The real reason these YouTubers quit their channels

Where have all the YouTubers gone?

As mainstream entertainment outlets continue to mine so-called "new media" for talent, outlets like Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube have become launchpads for breakout stars. The latter of which has been creating new celebrities, who, for years now, have been making serious bank on ad revenue from the video-sharing platform alone. But for various reasons, many YouTubers have turned their backs on the social media site whence they came — or, in some cases, they stayed but abandoned their original channels.

Everything from disillusionment with the platform and creative exhaustion to criminal behavior and the literal breakup of marriages is covered here — after all, these are the kind of stars who specialized in commodifying their dirty laundry for all the world to see. After a while, however, the money and fame apparently just weren't worth it. Let's take a look at the real reason the following YouTubers quit their channels, despite their massive success.

See ya, Smosh

It came as a shock to longtime Smosh fans when the comedy channel's co-founder Anthony Padilla announced he was leaving. Not only was the YouTuber clearly instrumental to the success of the channel — Variety reported in June 2017 that Smosh "has generated more than 11 billion YouTube video views to date" — but Padilla was also a beloved performer himself.

But after 11 years of collaboration with his friend and Smosh co-creator Ian Hecox, Padilla felt that he was no longer "creatively excited." In an interview with Variety, Padilla said, "When I first started, it was just me being excited about creating things. It wasn't about numbers."

Padilla also said he wanted to branch out from comedy, the format for which he's largely known. Specifically, Padilla said he wants to try to "help people who are dealing with [panic attacks and anxiety]," which are issues with which he personally struggles.  

In a video announcing his departure, Padilla and Hecox revealed that Padilla's decision to leave was something they had discussed for "a while," and that there was absolutely no bad blood between them as a result. Padilla can now be found on YouTube on his own channel, which already has an impressive following of over 2.6 million followers. He is also actively pursuing an acting career.

'This time is essential'

Aspiring model Natalia Taylor found massive YouTube success in September 2016 after she shared the story of her alleged 2004 abduction at the hands of her schizophrenic father. According to the Daily Mail, the YouTuber quickly attracted more than 400,000 subscribers after more than 2 million viewers clicked on s since-deleted video of Taylor alleging that her dad snatched her without permission while her mom was at work. She claims he took her on a bizarre 17-hour trip, during which he told her he believed he was Jesus Christ. Heck of a personal introduction, no?

Taylor continued to make videos, but she was plagued with detractors who slammed her abduction story and questioned its authenticity. Taylor was later outed for her relationship with fellow YouTuber Anna Campbell, with whom she frequently collaborated. After nearly two tumultuous years rising to internet fame, Taylor called it quits on YouTube. In a July 2017 tweet, she said she wanted to "take some time away from the amazing internet world," noting that she "may be attending college and moving forward with a possible career." She also pledged that she could "never forget about YouTube," and apparently she did not.

As of this writing, the aspiring model is back and waxing poetic about her "extra" Halloween antics, thrift store hauls, and cats.

Once a cheater, always a cheater

Austin and Brittany Null were the popular Christian vlogging couple known as The Nive Nulls — that is, until Austin got caught cheating not once but twice. Unsurprisingly, this resulted in the end of their YouTube collaboration and, sadly, also their marriage.

The first cheating incident occurred over a five-month period in 2015, according to Family Vlogs, who reported that the Nulls kept the affair under wraps for a year while they underwent counseling before ultimately reconciling. Unfortunately, a series of racy photos and videos of Austin *ahem* communicating with his online-only, cam girl mistress got leaked to the web, triggering the couple to release a since-deleted video laying out the whole scandal.

Fast-forward less than two years, and history repeated itself — minus another embarrassing cache of leaked photos and videos. According to Clevver, Austin said in another since-deleted video that their divorce was his decision and he took "the full blame for it." He also referenced his past infidelity and said that it "recently happened again." Yeesh.

Austin and Brittany then went their separate ways, although both still vlog on YouTube. Brittany rebranded their old channel as Britt's Space, which boasts an impressive 400,000 followers. Austin, on the other hand, has perhaps justifiably not done as well over at his eponymous channel, which has just over 9,000 followers.

Another day, another cam girl scandal

On September 28, 2016, Colette and Shay Carl Butler, the parents of the popular vlogging family, Shaytards, uploaded a video titled, "CHANGE! (a mostly un-edited raw conversation)." In it, they spelled out their intention to shut down their channel on March 5, 2017 for exactly one year in an effort to "smell the roses a bit" and "be a normal family that doesn't have this worldwide audience."

Unfortunately, in another YouTuber-who-cheated-with-a-cam-girl scandal, Shay preemptively set the crew's hiatus in motion when his online affair with cam girl Aria Nina was revealed in February 2017. According to International Business Times, it was after Nina disclosed suggestive texts from Shay and claimed that she had "a compromising video" of him that he allegedly came clean on Keemstar's web show, Drama Alert. However, Shay insisted that he was "baited" by Aria into sending the messages.

Around the same time, Shay posted an emotional confession to Twitter regarding his relapse with alcoholism, writing, "I hate myself for it! … The reason I haven't been uploading vlogs is because my life has slipped back into this horrible state." Two days earlier, the family had uploaded what has become their last video — for a while, at least — titled, "LET'S DiSAPPEAR FOR A YEAR!"

The couple later returned to YouTube on March 20, 2018, though they said they're "not making any commitments." So, we'll just have to wait and see just how long they'll stick around this time.

It just wasn't fun anymore

Ready for a YouTuber not affiliated with a scandal in some way? Good, us too. Like the Shaytards, The Schuerman Show was a family vlog that got in on the ground floor of the YouTube vlogosphere in 2010. But after seven years of daily updates, and with their kids Phoenix and Lily largely out of the house for school and activities all day, Samantha Schuerman and her husband Jay began to struggle with making the compelling family content their viewers came to love.

As a result, Sam and Jay decided to shelf The Schuerman Show for good in July 2017, which Sam spoke about in an upload titled, "HARDEST VLOG I'VE EVER MADE." Throughout the nearly 22-minute video, Sam talks about her increasing discomfort with continuing to make videos, specifically making them in public with the kids. She said that, among "so many more detailed reasons" that she didn't feel the need to get into, led to a loss of passion for the format. And with that, The Schuerman Show was no more.

But fans of Sam can still get their almost daily fix of the family matriarch over on her self-titled beauty channel. Also, Sam did leave a tiny opening for the possibility of future videos with the fam "for special occasions like birthdays or things like that," although as of this writing, that has yet to happen.

Don't count KevJumba out just yet

Another YouTuber who found massive success as an early adopter but later disappeared was Kevin Wu a.k.a KevJumba. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wu joined the platform in 2006 and became the third most subscribed to channel by 2008. He then parlayed his online fame to reality TV and even a starring role in Revenge of the Green Dragons, an actual studio movie executive produced by Martin Scorsese.

But by 2014, Wu grew weary of being a YouTube celebrity, and he began to retreat from the page that made him famous. "I always knew that this internet popularity would maybe come and go," Wu told THR, adding, "Maybe I got tired of watching myself talking into the camera — I didn't see that format as something very sustainable." Though he was still eyeballing an entertainment career, Wu also sought enlightenment in the very strictest definition of the term.

Wu spent a year studying spirituality at Santa Monica College before a "near-fatal" accident derailed his plans: He was hit by a car while walking, which resulted in him suffering a broken spine and collapsed lungs.

After a long recovery at his parents' Houston home, which included intensive physical and mental rehabilitation, Wu restored his channel (which he'd previously set private) in March 2017. But he's no longer vying for the YouTube crown. THR characterized Wu's current approach to social media as "tentative," and that his focus is still on acting. 

Godspeed, KevJumba.

Breaking news: Social media is not real life

Essena O'Neill is a former Instagram model who went viral when she decided to stop going viral. Like Natalia Taylor, O'Neill not only pulled the plug on her YouTube channel but she exited the entire world of social media, citing the deceptive nature of her online appearance.

In her farewell video titled, "WHY I REALLY AM QUITTING SOCIAL MEDIA," O'Neill said that she was doing this for her "12-year-old self," whom she claims was obsessed with internet personalities to the point where she eventually became one. She then went on to expose sponsored posts, product placement, and the fact that most people who are making a living from social media are doing so by carefully curating an unobtainable image of themselves.

The world responded by saying, "Well, yeah…" But there were some detractors who pointed out that O'Neill didn't really leave her public persona behind — she merely changed platforms. She started a website, Let's Be Game Changers, but eventually abandoned that as well.

The last communiqué from the former Instamodel appears to be an email she sent to her newsletter subscribers one year after her exit from public life. In the message, O'Neill wrote that she'd received threats and contemplated suicide after her final video. She also claimed that she donated all of the money she made from social media to charity and that she was planning on "getting a job at a local bar and pursuing writing full time." As of this writing, she hasn't published anything yet.

You're gonna need a permit for that

Better known as FPSRussia, YouTuber Kyle Lamar Myers is the Georgia resident who could be generously described as a "gun enthusiast." Others would use the less-flattering term "gun nut," which wouldn't be out of line considering this is a guy who accumulated over six million subscribers by uploading videos of himself shooting military-style weapons and blowing stuff up

Oh, and for some reason he does all of this using a dubious Russian accent, and under the alias, Dmitri Potapoff, so there's that as well.

Anyway, Myers stopped uploading videos to his channel in April 2016 without any explanation. In the comments and on Reddit threads, fans wildly speculated about Myers' disappearance: They cited everything from his passing (he is very much alive), to the unsolved murder of his business partner, to his 2017 arrest for drug possession, which resulted in the ATF seizing "more than 50 firearms" from his property as possible reasons.

In reality, it was much simpler. During a December 2017 episode of the PKA podcast, Myers said, "I've always had rules and regulations imposed on me that no other gun YouTube channel had imposed on them — with the licensing that I had to have." He also said that the "overhead" to produce his videos was considerable and with "YouTube's demonetization" it had become difficult to do.

But fans can rest easy, because Myers also said, "We're going to do some cool things on that channel next year." Take cover, y'all.

Marching to the beat of a new drum

YouTuber Adam Dahlberg used to be known as SkyDoesMinecraft, because, well, he played the popular building block game for six years to the delight of his staggering 11 million subscribers. But in his "quitting video," uploaded in July 2017, Dahlberg said he was done with the game for good.

"I can't force myself to sit here and play this game anymore. It's not fun for me. I don't enjoy it," Dahlberg said, adding that he was "unhappy with the community" surrounding the game, "unhappy with being labeled a Minecrafter," and that he wanted to "go back to making f***ed up content." (Minecraft is a kid-friendly game, and as such, so was the YouTube content based on it.)

The old SkyDoesMinecraft page has been rebranded as simply, Adam. Dahlberg says he plans to let the page exist as an archive of SkyDoesMinecraft videos, as well as a new platform for skits and his Project Happiness show, which he describes as "a travel show where I go from place to place with different music artists and we just enjoy our time, make music, and have fun."

And speaking of music, Dahlberg also revealed that his "new passion" is making tunes, which he now shares on his new channel, NetNobody. So far, he's amassed over 1.5 million subscribers after eight months of uploading his original music content, so it would seem that many of his fans are down for whatever Dahlberg is playing.

Fernanfloo…the coop

Unless you're a hardcore gamer who also speaks fluent Spanish, then you're probably not familiar with a former YouTube star named Luis Fernando Flores Bracamontes. Better known by his screen name Fernanfloo, the Salvadoran star had one of the most popular YouTube channels in the world up until April 2018, with more than 27 million subscribers who loved to watch hundreds of videos of the star playing games and goofing around.

The last video he posted on the streaming service was titled "Se Acabo," which translates to the very final sounding "It's Over." In addition to sporting a weird fake beard and creepy blue contact lenses and making jokes about his testicles, the clip features Fernanfloo waxing on why he's done with YouTube. In the clip, it seems he's getting ready to turn the ripe old age of 25, and he figures it's time for a change. He's apparently ready to move on from something relatively passé like YouTube and onto the hipper and more video game-centric world of Twitch, exclusively. 

Trading child neglect for clicks

Known as DaddyOFive, Maryland couple Mike and Heather Martin are the YouTubers who built a massive following of more than 700,000 subscribers with their prank videos that often involved them using profanity and anger to generate emotional reactions from their kids, whom they tricked into thinking they'd done something wrong. Hilarious, right? Though this was their entire schtick for years, the Martins got into serious legal trouble after one video apparently showed the father shoving their youngest son, Cody, into a bookshelf, and another (above) where the same child is reduced to tears after being made to belief he spilled ink all over his bedroom floor.  

As a result, Cody and his sister Emma, were removed from the home and placed into the custody of their biological mother. Mike and Heather were sentenced to five years probation on two counts of child neglect, according to The Frederick News-Post, despite their repeated apologies and claim that the children were all in on the pranks. They were also been barred from seeing Cody and Emma outside of authorized court visits and ordered not to publish any images of the children to social media "except for family purposes."

Subsequently, DaddyOFive exists now only as a small archive of videos that mostly link to the Martins' new channel, FamilyOFive, where they're still posting videos with their other three children, whom they they say via a disclaimer on their "about" page "will not be target of any pranks displayed on this channel, NOT even staged!"