Drama Alert takes irony to a new level by creating the biggest internet Drama of 2016. On the 8th of January, Youtube Channel Drama Alert’s president KeemStar reported on a 60-some year old convicted pedophile going back to streaming RuneScape. Except that pedophile is still in jail, and Drama Alert accidentally directed people to an innocent 62 year old man streaming RuneScape.
Having realized their mistake a couple of hours later, KeemStar had the video removed, posting on twitter the following message to clarify their mistake:
— KEEMSTAR (@KEEMSTARx) January 9, 2016
Note: Click on the twitter link to view the video, I’m bad with HTML and the post was actually made on the 8th but it says the 9th. If you know how to fix this go ahead and tell me in the comments below.
In the video, KeemStar reported on a story of a man who was convicted of preying on children through RuneScape. In the video, KeemStar told viewers that the streamer “rsgloryandgold,” first name Tony, was the previously mentioned pedophile out of prison now streaming RuneScape again. The problem is that this predator (John Phililps) is still in jail, and Tony is a man who looked identical to the pedophile according to the Drama Alert staff member who found the story.
Do you think they look the same? If your answer is no, then you are just like KeemStar who had not heard of the method his staff used to distinguish the two. Rather than researching the subject to find out if the two were different people, a couple of Drama Alert’s staff (who remain unnamed) used these two pictures side by side, and “looked at the two pictures for a few hours.” One of the staffers received this message which was the start of the whole debacle:
See his first mistake was trusting someone with Donald Trump as his profile picture.
Being a completely ineffective method to ID someone, KeemStar had the video taken down two hours after it was put up. After doing so, KeemStar reported both staffers involved in the incident had their contracts with Drama Alert immediately terminated for the mistake.
Although it was removed very shortly after being posted, many Drama Alert viewers took to immediately flooding Tony’s stream with hateful comments, which eventually brought the man to tears and ending his stream.
Video of this event can be found on Youtuber Scarce’s channel which has reached nearly one million views.
Skip to 3:53 for the moment in question. Keep in mind Scarce and KeemStar have been feuding for months now, so the commentary from Scarce will be heavily biased and not be an objective report on the situation. This includes the potential for inaccuracies and lies.
Drama Alert has received criticism for this event, not because of the report, but because the incident highlighted the lack of any editorial process at Drama Alert. When vetting stories for truth, KeemStar is responsible for editing. This means KeemStar is News Anchor, Editor-in-Chief, and President of a news outlet all at the same time.
Nine hours after the original video went out, Drama Alert posted the following video to explain the situation:
For those on mobile or with no sound, a slightly different version of the explanation can be found on Drama Alert’s website here.
In the explanation on the Drama Alert website, KeemStar states he will resign from Drama Alert should an event like this occur again.
Shortly after the release of this video, Tony’s Twitch channel was flooded with positive comments and apologies, which led to Tony ending the stream once again in tears, but this time they were tears of joy.
Drama Alert reportedly offered one thousand dollars as consolation for the mistake, and when Tony refused it, began working with Tony’s clan members to send him to RuneFest 2016, the official RuneScape convention, in October.
While Drama Alert, or rather KeemStar continues to receive criticism for the mistake, Tony has bounced back from the incident, reaching a new record of 12 thousand viewers, even reaching the top ten most viewed streams on Twitch. KeemStar himself has also streamed with Tony, with KeemStar learning how to play RuneScape.
Note, from here on out, I will be injecting my own opinion into the writing, so remain objective in reading this story. This is not me stating fact, but opinion.
Drama Alert has handled this in both the worst and best ways possible. The group immediately removed the video when it was proved made up, fired those responsible, and immediately went to admit the mistake to viewers and rectify the mistake. Those are the best steps the team could have taken to fix what they had done.
That is as far as the good stuff goes. While Drama Alert as a whole has handled this pretty well, KeemStar, president of the news-station, has made it significantly worse.
KeemStar did admit the mistake the group made, but as the man employing the people who gave him the story, KeemStar is legally responsible for any mistake they make that affects the company’s reputation. These two staff members likely had zero professional experience in journalism as this is one of the biggest mistakes any news outlet could make: horribly false libel. This is something that can land multi-million dollar defamation lawsuits which had Drama Alert made the mistake with most other people, could have happened.
An example? In 2006, a Florida woman sued (and won) for 11.3 Million dollars over several mean internet posts. This isn’t even a celebrity scandal and she was awarded millions of dollars because someone criticized her parenting skills.
Had Tony not been the extraordinarily kind man he was in this case, Drama Alert could have potentially been shut down.
KeemStar had no vetting process in place for his stories, which is something no professional news outlet does. In professional news outlets, there are editors in place to make sure a story is well written, will draw the attention of viewers/readers, and is completely correct in its content.
A news outlet without an editorial staff cannot be called a news outlet. Look at the entirety of the Kinja network. It is composed of many news-outlets all of which have their own editorial staff. Even on Jalopnik which is a group of people writing about cars, there is a group of people making sure every piece of content is alright for the site. Even on TAY which is not a news outlet, there are administrators to control the content which goes on the site. Even I have made this mistake, and without our site’s administrating staff I would have never understood the limits of this site’s content.
Vetting of stories is necessary, and having worked as an editor for two years now I understand that the job is both important, and nowhere near as difficult in an online outlet as it is in print. While the length of the editing process can vary from a few google searches to hours of study, doing so is necessary and not a difficult job.
The lack of such process shows how little care goes into each story on the Drama Alert YouTube channel.
This lack of care has led to plenty of hate on many social media platforms. Most notably, Twitter.
KeemStar has been in a seemingly never-ending battle with many on twitter, with many “kys” and “f-off” posts being thrown in his direction. Naturally, KeemStar has reacted by repeatedly tweeting out videos describing his innocence. Expect that is wrong and the worst way to handle the situation.
Rather than continuing to take responsibility for the event, KeemStar has repeatedly mentioned how the Drama Alert team has done everything right. He is right that the team took the correct steps, but his attempts to deflect hate off of himself has done only the opposite. Rather than taking responsibility for the mess as the head of the group, he continually posts tweets with titles like “Facts” and “I’m Perfect” while also calling his critics such as Youtuber Hutch an “asshole.”
A large majority of KeemStar’s recent tweets are also attacks on Scarce for his uploading of the video on Tony crying after the initial report went out. An example is “Scarce is a liar a manipulator & a joke!”
Prior to this whole event and writing this post, I felt KeemStar was not the best reporter, but the channel did good things. Now, I have trouble believing that A: Drama Alert functions with moderate competence, and B: KeemStar is fit to be outing people in the gaming community for just about anything.
Although I hold a well known bias for YouTuber TotalBiscuit, I feel that bias is irrelevant after KeemStar’s atrocious attempt at what he later called “a joke” despite being the worst possible way to handle criticism.
TotalBiscuit criticized Drama Alert, stating disdain towards Drama Alert identifying as a news-outlet with the statement “you are not news.” TotalBiscuit then blocked KeemStar on Twitter.
In retaliation for this comment, KeemStar tweeted this video which he shortly afterwords deleted. It was saved by Twitter user DANNYonPC:
Ladies and Gentleman, Keemstar (swearing at TotalBiscuit) he deleted his tweet pic.twitter.com/RMc9laQI5I
— DANNYonPC (@DANNYonPC) November 21, 2015
Once again, until I figure out how to fix the HTML input, click on the twitter link to watch the video.
KeemStar deleted this tweet, then posted another tweet stating the comment was just a joke. I don’t think wishing for someone to die of cancer is a very funny joke.
Drama Alert’s offer to Tony of one thousand dollars has questionable motives. If the decision to offer him the money was made by the Drama Alert team as a whole, it is likely their way of compensating him for the mistake.
If KeemStar were in fact the sole decider in offering the money to Tony, I’d more likely assume it were KeemStar attempting to cover his tracks as he has mostly done throughout this incident.
Regardless, any attempt to rectify Drama Alert’s mistake should be recognized positively, even if the amount of money is meager in comparison to the mistake made.
Many have continued to criticize Drama Alert, mostly because the channel continued to upload news segments the next day. In the video, the only notable piece of news is the banning of known “prankster” SoFloAntonio from Youtube.
The rest of the video involves reporting on other people’s videos. Most notably is Matthew Santoro’s video on his personal life which seems to have been made public on accident as the name of the video included the words “PRIVATE.” Santoro’s video was taken down very shortly after. The video includes Santoro’s story of being abused by his ex-girlfriend and his disdain towards how society portrays men in relationships.
Videos like this make the channel much easier to attack, as it makes the channel look much more like a tabloid than a news outlet.
There is plenty more to say about this, so I’d love to hear your guys’ thoughts on the situation. If you have any questions on the situation or disagree with my opinion, please go ahead and say so in the comments.
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