This might irritate a few, but such is life. Keyboard warriors are very quick to nail someone and say people are wrong, bad, keep in poor conditions, handle poorly etc…. All the big YouTubers have unfortunately gone through this and probably go through it on a regular basis. Be it Dingo letting his lighty handle or swim with crocs, being outspoken and probably other things, Brian Barczyk has had his fair share of haters and stories spread about him, most likely linked to his fame. Using one of his sentences, ‘one persons success is not necessarily another persons failure’, and also by his own admittance he has not been the perfect keeper or content creator. N.E.R.D. Kevin Mccurley has taken fire for the Spider Ball Python gene, more than likely a whole lot of other things I have not seen on YouTube yet. Donny who does the editing for NERD has also taken fire for various videos he has posted and people he has exposed. Tyler Nolan could be called out for his free handling especially after having a close call with a previous near fatal bite. Chandler also can be pointed out for free handling, his alligator bite and perhaps his attitude and some comments that have not gone down well when it comes to US Ark. The list can go on for pages with multiple content creators across all spheres, and not just reptiles.
Some might be disliked just for their appearances or method of putting a message across. Providing, in my opinion, it is not done by taking someone else down to improve yourself, the presentation method is irrelevant. We all have our own ways and personalities and these should be respected. Rather than posting comments to the negative, rather just click on and go to someone that links with your personal taste. Don’t bash them down as all this does is show newbies this is a hostile group of people. They all for keeping reptiles, but they just taking each other out. If someone posts a question, it might appear daft to you who has experience, don’t ridicule the person. Either answer decently and honestly or just don’t answer, but to knock a newbie will never help the hobby / industry, never mind what it makes you look like as a person. We were all newbies at one point and we probably all asked stupid questions and perhaps still do. Dont think the authorities such as Florida Wildlfe, Nature Conservation etc… also do not see these rifts and signs of weakness as the industry / hobby takes each other out with ego’s. Should stand united. Should you not like another persons comment or answer, don’t lambaste them, especially if it is subjective, just offer your own view to give another perspective. Give people the chance to read multiple views and judge for themselves even if by further research, no-one is the ultimate guide on subjective subjects.
Getting back on to things, YouTubers. Love them or hate them and what they do, there is often one thing that should be taken into account. Sure it is edited footage and they let you see what they want you to see, but there is also one hell of a lot of work involved in editing and their facilities. Sure they get paid for it when they have enough views, subscriptions etc…but they first of all had to get there. That’s a hard slog in itself. They had to invest in the animals and facilities in advance without receiving the income. The other side of it, most of these animals with creators who release films regularly, their cages are being cleaned far more regularly than most other keepers. This too is its own extra work. When this is your income and you can afford to have people helping you it is great, but these guys had to get there first, often by hard work.
So before doing the keyboard warrior on someone, contemplate if you can phrase it in a more proactive way for the recipient as well as other readers and is the comment objective or subjective. If it is objective like stating the correct scientific name for a species, even then consider has it been reclassified, was it the old scientific name etc… Be it a subject situation consider what and how you are saying something so people can rather learn from your post and be built up, rather than a person be bashed down. There are many ways to skin a cat and people are also discovering new and different ways to keep. So who is right and who is wrong. In my opinion all the people with healthy snakes and if they do, breeding snakes/ reptiles, these people are all right, even if different methods.
The important things that we need to keep in mind is mutual respect, the message of nature and reptiles going across to multiple personalities from multiple personalities with animals that are healthy. Some individuals may opt to give talks at schools, websites, YouTube, Instagram, Departments of Conservation, Field Guides etc… The method is irrelevant, if the principles are maintained and these YouTubers are just another form of education, albeit paid (when they succeed). We can all take something from people, even if we don’t agree with everything.
To those YouTubers who are in the process of doing the big slog to reach paid content, keep going, keep educating and keep getting your numbers up. Provide as accurate and informative information as you can for the betterment of our chosen hobby that will hopefully aid in the protection of a misunderstood group of animals.