Top 10 WORST YouTube Scandals Ever

Script written by Ty Richardson.

There’s no shortage of YouTube drama on the popular video site. Whether it’s the latest YouTube news about the Toby Turner aka Tobuscus abuse allegations, Ray William Johnson being sued over Equals Three’s Fair Use, or YouTuber Marina Joyce’s fake kidnapping, there are plenty of YouTube scandals and mysteries. WatchMojo counts ten of the juiciest pieces of YouTube gossip going.

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Script written by Ty Richardson.

Top 10 Biggest YouTube Scandals of All Time


Sometimes, going viral isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 YouTube Scandals.

For this list, we’re taking a look at drama bombs on the popular video-sharing site. Whether it’s copyright infringement or unethical prank videos, they’re all fair game here.

#10: YouTube Heroes & Subscriber Bug

2016 will go down as a write-off for just about everybody – especially YouTube. Throughout the year, many YouTubers saw a hefty dip in their subscribers and were understandably a bit miffed. In response to the outcry, YouTube kind of admitted they didn’t know what was happening, later saying it was a bug. To add fuel to the rage fire, YouTube then came out with “YouTube Heroes” in September 2016, a program that would allow users to flag videos, report users, and assist in closed captioning. Basically, they wanted people to work for YouTube for free. In a sad twist of irony, the community backlash was so brutal that YouTube disabled the Comments section on the video. Talk about a downvote...

#9: Hosseinzadeh v. Klein

You may know these parties better as YouTube personalities Bold Guy and h3h3Productions. For those unfamiliar with the works of Ethan and Hila Klein, their two channels h3h3 and Ethan and Hila boast comedy skits, reaction videos, and YouTube criticism. When they reacted to a video uploaded by MattHossZone, the channel’s owner, Matthew Hosseinzadeh, didn’t take too kindly to the slamming – or their use of his content. His lawyer demanded the video to be taken down, never spoken of again, and wanted $4,000 in compensation. The lawsuit continued, causing big names like Philip DeFranco and the Fine Brothers to band together to help fund h3h3’s defense in the name of fair use.

#8: Marina Joyce Fake Kidnapping

In July 2016, this young beauty vlogger came under serious scrutiny. In a video about date outfits, Marina Joyce seemed to be behaving strangely. Her fans immediately noticed she wasn’t her normal energetic self, and some even thought they could see bruises on her body. Many took these as signs Joyce was in danger, with some even speculating she was kidnapped by ISIS. The hashtag #savemarinajoyce quickly spread online, with fears escalating to the point that authorities visited her home. In reality, the video was just an awkward advertisement, and her bruises a result of a tumble in the woods prior to shooting the video. Whether this was a stunt Joyce pulled, the real deal, or just a lot of jumping to conclusions, it’s still quite something.

#7: Toby Turner’s Rape Allegations

Famous for his literal trailers and humorous music videos, Toby Turner, aka Tobuscus, came under fire in Spring 2016 for accusations of rape and sexual assault from ex-girlfriend and YouTube personality AprilEfff. Soon after, another of Turner’s ex-girlfriends – Amelia Talon – came forward saying that Turner had pressured her into using drugs and had also abused her. Jaclyn Glenn, another ex, did speak out in support of Turner, though she also claimed that she often felt pressured, but not forced, to do things during their relationship. In November, she posted again saying that Turner was incessantly messaging her and that she just wanted the whole ordeal to stop.

#6: Ray William Johnson Sued Over Fair Use

In a similar fashion to h3h3 and MattHossZone, long-time YouTuber Ray William Johnson went through a couple of legal disputes with Jukin Media. Johnson’s videos on Equals Three often feature commentary on content from other creators, and it was this format that got him in trouble. Jukin Media claimed that up to 48 videos violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, and should be deleted. The issue eventually made its way to court, with Johnson arguing that his videos were “transformative” and made new content out of the original videos. While the initial judgments ruled in Johnson’s favor, the case was resolved in a seemingly positive manner for all parties involved.

#5: Nicole Arbour & Matthew Santoro

YouTuber Nicole Arbour is best known for her infamous “Dear Fat People” video, in which she harshly criticized obese people. She made more than a few enemies with her comments, all the while gaining a lot of publicity. However, she came into the news AGAIN for another YouTube-related fiasco. Matthew Santoro, who’s best known for his factual list videos, posted a video revealing that he had an emotionally and physically abusive relationship. In a video from January 2016 titled “My Abuse Story,” he talked about the relationship and the ensuing trauma. It wasn’t confirmed that he was referring to Arbour until she posted calling him a “little bitch,” and stated he was using her for attention.

#4: DramaAlert & The RuneScape Pedophile

No one can stir up the drama quite like KEEMSTAR of the controversial DramaAlert channel. However, sometimes he and the channel jump the gun, and in this case, someone got hurt. DramaAlert found a news story about a gamer named John Phillips using RuneScape to lure young women, and singled out Twitch streamer Tony as the pedophile – except he wasn’t the guy. Tony soon received death threats and hateful messages, reducing him to tears. YouTuber Scarce entered the scene and called out Keemstar’s lack of fact checking, stating that the actual molester was still in prison, and that Tony was an innocent man. KEEMSTAR issued an apology video and offered the man money in damages, but many thought “sorry” wasn’t nearly enough.

#3: CSGO Lotto: TmarTn & TheSyndicateProject

In 2013, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive became more customizable for users, giving them the option of “skins.” Soon, sites popped up giving users – no matter how old they were – the chance to trade and gamble these coveted items on Counter-Strike games on Steam. YouTuber HonorTheCall started noticing that Trevor Martin, known as TmarTn, and Tom Cassell of TheSyndicateProject both won a LOT of money on CSGOLotto.com, which was used to win the in-game items. He then uncovered that Martin and Cassell were CSGO Lotto’s President and Vice President respectively, which they hadn’t mentioned. What started as a mother suing the game’s developer for allowing her young son to gamble soon resulted in a class-action lawsuit against Martin and Cassell, who had broken the Federal Trade Commission rules.

#2: Sam Pepper’s “Killing Best Friend Prank”

Former Big Brother housemate Sam Pepper is now most known for “prank” videos. In 2014, one of his videos featured him touching women without their consent, but a year later, he went to a whole new level. The video depicts Pepper in disguise, kidnapping online personalities Sam Golbach and Colby Brock, then forcing Golbach to watch Brock get shot. Pepper was shocked by the horrified response, and Golbach expressed the video’s point was about “living life to the full.” When petitions called for Pepper to be banned from YouTube, he responded with a GoFundMe page, promising to delete his YouTube account if pledges hit $1.5 million. By February 2016, Pepper began privatizing his videos and purging his Twitter account before re-emerging as a vlogger.

Before we expose our top pick, here are a few Dishonorable Mentions:
- Sam and Nia Fake Pregnancy?
- Trisha Paytas Didn’t Know Her Boyfriend Was Gay
- Jim Sterling v. Digital Homicide

#1: The Fine Brothers’ React World

Best known for their reaction videos, the Fine Brothers announced plans in 2016 to license their format to creators and trademark the term “react.” Many saw this as a move to capitalize on what is a very common format, and the Fine Brothers were met with heavy criticism from both viewers and fellow content creators. YouTubers with reaction videos were slammed with copyright strikes or requests for compensation, and the Fine Brothers suffered a loss of around 675,000 subscribers. On February 1st, 2016, Rafi and Benny Fine halted the React World program and decided to face the music, but it’s going to be hard to ever forget this bad business move.

Do you agree with our list? What scandals on YouTube shocked you the most? For more honest Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com!
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