Okay, so I already did a discussion video on this topic on my YouTube channel, but I also want to address the matter here because I believe that it’s important to address this issue across the board.
Disclaimer: This was a very small group of individuals on Twitter who expressed their opinions in a harsh way about the general Booktube community. This in no way reflects the book community as a whole as this issue arose and was dealt with pretty quickly. Apologies were made, though, which is good, and the issue was addressed. Please check out Sam from Thoughts on Tomes’ video about the issue and how she calmly and reasonably discusses it.
So many hurtful things were said about Booktubers the other night by a few select individuals who are book bloggers. Some of the things that were said were:
- Booktubers can’t be trusted.
- They make money so they really can’t be trusted.
- You don’t get a lot of content from videos.
- Their reviews are unintelligent and aren’t meaningful/insightful.
There were a few other things that were said, but you get the point.
These things didn’t need to be said and were harmful in many ways to those that do Booktube. We are all part of the same community that loves books and reads them to share our thoughts and opinions on them. I mean, isn’t that what we’re here for?
Let me just briefly talk about why the broad generalizations these individuals made were incorrect and harmful.
- Booktubers can’t be trusted. I think this stems from the second point that some Booktubers make money from their videos. While it’s true that a very small number of “big name” Booktubers do receive compensation for their videos, it’s a very small number of the Booktube community. They often state that their video is sponsored either at the beginning or end of the video so that people who view it know that it is being paid for. With that said, I think it’s a great thing that they’re getting paid for their content because those people have worked so hard to get their opinions out there, to make original content, and they’ve gained such a vast audience that, frankly, they deserve what they’ve gotten.
- I have no reason to believe that Booktubers don’t give their honest opinions if they’re being paid or not. I’ve watched several Booktubers who I know get paid really hash out their feelings on a book, both good and bad. So why can’t they be trusted? I think they’re just like bloggers and can be. As long as their opinion is honest and critical, then I don’t see the problem here.
- Their reviews aren’t insightful or meaningful/insghtful. I think the point here was that Booktubers videos aren’t as insightful or as deep as those of book bloggers, but I have to disagree completely. Some Booktubers are highly analytical and go very in depth on the prose of a book or characterization or plot development. Just because a Booktuber may be straight to the point or use smaller words or be happy and peppy in their videos doesn’t mean that they’re not serious about what they’re putting out there. To think otherwise is just kind of ridiculous.
- You don’t get a lot of content from the videos. I think this statement is so far from the truth. Some of the most original content I’ve seen is from Booktubers. I think that’s partly because I saw/joined Booktube first and I’m not discrediting book bloggers by any means because book bloggers have come up with many amazing and cool things, but with Booktube it’s much more visual so it’s much more visually stimulating. I think that there are some that make great videos that may even be three minutes long but contain such wonderful content that it doesn’t matter.
All of the statements made about Booktubers were made publicly on Twitter and so I think that was another issue: that it wasn’t addressed privately to an individual or group of individuals. This can cause other people to chime in and say hurtful things as well, which is not something that should be spread or anything like that. Talk reasonably with others, and issues like these can deflame quickly.
Now let me just say this: I may be defending Booktubers up the wazoo, but I don’t think there’s a difference between Booktubers, book bloggers, Bookstagramers, Booklr, or any other platform that people who love books might be using. We’re all part of one huge community that spans the globe and that’s the most amazing part. We can share our thoughts and opinions with people who live in other countries or friends right next door. This community is amazing and wonderful.
It’s just when issues like this arise we shouldn’t just cast it to the wayside, but rather address it in a civilized manner. It’s one thing to be critical and another to be mean.
No matter the platform, everyone matters. As long as we’re putting out our own content, whether it’s by video, blog post, or picture, then what’s the problem?
Let me know your thoughts on this issue. If you’ve seen it before, did you say or do anything about it? What are your thoughts and opinions?