PewDiePie Announced Plans to Take a Break From YouTube

It's not the first time the YouTube's biggest creator has struggled with burnout.

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PewDiePie Announced Plans to Take a Break From YouTube
Image credit: PewDiePie/YouTube
5 min read
This story originally appeared on Business Insider

PewDiePie announced in a recent video that he will take a break from YouTube next year. The platform's biggest single creator, real name Felix Kjellberg, said he will be away "for a little while" at the beginning of 2020 because he's feeling tired.

"I am taking break from YouTube next year," he said. "I wanted to say it in advance because I made up my mind. I'm tired. I'm feeling very tired, I don't know if you can tell."

He said he was going to explain more later, but just "wanted to give a heads up" to his fans first.

Kjellberg, who has 102 million subscribers, has taken at least two breaks from YouTube in his nine years on the platform. For example, in November 2016, he uploaded an emotional video called "I QUIT (for now) [END]" where he said he felt down and sad. He said his stress was starting to affect people around him, including his editors and his partner Marzia, so he was ending his daily vlogs.

Related: YouTube's Tougher Harassment Policy Cracks Down on Hate Speech and Threats

In a previous article, Kjellberg told Insider he's learned to be more cautious when handing over his time and knows his own limits much better now.

"As a online content creator your presence needs to be constantly moving forward and since your job depends on it, it can be hard to hit the brakes," he said. "When you're blessed with many opportunities it's hard to say no and you can easily find yourself with too many obligations to keep up."

Kjellberg made the announcement of his latest break in his video "YouTube's New Update Has A BIG FLAW!" where he criticized the platform's new harassment policy. The ever-changing rules and regulations on YouTube could be one reason Kjellberg feels like stepping back for a while. Many creators, including him, criticized the new policy as vague and inconsistent.

In a recent blog post, YouTube said "harassment hurts our community by making people less inclined to share their opinions and engage with each other," but the company would "remain committed to [their] openness as a platform and to ensuring that spirited debate and a vigorous exchange of ideas continue to thrive."

One of the first channels hit was iDubbbz, owned by a hugely popular YouTuber and friend of Kjellberg best known for his "Content Cop" series where he calls out the questionable behavior of other creators. His video about a long-since vanished YouTuber LeafyIsHere was taken down for violating the new guidelines.

Related: How a Trip to the Himalayas Changed a YouTube Influencer's Entrepreneurial Mindset

"The thing I've learned about YouTube's policies is that it doesn't matter what they say, what matters is how they enforce it," Kjellberg said in his video. "YouTube creators are degenerates, they're the worst people out there, speaking from a YouTuber."

He added that the community are the ones who keep others, including himself, in line — something he suggests YouTube has been slow and ineffective at.

"The only thing keeping these YouTube vultures in check is other YouTubers…Don't come and ruin it for us YouTube," he said. "The rule is if you do dumb [stuff] on YouTube, you will get called out on it."

Kjellberg has also had a few big life changes over the past year, which could factor into his decision, such as getting married to his long-term partner Marzia Bisognin. The couple also bought a new house in Japan, but it was recently broken into and Marzia lost 90% of her valuables.

Kjellberg could also be stepping back to take a break from the criticism he receives. As well as being the biggest YouTuber, he's also one of the most controversial. He has made a number of videos in the past where he's played pranks, but the end results have been considered tasteless.

In one video, he used the freelancer platform Fiverr to pay two men in India $5 to dance around with a sign that said "Death to all Jews." At the time, Kjellberg said it was supposed to be a comment on capitalism, but many responded saying it was just anti-Semitic and offensive towards the men he hired. He has also been caught using racial and sexist slurs in anger whilst live-streaming.

Related: Learn Digital Advertising Essentials and Stay Ahead of the Game on YouTube

Kjellberg's continued support of free speech has also attracted a fanbase that is also fond of controversy and trolling. On the most violent end of that spectrum, the alleged New Zealand mosque shooter in March reportedly told viewers to "subscribe to PewDiePie" during the livestream.

"I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person," Kjellberg said of the news. "My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families, and everyone affected by this tragedy."

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