Faceless YouTube


Liron Brunner


Despite being around for a while, YouTube is still one of the most unique virtual platforms. There is no other place where you can watch videos like those on Youtube; other social media platforms cannot compare because of their relatively short content. You can watch videos on cooking, gaming, makeup, BBC videos, late night shows; you name it, YouTube has it. Now there are entire companies and lives revolving around YouTube such as Tasty, the Odd1sOut, Mr. Beast, and thousands more. YouTube has transcended a mere video platform, it has become an entire lifestyle for some, and these days, it is even preferred over reading books.


As much as I like YouTube, there are certain drawbacks such as comments, liking, or disliking, which can make people feel hurt. Many creators have achieved fame, fortune, and success because of YouTube, but are millions of subscribers and eager sponsors worth sacrificing their privacy and their personal lives?. What is often forgotten is that our favorite content creators are real people, they do not owe anything to their subscribers nor to the people that like and comment on their videos. 


I have been doing some research and found that now more than ever, faceless YouTube has been trending among content creators. Faceless Youtube is a new trend upon Youtube creators where they show their content in the forms of cartoons or other means in order to keep their true identity hidden. Not wanting fans to see your face is understandable, especially considering the cases upon cases of fans thinking that they are owed attention, like photos, just because they contributed to the success of the creator. This has been taken to the extremes many times. A prime example is one case where a man went to a YouTuber’s house and brought dangerous objects with him because he wanted to pursue a relationship with her. This is sick and gruesome itself, but what’s worse is that it is only one of the many disturbing examples. My question is why he felt so entitled to a relationship with this woman if he’d never even met her before?


The answer is viewers feel like they know creators from the content they watch. Content creators want to interact with viewers, but a more interactive and immersive experience comes with consequence. With past media, the audience’s perspective of TV shows and movies was from an outside view. They were watching the plot unfold, but had no say in the next episode or what would happen next. Now, content creators on Youtube interpret the element of interaction. They want the viewers to feel like a part of their life, choose what their next video is going to be about. They encourage viewers to give active feedback and give them their direct opinion. 


While some understand that Youtube is just a more interactive version of media, many viewers develop one sided personal connections to creators. They think that they are talking to them personally, to an extent where 40% of teens these days feel they have a closer connection with YouTubers than with their families. This “connection” gives certain viewers the idea that they deserve to know the personal information about a content creator, and oftentimes, their privacy is violated. 


One positive aspect of Faceless YouTube is that you can create your own image of the person behind the cartoon. It makes them more relatable, because your mind can meld them into whoever you want them to be. I personally had a very different idea of who Odd1sOut looked like until he posted a video with his real face. Benefits are reaped for the creators too, as they can take the mask off and walk around without having to disguise their identity; they can be themselves in both worlds.


I personally am supportive of this trend, as I know that content creators have had difficulty in the past with simple tasks such as going to the grocery store. They are people like us. Beyond that, they are brave people for putting themselves out there regardless of whether their face is on their content. I hope this trend gains traction so that these creators who devote their lives to YouTube can go grab lunch without having to take a hundred photos with a hundred strangers.