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PewDiePie Set in Spotlight after New Zealand Shooting



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.

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.

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. "


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