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The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

Stillwater Pony Express

Public giveaways by social media influencers are not harmful

Mr. Beast food drive, Mr. Beast Philanthropy,, CC-BY
Jimmy (Mr. Beast) Donaldson prepares for a video where he gives $50,000 worth of food to food shelters. He makes content on YouTube of him giving away money or objects to people for ad revenue. His audience is kids and teens and has over 250 million subscribers on YouTube.

Many social media influencers over the past decade started giving money to strangers and organizations for content on YouTube, Instagram, and real-time streaming services like Twitch and Kick. Recently this content style picked up popularity in the past year due to YouTuber Mr. Beast‘s growing influence on the YouTube community. Because of his 130+ million subscribers, other YouTube channels saw the virality of his videos and started to make nearly identical videos, which still made millions of views for themselves. This caused a pyramid effect where even the YouTubers who copied his ideas and style got copied by another layer of video-makers who got inspired by them. Now that this style of content is popular in almost any area in the social media world, many people do not approve of monetizing good deeds for money.

The fact that entertainers used their influence to give and benefit the world gave no reason for people to hate. Even if the influencers are bad people off-camera, and give only to boost their reputation or for money, to deny that they benefited somebody is crazy.

Streamer Jack Doherty is an example of an influencer who is not a good person. Off camera, he is rude to workers and does not respect anybody, but on camera, his goal is to make people mad for content. Doherty has been doing large giveaways to random people trying to boost his reputation by giving $10,000 to random people in the streets.

“He is still good for the person giving the money, but it still wouldn’t really be trustworthy that the person actually ended up with the money,” Bell said.

As long as the person got the money (as most cases are), the influencer has no reason to receive backlash. Even if they gave for their own benefit, “Makes them kind of a bad person, but I guess both people still benefit,” junior Kevin Bell said.

Makes them kind of a bad person, but I guess both people still benefit.”

— Kevin Bell

At the height of this controversy last November, Mr. Beast made a video where he and his team built 100 wells in Kenya. Even though he got praise from most of his viewers for giving people necessities when their government could not, he received much hate on Twitter. News companies even jumped into this debate when Jeffery Blehar from National Review called Mr. Beast a 19th-century colonialist, just giving way access of water to people.

Even though public giveaways help the people who are receiving the money and giving the money, it has been seen in a dark light due to people ungenerously giving donations to boost their reputation. Sometimes public giveaways are used to get out of a scandal they were involved in. For example Stephen Doleonaris (SteveWillDoIt) was a pioneer in the electronic gambling industry. Companies paid him to win on live stream to get people addicted to gambling, but in 2020, he started doing public giveaways. His giveaways include giving cars, money, and even houses to people and has turned into a hero before getting kicked off of YouTube in 2022. He is highly controversial where some people believe he is doing his best to help the world and some think he is a greedy person who does giveaways to recover his reputation.

Social media influencers are the world’s role models and are expected by their large following to do more than a normal person. This spotlight can make it impossible to please everybody and avoiding hate is impossible no matter what they do.

“A lot of people put such a high standard on them. Like why don’t you give there or to here, what are they going to do when they can only do so much,” Bell said.

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Gibson Strub
Gibson Strub, Layout Editor
Hi, my name is Gibson Strub and I am a layout editor in newspaper. In my free time I like to ride dirt bikes and snowmobiles and work on cars. I  love the whole hip hop genre of music and enjoy messing around with friends. I am looking forward to becoming a good journalist and being aware of what's going on in the world.  

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