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Relationships between fans and creators can be really rewarding, but it can also be easy for people to get hurt. This week, we explore the power dynamics of these connections and how those involved can stay healthy.

CALL TO ACTION: Who are you in this equation? What power do you have in the fan/celebrity dynamic? Reflect and share with us on social media using #EngageUplift.

Power Dynamics Between Fans and Creators, a discussion with Hank Green, Laci Green, and Julia Nunes:
Healthy vs unhealthy boundaries:
What does a healthy relationship look like:
What does a healthy online relationship look like:
If you need someone to talk to about these issues, Love is Respect has people available and ready to chat on the phone, online, or over text. See their website to learn more about these services:
To learn more about other resources available to you, see our resource page:

Engage by Uplift tackles the difficult issues surrounding sexual abuse that the YouTube and online communities face. We're starting real talk for real change.

Each week, our host Kat Lazo discusses abuse and how it manifests in virtual spaces. Watch and collaborate with us through weekly calls to action, and join in with some of your favorite YouTubers as they consider the issues in round table discussions.

Hosted by Kat Lazo:

Directed by Kelly Kend:

Written by Grace Miller:

Real talk for Real Change. #EngageUplift
Subscribe to our channel to get updates!

Follow Uplift- Online Communities Against Sexual Violence:

Hey folks! It's me, Kat Lazo, and welcome to another episode of Engage by Uplift, a video series aimed at having real talk for real change when it comes to sexual assault.

If you're in a fandom, then it's likely that you know of someone who's internet famous, or that you yourself are internet famous. How does being internet famous differ from being just famous? "Internet famous," meaning you're well known on the internet but not necessarily in society at large. If you bring up Mamrie at, let's say, VidCon most people would know who you're talking about. But if you call up a random stranger and ask them if they know who she is, they're probably gonna ask: how the hell did you get my number?

Mamrie, Tobuscus, Darius Benson, Lele Pons, and even some fan fiction writers: they're all internet famous. And within their communities they have lots of fans, and lots of power. The dynamic between fan and creator can be really positive. fans love seeing what internet famous people create, and the support that the creators receive from fans can help them continue creating the content that they love. And it can even help in creating their job. And that's awesome!

But unfortunately, not all fan and creator relationships are healthy. Some creators have taken advantage of their position, and have been sexually violent towards their fans. Many of the survivors don't speak out about abusive creators, because they are afraid of being harassed by their fans. And these fears are justified, because some fans stay loyal to their favorite content creator even in the face of sexual violence charges.

But let's not forget that fans can cause harm to internet famous people too. They can belittle, bully, and harass content creators offline. In real world spaces, mobbing is a real physical harm. People even dox creators, publishing their personal information online for everyone to see, putting them in real danger. If you're interested in hearing what content creators Hank Green, Laci Green, and Julia Nunes have to say on this topic, make sure to check out one of our previous videos.

It's important to remember that the relationship between fan and creator is hugely impacted by the identities of those involved. For example, a creator who is openly gay will receive a lot more threats and harassment than a creator who's straight. But on the flip side, a creator who's straight can be really homophobic and make online spaces way less safe for fans who are queer. So don't forget that identities do matter, because they impact these power dynamics.

For this week's call to action, we're asking: Who are you in this equation? What power do you have in the fan-creator dynamic? As always, made sure to share your answers on social media using the hashtag #EngageUplift, or in the comments down below.

So what does a healthy fan-creator dynamic look like? Ideally, everyone would view one another complexly. People who are internet famous and people who are fans both deserve respect and empathy. If you're someone with a sizable following -- basically, if you can say you have fans -- then you have the responsibility to think critically about how you interact with those fans. Are you treating them with respect? Are you taking advantage of them?

Often, people who are internet famous are much older than the majority of their fans. If underage fans are trying to form a personal relationship with you, it's your responsibility to set boundaries. Romantic and physical relationships with people who are underage is inappropriate and illegal. No matter how strongly they are coming on to you, it's your responsibility as an adult to say no. Do you have fans who actively try to talk to you or try to be your friend? Do fans ask you for advice, look up to you, see you as someone to learn from or emulate? If so, then you're in a position of power, and that comes with a responsibility to ensure that you aren't coercing a fan into an inappropriate or violent situation. Set clear, healthy boundaries about whether or how often you interact with your fans. And never take advantage of a fan's interest in you in order to be in a sexual situation with them.

And if you're a fan, make sure that you're thinking complexly about creators. People who are internet famous have control over their social media. They only put out what they want you to see. They edit out embarrassing, uncomfortable information, their flaws, just like we all do with our social media platforms. You may think that you know them very well, but in reality you're only seeing a part of the full picture. People who are internet famous are people; they just happen to have an audience. Be careful not to idolize them, and remember to treat them with the same courtesy that you would with anyone else. You don't have the right to a creator's personal life, so respect their boundaries.

If you're a creator or a fan in a personal relationship, either as friends or romantic partners, ask yourself whether you're trying to control the other person, or if you're relying on them for your happiness. Those are signs of an unhealthy relationship. In a healthy relationship, both people are communicating openly, both are able to be their own person, and both have meaningful relationships outside of that partnership. If you don't feel like this is true in your own relationship, please seek help and consider cutting off contact. For resources that can help you with the situation, make sure to check out the description box down below.

Folks, that's it for this week. Thank you so much for watching. If you've enjoyed this video, make sure to give it thumbs up, and, if you haven't already, subscribe! And don't forget to answer our call to action on social media using the hashtag #EngageUplift, or in the comments down below. As always, I'm Kat Lazo of TheeKatsMeoww. 'til next time! Bye!