Streaming Live From Jail
Making a living on YouTube can be tough. It can even land you in prison.
Dutch YouTube stars 20-year-old Ties Granzier and 21-year-old Govert Sweep were recently arrested at the Area 51 air force testing area in Nevada. They had a drone, camera and computer equipment with them and were shooting footage of the restricted military zone.
Granzier and Sweep were both charged with trespassing. They are in jail until Thursday and must pay a fine of $2,280 USD each. They’re also banned from Area 51 for a year (which apparently wasn’t the case before?) and are looking at a year in jail if they violate this.
This escapade may sound like a complete flop, but in reality, anything other than being tazed or violently arrested by the military would have been a major success. YouTube rewards views and drama, not dignity.
All they wanted to do was be rewarded with an otherworldly amount of clicks and maybe see an alien here or there. Unfortunately, YouTubers who cross the line like Granzier and Sweep are in danger of being surrounded by a lot of other things in jail that rhyme with “clicks.”
Granzier runs a YouTube channel (735,000 subscribers) that shows people how to restore old houses and build things, while Sweep’s channel (300,000 subscribers) focuses on ghost hunting. Looking to branch out into aliens is probably a decent career move, but instead of meeting extraterrestrials, Uncle Sam got the better of them.
They got to enjoy playing double Dutch with America’s infamously fair and cost-effective legal system, shelling out thousands to make sure lawyers and the US government can keep having money to spend on important things like upgrading cage capacity for illegal immigrants.
Think of Granzier and Sweep as YouTube click-martyrs. They have been arrested for your clicks on the holy altar of internet stardom.
Like Logan Paul who visited an infamous Japanese suicide forest or Sam Pepper who harassed women on the streets, they’ve made complete fools of themselves for your entertainment. Luckily for them, this episode will probably propel them to even greater fame.
The internet has a funny way of turning every controversy-and every loudmouth conspiracy theorist-into a sensation. Online there’s no way to tell if they’re laughing at you or with you – the ad revenue pays out the same either way.
Viva La Internet