A TikTok star is being accused of copying one of the biggest personalities on YouTube, but he says the internet has it all wrong

  • 19-year-old Alex Warren has shot to viral stardom as part of the Hype House, the LA-based TikTok collective, where his TikToks are inspired by his comedic vlog channel starring him and his friends.
  • But as Warren grew in popularity, he also started receiving a lot of hate from fans of vlog star David Dobrik, who say Warren copies everything Dobrik does from his thumbnails to even his laugh. 
  • Warren told Insider that Dobrik is an inspiration to him, but he isn't trying to copy him – he won't even watch Dobrik's vlogs anymore, in case he was subconsciously doing the same things as Dobrik. 
  • The YouTuber also shared a never-before-seen channel he ran as a kid, and his old style of videos reflects his current channel, which has more than 600,000 subscribers.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Without Alex Warren, there would be no Hype House. The 19-year-old YouTuber and TikTok star was invited to join the mega-popular TikTok collective in LA back in November, and Warren was the one who came up with the name.

"For the longest time they wanted to name it House of Olympics," Warren told Insider. "I'm like 'Hype House, you know, Charli has the hype,' that's a saying, and hype is all about what's popular now."

He and other Hype House members like the one he mentioned, 15-year-old Charli D'Amelio, have attracted a massive following. Warren has more than 600,000 YouTube subscribers, which is the platform he started on, and he has more than 3.8 million TikTok followers. 

charlidamelio is a good teacher I vouch for her

But not all the attention has been positive. Warren has attracted a lot of hate from fans of the mega-popular YouTube star David Dobrik, who has nearly 16 million subscribers and started judging Nickelodeon's "America's Most Musical Family" in 2019.

Dobrik fans have noticed similarities between the two YouTuber's vlogs, and accuse Warren of copying everything from Dobrik's thumbnails to his video lengths, his comedy skit style with his group of friends, and even his laugh. 

"It doesn't help that I have a similar laugh to David," Warren said. "I don't watch David Dobrik anymore because of the mere fact that I've been accused of copying his mannerisms and personality."

Warren says Dobrik is definitely an inspiration of his, along with YouTubers like Logan Paul, Casey Neistat, and Tanner Fox. But he's adamant that he's not intentionally copying Dobrik, and says their content is similar because it reflects growing trends on the platform in general. 

Warren has had to acknowledge the hate from Dobrik fans, and he's changed his style up since getting backlash

Warren first addressed the Dobrik comparisons in April last year, when he got a bump in popularity on YouTube. 

"Lately, we've been getting a lot of new subscribers and viewers and with that comes a lot of love, and a good amount of hate," Warren says in the video. "One of the most popular comments I've been seeing from haters is that I'm trying to copy David Dobrik."

He goes on to say that if haters actually watched his videos, they'd understand his content is different than Dobrik's.

When Warren first started uploading to his main channel, there were understandably some comparisons. His thumbnails used to be a lot more similar to Dobrik's, featuring a repetitive image of Warren's shocked face superimposed over an action shot.

The concepts of their channels are also similar, with Warren making first-person POV comedic vlogs with his group of friends. They often feature similar types of surprise gifts, have clickbait-y titles, and are a little over 4 minutes long (Dobrik's videos are famously all exactly 4 minutes and 21 seconds). 

But Warren has since evolved stylistically, and he said his initial inspiration for the channel actually stems from his dad, who died when Warren was nine, and made a catalog of videos for his kids to have. 

"He would buy like jumping houses and LegoLand tickets and then he would film our reactions by surprising us with these things," Warren told Insider. "I want to be able to show my kids something like 'This is what my life was like before going into adulthood.'"

Warren also shared a channel with Insider that none of his fans have discovered yet: his childhood YouTube channel. Full disclosure, he said, is that he made most of the videos when he was 10. 

It's easy to see that Warren has always had a similar mindset when making YouTube content, even if it was significantly less refined when he was a kid. Videos like "Boy gets hit by helicopter," "Kids get ambushed," and "Skater gets his board stolen!" are pretty indicative of a future grown-up channel with titles like "THIS WAS A HORRIBLE IDEA!!"

Warren also said he films from a first-person POV holding the camera because he wants his videos to feel more authentic and give viewers the feeling that they're in his friend group – yes, they resemble Dobrik's style, but they also reflect growing trends on YouTube and on social media in general. 

"Modern-day attention spans are so short. Even my 4-minute videos, people skip through them," he said. "That's why Vine was popular and it's why TikTok is popular right now. Those videos are 15 seconds. People love content that's short and to the point, and that's what people love about my vlogs and what they love about David's vlogs."

In terms of the Dobrik hate, Warren hasn't addressed it that much besides his initial YouTube video, because the more attention the comments get, the more inflated they become. But he's adopted a brighter perspective on them. 

"I've met David several times," Warren said. "He's one of the nicest people I've ever met in my entire life. So being compared to one of the nicest people I've ever met in my life is a compliment."

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