The Karl Effect
The Karl Effect refers to a theory reiterated by some MrBeast fans that MrBeast team member Karl Jacobs has a negative effect on other members of the team. The "effect" is mostly related to Jacobs' effeminate and LQBTQ+ orientated way of presenting himself rubbing off on other team members. The Karl Effect was talked about in relation to MrBeast team member Chris Tyson who started to dress differently and paint his nails in January 2023. Some likened the change to Karl Jacobs' effect on him and incorrectly stated that Chris left his wife and kid to be bisexual. Discourse about the Karl Effect was also viewed as problematic by many MrBeast fans because it labeled fluid sexuality and gender presentation as negative and was also predominantly based on false information. Most content about the Karl Effect surfaced on TikTok in early 2023 as many reiterated the misinformation or debunked it. In February 2023, Dream humorously criticized the Karl Effect in a TikTok video.
On January 5th, 2023, the YouTube channel of MrBeast Reacts posted a video titled "I Strapped A GoPro To A Fish!" in which MrBeast (real name Jimmy Donaldson) and Chris Tyson were reacting to animal GoPro videos, receiving roughly 10.4 million views in one month (shown below). In the video, Chris Tyson was wearing a black and white striped sweater, a silver necklace and black-painted nails.
The way Chris Tyson was dressed sparked discourse on TikTok in the days following its upload. For instance, a photo slideshow was uploaded by a currently unknown TikToker sometime after January 5th, 2023 and before January 7th, 2023, that said in the caption "bring back old Chris" and scrolled through photos of Chris Tyson at the beginning of his MrBeast career compared to his then-recent look in the "I Strapped A GoPro To A Fish!" video. A screen-recording of the slideshow was uploaded on January 7th, 2023, by TikToker @zoomxcodm69, gaining roughly 140,300 plays and 2,200 likes in one month (shown below).
@zoomxcodm69 The karl effect😕#trending #fyp #viral #sad ♬ METAMORPHOSIS – Sped Up – INTERWORLD
It is most likely that "The Karl Effect" comments surfaced in the aforementioned slideshow's comment section because on January 7th, 2023, multiple videos about the "Karl Effect" surfaced on TikTok. For instance, on January 7th, TikToker @tnjourney posted a video that had "Chandler absolutely solos – Protect him from the karl effect 🌟" written in the description, referencing MrBeast team member Chandler Hallow. The video received roughly 1 million plays and 54,900 likes in one month (shown below, left). Also on January 7th, TikToker @homie.gt posted a similar video, showing "before" photos and "after" photos of Chris Tyson. The video received roughly 1.3 million plays and 98,300 likes in one month (shown below, right).
@tnjourney Chandler absolutely solos – Protect him from the karl effect 🌟 #mrbeast #chandler #better ♬ original sound – TnJourney
Around the same time, many MrBeast fans were critical of others who perpetuated the "Karl Effect" stigma and concept. For instance, on January 7th, 2023, TikToker @antiquackity posted a video that made fun of people who were making a big deal out of Chris' nails, additionally writing in the caption, "like bro if you dont like chris the way he is or the fact that karl is there then DONT WATCH MR BEAST?? like they dgaf ab what u think." The video received roughly 290,400 plays and 29,300 likes in one month (shown below).
@antiquackity like bro if you dont like chris the way he is or the fact that karl is there then DONT WATCH MR BEAST?? like they dgaf ab what u think #antiquackity #quackity #fyp #mrbeast #foryou #viral #realquackity ♬ original sound – hey!
Others on TikTok challenged the accusations that Chris Tyson became bisexual only after meeting Karl Jacobs. For instance, on January 8th, 2023, TikToker @al3xbur posted a video about their opinion on the Karl Effect, writing in their caption, "he's been bi since he was 16. And how does nail polish change anyone. It's really pathetic how many people hate him now." The video received roughly 323,400 plays and 23,600 likes in one month (shown below).
@al3xbur he's been bi since he was 16. And how does nail polish change anyone. It's really pathetic how many people hate him now. #chris #karleffect #fyp ♬ original sound – Alexander
Also on January 8th, YouTuber TAKERhaker posted a video that criticized the Karl Effect, putting in work to debunk the misinformation that Chris Tyson left his wife and kid after becoming bisexual due to Karl's influence. The video received roughly 43,200 views in one month (shown below).
The Karl Effect on Dream
On February 19th, 2023, Minecraft YouTuber Dream posted a TikTok in which he showed off his new earring and said that he was texting Karl Jacobs who allegedly told him to go get his nails painted too. Dream's video was ultimately satirizing and criticizing the Karl Effect believers, additionally writing in the video's caption, "he also said I should kiss more men I think I’ll try his suggestions I guess." The TikTok received roughly 2.6 million plays and 467,100 likes in one day (shown below, left). Soon after, TikTokers began making content about Dream and the Karl Effect. For instance, on February 19th, TikToker @twomad958 posted a video of this nature, gaining roughly 110,800 plays and 18,400 likes in one day (shown below, right).
he also said I should kiss more men I think I’ll try his suggestions I guess
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