I’ve been away for way too long, this is where I should make an excuse, but really there isn’t one for me to be so inconsistent and disorganised. I have a new schedule which should see an influx on posts and trust me there is PLENTY. Some you may have seen before when I was northernirishgirlonline and some (well MOST of them) will be brand new.
I’ve changed the layout of my site recently and I’d love to get people’s thoughts on it. Do you love it? Do you hate it? Any feedback is good feedback and I appreciate it all a tonne!
Bitta Background on Why I’m Talking About This
I tweeted roughly 30 – 40 minutes ago about a very special Youtube channel that I’m an absolutely massive supporter of. It’s called Special Books for Special Kids or SBSK for short. It’s a heartwarming, educational channel for people of all ages that specialises in equality and diversity. The main focus is to educate the masses on complex medical conditions and how the individual’s that live with them, live their lives on a daily basis. It was created by Chris Ulmer and his beautiful partner a few years ago.
SBSK in Chris Ulmer’s Own Words
“SBSK (Special Books by Special Kids) started when I was a special education teacher. My students and I originally set out to publish a book in which they shared what life is like from their perspective. we hoped that this would help educate others on what it is like to live with a disability. No publishers were interested so we then started creating videos. Soon, people around the world started emailing me asking if I could interview them also. Although the medium has changed, the idea remains the same.
Founded in 2016, SBSK is a 501(c)3 organization that seeks to normalize the diversity of the human condition under the pillars of honesty, respect, mindfulness, positivity and collaboration. This multi-media movement supports the acceptance and celebration of all members of the neurodiverse community regardless of diagnosis, age, race, religion, income, sexual orientation, gender or gender expression.”
Kayne was just the most inspirational person I’ve ever had the pleasure to come across, even if it was online. Kayne battled a type of brain cancer known as DIPG and, I can’t even put into words how brave and strong this guy was. There was a comment he made on one of the videos and it was mentioned again on his last video which you can watch, here. The comment was, “Just live, don’t go crazy, live within your means, but just live.” He also said, “Don’t take things for granted.” The video of him with his grandmother… I just can’t you need to watch it yourself. I subscribed because of these videos, the amount I have learned (like I said in my tweet) through this channel than I did in my first year studying psychology with the Open University…this isn’t even a joke.
Not that I’m trying to convince you to subscribe to this channel, but you should. As if you needed another reason other than what I have told you, there is this kid. His name is Garrett, he is Autistic and he’s just the greatest kid and gives a look at the life of a teen with Aspergers. His video is here and as mentioned before it gives an insight into the complex conditions and needs that people like Garrett have. All of this is given in the kids or individual’s words. There are so many people featured on this channel and so much to learn from these people and their lives, it’s one of my favourite channels on Youtube and it’s just a channel that you get sucked into and end up binge watching.
I could talk about every single case featured on this channel because I have watched every single one. I know if I were to do that, you’d not need to watch the channel, which is what the end goal is, as well as the petition. John is a young boy diagnosed with Open Wounds, also known as epidermolysis bullosa, a condition that leaves his body covered with open sores.
“The condition leaves his skin covered with open sores and is constantly battling severe pain. John still finds hope in serving as an example for others that it is possible to survive difficult times.”
– Chris Ulmer, SBSK
I have linked his introductory video, here. It’s all in his own words and that of his families which I personally think is more important than sitting listening to a medical professional. Whilst specialists have the knowledge and skills to talk about conditions like John’s, they don’t live it day to day.
All these individuals are brave, but John touched my heart just as much as Garrett and Kayne. He’s just another amazing example of resilience and why people need to open up their eyes and see how unique everyone is. They need to learn acceptance, compassion and empathy for others, and this channel is a surefire way of doing that.
Youtube has created yet another way to demonetise channels which are focusing on their comments section. Whilst SBSK hasn’t mentioned demonetisation in their video discussing what has happened, I know this has been the case for other channels being completely demonetised for whatever reason.
SBSK posted the video yesterday which I have linked above, the comment section for every single one of their videos has been stripped of the comments in the comment section. Every-single-one! Their reason for this? Predators, Youtube feels that this channel is the target for predatory individuals who they seemingly think will be somehow lurking in the comments and not be spotted by at least 1.2 million people and the other hundreds and thousands of people watching the videos.
The impact has been absolutely devastating for the families, the people involved or featured and the videos that Chris uploads on a regular basis. The SBSK community is the most positive community on the internet, and the channel itself (in my opinion) is the most educational I’ve come across.
Other Changes Youtube made that You May not be Aware of
Google-owned video platform started flagging some of the videos as unsuitable to advertisers which came just after the Logan Paul scandal. Smaller channels are now considered to be too small to be eligible for ads and under the rules that Youtube have put in place they are going to be kicked out of YouTube’s partner program altogether.
The rules were put in place after Logan was STILL allowed to continue his Youtube career after filming and JOKING during his trip to Japan’s infamous Suicide Forest He filmed a recently deceased young adult hanging from a tree. He’s continued to have his videos monetised. Youtube’s reforms were meant to tighten the restrictions on ads in the wake of this scandal.
It’s a double standard and the policies are further harming vloggers with smaller audiences, or artists who seek ad revenue to help support their work. Creators such as one of my very favourites, Creepypasta’s, true crime channels and our beloved Zombae, GlamnGore – Mykie. Why? Because she does horror based FX makeup SOME of the time.
Other creators with bigger channels that continue to produce offensive content are being rewarded *cough*Pewdiepie and the Paul brothers*cough*. Whilst smaller channels that discuss mental health, disability, LGBTQ+ topics and other very important topics are being failed by Youtube.
It’s become a running joke to those who use Youtube for a form of entertainment that channel’s like Shane Dawson who focuses on conspiracy theories, or in-depth interview series’ on other Youtuber’s aren’t being paid. Shane is a bisexual man living with his male partner. He swears, he jokes and he causes snort giggles from the majority of his viewers. He’s a normal person, talking about topics people of a similar age group relate to. Yet, it’s a miracle if he hits the trending page on Youtube… oh, I forgot to mention, he has 20 million strong followers which is one of the highest on Youtube.
Youtube has denied any claims their systems are biased and have been on defense for nearing a year now. I’m not a Youtuber so you’re probably wondering why I feel so passionate about this? I’m just sick of seeing people who work very hard get shit on, on a daily basis. Youtube have been accused of spreading misinformation such as the fake -reports about the Texas shooting suspect and his “left-wing” activities. You can read the article The Guardian did on that, here.
There is also the footage that would be deemed harmful to children, damaging videos with harassing content in them. It’s at the point now where Youtube get so much hate from so many forms of social media that they’ve stopped responding. They don’t respond to Youtubers asking for answers through emails, calls and social media. Yet, they continue to allow people like the Paul brother’s and their VERY CREEPY father produce content and get paid without a hitch.
Meanwhile, we have people like Chris, Shane and Mykie having comments disabled, ads removed and revenue taken away. For a lot of these people, it’s their full-time jobs and this is their life and career. As blogger’s we work in the same arena. I wouldn’t know half of what I know about psychology, criminology or mental health and wouldn’t have been introduced some of my biggest inspirations, Anna Saconne, Mykie, Jeffree Star (kind of as I followed him in his My Space days… I’m so fucking old) and Melanie Murphy. My favourite channels like Chills, CorpseHusband, Mortis Media and Let’s Read all focusing on horror-based stories or true crime stories that are my version of ASMR are also being impacted.
Some of them are now at the point they give up appealing their cases to Youtube. There a comedian named Gabby Dunn who is part of the LGBTQ+ community that has her LGBTQ+ content flagged for being unsuitable for advertisers, However, if she does any sketches decipting straight couples, nothing happens. Coincidence? I think not.
Chris and his partner, and no doubt the individual’s, their families and their friends want people to sign. It’s to stop the comments from being disabled, as I mentioned in my tweet there are enough subscribers on the channel to moderate any negative comments and you better believe that we do already! I’ve yet to see a troll last very long, every single one is reported and they’re reported by at least a few thousand others.
They want Youtube to focus on the disabling of the comments and have them put back where they belong so families like Kayne’s can look back on the positive comments which means more than we could ever know to them.
You can sign the petition, here. I am not usually one for begging, but I’m begging you to please sign it. Watch the videos of the three boys, of Chris and his partner talking about how they were chosen.
SBSK Social Media
I wanted to dedicate this post to Kayne, for reminding me to choose life. Thank you and rest in peace wherever you may be.