YouTube sensation Chris Crocker recently deleted his YouTube account over abusive commenters. That’s right: it has been eight years since he first uploaded his famous “Leave Britney Alone” video and he has only now learned something that professional bloggers have known for decades: never read the comments.
Crocker regularly posted videos on a range of topics: from comments about his family life, anti-femme misogyny in gay culture and even quick humorous bits lasting less than a minute long. But now all those videos have vanished. In a Facebook video shared early Tuesday morning (above), he explained:
“I started to realize that I’m not that 19-year-old anymore and things that I have been through — depression, anxiety, and different mental health issues that I have tried to overcome — that came into play in my mid-20s, and having this reputation of being the “Leave Britney Alone” guy for so many years, and all these things that people thought about me; y’know, I realized that the environment was something I couldn’t handle any more.”
He further explained his reasoning in a brief Facebook post which read in part:
The website got so toxic with comments telling me to kill myself if I just uploaded a regular ‘hi, how are you guys?’ video; that it just wasn’t worth it. My mental health and focusing on positivity is the most important- and people that appreciate me, instead of trying to see the worst of me.
He’s right of course — YouTube is a cesspool of abusive comments. The site allows content creators to preemptively ban comments that contain certain keywords, but trolls tend to be bad spellers and can easily get around the filters by misspelling words like “faggit” and “dumm bich.”
Crocker says he chose not to disable the comments on his videos because he hadn’t seen the option when uploading videos from his phone. He also felt “swept under the rug” by YouTube’s promotional campaigns which omitted any acknowledgement of his work despite his contributions to the site’s fame. He leaves the site feeling abused and generally unappreciated.
But seeing as he has 1,898,965 Facebook fans and just released a new musical single, it’s unlikely that Crocker will disappear from the digital landscape, no matter if you consider him a treasure (which he is) or just a “dumm bich.”