In the wake of recent events surrounding Jirard 'The Completionist' Khalil's allegations of charity fraud (and the donation situation with the Open Hand Foundation), trust within the YouTube community has taken a major hit. As someone deeply embedded in the gaming world, I'm now dealing with my own trust in online personalities, even with friends of the channel!
Shockwaves of scandals are usually pretty far-reaching, affecting not only those directly involved, but also casting doubt on other well-meaning creators... But Jirard's situation just hits different.
The Shadow of Doubt
The impact of Jirard's situation is profound. It's not just about the money; it's about the betrayal of trust, the erosion of faith in someone who was a part of our daily lives. No, I'm not being overly dramatic - hear me out... This feeling of betrayal isn't easily shaken off, and it unfairly casts a shadow over other content creators who strive to do good. What's worse is that so many looked at him as a friend, someone they COULD trust. Someone they could believe in. All of that is lost now.
A Tale of Two Perspectives
Enter Pixel Game Squad, a channel I've always regarded as a friend in the community. They recently announced a charitable initiative on their YouTube community page, one born out of compassion and a desire to help a family in dire straits. The story is heart-wrenching: a friend's father passes away unexpectedly, leaving behind a wife and a special-needs child, with no financial support. The father was a collector, and Pixel Game Squad plans to auction his collection in a Whatnot show on January 25th, with all proceeds going DIRECTLY to the family.
The Inner Conflict
Herein lies my dilemma. Under normal circumstances, I would have instantly applauded this effort and spread the word without a second thought (and trust me, I still want to... part of the reason I decided to move forward with covering this here). But now, post-Jirard, I find myself hesitating. My gut reaction is to now ignore it, to protect myself from the potential of being let down again. It's a defense mechanism, one that many of us who were blindsided by the charity fraud allegations might be experiencing.
Seeking a Path to Trust
Yet, reflecting on this, I realize that skepticism, while natural, shouldn't lead to cynicism. Pixel Game Squad's approach is transparent: they're not taking any fees, tips, or expenses. Everything goes directly to the family, live, with no middleman. This level of openness is what we need to start rebuilding trust. It's about showing, not just telling.
Unfortunately, this is EXACTLY what Jirard had proclaimed for nearly a decade, and we trusted him as well...
The Role of Community
This situation has made me realize that our community is about more than just content creators; it's about the viewers, the supporters, the silent majority who make the YouTube world thrive. We, as a community, need to stand together, support those in need, and cautiously but optimistically give our trust to those who genuinely deserve it... But how can we do it, how do we know who to trust? It seems like everyone is trying to 'pull one over' on us these days.
A Cautious Step Forward
In the end, I choose to believe in the goodness of our community. I choose to support Pixel Game Squad's initiative, not blindly, but with the understanding that trust is a two-way street. They are not Jirard. Not everyone lies. We must hold content creators accountable, but also not let the actions of one person taint the many who are trying to make a positive difference. Bookmark the show if you're interested in participating, and do your part in helping a family rebuild their lives.
This is what being a community is truly about. Here's a link to their whatnot page if you are interested in it as well.