PewDiePie, the most popular YouTuber on the video-sharing website, has vowed to delete his channel if he hits 50 million subscribers, according to a video he posted Friday. You can watch the 10-minute video below.
PewDiePie, A Swedish national whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, is “known on YouTube for his comedic video game commentary,” Fortune’s Mahita Gajanan writes. The YouTuber, along with many others, is frustrated by changes the site has made that are affecting some channels’ traffic. PewDiePie claims these changes have hindered his videos’ performance on the site.
Will PewDiePie delete his YouTube channel? https://t.co/MXU7CK392y
— Rich Drees (@RichDrees) December 6, 2016
“YouTube is trying to kill my channel,” PewDiePie says in the video. “It’s clear if you watch my analytics. It’s all going down there.”
“I will delete my channel once PewDiePie hits 50 million,” he added. “I think it’s gonna be pretty fun, I’m excited to delete my channel and start fresh with a new shitty channel probably. I won’t quit YouTube, I’ll just delete the channel.”
PewDiePie accused YouTube of having ulterior motives for making the changes.
“Putting on a conspiracy theorist persona, Kjellberg said YouTube was suppressing his videos because he’s white, and suggested the company wants Indian-Canadian Lilly Singh, who also has a popular channel, to lead the brand,” Gajanan says.
In a racially awkward passage from the video, PewDiePie calls Singh cancerous while elaborating on his suspicions of YouTube’s motives.
“They want someone else on top,” he says. “Someone really extremely cancerous, like Lilly Singh. I’m white. Can I make that comment? But I do think that’s a problem.”
PewDiePie claimed the comment about YouTube targeting him because he is white was sarcastic in a tweet he later deleted, Gajanan notes.
Several other YouTubers have also been complaining about sudden changes in their channels’ analytics.
“The general theory is that YouTube has a new algorithm that has caused glitches,” Saba Hamedy writes for Mashable. “Although some in the internet community have come up with a conspiracy theory that YouTube boosts ads on the ‘trending’ tab and videos with more likes and comments.”
“It is really upsetting how they did this change,” PewDiePie adds in the video. “They won’t explain what happened properly to anyone. It’s not just me, a lot of YouTubers are noting this.”
YouTube, however, has countered that there is no glitch and that the effects people are seeing could be because of “spammed subscribers,” Hamedy reports.
“Some creators have expressed concerns around a drop in their subscriber numbers,” a YouTube spokesperson told Mashable in an email statement. “We’ve done an extensive review and found there have been no decreases in creators subscriber numbers beyond what normally happens when viewers either unsubscribe from a creator’s channel or when YouTube removes spammed subscribers. We do the latter to ensure that all creator subscriber numbers are accurate.”
The YouTube email also refers to a video released in July in which the company explains why channels sometimes experience sudden drops in their number of subscribers.
Just a few days before PewDiePie posted his video, Ethan Klein posted a video titled “YouTube is Not Being Honest with Us” that “ignited a flurry of discussion over the issue,” Hamedy writes. Klein is part of H3H3 Productions, which has a combined two million subscribers on two different channels.
YouTube may have satisfactorily addressed the PewDiePie’s concerns in order to prevent him from canceling his channel.
“YouTube has responded and are digging into the issues,” PewDiePie tweeted on Monday, without confirming whether or not he still planned to go through with his promise of deleting his channel.
At the time of this post, PewDiePie’s YouTube channel had 49,913,115 subscribers.
[Featured image by John Lamparski/Getty Images]