A massive multiplayer game platform, Roblox, has banned the wildly popular YouTuber PewDiePie, who has recently been going to great lengths to prevent his long-time rival, India’s largest music and movie studio T-Series, from becoming the most-subscribed YouTube channel. The news has quickly spread online, with netizens expressing particular outrage at Roblox equally blocking those who name or directly address the Swedish YouTuber.
Many even joined special flashmobs introduced by the respective hashtags #BoycottRoblox and #unbanpewdiepie:
You don’t ban pedos and assholes who sexually harass children but you ban PewDiePie, who did nothing wrong on the site and actually gave your game more attention? #roblox #robloxunbanpewds #unbanpewdiepie— *+ Caitlin +* (@Shadow_Caitlin) 14 февраля 2019 г.
The other day, PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, livestreamed his Roblox game play to his YouTube account in a bid to secure additional views on the major video sharing website and ultimately beat T-Series.
However, the following day, on logging in to Roblox, he found that his account had been deleted after a Roblox moderator ruled Kjellberg’s nickname, “pewdie123t23’s Place”, was “inappropriate for Roblox”, with many netizens pointing out online that it could be the sensitive word “die” in the name that put off moderators. Meanwhile, a Roblox staffer mentioned a completely different reason for the ban, Dexerto reported:
“PewDiePie is no longer permitted on Roblox due to his content redirecting to unsafe and inappropriate sites/channels, as well as continued inappropriate behaviour”, they said.
According to Roblox’s user rules, inappropriate behaviour may consist in using profane language, including anti-Semitic rhetoric, doxxing, harassing, etc. The former is notably most likely to have prompted Kjellberg’s ban, as he was heard swearing throughout his latest livestream.
What is meant by redirecting to “unsafe sites” is assumed to be PewDiePie’s YouTube channel itself, the content of which has made a stir several times, most notably in 2017, when he paid $5 to two freelancers for holding up a sign that read “Death to All Jews”. The video of the incident has since been deleted, but more recently, he reportedly recommended along the same lines that his subscribers support an alleged anti-Semitic, white supremacist YouTube channel.
Kjellberg responded to the ban in his typical manner, nonchalantly referring to it as Roblox’s “oopsie”.
The said livestream has meanwhile born fruit, with the one-and-a-half-hour play earning him a staggering 42,000 new subscribers and as many as 4.6 million views.
The ongoing race between Kjellberg and T-Series is tight indeed, with the former having so for racked up over 85,210,200 subscribers, while his rival is trailing just behind with almost 85,174,000. Despite the subscriber gains and some doubts voiced by a number of fans, PewDiePie insists that the battle is far from being lost, striving to find a game-changer for the past several months. Fans eagerly upheld his efforts after he kicked off a promo-campaign by challenging his rival T-Series to a sabre battle in August.
Subsequently, Mr. Best, an American YouTuber with 13 million subscribers, for example, opted to buy radio ads and billboards promoting PewDiePie, distinguished online as a highly popular individual rather than a money-thirsty commercial entity, as well as recorded a livestreamed tongue twister saying "PewDiePie" 100,000 times in a row.