One of YouTube's greatest celebrities found itself anchored early Friday in news coverage of mass shooting on two mosques in New Zealand.
A gunman who had sent part of the attack that left at least 49 people dead, urged them to look for "Subscribe to PewDiePie" referring to the alias used by Felix Kjellberg, a Swede whose channel slowly has dominated YouTube and heard controversy along the way.
Herr. Kjellberg was quickly able to refrain from shooting.
"I feel completely sick if I'm called this person" he said on Twitter . "My heart and thoughts go to the victims, the families, and everyone who is affected by this tragedy."
Herr. Kjellberg is no stranger to controversy. In recent years, he has been embraced by some on the far right and is facing criticism for his use of anti-Semitic imaging and racist and sexist language. Here is a closer look at PewDiePie and New Zealand gunman's words.
Who is PewDiePie?
As PewDiePie has Mr. Kjellberg collected over 89 million YouTube subscribers over the last decade with videos containing a mix of comedic rants, comments and video game narration.
Although edited, the videos carry an intimate, unprotected aesthetic that has helped Mr Kjellberg remain relevant and sought after by advertisers. According to Forbes, a sponsored video with PewDiePie can cost up to $ 450,000. Kjellberg earned $ 15.5 million last year.
Significance of & # 39; Subscribe to PewDiePie & # 39;
There is more to the gun members' words – "Subscribe to PewDiePie" – than to meet the eye.
On Friday, Kevin Roose, a column for The New York Times, wrote that the announcement may have served two purposes: to encourage political tensions and to serve as a knowledgeable nod to those who may see the arms-holder's actions with approval.
To achieve these goals, the non-officially-used prison used a meme born out of a competition for YouTube dominance.
Last year, the T-Series, a music label and film production company based in India, emerged as a threat to PewDiePie's top-ranked status on YouTube.
In response, Kjellberg shook with his fans to ward off the T-series, even going so far as to make a comical disc track to play the competition. Other YouTubers also entered the game, where some bought radio and display advertising.
As with many other frequently repeated phrases online, "subscribe to PewDiePie" became a symbol, a meme to itself.
Covered at the far right
In 2017, Disney dismissed ties with Mr Kjellberg and YouTube withdrew from him after the Wall Street Journal identified at least nine of his videos highlighting anti-Semitic movements and imagery.
In one, a couple of men employed by Mr Kjellberg wiped out a sign that read "Death to all Jews" and then laughed and danced. In another, he wears a brown military uniform, nods to archive films by Hitler, who delivers a speech.
Some of the videos were removed and Kjellberg described the segments as jokes and said in a statement that he was "no way to support any kind of hateful attitude to" and that "I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive . "
Despite these remarks, members of the far right embraced what Kjellberg had done.
A post on The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, noted that the videos raised questions about Kjellberg's own views, but concluded that they had no meaning: "The effect is the same; it normalizes Nazism and marginalizes our enemies. "
In an article last year, Paul MacInnes, who writes about sports and popular culture for The Guardian, celebrated common publications to largely ignore Mr Kjellberg.
Calling him a real agitator might be unfair as he has never publicly identified with the proto-fascist movement, "Mr. MacInnes wrote." But he shares much of their culture and amplifies it all over the world. People should pay more attention to PewDiePie. "
Later in 2017, Kjellberg used a racial song during a lifestyle in video games, which he later described as" extremely immature and stupid. "
" I said the worst word I could possibly think of, and it's just a kind of slip out and I won't make any excuse for why, "he said in a video excuse for his use of the word.  Last year Kjellberg came into a feud with Natalia Mogollon, another online personality famous about Twitch, where she goes off alias Alinity Divine and tells the life streams of video games.
In a video that tests an eye tracking device, Mr. Kjellberg referred to women in one of the videos he watched, including Mrs. Mogollon as "stupid Twitch Thots", a derogatory expression.
Ms Mogollon violated. In a subsequent forward and backward, Mr Kjellberg suggested that she intentionally dressed provocatively on her stream.
"Oh, you just play games with the shortest skirt ever, it's our fault to look at it in any sexual
A few months later he was criticized as insensitive to sharing a meme who made light of s Reminded Demi Lovato's battle with drugs.