If you’ve been involved with the YouTube fan community on Twitter lately, then you’re likely familiar with so-called “cancel culture.” Basically, when an influencer, vlogger, or other celebrity is caught lying or doing something their audience disapproves of, their fans and followers decide they’ve been “canceled,” thereby dropping their support of that person.
Cancel culture can make social media difficult to navigate as a creator. For example, YouTube stars Niki and Gabi recently made a video about how cancel culture impacted a video they tried to film.
To protect yourself and your reputation from cancel culture, it’s important to establish trust with your audience. If they know they can depend on you, then they’ll be far less likely to misjudge you.
Stick to YouTube’s policies and Community Guidelines.
This is the biggest and most important way to protect both your reputation and your channel. YouTube put its Community Guidelines in place to protect creators as well as viewers. Not only will sticking to these guidelines keep your channel safe from termination, but it will also protect your monetization status.
The Community Guidelines are fairly simple. YouTube bans any content that is sexual, harmful, dangerous, hateful, violent, or graphic. It also bans harassment, cyberbullying, spam, scams, threats, and impersonation. Privacy, child safety, and copyright protection are important as well.
While these guidelines may seem easy to stick to, keep the Logan Paul suicide forest video scandal of last year in the back of your mind. Before you film and upload something, read through the Community Guidelines again. Think about the kinds of videos you’d allow your children to watch if you were a parent and act accordingly.
Carefully disclose your sponsorships.
If the sponsored status of a video or social media post isn’t explicitly clear to your audience, then you’re likely breaking the law. Though the specific rules vary by country, most social media platforms require you to carefully disclose any and all sponsored posts, including YouTube videos. To learn everything you need to know about legally disclosing sponsorships, be sure to check out this post.
Taking things a step further, evaluate the product or service before taking any sponsorship. Research the company and its business practices. If you find a lot of negative reviews or inquiries regarding a potential scam, then you should steer clear of that sponsor.
Before you film a video, think through its potential impact on your viewers.
As previously mentioned, everything you do as a YouTuber should be done with your audience in mind. If you fail to put their best interest first even once, you may find yourself losing their support the very next day.
Never post, whether it’s a video or something else, without thinking through the potential impact it could have on your audience. For example, should it come with a trigger warning? Is it potentially offensive or controversial?
A good rule of thumb is to consider your audience as your friends. Not only do you want their attention, but you also want their support. So, if what you’re saying or doing in a video could make you lose friends in real life, then you probably shouldn’t put it on the internet.
Engage with your audience on a regular basis.
Finally, the best way to establish trust with your audience is simply to build a relationship with them. Reply to their tweets, DMs, and comments. Live stream on a regular basis so you can talk to them in real time.
If you treat your viewers like your friends, then they’ll come to think of you as a friend, too. As an influencer, you’re responsible for more than just entertaining your audience. Their well-being is also partially your responsibility because of the potential impact your content has on them. Create wisely.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.