YouTubers are the new celebrities of the younger generations. Various content creators with hundreds of thousands of followers (or more) are now some of the most influential figures for Gen Z. Their videos accrue thousands of hours of views, even if it's just the creator streaming themselves playing a video game. Vaush, whose real name is Ian Kochinski, is a well-known American YouTuber, social commentator, and political streamer who has gained immense popularity over the last several years. He is known for his engagement in left-leaning political discourse, and Vaush has made a significant impact on YouTube, amassing a subscriber base of half a million.
"Hi, I'm Vaush. I believe progressive socialism is the best solution to the problems our country – all countries – face, and I'm here to make arguments in favor of that belief. I broadcast live streams where I do debates, cover current events, critique media, and generally try not to take it all too seriously. Hope you enjoy!" his bio reads.
Vaush’s popularity can be attributed to several factors, including his on-screen persona, his willingness to tackle complex socio-political topics, and his confrontational style in debates. His content primarily revolves around live streams where he discusses political news, philosophy, and cultural topics. Occasionally, Vaush also invites guests or other YouTubers for on-air debates, contributing to the dynamism of his content.
However, his career has not been without controversy. Vaush's confrontational style, coupled with his sometimes provocative rhetoric, has often polarized audiences. He has faced criticism for his interpretation and representation of various political ideologies. In addition, Vaush has been involved in several heated online exchanges and debates that have led to further scrutiny. For instance, in 2019, he was temporarily banned from Twitch, a popular streaming platform, for allegedly violating their hate speech policy. He expressed his support for Palestinians in the Israeli-Palestenian conflict, and later said he "went pretty hard criticizing Israel." The incident sparked widespread debate about the boundaries of free speech and platform censorship. In 2021, he was suspended again from Twitch for using the word "cracker" to refer to white people.
Despite these controversies, Vaush continues to remain a central figure in online political commentary. However, there have been accusations hurled against Vaush lately in regard to child pornography.
Popular YouTuber Vaush Has a Disturbing History of Apologizing for Pedophilia
On Sunday, Twitter user @Marxist777 posted a thread accusing Vaush of being a "disgusting pedophile." He claims that Vaush's takes on child pornography are "always brushed off by his fans." He then shared multiple videos and comments that reveal Vaush's opinions on child sex abuse content. The clips are taken from Vaush's YouTube or Twitch channel, in which he is either streaming with someone else or just streaming while he is playing a video game. The first clip @Marxist777 shares shows Vaush saying, "I have yet to hear a convincing moral or legal argument as to why possession of child pornography should be illegal."
In multiple clips that follow, Vaush says he has yet to hear a good enough argument as to why purchasing or owning child pornography should be illegal. "I would not say that it's unethical for a person to purchase child pornography," he claims. He also added that it's perfectly fine for adults to have a sexual relationship with minors.
"It is possible for an adult and a child to have a sexual relationship and for it to have positive outcomes, on the child as well," he said.
"Being a pedophile is morally neutral," he said in another clip, claiming that there's no difference between buying a t-shirt and buying child pornography.
In the comment section on one post, he wrote, "There's a difference between exploring child sexuality and sexualizing children." He has also joked about owning child pornography after a user told him to show them his collection. @Marxist777 shared various screenshots of comment sections in which Vaush would applaud someone talking about raping an 11-year-old child, express enthusiasm about a minor having sex with an adult, and defending pedophiles.
However, Vaush tells Evie that none of these accusations are recent. In fact, the clips generated by @Marxist777 have "all been discussed and litigated on." Vaush maintains that "nothing there is shocking or hidden to my audience." He says he has even made videos responding to these accusations, including videos that feature different people to discuss these controversial topics with him.
"In brief, most of the 'evidence' is comprised of deliberately out-of-context snippets of ancient discord logs in a public and popular server, none of which look concerning after being subjected to even mild scrutiny," Vaush tells Evie in an email exchange. "The only substantial accusation, as I see it, are a collection of stream clips in which I appear to defend the legality of child pornography. These clips are also out of context, though only mildly so, because the framing from my end was deliberately provocative and I really didn’t do my future self any favors in wording the argument."
Vaush says he may have phrased his stance in a controversial way, but what he was really trying to do is claim that many of the arguments against child pornography being illegal are inconsistent.
"Essentially, I was saying we are inconsistent in our belief that the products of harm to children should be made illegal to own, because child pornography is illegal but we own goods made from child slavery," Vaush continues. "The goal was to draw a comparison between those two things and implicate our general immorality by pointing out just how terrible it is that we have no moral qualms with economically bolstering supply chains that involve the abuse of children, so long as it’s not pornography. Of course, the point of this comparison was to condemn both, because both should be illegal."
He concedes that this was "not the best way" of making his argument, but he believes that people should have the full context of his arguments before claiming that he is a child sex abuse content apologist.
"People who already dislike me will never be convinced by these or any other arguments, and are usually just looking for further reasons to justify their dislike, so I try to focus on reaching who I can and providing context when asked," he concludes.
Child pornography is a deeply concerning and prevalent issue, not only in the USA but globally. The U.S. Department of Justice views it as one of the most significant priorities due to its deeply harmful impact on the most vulnerable members of society. The exact scale of child pornography in the USA is hard to quantify due to the covert nature of this crime and the increasing sophistication of digital platforms and encryption. However, law enforcement agencies have reported a disturbing upward trend. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) received more than 21.4 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation in 2020, with a considerable portion relating to child pornography.
Regarding prosecutions, in the fiscal year 2019, the Department of Justice reported over 3,000 defendants were charged with federal child pornography offenses. This is a significant increase compared to the past, reflecting improved detection methods and the increasing use of digital platforms to commit these offenses. Efforts to combat child pornography involve a coordinated approach, combining law enforcement, legislative measures, public awareness, and education. Each arrest represents progress, but the challenge lies in prevention, deterrence, and providing support for victims of this horrific crime.
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