Mr. Drotschmann, you describe young people as “Mr. Knowledge to go “for two and a half years on YouTube World War II or the Weimar Republic. Now with #YouGeHa you are suddenly updated. The title sounds like Pegida, but it stands for just the opposite. How it came to be
YouGeHa stands for “Youtubers Against Hate”. It is an action of almost thirty YouTube users, in which we upload current videos with which we position ourselves against xenophobia and exclusion. This does not specifically target Pegida, she simply uses this acronym. We want to provide general information and break down prejudices. The fact that we make political videos is not new – but that we all focus on one topic together.
Why did you launch this campaign now?
I have long wanted to start a project that shows that YouTube does not just consist of cat videos and make-up and “Let’s Plays”. Do not misunderstand me: there is a reason why such Youtubers have millions of subscribers. But there are also knowledge channels that provide information in a more informative way. They just aren’t that familiar.
They have 133,000 subscribers.
So I’m a small channel. This is why I initially connected with other youtubers of knowledge channels through Facebook. I got the idea for the specific campaign relatively quickly in December. This is clear given the demonstrations. But now there are other Youtubers.
With LeFloid, perhaps Germany’s most popular video blogger is participating and other channels known as Space Frogs are also involved. This gives you an reach of nearly three and a half million subscribers. Is this the new educational television for young people?
We will have to see if this works. Every day at 15:00 we upload videos for a week. Today is eight, some days four, on Friday maybe only two. Everyone handles the topic differently. And it probably doesn’t even work to reach our viewers, but we wanted to try it. This is not a big effort, anyway we shoot videos every day. Then why not even politically current?
Do you think you can reach young people better than traditional media?
Not better, but different. The address on Youtube is more at the shock level. On television the moderator is usually there as a lecturer. Perhaps we can talk about xenophobia more and in a differentiated way.
In your video you do a fact check Pegida. You are investigating whether the move claims are valid. This is what the newspapers have done.
Yes, but this is new on Youtube. I check if foreigners are really hiring Germans or if they are more criminal than Germans. But that’s just a topic. In his video, a colleague of mine wants to discuss whether it is a threat to democracy if rallies are banned because of Islamic threats of attacks.
But now you and the colleague mentioned also work for television. Isn’t it very uncomfortable for new viewers on YouTube?
Others certainly treat this topic more fun than parody. But what matters to us is that more people talk about it. It does not matter which video gets the most clicks.
Is there any reaction from fans or opponents?
As always with Youtube, get dozens of questions from fans about when the next video will come out. Let’s see if we can fulfill the tense attitude. Interestingly, there is already a counter-movement using our hashtag #YouGeHa. There are also conspiracy theorists who talk about the “United States of Europe” and the “Fourth Reich”. But we have nothing to do with this. All of our videos end up in a playlist.