JonTron and PewDiePie aren’t the only YouTube personalities in the iron sights of the perpetually offended games media. While the two situations aren’t exactly comparable, those who speak out in defense of their freedom of expression have also come under fire. The latest YouTuber to be attacked for his opinions is Steven “Boogie2988” Williams. His crime was to rail against the call out culture on social media.
In the week following the release of his video calling out the gaming media for its attacks YouTube personalities, Boogie2988 posted a series of (now deleted) tweets to speak out on the issue of social media witch hunts. He identified JonTron and and Feminist Frequency founder Anita Sarkeesian as examples of people whose “extreme views” made them acceptable targets for many. He disagreed that they should be harassed for their opinions.
Sarkeesian previously shared her desire to see “moral restrictions” in video game content, and expressed her disdain for “sexist” Japanese video games like Super Mario Bros. She also spoke ill of the late journalist and social critic Christopher Hitchens on the day of his death.
“I still believe that letting people have their crazy ideas, be they religious, political or social, is the better way to be,” said Boogie2988 (archive).
He also expressed his view that it was unacceptable to deprive anyone of their livelihood for holding the wrong opinions. “If it were up to me and you worked for me I would not fire you for having extremely weird views as long as your work got done,” wrote Boogie2988.
“Make no mistake, though. There are some key players doing everything they can to damage Jon and his career because they don’t like his views which honestly I have come to expect these days,” he added.
Saying so put him in the crosshairs of game journalists, among whom was VICE’s Patrick Klepek, formerly of Giant Bomb.
“In which a man argues advocating for white nationalism is the same as feminism,” wrote Klepek, who quoted Williams’ posts.
“When you somehow manage to stay something and nothing at the same time,” added Klepek, referencing Williams’ tweet where he admonished JonTron for his racist-sounding arguments. The VICE writer’s remarks became a call to action for dozens of social justice warriors on Twitter, who took turns berating Boogie2988.
It wasn’t enough that Boogie2988 disagreed with JonTron—simply defending his right to expression was enough to paint him as one of the bad guys. Unless you toe the ideological line, you’ll be standing in the line of fire—that much is evident.