Tati Westbrook and James Charles’ new videos are a lesson on how to placate YouTube’s wildest fans

James Charles in his own follow up video.

Beauty YouTuber Tati Westbrook posted a video that lost fellow YouTuber James Charles three million subscribers, and then asked fans to stop unfollowing him. They listened — and showcased a cycle that defines fan culture on YouTube.

After Westbrook’s plea, fans started re-following Charles in droves, with more than 45,000 people hitting subscribe just one day after her second video went up. That video has more than quadrupled since Charles published his own lengthy video about the situation. He also asked fans to stop spreading hate, but the YouTube community needed to pick a side. Fans acted the only way they knew how: subscribe and unsubscribe.

Westbrook began her beauty vlogging career in 2010, and has spent the last nine years...

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