Step one, endorse Hillary Clinton. Step two, require everyone else in your field to do the same. Step three, tell over 3 million people to harass anyone who does not endorse Hillary. Step four… profit?
For YouTuber Casey Neistat, this seems to be the business model that works best. Neistat, like many liberal entertainment stars, has decided to endorse Hillary Clinton while standing firmly against Donald Trump, and he shares the details in this video.
Neistat starts the video off with his endorsement. “Hillary Clinton” he says, “I am voting for Hillary Clinton.” Neistat goes on to mention that he avoids using his platform to discuss politics because they are divisive, an argument no one will refute. To him. however, this election is too serious and too important to stay silent on.
“This is about a megalomaniac who is driven by nothing but ego,” Neistat says, referring to Trump, “a man who cares exactly zero about the people of this country.” He goes on to mention how Trump brags about sexual assault and “shames others for the way that they look.” Neistat says he is speaking up now because “this election has very little to do with politics, policy or legislation.” He even mentions that he isn’t the biggest fan of Hillary Clinton, but he believes Trump is the most significant threat America faces.
He is making several solid points and should have just stopped there if he really wanted to make a good argument. Instead, Neistat goes on to call out “all the big YouTubers” and asking them to make videos, like he did, endorsing Hillary Clinton. He believes that anyone who does not act as “bravely” as him must be held accountable.
It’s here that Neistat, who has 5 million subscribers for his experiential videos, crosses the line from political activism to inciting harassment. He asks his viewers to be on the lookout for other YouTubers who refuse to discuss politics or endorsements and to call them out. He claims that anyone who does not speak out against Trump will be complicit if he wins, ignoring the fact that many YouTubers simply want to entertain people and not tell their audiences how to think or vote in an election.
In fact, another famous YouTuber, Philip Defranco, excoriates Neistat for his video, saying it has led many YouTubers to face spamming of comments like “where is your backbone” for simply staying out of politics.
Neistat has every right to voice his political preference, Defranco says, but inciting a mob to harass those that don’t side with you is several steps too far.