Troll control: how YouTube’s finest handle their haters

Some of the internet’s hottest young things share their different methods of responding to negativity online

Troll control: how YouTube’s finest handle their haters
Troll control: how YouTube’s finest handle their haters
22 May 2015

Troll control: how YouTube’s finest handle their haters

Photos: Tammi Tan
Video: Vina Chia

YouTube FanFest is back in Singapore for the third year running, and with it comes an influx of the largest ever gathering of stars that found fame on the video-sharing site on the island – 34 of them, to be exact.

The line-up for the three-day extravaganza kicks off with an open-to-all red carpet event this evening (May 22), followed by a string of performances, meet-and-greets and workshops over the weekend (May 23 and 24). Fans will get to see familiar faces from both home and abroad, including Kurt Hugo Schneider, Wong Fu Productions, Tiffany Alvord, Bubzbeauty, The Fung Brothers, as well as our very own Benjamin Kheng, Dee Kosh, Gentle Bones and more.

With some of them having as many as two, three or even five million subscribers, these guys obviously get a lot of love online. Unfortunately, the anonymity of the internet is also a breeding ground for nasty, naysaying keyboard warriors who have no qualms about bashing the YouTubers in the comments section.

So how do they handle such unnecessary dislike? As we learned from yesterday’s press conference and interviews, there are plenty of ways to deal with the situation:


YouTube FanFest Singapore red carpet
Date:
May 22 (Friday)
Time: 7pm
Venue: *SCAPE

For more information on the showcases, activities and ticketing, visit www.youtubefanfest.com/sg.


The Fung Brothers learn from their criticisers
The Fung Brothers learn from their criticisers
22 May 2015

The Fung Brothers learn from their criticisers

Seattle-born siblings David and Andrew Fung, who have their own food and travel show What The Fung?! coming out soon, have a rather unexpected and uncommon approach towards rude remarks made towards them on the World Wide Web.

“I actually listen to haters,” said older brother David (left) during our chat. “Although they’re spitting venom, at the core of the venom there may be a seed of truth that you can take into consideration. It’s like eating watermelon but spitting out the seeds – sometimes that’s how you make adjustments.”

Andrew concurs. “As comedians, we’re almost expected to listen to haters because the last thing we want to do is to shut things out just because they’re negative. Instead, we have to take what we want from that negative energy and be able to stomach it. Some commenters are really irrational, but others do have a point.”

One example David gave was when someone pointed out that his hat looked “off” in a video. “People said my hat looked terrible and that I was ugly, so I’m like, yeah I really dropped the ball on the hat and you guys caught it, maybe you were being a little extreme with the language but I’ll still take it.”

For Andrew, being accused of not being funny makes him think of ways to improve, but at the end of the day: “You can’t make everyone laugh, and that’s okay.”

Tiffany Alvord plays along, then shakes it off
Tiffany Alvord plays along, then shakes it off
22 May 2015

Tiffany Alvord plays along, then shakes it off

“You can’t sing. You suck so bad. You’re so ugly.”

The doe-eyed songbird is no stranger to heartless statements like that directed at her, but a good sense of humour helps her keep her head held high.

“Sometimes, I like to respond to the haters by agreeing with them and going, ‘Yeah, you’re right, I’m not that great’, and they usually reply, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!’” she revealed during the press conference. “But yeah, haters are gonna hate, so you just have to shake it off.” (Cue Taylor Swift’s infectious anthem.)

During our one-on-one interview afterwards, Tiffany admitted that while obnoxious complaints have affected her a few times before (which is completely understandable), most of the time she has no trouble just laughing and brushing them off.

“People are funny on the internet,” she observed. “Haters are always going to be there, and if you live to please them, then you’re not going to be happy, so you have to pay attention to the positive comments.”

Kurt Hugo Schneider doesn’t even bother with bad comments…
Kurt Hugo Schneider doesn’t even bother with bad comments…
22 May 2015

Kurt Hugo Schneider doesn’t even bother with bad comments…

Fortunately for the talented songwriter/director/producer, he doesn’t really seem to get all that much negative feedback. “It usually gets down-voted so fast that I miss it,” he told us. “And even if I see one, I don’t deal with it – you don’t need to respond to hate.”

Kurt, who has joined musical forces with the likes of Jason Mraz, Jason Derulo, Tegan and Sara, Victoria Justice and fellow YouTube favourite Sam Tsui, attributes his devil-may-care outlook to an increase in self-assurance over the years since creating his channel in 2007.

“At first maybe I was more affected by (negative comments) but I’ve grown more confident in my own work; I don’t need someone else to tell me whether it’s good or bad, I trust what I think.”

With over 5.4 million subscribers and a billion video views in total, we think he can afford to stick to that philosophy.

…and neither does Bubzbeauty
…and neither does Bubzbeauty
22 May 2015

…and neither does Bubzbeauty

Whenever the petite makeup maven gets asked how she reacts to haters (although, it is beyond our comprehension how anyone could fling poisonous words at such an adorable and bubbly vlogger), she tells them, “You don’t have to deal with them. At the end of the day, you could be the sweetest, juiciest peach out there, but not everyone likes peaches, so what are you going to do about it? You can’t please everyone, so you just have to focus on doing your thing and on the people who love and care about you.”

Well said. 

Timothy DeLaGhetto insults haters right back
Timothy DeLaGhetto insults haters right back
22 May 2015

Timothy DeLaGhetto insults haters right back

“I talk back to my haters so much: if someone is disrespectful to you for no reason, you’re allowed to reply, ‘Well, your mum is ugly’,” he said, matter-of-factly, as the other YouTubers and members of the media present roared in laughter. “Then my comment gets a lot of likes, and I laugh.”

We wouldn’t expect anything less from the swag-and-attitude-filled firecracker.

Dee Kosh seeks revenge in the most badass way
Dee Kosh seeks revenge in the most badass way
22 May 2015

Dee Kosh seeks revenge in the most badass way

Warning: you do not want to mess with the sassy, outspoken deejay.

If you don’t believe us, check out what he said he would do (and apparently has done) to an unfortunate but deserving netizen: “A lot of kids on the internet like to troll, and I do not take to that, so what I do is I will find out their Twitter account, picture, school, and write to their principal. These kids need to learn!”

Click through for more pictures from yesterday’s YouTube FanFest press conference!

The YouTubers gather for a group photo
The YouTubers gather for a group photo
22 May 2015

The YouTubers gather for a group photo

Three YouTubers receive recognition for garnering over 100,000 subscribers.
Three YouTubers receive recognition for garnering over 100,000 subscribers.
22 May 2015

Three YouTubers receive recognition for garnering over 100,000 subscribers.

Wong Fu Productions
Wong Fu Productions
22 May 2015

Wong Fu Productions

Tiffany and Kurt.
Tiffany and Kurt.
22 May 2015

Tiffany and Kurt.

Macy Kate
Macy Kate
22 May 2015

Macy Kate

JinnyBoyTV
JinnyBoyTV
22 May 2015

JinnyBoyTV

JianHao Tan
JianHao Tan
22 May 2015

JianHao Tan

Jason Chen
Jason Chen
22 May 2015

Jason Chen

Gentle Bones
Gentle Bones
22 May 2015

Gentle Bones

Munah & Hirzi
Munah & Hirzi
22 May 2015

Munah & Hirzi

Naomi Neo
Naomi Neo
22 May 2015

Naomi Neo

Jakarta Beatbox
Jakarta Beatbox
22 May 2015

Jakarta Beatbox

Wah!Banana
Wah!Banana
22 May 2015

Wah!Banana

All India Bakchod
All India Bakchod
22 May 2015

All India Bakchod

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