On the morning of March 15, YouTube's influential Casey Neistat received a text message from a co-worker: a stranger had appeared at 368, his joint workspace for YouTube creators, and he refused to leave . The cell phone recordings captured from the incident show the vlogger Dan Mace and the former employee Verge Sam Sheffer repeatedly asking him to leave. "Ultimately, the police had to come," says Neistat in a later loaded vlog. "We present an adequate police report here, Crime is a criminal trespass."
Internet personalities have always had to balance authenticity with viewers and their own safety. Only in February 2018, an armed gunman attacked social media stars Meg Turney and Gavin Free, and a fan burst into YouTuber Logan Paul's house. Twitch streamers have made fans appear in their homes or even entertain live for years. On his channel, Neistat (which appeared in The Vergecast above) expressed his frustration with fans who cross borders. "Look, I do not know if this guy wanted to hurt me, if he wanted a selfie with me," he says. "I have no idea what he wanted, but when he was confronted by three people who clearly know me, he refused to leave, to show me in my office, as public as I do, to appear here is simply not appropriate."
Encourage fans to say hello if they see you on the street, but there are limits to what is appropriate. "This was a somewhat frightening situation, but only in general, respect my office space."
While the location of the Neistat office is not a secret, the space is by no means open to the public. It seems that the intruder snuck behind someone else who enters the building. "We were able to find their identities on social networks and they contacted people who say they know him and say he is an unstable individual," says Neistat The Verge by email. He has dealt with overly enthusiastic fans before, including some who have made trips to his home in search of selfies.
Although there is nothing new about the risks associated with the spotlight, he says, it is the climate itself that has changed. "Events like the attack and shooting on YouTube a little over a month ago and the invasion of Gavin Free and Meg Turney," he says. "This in the context of the Parkland Harvest Festival, Las Vegas and the myriad atrocities that involved disturbed people that have happened in recent years makes brushing minor interactions like Tuesday a bit more difficult"
The Verge the raid with the NYPD. Neistat says he will not press charges, and this incident has not changed the way he sees the limits and security with respect to fans and his presence on the Internet. "The NYPD was called as a precautionary measure and to have a record of what happened in case there were incidents in the future," he says, "so they do not arrest him." There was never an intention to arrest him. "
Neistat hopes to build a store that will be open to the public in some way, with a security presence." There is so much positivity that has come with my YouTube channel and its wide reach, "he says. "The promotions far outnumber the casualties. By sharing the way I share with the audience that YouTube allows, the work will always reach some bad actors. Being thoughtful and considerate about security and privacy is a concern that comes with the territory. "