james charles leaving youtube
photo: James Charles / Instagram

James Charles — the teenage YouTuber who became the first-ever male CoverGirl — has had a tough year.

He was dragged for some messed up statements about Africa. He was dragged for overdoing it with the "stunt" contouring videos. And he was dragged for, of all things, not liking the movie "It."

Supposedly it all got to be too much. Yesterday, Charles tweeted out the link to his new video... and announced he was leaving YouTube.

Panicked fans *immediately* clicked over to the video... only to realize they'd been scammed.

Even though the thumbnail is Charles *apparently* crying, this is a run-of-the mill "get ready with me / chit chat" video, in which he addresses hate comments and reveals that he is NOT, in fact, leaving YouTube.

A misleading headline like this is a classic — and despised — clickbait technique that controversial YouTubers have been using quite a bit lately. But his followers. Were. PISSED.

It took less than four minutes for his Twitter followers to start screaming clickbait.

Over on YouTube, his subscribers were EQUALLY upset.

james charles youtube
photo: YouTube

Upset — but creative.

youtube james charles
photo: YouTube

But, as this sister pointed out, clickbait-y video titles like this are a symptom of a bigger problem — one that could bring down EVERY big YouTuber if it's not addressed.

james charles youtube
photo: YouTube

I know this isn't news to any of you, but people fucking HATE clickbait-y headlines that promise one story and deliver another. Misleading your audience with a ~dramatic~ title is a great way to get immediate, short-term curiosity clicks and views — but an even better way to ruin your reputation going forward.

If an online personality becomes known for clickbait-y stunt titles, their audience will stop watching their videos. They just won't trust them anymore. Beauty YouTubers and influencers like James Charles have careers precisely because their audience trusts their expertise, opinions, and recommendations. As this commenter pointed out, if that trust is abused, the audience vanishes — and then what will they have left?

So in case you were still wondering, no — James Charles is NOT leaving YouTube.

james charles haters
photo: James Charles / YouTube

Though he had a difficult time recently — he calls it his "breakdown" — and does struggle with hate comments, Charles isn't going anywhere. "I know a lot of people wondered whether I was going to quit YouTube," he said in the video. "But obviously, hello, I am HERE. I don't plan on leaving any time soon."

But once the initial drama had passed, fans were quick to read him for copying *another* famous vlogger.

That's controversial YouTuber Tana Mongeau. She posted a similarly clickbait-y video just before James, in which she ALSO talks about haters and the pressures of being an influencer, all under the guise of "leaving YouTube."

Like James, she's also not going anywhere.

And the world knows that he watched it... because he tweeted out the video.

And Jeffree Star replied, so consider this a heads up for when "JEFFREE STAR IS LEAVING YOUTUBE" starts trending.

While we love and respect creative hyperbole, there's got to be a better way for YouTubers to address online harassment than by outright misleading their fans.

The fans who love you are only going to put up with so much.