Ever heard of PewDiePie? Markiplier? Rhett and Link? Phillip DeFranco? All of these people are internet celebrities, a common occurrence in the modern era. You may know of them, and you may even be familiar with some of these names, but you likely never put them on the level with “real” celebrities. The truth of the matter is that they are not on the level with famous actors and the like; internet stars are much more important in the days to come.

These celebrities of the future are going to be incredibly influential over the next several years. These people are unique in the sense that they transcend generations, typically shooting for younger audiences, but many appeal to various adults as well. Being appealing to nearly all children and still being popular with many adults creates a very large audience for these people to push their views upon.

Kids are infamous for being easy to influence, and when kids have older individuals spouting mature information at a child that shouldn’t be thinking about these topics yet, the result is a generation of children whose earliest views are based largely on the people they are growing up watching. Obviously a person’s political, moral, religious and other views are established over the course of one’s life, but what a person experiences during childhood has a remarkable impact a human being in general.

The term “fake news” gets tossed around a lot these days, largely due to President Trump’s long-standing feud with the media. Social media is where fake news is really rampant, however, and again, some of it is due to these internet celebrities. Every news source has some level of bias; it is impossible to avoid, but when the entire story is left to an even smaller group of similar-minded individuals making content for the internet, news becomes even more biased.

Many people trust internet stars to keep them updated on the ways of the world, but there is no real way to regulate these unofficial news sources. Therefore, people simply trust these YouTube news anchors because they want to, granting a massive amount of power to the content creator on whether they are actually getting the facts in each scenario.

The internet has changed the world; there is no denying that much. People are starting to slowly see the value in the people who create the content for the web, and soon more people will come to realize just how much power and influence these individuals really have over the American population.