Keemstar, The Bogeyman of YouTube

By Kaitlyn Fehr, Chief Copyeditor

Trigger Warning: This article contains mentions of racism, homophobia, sexual assault, suicide, and pedophilia.

YouTube drama trending on Twitter can only mean one thing—Keemstar crawling out of the basement he lives in to spew out the worst take anyone’s ever heard. Whether it be James Charles’ interactions with minors, Tana Mongeau’s racism, or Jake Paul’s overall shittiness, Keemstar takes the cake.

Keemstar has remained relevant solely by commenting on every terrible thing a person can do on the internet, despite his own terrible history online. 

The  “Keemstar” persona is derived from his actual name, Daniel Keem, but avid YouTube viewers may also know him best as “DramaAlert” or “Killer Keemstar,” one of the hosts of the “Mom’s Basement” podcast. Through these platforms, Keem “reports” on internet and YouTube drama, and often digs a hole for himself in the process. 

Keem’s bad takes—and his apparent love for dating women half his age—have gained him name recognition beyond his wildest troll dreams. His recent controversies follow a torrid history that would take hours to describe at-length, as Keem doesn’t know how to remain relevant beyond saying and doing the most offensive things he can think of. 

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As someone who pays too much attention to YouTube and internet drama, Keem really feels like a bogeyman. Whenever he’s been quiet for too long, he comes slinking out of the shadows to say something that will piss off half of the internet. 

Keem thrives on drama, and it’s hard not to feed into his trolling. His takes are so bad that you can’t help but fight back, and then inevitably, you spend too much time arguing with his 13-year-old fanboys. He’s a bogeyman that you throw metaphorical hands at as he lurks, jeering at the end of your bed, glaring up at you from the glow of your phone screen. 

Keem’s takes are genuinely scary in the context of how many people believe and support him. His podcast has just over 40,000 followers on Twitter, and clearly, people are interested in his terrible takes. Keem’s “DramaAlert” channel, which he describes as a “news source” for online entertainment, currently has almost six million subscribers. 

Keem got his start on the internet by bullying, berating, and trolling other players in the game “Halo 3” for a group called the Federation of Asshole Gamers, the acronym for which is a homophobic slur. Of course, “asshole gamers” would go out of their way to be as offensive as possible. 

In the late 2000s, long before Twitch existed, Keem live-streamed on a platform called BlogTV. At the time, another website called BattleCam was popular for ranking users, through which Keem eventually landed a moderator position because of how long he spent ranked at number one. In order to maintain his relevancy, he did what he does best, and started drama. Keem and another moderator who went by the username AlexXx8 often feuded, which led to Keem telling his viewers on stream to call Alex the n-word with a “hard r.”  

At the time, Keem apologized for his use of the word, as reported by The Daily Beast. That apology has now been made moot by Keem’s insistence that he is 9 percent Black, as if that excuses his previous and current racist remarks. 

Following this racist incident, Keem managed to keep a (mostly) low profile on the internet for the next few years.

The relative peace couldn’t last forever for a guy like Keem, who is constantly fueling an online dumpster fire to keep his image preserved on the internet. In 2016, he wrongly accused a 62-year-old man of pedophilia. The 62-year-old man live-streams himself playing “Runescape” under the alias “rsgloryandgold” and goes by the name of Tony. 

Keem claimed on his YouTube channel that Tony was a convicted pedophile named John Philips—but the real Philips is currently in jail. Tony cried on stream following the allegation, showing proof of his identity before Keem relented and apologized. Keem’s DramaAlert channel, run by a team overseen by him, tried to ruin a 62-year-old man’s life over their own incompetence in research. 

Also in 2016, Keem started another controversy when he tweeted that he couldn’t wait to report on YouTuber TotalBiscuit’s death after TotalBiscuit announced he was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. 

Keem using a person’s impending death as content, as if his human life is as unimportant and disposable as his opinions, becomes even more concerning when we learn he might have led another creator to suicide. 

In 2019, gaming YouTuber Desmond Amofah, better known as Etika, died by suicide just days after posting a series of concerning videos and tweets. In the days preceding his death, Amofah had a conversation with Keem on DramaAlert where Amofah claimed that life was only a video game. 

In response, Keem replied, “If you really think about it, then why live? Just jump off a cliff? If it’s just a simulation, who cares?”

Days later, Amofah was reported missing, and Keem speculated that it must be a stunt. Unfortunately, police later discovered Amofah’s body, and let the world know that it wasn’t just a stunt. 

Encouraging someone who is showing suicidal tendencies to believe that life really is all a simulation is one of the worst things you can do. 

Keem has shown over and over again a disregard for mental health issues, having tweeted things like, “The drug companies invent all these illnesses so they could sell drugs to morons. Social anxiety 100% is a fake and invented illness. Stop being weak… Society is literally going to die if you keep this bullshit up.”

When news of Amofah’s untimely death spread with Keem’s name attached, it propelled Keem’s infamy to new heights.

It doesn’t help that Keem is bad at staying in his own lane, and he loves to pick fights with other creators that have nothing to do with him. One of his biggest feuds is with fellow YouTuber Ethan Klein, also known as H3H3.

The full situation between the two would require an entire article to describe, but if you have the time, Klein’s video about Keem is a great watch

After Klein’s video, Keem went even further off the handle and has attempted to terrorize Klein and his wife ever since. Keem claims that Klein tried to “ruin YouTube” and that he’s trying to “ruin America” by supporting vaccine passports. 

It seems like every week Keem finds a new reason to harass the Kleins on Twitter. This behavior causes Keem to look more like a jealous troll than a well-established YouTuber. 

In more recent years, Keem has also come under fire for his treatment of women, specifically in regards to how he treats victims of sexual assault.

In 2013, Vine-star Jessi “Smiles” Vazquez accused her ex-boyfriend and former Vine user Curtis Lepore of sexual assault. Lepore pleaded guilty to the assault, but Keem continued to publicly tweet his support of Curtis years later. In 2019, he tweeted admitting that he never believed her story, despite Lepore’s guilty plea. 

In 2021, Jake Paul faced sexual assault allegations, which you can read about in a previous Beacon article. Keem took to Twitter, posting a video where he claimed that there’s no way to sexually assault someone in the way the victim described. Massive trigger warning here, but the victim was orally assaulted, and Keem believes the victim would have had to choose to open her mouth. Keem said, and I quote, “Is there really no way to get away? I just really don’t believe this story at all.”

Keem’s treatment towards these sexual assault victims goes hand-in-hand with his treatment of women in general. In the past few months, it has come to light that Keem has a penchant for dating women in their early 20s, while Keem himself is almost 40 years old. 

His most recent girlfriend was only 20 years old, and Keem met her at a fan meet-up, though he claims she wasn’t a fan. Do we even need to talk about the gross power imbalance here?

After posting a picture of his girlfriend on his Instagram, Keem’s comments were filled with people questioning and making fun of the age gap. People on the internet expressed their (valid) concerns while Keem made jokes about how young she was for the entirety of their public relationship. 

In the beginning of September, Keem felt the need to tweet the Google results for “39 year old women,” implying that the women featured were ugly and that is why he doesn’t date women his own age. He also added a wonderful statement of, “If you remember where you were on 9/11 I’m not interested.”

All of this becomes even more concerning when you learn that Keem has a young daughter of his own. What kind of an example is he setting for her with this kind of behavior?

Keem has also come under fire recently for allegedly playing a role in getting Twitter user @defnoodles banned. Defnoodles, named Dennis Feitosa, covers drama and controversies in the online sphere, and often covers Keem. 

Feitosa has said he believes that Keem is the reason his Twitter account was permanently suspended by the platform.

This would not be the first time Keem got someone banned from a social media platform. In August, Keem whined about Ethan Klein “harassing” him enough that YouTube banned Klein for a week. Somehow, Keem seems to have powerful enough contacts behind the scenes that he can bend an entire platform to his own bidding. 

Regarding Defnoodles, Feitosa believes that Keem played a role because the ban came shortly after Feitosa responded to slanderous claims that Keem had made about him. Keem also tweeted in celebration of Feitosa’s ban just minutes after it happened, before Feitosa himself even realized his account was suspended. All of Feitosa’s evidence is viewable on a highlight saved to his Defnoodles Instagram account. 

It’s funny that Keem goes to such an extent to get people banned, considering that he’s been ban-evading for his entire career. Keem has had three separate channels banned by YouTube, and his current channel is technically operated by his manager. He exists on YouTube solely because of a loophole. 

He’ll also happily harass women, and send his followers to harass women, but can’t take any form of harassment himself. It only counts as harassment if it’s directed towards him, apparently.

Hypocrisy from this man is not surprising, after everything else he’s done.

My genuine hope is that one day YouTube cracks down on him for ban-evading, just like he has tried to force them to do to other creators. I long for the day I can check Twitter without seeing a tweet from “good guy Keem.”