You make a very good point as empathy is a vital part of the human condition but I do believe technology is playing on our base instincts a little too much. I believe the success of PewDiePie has a direct correlation with the thirst for the sensational which was touched on in a very interesting book written by Dr. Peter C. Whybrow called the Well Tuned Brain
In the book, Dr. Whybrow mentions how certain aspects of technology play off the first area of our brain to form as a species, the primitive or (ancient) brain. An area of the brain helping run our limbic system responsible for instinct and mood controlling our basic emotions of fear, pleasure, and anger.
So as PewDiePie rants on the sensational he is triggering the primitive part of the brain rather than the frontal cortex which houses reason which Dr. Whybrow mentions does not fully form until the age of 25. No coincidence that PewDiePie’s audience trends young. And it seems to be a self fulfilling loop where the more we are exposed to the sensational, the more we accept it as normative, then we share to shape the perceptions of others where technology is dispensing a reactive treat for a network of Pavlov's dogs.
As one who hates problems without a potential solution addressed, I believe that looking back to ideas around technology inspiring collective intelligence through associative trails of learning offered by Vannevar Bush, Douglas Engelbart, and Ted Nelson is something to look at in future implementations of how we connect with information. For example what if the reference I shared on Dr Whybrows book was a link directly to a passage in the book where you could access it for pennies then pay more for additional related passages or the full price of the book should you be interested. And what if there was a review attached to that passage from somebody you knew with links to studies to reinforce the merits of that passage where you added a comment to that passage in his book adding your own insight to my comment linking back to this thread on Cake.
To some at the outset this may seem like noise but to me it appears to be an invitation to dig deep around a subject. Maybe you woudn't find my line of reasoning on PewDiePie interesting enough to dig into which is fine but are there other topics of which you are interested in where you would have a tendency to want to dig (from the inside out)? Could a child who is a Star Wars fan struggling with math be inspired to learn trigonometry if there were associative trails of interesting content through the lens of how the hyperdrive works on the Millennium Falcon?
Technology delivering a proactive treat rather than a reactive one from an emergent connection of Pavlov's dogs.
"Food" for thought.