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The forever war of PewDiePie, YouTube's biggest creator

• By Abby Ohlheiser and Gene Park

Erin, now 16, had been watching PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, for years by then. She understood that when PewDiePie paid two strangers through a freelancing service called Fiverr to hold up a sign that read "Death to All Jews," the stunt was intended as extreme humor meant to criticize Fiverr — even if she thought it crossed a line. But this wasn't just some random online stranger. This is a person she felt she knew.

When, as a result of the Journal's reporting, Kjellberg lost lucrative deals with YouTube, Kjellberg and his fans increasingly said that the media was conspiring to take him down by smearing him as a racist, that the reporting on him was out of context, driven by a rival industry's fear of jealousy.

Erin doesn't always like how the media writes about YouTube celebrities. But when Kjellberg said the n-word, in anger, while live-streaming himself playing a video game a few months later, Erin's opinion of him changed.

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