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Maria. As we approach the 21st century, a new means of communication is emerging. This technology uses computer networks to link people on every continent. If we are destined to live in a global village one day, we will all be connected to the Internet. How's it going? My name is Bree. OK, Kevin. Yes, of all the things that I've learned over the past year of working with you, my grandma says I sound just like I want to do it.
None of it has surprised me more than cutie pie.
My name and I have learned that this guy is not only the most popular YouTube forever.
Everyone looks up to him as like not really a God, but like the YouTube God, like way bigger than anyone that Caleb ever got into.
His reach transcends nationality, language and culture and a career made possible by the digital age. But according to some measures, like he's the most famous person of our lifetime. Yeah.
Like he likes to, like, be himself and he doesn't pretend to be like he's real.
Even though so many people that I know have never even heard of him. I don't know. It just it's just something about him that makes people love him so much. You feel like you're a part of it with him.
And somehow his story it gives me life is central to understanding the culture war of our age. Yeah, like all day putrefied launch putrefied just all day.
And one of the wildest things about it is that this whole story unfolded in front of a webcam.
So his real name is Felix Schulberg.
He looks very Swedish. Blond hair, blue eyes.
In 2010, he's 20 years old.
He's an undergrad at a Swedish university and is up there. In April of that year, he starts a YouTube channel, oh, fucking spider.
And he begins uploading these videos with boss himself, playing his favorite video games like Call of Duty and Minecraft. OK, I should probably do something more productive after this. He starts every video or most videos saying, like, how's it going for us?
Money is part of what's uprose. It's.
Wait, I was wrong. My name's Peter.
And by the end of the year today we're going to celebrate because I got 100 subscribers. He's got a few fans.
So a lot of people, one hundred subscribers is probably an innocent, insignificant number.
But to me, to me, it means a lot.
So I just want to thank you guys so much and welcome everyone to part one of Nightmare has to.
Pretty soon he moves on from Call of Duty in Minecraft and he starts playing these horror games. And these videos, they're actually pretty fun to watch because his reaction to the scary stuff in these games.
Oh, he's very, very over the top five, so get up, get up, get up and. To play this game anymore and his channel starts growing.
First of all, it was 1000 subs and then it got to two thousand subs, and then it's like the two thousand five hundred thousand, like, I don't really care for numbers that much. What I care more about is the support for that I get from all you guys.
And then at this point, hey, hey, hey, Felix starts putting these new kinds of videos onto his channel.
Welcome to my very first non gameplay video. It's going to be a really boring video.
Just warning you, he eventually starts calling them Fridays with beer, Fridays with Pudi Pi.
OK, that was pretty dumb dumb title, but I thought I'll do these sort of things at least once a week and it's a way for me to get closer to you guys where he says it's from. Finland, Susan Ostrum another gift, could it be another?
Shares gifts his fans to send him answers their questions.
This is my apartment. I can barely afford to pay the rent and speaks directly to them about. I got a job, his new job.
I you know. Yes. Or his new girlfriend.
I'm in Italy with my girl. At one point he talks about with finals coming up in less than a month, I just can't put my hobby in front of having to take a break from YouTube because he's got to go study.
I'm going to miss you guys. Lost actually to his fans. He starts to feel like Socrates is still running a part of their lives.
You really do consider all of you as a friend? Almost. It's weird to say because I never met.
And some of that is this sense of intimacy that he created on his channel.
You guys so much. And swimming around in her vagina, swimming around in a vagina and the other part of it is I got a new deck and his face put his dick in my face.
He just doesn't really filter himself. My penis has patience.
There's a lot of swearing. Motherfucking crazy bitch kind of kind of like this teenage boy humor transmitting again.
I did my panel. I pay from there.
And this thing that he's doing, this sort of mix of intimacy and this weird juvenile humor, it causes his audience to stay awesome growth, a group that calls itself the Army.
The army has now reached half a million subscribers, which is insane to keep growing bigger.
It's pretty much my job right now to make these videos. I used to have the shittiest job bureaus and bigger. I never, ever expected one million. That is just ridiculous and bigger already at two million.
I'm like, it's crazy how fast it went.
I never expected until finally in 2013, just two years after he dropped out of college.
I got this in the mail. It says Guinness World Records.
Felix suddenly finds himself as the most subscribed channel in YouTube's history, the most subscribed YouTube when 12 million, 30 million mouth.
Yeah, 13 million. I was achieved by a cutie pie, I should say, by the pros was the fastest.
I want to thank the Internet for allowing their emperor to be here for the them and his YouTube world is big and influential enough.
Why do you think people like it so much watching you play games? I think it's not just watching me play it. It's kind of like we're hanging out that he starts getting all these offers.
You're watching someone break. He gets a deal with this Disney owned content studio to make videos and apps and merchandise.
We are having lunch over at Penguin, my publisher. He gets a book deal. Thank you both for supporting the book. It's out in bookstores now.
So you have a new YouTube read original series. YouTube pays him to create this like subscriber only TV style series. It's called Scare Cutie Pie. What's the show about?
Well, I play horror games. That's kind of my thing on YouTube.
He actually becomes like a major force in the gaming industry. This is a really cool game.
It's called Universe Sandbox and video game studios beg him to play their games on his channel because his fans by so many games, the king of YouTube.
Good morning. Yes. So I am joined by YouTube royalty Felix Shelver and royalty online as putrefy holds the record.
He goes from 13 million subscribers to 50 million subscribers. How did he become the biggest star in 2016? Forbes reported that he made 15 million dollars in a single year. Have you ever heard of him?
Never heard of him. You have? No, I haven't. I have. My daughter told me all.
And at that point, people from the outside start sitting up real straight.
They're saying, like, this guy is making 15 million dollars. Doing what?
OK, so I'm going to drink this water. This is the cheap water. Then I'm going to piss in this. We're going to wait a day and then I'm going to drink this water, the expensive water, and then I'm going to test this water back in the bottle as putrefies channel grows.
And then I'm going to drink it. And then I'm going to evaluate which best taste better. One dollar or six hundred dollars.
He starts doing less video game playing and more like that is an extremely ugly baby. I'm not going to lie. That is a lot of chins for a baby.
Reviews and reactions to things that are trending on the Internet.
Men are taking up too much space on the train. Just ask them to move. Don't be such a fucking pussy and make a blog about it.
And you can see in these videos, I smirked and looked up from the buffet of firm tight flesh.
He's experimenting with things like reading erotic Harry Potter fan fiction, slapping in hard on his buttock, or trying out an absurdist parody of a gossip show about YouTube celebrities.
Jack Sceptic guy says, I got to see all my friends, except a guy doesn't have any friends.
Why is he lying about this? Where between bits he flashes these like silly anime title cards with a picture of Hitler on them?
The next news might shock you.
And one of these new kinds of videos he started making was essentially videos where he would talk about YouTube.
Can someone just stop YouTube from there? S I feel like YouTube is like a toddler playing with knives. It actually was this thing that a lot of professional YouTube were doing at the time.
But remember, remember the subfield? Remember when that was a thing? This is what we get now.
We get the recommended words, the fucking subfield in this one particular video that came out in December of 2016, Felix was ranting about these changes that YouTube had made to users homepages.
All I want is that the people that subscribe to me get to watch my videos. I don't give a shit about whatever else you do, but that seems like the core foundation of pretty much this most simple fucking thing that you need to do.
And at the end of his rant, this is all a conspiracy. YouTube wants to kill my channel. It's because I'm always complaining to them. I don't have family friendly content. I click bait. Too much anxiety at all. Makes sense.
He's sort of put on this like conspiracy theorists act you to watch my channel gun.
They want someone else on top where he was kind of making fun of conspiracy theorists. But also I'm white.
Can I make that comment? But I do think that's a problem. He makes this comment. It's in reference to the fact that, like YouTube at the time was actively promoting more diverse creators. And it's kind of in the same Silly Putty pie voice as the rest of the video.
And I'm not going to let you to when I'm not going to let YouTube defeat me, but it starts this whole chain reaction.
I'm used to getting hate comments and just generally really dumb comments. That's normal. But now we got some next level shit. This is this is kind of impressing.
A few days later, Pudi posts another video because Cutie Pie says YouTube is killing his channel because he's white.
Some blogs and news sites, including this British website, The Independent, wrote that he had suggested.
YouTube was killing his channel because he was white. Why is this an article, because click bait, that's why he said basically they were just using his name to get clicks on their site. This click bait journalism statistic, the purest form of cancer, and that they took the whole thing out of context.
It's extremely annoying how I can't make jokes on my channel without anyone quoting it as actual facts, like something I actually said.
Do they know have they seen any videos coming out of my channel and how now you did a good job.
Congrats. Hey, man, congrats on your journalism job.
They were fueling all of these rumors about him.
P2P racist. Questionmark. What the fuck? There was even this tweet that, like, claimed that he was in favor of the Nazi Party.
People just read this and they're like, oh, OK. I see. It's a Nazi. Now, that's. All right. And at the end of the video, I'm not going to just like, step aside for and take this is this it's it's too dumb that he does this thing where and I'll see you in the next video.
He pretends to leave his webcam running on accident. And you can see him like stepping away from the microphone and he, like, puts on a military jacket and hat and starts playing a speech in German.
And then it cuts and reveals that he is actually watching a video of Hitler together and the last shot is a close up of his face.
Smiling. Well, what I will do, any crazy and bizarre challenge you want, drink bleach about a month later, there's a website called Fiverr where you basically can ask anyone for anything.
Felix makes a video that's kind of mocking people on this website called Fiverr, which is basically this website where you can pay like five bucks or other small amounts of money to have people do little random tasks for you, for example, will paint your message on my body and dance in the jungle.
And so he posts a video of all these things that people on fire have done for him. And one of these things was that he had paid these young South Asian guys.
I've tried to GameStop start to hold up a sign that says death to all Jews.
I am sorry, I didn't think they would actually do it. I feel partially responsible, but just I didn't think they would actually do it. I don't feel good.
I don't feel too proud of this. I'm not going to lie like I'm not anti-Semitic or whatever it's called. I don't get the wrong idea.
It was a funny meme and I didn't think it would work. OK, you can't hold me. You can't hold me. I swear. I love you. I love.
The Wall Street Journal launched an investigation into the twenty seven year old Swedish comedian, and that's one of the few reporters at The Wall Street Journal started paying attention. It found nine videos on his channel dating back to August that had anti-Semitic jokes or showed Nazi imagery. They noticed that not only had cutie pie, this like incredibly famous YouTube person made these anti-Semitic jokes on his channel. But after that, this infamous neo-Nazi website, The Daily Stormer, had actually changed its homepage to say that it was the world's number one cutie pie fan site.
So the reporters, they asked Disney, like, what do you think about this?
Disney has cut ties with the world's highest paid YouTube star, P. Deepthi, because of allegations of anti-Semitism. In response, Disney cut ties with him. And then the Journal published its story. And one of his now deleted clips, two men held up a sign reading Death to All Jews and suddenly, like his career, is kind of in free fall. They pulled him from YouTube, dumped him from ads. That's a big he's losing his ad deals and projects.
YouTube has also canceled his original series.
And it becomes this huge international scandal like Pudi Pie, the biggest due to burn in the world, this incredibly famous person. Is maybe a neo-Nazi. This is Sarah Koenig, host of the serial podcast. I want to tell you about our new show, Nice White Parents. It's reported by Chana Joffe. Walt, who's made some of the best, most thought provoking, most emotional radio stories I've ever heard back in 2015.
Hannah wanted to find out what would happen inside this one public school in her neighborhood during a sudden influx of white students into a school that had barely had any white students before. And they're not satisfied that she fully understood what she was seeing. She went all the way back to the founding of the school in the 1960s and then fought again up to the present day.
And eventually Hannah realized she could put a name to the unspoken force that kept getting in the way of making the school better.
White parents, I've been waiting so long to tell people about this show and now I can finally say it. Go listen to nice white parents. Nice White Parents is made by Zero Productions, a New York Times company. You can find it wherever you get your podcasts.
I think there's going to be a lot of eyes on me during this video, so I'm going to address this as if talking publicly and not directly to my audience, which is how I normally would do it. So hello, my name is Felix Shamberg.
But you probably know me as a couple of days after the Wall Street Journal article, Felix posts his response.
I want to address the biggest issue first, which I think is the whole guys holding up the sign thing. I'm sure you've seen it. It's been everywhere. A lot of people love the video and a lot of people didn't. And it's almost like two generations of people arguing whether this is OK or not.
He says that these Nazi Hitler memes, they're just not all that shocking for people in his part of the Internet subculture, which, you know, is not wrong.
But regardless of that, I just wanted to reiterate that my intention was just to show how stupid the website is and how far you can push it by paying five dollars. I am sorry. He also apologizes for the words that I used as I know they offended people. And I admit that the joke itself went too far.
But then here's the thing, though.
I made a point that the media takes what I say out of context. They take that and put it out of context to use against me and to portray me as a Nazi.
He goes through what he sees as all the mistakes that The Wall Street Journal made.
They took parts where in my game other people created swastikas. And my title of that video is Stop doing this, stop making swastikas in my game.
They took that as evidence against me, how they clip together different parts of his videos.
I'm not kidding. They used even me pointing my arm like this. It's the most absurd thing I have ever edited them in misleading ways.
I think what this article shows more than anything, old school media does not like Internet personalities. Because they're scared of us and you can hear in this video, it was an attack towards me, it was an attack by the media to try and discredit me, to try and decrease my influence and my economic worth.
That's what this was, that a much larger fight is taking shape. I'm still here. I'm still making videos. Nice try. Wall Street Journal. Try again, motherfuckers.
And, of course, peepy half heartedly apologizes, calls media motherfucker. There are more articles, Peter Pye's apology for Nazi jokes shows that he still doesn't get it from places like BuzzFeed and Vox.
Vox media posted this on, ironically, arguably similar to Nazi fashion.
Recently, he has been wearing Himmler style glasses and sporting a Fashi slang for fascist Hitler Youth haircut.
And then those are followed by even more video responses. Here's a graph showing that trust in media going down based on age. I assume that pieces like this is not helping with that.
Here's a graph of the newspaper ad revenue from digital and print showing decrease of revenue in the media. OK, so Wall Street is losing influence and income. Hmm. I wonder who is gaining that right now? Maybe I should buy The Wall Street Journal. Actually, I don't know.
Seems like a failing business to me.
And it's not just Felix responding. I'm going to try my best to stay calm. His fans are jumping in because I'm fired up.
I'm angry. I think a lot of people within the YouTube community are very angry.
Save your fucking outrage for the real racists. And that's why I stand with Putin. I stand with beautifying hashtag stumbly pudi pie. Liberate him from the media circle jerk.
They're making it out like he's a Nazi. Right. And he's not at all other YouTube's start jumping in Wall Street Journal.
Aren't you like a fucking news organization, though?
You talk about like Wall Street, like, I'm sorry, but this jargon, the words that they are using, it's like being a CEO and it's like you're speaking to a completely different set of human beings who don't even know what eventually some of his fans start using is kind of like GamerGate trolling tactics, like they make threats and they dig up old embarrassing tweets, which then inspires more online articles and posts, some calling his fans a mob. We're a mob, guys.
We're a mob and we're brainwashed. And we should be so fucking thankful that this one person over at BuzzFeed is writing an article for us, for us to understand. It's like saying, oh, my God, our kids are listening to Elvis. He's moving his hips around and they're so sexy, I'm going to get fucking pregnant.
This story completely dominates the Internet.
This is the culture police. They are the real Nazis. They are the digital Nazis at Fox and The New York Times. And so does this deeper conversation about the fight between Internet culture and mainstream institutions.
He is a much bigger entity than them, but in their mind, like a scoop is them, the legitimate media.
So pointing out something in the illegitimate this is the change in to over the last few years where they push NBC and all these fucking mainstream shows and mainstream things and they push down everybody else. Now, Pudi is kind of gone from Maker Studios and all these things. It's like to me it's a big conspiracy. If you look at it, these five major networks that own everything in the country and if anybody from the outside in the Internet starts to rise up, they want to attack them.
Hey, how's it going, Bruce?
My name is Peter Pan. I just wanted to make a quick video to say thanks. I don't think I've gotten this much support ever of me making videos these past six years on YouTube. And it really turned this shitty situation completely around. And all the support that I've been getting from you guys has just been incredible. It seemed that people that doesn't even necessarily consume my content came to support me throughout this whole thing with the media because they thought the whole situation was unjustified.
This whole fight, it really elevates cutie pie to an even higher level of influence, almost like the Internet had my back throughout this whole situation.
And it's really all I care about.
And to the point where now when he makes videos, where he's gone, there's an opening playing video games. Come on, man.
Come on. I want to play. You can join in making fun of PC culture, not just hear someone use a microaggression microaggression.
It's a term we all came to or making fun of the mainstream media. I should probably drop this whole meme with Waman for a while before Wall Street makes another montage.
He's not just doing it as the king of YouTube.
Isn't it nice when pros came together and nothing makes me happier?
He's really become this symbolic culture warrior for the free and open Internet, taking on the establishment on behalf of the little guys.
And in a lot of ways, he's become a symbol of victory. Never let go. Never give up. You're like, oh, you got. And then came TV series in the middle of twenty eighteen.
My fellow Grove, my fellow brother, my fellow, this other channel started creeping up toward the top of YouTube subscriber count right here, no less than in November this year.
Bettie Pi will not be the biggest channel on YouTube. I know we must fight back. Who is this TV series channel?
And this channel is owned by TV series, which is this Indian media conglomerate.
They own a lot of rights to Bollywood songs, and as more and more people in India start getting online and getting really into YouTube, tsuris subscriber count actually starts to approach PUDI.
I don't like your teeth, and so Felix makes this video nothing personal, kid in the style of a rap battle. Go all out where he calls out over series or virgona, whichever.
Will it be set up by using all of these, like popular Internet memes? You're trying to get through me postpartum No. One. But you hear about India saying to you have been what you call my blue eyes, white dragon while you're just talking magician, you got a fifth of the population and your nation. But I got you some of the lyrics.
Like they poke fun at the way Indian people talk. It is supposed to mean your language sounds like I come from a mumble community and the track itself is called Bitch, bitch, bitch.
Listen. Everything just crying for their mom, which is a reference to this viral Reddit meme where this Indian guy was trying to get a woman to send him nude photos, and when she didn't, he called her a bitch lasagna.
Right. He's the reason this video, it gets a quarter of a billion reviews and once again, his fans jump into action.
I'm through with you. We're going to be completely back and making their own versions of the song. He's got to finish the job up behind the explosion and eventually they start this grassroots campaign.
Subscribe to cutie pie, but you divide that became known as subscribe to cutie pie. Cutie pie. Good for you to subscribe to beautify. Every day people come to my doorstep. Jack, are you subscribed to Beauty by his friends? Other YouTube viewers are making videos about this.
Everyone must be subscribed. And this video, I will say cutie pie one hundred thousand times to stop TV series that's going to die quickly. And that's just the beginning.
I think we got the devil. We don't mess around for long.
People are buying up billboards including like a billboard in Times Square.
I can say that they've taken toll of printers around the world.
This group of hackers, they hack a network of like 50000 printers around the world to create posters supporting the favorite blogger, Peu Di.
There's a parade in the capital city of Estonia.
Mitchell Azania actually gets played at a rally in Russia on.
It appears at a professional basketball game in Lithuania, subscribe to the UK's Independence Party actually tweets out to subscribe to subscribe to Putin.
Hackers have attacked The Wall Street Journal to defend Puti by some hackers, actually got into the website of the Wall Street Journal and posted this fake article written from the perspective of two series telling people to subscribe to Cutie Pie The Beauty of the cutie pie. This is the design. Is this not the greatest idea?
People are getting subscribed to cutie pie tattoos, all of the gamers, all of the furries.
Put your differences aside. We need to come together.
It really becomes this all out battle if you're here and you're watching.
That means you have to have all these different people you can click on subscribe, but that means that you can do it alone, that every single one of us needs to fight harder than we've ever fought before from all over the Internet.
It's I have to manually putrefied.
The following is an important message for anyone with multiple accounts on YouTube taking on what they see.
The end of putrefies reign represents the end of an era of creatively driven individuality.
That's the end of the YouTube era. It's the beginning of the corporation.
As this powerful, corrupt establishment, we need to keep fighting back and it grows to become this huge Internet dominating meme. And it actually works like Pudi Pye's subscriber count, which was already the highest in the world, increases by like 50 percent, going for like 60 million before this all happened to something like 90 million.
And then we are monitoring a reported mass shooting at a mosque near the New Zealand city of Christchurch, unprecedented is how police are describing this attack.
The gunmen stormed in wearing a helmet with a camera on it. Witnesses report dozens of shots fired. Forty nine people are known to have died and it was live streamed on social media and video was the final transmission, if you will, from this individual.
Apparently mentioned he wanted people to rip into each other and create chaos. He also apparently added, remember, let's remember.
Let's subscribe to the.
OK, so Kevin, from what I have been able to gather the shooter at Christchurch who said subscribe to cutie pie before going into these mosques, he left behind a manifesto. And in it he appeared to be trying to sow global chaos with this attack and alongside these conspiracy theories about an attempt to replace the white race. He also had made all of these references to different Internet figures like Pudi Pie that had different brawls with the mainstream media. And by saying subscribe to cutie pie in the moment that he did, he was trying to bait the mainstream media into blaming cutie pie and these other alternative figures, which would then frustrate their millions and millions of fans.
And in the end, be this like ultimate trolling of the establishment. Right?
I mean, look, it's hard to know exactly why anyone does something like this, but he seems to have known pretty clearly that including these mentions in his manifesto and in his videos would stoke this fire.
OK, so you just never actually used this before. It's very fancy, I'm told, and so a few weeks after these attacks, Felix agreed to meet with me, ruined by that horrible acoustics in here.
Yes, a little more.
And basically, like do his first interview, his first real interaction with the mainstream media since the Wall Street Journal article and so on.
Since you said last night, it's been a long, long time. How long? Probably two years, maybe. That's interesting. Yeah.
Why? Why now? Hmm. And I respect The New York Times and I respect you as well, and I thought it might be interesting.