Male, which is another baffling way to lean in and capitalize on the contreversary (please do NOT buy that book).
Be Kind Y’all and remember retweeting me is endorsing this message ;)
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