This “channel” tricked 900k users. This is how. (Spill)


If there’s one thing I love more than causing
chaos on the internet, it’s being right. And now, after all this time, it appears I’ve
finally managed to combine the two. Looks like I was right. Again. So today, we are not reacting to funny life
hacks are creepy family channels, no no no. We, ladies and gentleman, have been deceived. Basically, there’s this enormous YouTube
drama channel called Spill. Spill lied to 900,000 people, including my
viewers, and that’s where they went wrong. This is a big deal not only because it worked
(temporarily), but because it reflects a pretty big issue here on YouTube. Apparently, companies seem to think that the
average YouTube viewer is pretty dumb. Now, I’m no investigative journalist, but
I am nosy. I just don’t get paid for it. Wait, in that case why am I not an investigative
journalist? Basically, I was really curious about how
Spill was able to produce such high quality content so quickly, so I used my one and only
skill: making a ten minute video about it. So the big piece in all of this is that between
the custom artwork, the captions for every single word, and the insane levels of research,
Spill is somehow spending a lot longer on each video than most YouTubers, but managing
to release several videos a week. After realizing that Spill had three other
channels, all with the same level of quality, I concluded that it must be a team of at least
12 people. That there’s actually a twelfth person,
because somebody has to be maintaining all of those social media accounts. Seeing as how the fourth channel was a fictional
animation channel starring Spill and all the other people as fictional characters, I just
came to the conclusion that they weren’t real people. This isn’t a team of people, okay, this
is a company. Which is a team of people. You know what I mean. I assumed that they were created by a company,
and yeah. That was my video. See, once my video went up, it turns out a
lot of YouTubers had the exact same questions. So, the videos started rolling in, and the
discussion kicked into overdrive. But then Spill showed up and tried to run
that discussion into the ground. Their idea was to expose themselves, and “debunk”
my video. Emphasis on the air quotes. Spill started out as a two-person passion
project. We illustrated Spill as a character initially
to protect our privacy because of the controversial topics we cover. But once Spill started to grow, the team grew
too. We’re based in Canada. As soon as more than one person is working
on a big project together, it’s leagally the best option to register as a corporation. While they were at it, they also addressed
the other spin-off channels. So, we came up with someone to investigate
those stories: me. Thankfully, we also had a few video editors
on-board as well, one of whom moved on to our new project: an animated show called On
The Hill. We’re a small group of people without a
lot of money, or the most ideal set-up, space, or tools. So yeah, consider me debunked. If Spill said it in a video, then surely it
must be true. In fact, after Spill’s video, people seemed
to feel free to come into my comment section and tell me I was wrong about everything. Some of the comments were nice, some of them
the comments were definitely not. I also thought it was funny how I suddenly
had a lot of people were telling me “Oh well duh we already knew they were a corporation”
when pretty much nobody actually said that until Spill confirmed it. But ultimately, that was the end of the story. Or at least I’m sure that’s what Spill
wanted. See, their explanation video didn’t sit
right with me at all, and it turns out that I wasn’t the only one. After my video went up, YouTuber Petty Paige
did some digging into Spill herself, and let’s just say Paige was a lot more thorough than
I was. Google had captured that she previously listed
on her Twitter that she was Spill. And when you go to her LinkedIn profile, which
is public, you can see that she lists herself as a writer for Spill under AWED. So, she managed to find Spill. Honestly, that didn’t really change Spill’s
story that they started off as a two-person project and expanded into a corporation once
the channel grew. Except, that AWED Corporation that Spill is
registered under has been around for 5 years before Spill ever started. Now, I looked online and found out that AWED
Corp became incorporated in 2013. I even paid the Canadian government to get
AWED Corp’s certificate of incorporation. So my question for you is pretty simple. Who are you going to believe, Spill saying
that the corporation was a reaction to their 2018 YouTube channel growing, or the Canadian
government saying that this corporation has been around since 2013? The corporation’s director is a man called
Roland. He may also be a journalist, as he has written
for several companies. Unwindly.com, Droold.com, and GoodGood! The voice behind Spill used to work for GoodGood,
in fact she worked for them for three whole years as staff writer and then became senior
editor. So it turns out that Spill has been working
for AWED Corp for quite some time. So in other words Spill was created by a media
company which appears to be a less successful version of Buzzfeed, but they were bent on
passing it off as some sort of individualistic project. Looks like I was right. And then when this was called into question
by the YouTube community, Spill just went on their channel and lied to their fans. Again. But many of Spill’s fans still aren’t
even aware that that video was intended to mislead them, and instead the comment section
is full of people praising Spill for being, you know, the best channel, with the most
journalistic approach. And you know, if citing research papers that
are incidentally related to the YouTube topic makes it a “journalistic approach”, then
move over. I’m about to become a journalist. So why was this channel so determined to appear
smaller and more individualized than it actually was? Why are companies pretending to be people? Two words: manufactured authenticity. According to this verified Psychology Today
article by Dr. Larry Stybel and Maryanne— Okay you know what, no no no no nope. I can’t do this. This reminds me too much of school, and I
graduated school for a reason. I still don’t know what that reason was,
but I’m glad I’m not there anymore. Basically people like people more than they
like companies. So companies have started trying to act like
people. Think about how fast food brands interact
with Twitter. To see an example, look at these two ads. DayList is an app that lets you manage your
time, by making easy, detailed task lists. With all the things going on in this digital
age, we figured you could use all the scheduling and planning help you can get. Search for the DayList app to learn more today,
and we promise it’ll help you out. DayList: don’t let your life pile up. But, before we get started, I’ve got to
give a quick shoutout to today’s sponsor, which is DayList. DayList is an app that lets you manage your
time, by making easy, detailed task lists. Task lisks . . . that’s challenging my lisp. I personally love this app, because with YouTube
and school and everything else that’s going on, I have to schedule these things, and I
can use all the planning help that I can get. So, if you guys feel a little overwhelmed
and need help organizing your life, I definitely recommend that you guys click the link in
the description and check out DayList. So thank you to YouTuber Tiffany Ferg, and
the professional voice-over artist that I hired for this, um the ads were fake. I just created them to show how companies
have now figured how to say the same talking points but make it sound way more personal. Companies like Skillshare, Honey, and even
DayList, if it existed have started spending millions and millions of dollars paying people
to make ads in their bedrooms. So when I see comments on my original video
about Spill with 9,000 people who thought Spill was some college girl in her room, or
13,000 people who thought Spill was just a real, individual person, it becomes clear
to me that AWED Corp realized that in order for Spill to work, they were going to have
to appear as small and individual as possible. That’s why you can find a bunch of examples
of Spill saying “asking me” and “seeing myself”, and generally just trying to seem
like one person. And if anything, I’m just surprised they
were successful for this long. How did they successfully control the narrative
for this long? Well they had two methods. One: a very good grasp on public communication,
and two, straight up deleting every comment that disagreed with them. You can tell that they’re missing thousands
of comments, because they have videos like this one with 1.8 million views, 5-,000 likes,
and only 200 comments. I guarantee you that the video, this video
you’re watching right now has more than 200 comments, but probably nowhere near 1.8
million views. They also have comments on their channel with
16,000 likes, and no replies. Some people thought they moderated their comments
to keep it friendly and avoid getting demonetized, but I found a profanity-laced comment directed
towards people who disagree with their PR video, so that doesn’t hold up. You see, they’re not deleting comments,
they’re holding all comments for review, which allows someone at Spill to pick and
choose which ones they want to show up on their channel. The reason I know this is because when Petty
Paige’s video showing that they were owned by AWED Corp came out, for the first four
hours that Paige’s video was released, her video got over 1,000 comments, guess how many
Spill’s PR video got. Zero. There was a 4+ hour gap where they just didn’t
approve any comments at all. These people went on lockdown. So that’s the comment moderation, as for
the communication manipulation, just look at their PR video. They claim they don’t have “a lot” of
money, but they had enough to pay for their videos to be YouTube ads, which is some people
found them in the first place. They try to deflect by pointing out how other
YouTubers are incorporated too, when in each case, unlike Spill, the corporation isn’t
running the YouTube channel, the YouTube channel is running the corporation. You better leave Christine out of this. They have an extended montage of them being
from Canada randomly interjected in the middle of the video to seem more relatable, and it
did in fact result in hundreds of “omg you’re Canadian” comments. Bottom line, these people are good at what
they’re doing, after all AWED Corp has years’ worth of mass media experience. But when I’m given Kool-Aid by strange companies
on the internet pretending to be people, I at least like to know the flavor. Now, the future of this situation seems very
clear to me. Spill still makes good videos, people are
still going to continue to watch those videos, and I think everyone is going to be A-Okay. I just think you should know who you’re
watching on YouTube, because nobody on YouTube is quite as straightforward as they seem. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do
my other job as a social media manager at AWED Corp. Anyway, looks like I’ve gotten ten minutes
of content out of this, so leave a like, tell me what you think, and subscribe if you haven’t
already. Thank you for watching, and a big thank you
to my 180,000 subscribers. Okay bye.

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