- YouTube has imposed a sweeping set of restrictions on far-right figure Tommy Robinson’s channel.
- The company has removed his content from search results, barred him from live streaming, and restricted his videos from having comments and likes, among other things.
- The move comes after several British MPs urged YouTube’s parent company, Google, to follow Facebook and Twitter’s lead and restrict Robinsons reach on its platform.
YouTube has placed a set of new restrictions on far-right figure Tommy Robinson to decrease the visibility of his channel and content.
The company is not banning him from the platform altogether, but according to a Buzzfeed News report, YouTube has removed Robinson’s video from search results and is prohibiting him from live streaming, something he did once or twice a week on his channel.
Robinson’s content also won’t have suggested videos, likes, or comments and a black slate will appear before each one warning viewers that the material may be inappropriate or offensive.
“After consulting with third-party experts, we are applying a tougher treatment to Tommy Robinson’s channel in keeping with our policies on borderline content,” a YouTube spokesperson said.
Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is one of the most high-profile far-right figures in the UK. He recently became the figurehead of the anti-immigration party UKIP, which eventually prompted former leader Nigel Farage to leave the party and denounce it as “obsessed with Islam.”
YouTube already demonetized Robinson’s channel in January, but its parent company, Google, has faced mounting pressure from politicians in the UK who have urged them to restrict Robinsons reach and social impact.
Other social platforms have already taken steps to restrict Robinson. Twitter banned him in March 2018 for breaching its hateful conduct policy. Facebook then banned him in February of this year for targeting Muslims with “dehumanizing language” and “calls for violence.”
Deputy leader of the Labour party Tom Watson wrote a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai in March asking that Robinson
“I have recently been making the argument that the social media companies have failed to regulate hate speech and harm on their platforms,” Watson wrote. “I would ask that you immediately close down all of Yaxley-Lennon’s sites on YouTube before the virus of his views grooms countless more followers via your platform.”
According to Watson, after Robinson was removed from Facebook, his followers were transferring their “virulent hate” over to YouTube. Watson even cited a 30,000 increase in subscribers on Robinson’s channel after he was banned from Facebook
Despite all the restrictions, Robinson has still found ways to communicate with his following. He now sends out regular updates through email and recently announced that he has set-up a new Snapchat account.
See what others are saying: (Business Insider) (Mashable) (Buzzfeed News)
Jeffree Star Slams Burlington for Selling His Stolen Cosmetics
- Jeffree Star Cosmetics suffered a massive loss last month when $2.6 million worth of product was stolen from the company’s warehouse.
- When fans learned that some of the stolen cosmetics were being sold at Burlington, they quickly notified Jeffree on social media.
- Burlington said they were pulling the products from stores and will work with authorities as they continue to look into the robbery.
Products Appear at Burlington
Discount retailer Burlington has come under fire for selling cosmetics that were stolen from internet personality and cosmetics brand owner Jeffree Star.
Earlier this month, Jeffree revealed that $2.5 million worth of product was stolen from his warehouse in California, including nearly an entire shade of an unreleased concealer. In a video discussing the robbery, Jeffree said he was working with law enforcement to track down the culprits, who he suspects are black market makeup sellers.
Since the robbery, listings for stolen goods have appeared on social media sites like Facebook. However, fans were pretty surprised to see some of Jeffree’s products at their local Burlington, formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory. Jeffree has joked about discount retailers being a makeup “graveyard” for some brands, so when his products appeared on Burlington’s shelves, fans reached out with questions.
Jeffree once again I hate to be a bother but I saw this on a fan group that im in and not sure if you allowed your products to sell at Burlington. I dmed you on if and I guess I’m not allowed to send pics so here you go pic.twitter.com/W6IsaULLT1— 𝕽𝖍𝖞𝖊𝖓 𝕰𝕺 𝕾𝖕𝖊𝖊𝖉𝖜𝖆𝖌𝖔𝖓 (@RhyenOlivia) April 7, 2019
Jeffree responded to one user and said that the liquid lipsticks were not only stolen but also expired. “We had those in a destroy pile before they were taken,” he wrote. “My lawyer is dealing with it and finding out how and why @burlington would ever allow this.”
Soon after, Jeffree took to Snapchat to further explain that when products at his company are expired, they are placed in a destruct and destroy pile to be incinerated at a later time.
“How did Burlington allow stolen items to be sold in any of their stores?” he said.
“This ain’t Marshalls and TJ Maxx. My brand isn’t like not doing well so we got to sell some to someone else. Bitch this is stolen items and they’re actually expired and not even good to use.”
Jeffree said his team would reach out to Burlington and investigate how this happened.“I really cannot believe someone tricked some executive at Burlington to take these off of their hands, write them a check, and then sell it,” he said.
He then warned fans to avoid purchasing these products and reminded them that the only physical stores you will find his cosmetics at in the U.S. are Morphe stores.
Fans Find More
After Jeffree confirmed that the products were stolen, other social media users began telling him that they also found the products at their local store.
found another pic.twitter.com/VEzVLBgvBC— ⭐️chloe terry⭐️ (@_chloeterryy) April 10, 2019
Holy shit, I unknowingly bought one as well. 😱 pic.twitter.com/YQOY4iuMv8— Taylor. (@_taylorpiper) April 9, 2019
I saw them at the Burlington in Downey as well, and I bought one 😂 pic.twitter.com/HhyHluG4ve— Adri 🖤 (@ADRIIANAA_S) April 9, 2019
Some even said they found them at other retailers, like Marshalls.
I’ve seen some of your products at Marshall before too— Delaynee (@Delayne74897712) April 9, 2019
Marshalls quickly responded to one user and asked them to share the location of the store where they saw the stolen products being sold.
Thanks for reaching out. Would you please DM us with the location of the store in Michigan you are referring to?— Marshalls (@marshalls) April 9, 2019
Burlington Pulls Products
After being hit with much backlash from Jeffree and his fans, Burlington responded to Jeffree on social media saying it was “committed to selling only authentic, authorized, and legally sourced products in our store.”
“We appreciate this incident being brought to our attention and we are swiftly investigating the matter,” the company added.
“We have discontinued sales of these products and are immediately pulling remaining units from our stores. We are happy to partner with you and the authorities as you continue to look into this situation.”
Jeffree later thanked Burlington for addressing the issue.
Numerous Sexual Assault Allegations Shake the Pokémon YouTube Community
- Nearly a dozen people have spoken out against at least five YouTubers in the Pokémon community, accusing them of sexual assault and harassment.
- The allegations first went viral in a video uploaded by a user named AttackOnSylveon, in which she described abuse by a man named Nathan Putnam when she was 15-years-old.
AttackOnSylveon’s First Video
Allegations of sexual assault and harassment have shaken the online Pokémon community, where numerous people have accused at least five prominent YouTubers of sexual abuse when they were minors.
These allegations first started going viral after a user named AttackOnSylveon posted a video on March 27 called “Finally coming forward…”
In the video, AttackOnSylveon describes an interaction she had on Twitter when she was 15-years-old with a man who was six years older than her. In the video, she said she does not want to name names or take legal action, but said she felt like she needed to share her story.
AttackOnSylveon said that the interaction started when she posted a picture of herself in a swimsuit by a pool. They talked a lot, and he would often comment on how she looked and what she was wearing. She said that at the time she did not see a problem with that.
Then he started asking her to send him pictures.
One night, he started sending her pictures of himself shirtless and asked her to send pictures of herself in response. She did not send him pictures in return, but then he started to get pushy.
“He continued to make me feel like the bad guy because I’ve done all these things to him and made him feel like he was being like left out I guess,” she said, “And I, I really didn’t want to do it.”
AttackOnSylveon then stated she sent him a picture of herself covered in a blanket, but he told her she could do better. Again, she told him she did not want to, but he still pushed her.
“I knew it was wrong,” she said, “And I knew I shouldn’t have done it. But anyway, I went on and I sent him the pictures that he wanted.”
After that night, she tried to distance herself from him, but he continued to message her. Eventually, he gave up, and they stopped talking.
Then, about a year later, he messaged her again wanted to reconnect.
AttackOnSylveon said she did not want anything to do with him, but said,“He would not let it go. He messaged me on twitter, on Snapchat, on Kik, and on Facebook multiple times. Asking if we could pretty much talk the same way we used to talk before.”
She goes on to say she felt like he was taking advantage of her because she was young and she just wanted him to stop.
Eventually, she finally snapped and told him she did not want to talk anymore and showed screenshots of their conversation where she ended the relationship.
She ends the video by calling for others in the community to speak out, “I just want people to know what happened, and know that if something is happening to them they need to do something about it.”
“For this entire time I’m 15. I was super young and he still took advantage of me,” she said, “He was 21 and he knew what he was doing. He knew it and he was wrong and he didn’t care and that’s the problem is the fact that he didn’t care.”
AttackOnSylveon’s Second Video
The next day, AttackOnSylveon posted a second video where she said that her initial post got a lot more attention than she anticipated and that people were asking her to use the person’s name.
She said that it was brought to her attention that if she did not name names, they would continue to assault people.“His name is Josh. And you know the story about that. But what I didn’t mention in that video was the fact that that didn’t happen once with one person. That happened with three people.”
She said the second man was named Enrique, and that he was 21. She said he would send her explicit paragraphs, and did so under the guise of them being in a relationship.
She then said that the last person is named Nathan and that he is incredibly difficult for her to talk about because he had actually threatened her.
“That person’s name is Nate. Well, Nathan, I guess. And I never wanted to speak out because I thought he would hurt me or my family and that he would send out the pictures, but he did it anyway,” she said.
More Allegations & Initial Response
The response to her videos happened fast and was widespread.
Many of the men AttackOnSylveon named in her videos are well known in the Pokémoncommunity, so a lot of them were identified.
Specifically, the man she refers to as “Nathan” is Nathan Putnam, known as Dekadurr on Twitter and NintendoEncoder on YouTube.
After AttackOnSylveon shared her story, more women came out and said they had similar interactions with Putnam, some of whom provided evidence.
In an article published in Kotaku, at least three women described similar interactions with Putnam when they were underage or 18.
According to Kotaku: “Two of these women described how Putnam aggressively demanded naked pictures from them even after expressing how uncomfortable they felt. Two more say he hit on them when they were underage.”
One user who was keeping a thread of everything that was going on posted a screenshot of a message allegedly between Putnam and an anonymous source.
In the message, Putnam denies the allegations and says he barely talked to AttackOnSylveon, who he refers to as “Felicity,” which is her name on Twitter. Then he says he’s going to upload a video later.
It is unclear if he ever did upload a video because on the same day he deleted his Twitter and Instagram. The then deleted his YouTube account the following day.
While all of this was going on, numerous people took to Twitter to call out Putnam, with many saying they had heard about him preying on young girls in the past. One of Putnam’s friends even said they knew about it and told him to stop.
Others commended AttackOnSylveon on Twitter and in the comments on her videos for coming out and sharing her story
Accusations Against TheKingNappy
One of the people who came out against Putnam was prominent Pokémon Youtuber, Kyle McNeal, who goes by TheKingNappy.
In a now-deleted tweet, he released a statement condemning Putnam. McNeal said that while there were rumors about what he was doing, he never looked into the extent of it or the details.
“So I want to start this off by apologizing for not speaking, publicly, about this situation sooner.” He wrote, “First and foremost, I want to make it absolutely clear that Nathan’s actions are incredibly cruel and unforgivable.”
He then goes on to say he spoke to Putnam about the situation and promptly cut ties with him. He added that he did not “lead the charge against Nathan” because he “didn’t want to dive headfirst into another pool of drama and allow that to consume my Twitter or my Twitch.”
“In hindsight, if I would have just said something from the jump, that wouldn’t have been something I needed to worry about,” He continued, “For those affected by Nathan’s actions, you don’t deserve any of what you’ve gone through.”
Shortly after McNeal posted his statement, a user named Callum posted a statement claiming that McNeal guilted him into being in a relationship when he was 16 and McNeal was 21.
“I initially told him I didn’t feel the same way, and that I couldn’t be in a relationship with him. He gave me an ultimatum. Date him or we’re no longer friends,” wrote Callum, “I eventually agreed to try dating Nappy. At the time I was very ignorant about relationships, I didn’t take them seriously and I was unsure of my sexuality, I wanted to see if I could form feelings for him.”
He concludes his statement, writing, “This is something I really didn’t want to get involved with, but I felt it was important I came forward and said my piece since it’s been a question on everyone’s mind.”
On the same day, another user named Luke posted screenshots of a conversation he had with McNeal and said that he would continuously make unwanted advances on him.
McNeal denied the allegations in a live stream which he later deleted, saying: “Callum I hope and pray that any shred of respect left in you, you will tell the truth regarding this. There is nothing that went down between Calum and I.”
McNeal also blamed his accusers and said they were the ones responsible.
“Nobody else made those choices but you,” said McNeal, “You chose to show up. You show to be a part. You chose to be quieter about how you actually felt for so fucking long.”
Since then, other accusations from other users have come out against McNeal as well, and other statements have been said on the situation.
On Wednesday, a Twitter user named Gabe said in a Twitlonger that he had a similar relationship with Kyle when he was 16 and Kyle was 25. Gabe also included numerous screenshots of conversations he had with Kyle on Discord and over text.
Unfortunately, that is not where the story ends.
Other allegations have come out against others in the Pokémon community.
According to two people who spoke with Kotaku, a Pokémon YouTuber who goes by Mudkip Mama, also known as VegasJamie “aggressively pursued them when they were either 18 or under 18.”
A woman named Nikki said in a Twitlonger post that MudkipMama became “overly sexual” with her in a DM which she also posted on Twitter, writing: “Mrs. VegasJamie trys to claim she doesn’t hit on kids yet I’m 15”
Nikki also shared a screenshot on Twitter where MudkipMama allegedly admits to “dating” a fan with an “age difference.”
Additionally, over the weekend, other people came out against a YouTuber who goes by Mizumi and who is known for modding Nintendo games.
A woman identified only as Tori said in a Twitlonger post that he asked her for nude pictures when he was 18 and she was underage, and when she sent them, he tried to blackmail her.
Another woman identified as Jenny told Kotaku that he pressured her into sending naked pictures by “talking about wanting to kill himself and self harming behaviors and said things about how getting nudes would ‘help him feel better.’”
In an email to Kotaku, Mizumi did not directly deny the allegations but wrote: “This isn’t entirely my fault. The line is grayer than what everyone thinks and everyone here is a victim in one way or the other.”
Yet another person who is only identified as BiseProductionswas also involved in the accusations, with many people on Twitter connecting him to AttackOnSylveon’s videos, though it’s unclear if he is one of the people she names.
The day after her second video was uploaded, BiseProductions posted an apology on Twitter, though his account has since been deleted.
In the apology, which was re-posted by another user, he writes: “I am truly sorry for my actions,” continuing, “I was very aware, after the fact, that this was not ok in the slightest.”
It will be interesting to see how this community responds. It seems like they are largely in favor of holding people accountable, but if more accusations come out, it might become difficult to keep the community unified.
See what others are saying: (Kotaku) (Newsweek) (Pedestrian)
Over 70,000 People Have Signed a Petition To Remove PewDiePie From YouTube
- A petition to remove PewDiePie from YouTube has received more than 70,000 signatures.
- The petition calls PewDiePie’s channel one of the “largest platforms for white supremacy.”
- PewDiePie supporters are outraged over the claims and have responded with a counter-petition asking for the original petition creator to be removed from change.org.
A change.org petition urging YouTube to ban its largest creator, Pewdiepie, has garnered over 70,000 signatures as of Thursday morning.
Maria Ruiz started the petition three weeks ago,saying she believes PewDiePie promotes extreme views. In the petition, she writes, “In the wake of the most recent mosque shooting I believe it is time to take action as a community and remove white supremacist content from our platforms.”
Ruiz called PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, a creator with “one of the largest platforms for white supremacist content.”
“Worst of all his channel is very much aimed toward children in their formative years. The New Zealand mosque shooter even mentioned PewDiePie by name and asked people to subscribe,” she wrote.
It’s important to note that many believe the mosque shooter used PewDiePie’s name to gain notoriety for his attack, which left 50 dead in Christchurch, New Zealand last month. Because of this, many have dismissed any connection between the two. Kjellberg himself even condemned the shooter in a tweet.
The petition goes on to list other controversies that Kjellberg has been criticized for, including his use of the n-word and offensive jokes. Kjellberg has previously been accused of antisemitism and was dropped by Disney in 2017 after several videos he published onto his YouTube channel included references to Nazism or anti-Semitic images.
Arguably the most controversial video involved PewDiePie paying two Indian men to hold up a message which read “Death to all Jews.” There was a strong backlash to the video, but Kjellberg denied he was anti-Semitic and has apologized for many of his comments.
Still, Ruiz claims that the actions that major companies have taken against PewDiePie are not enough.“Even if PewDiePie cleaned up his act his comment sections are still a cesspool of white supremacist activities and commentaries,” she wrote
While the petition has racked up a large number of signatures, the total is small in comparison to the over 92 million subscribers Kjellberg has amassed. Many of them have even come to his defense online, responding to an account that appears to be run by Maria Ruiz, although this has not been officially confirmed.
@pewdiepie does not support any shooter & u clearly do not watch his content u don’t seem 2 b aware of the donations & charity work he does u are ignorant living in a bubble. I guess i should go do a mass shooting and tell everyone to follow u on twitter so we can blame u.— chris blanchard (@Dildonian) March 23, 2019
YouTube isn’t going to remove a channel because a few thousand out of 92M people don’t like him and accuse him of something false. This petition is a waste of time even for the people that support the idea your putting forward.— DλrkSpyro458 (@DarkSpyro459) April 3, 2019
How about we start from removing your social media accounts because you’re clearly abusing them to promote false information and hate towards Felix. calling him a white supremacists is a lie and an attempt at hurting his career and reputation.— Adrian (@Adrian31788239) April 3, 2019
In response to the petition, PewDiePie supporters have started a counter-petition, urging Change.Org to remove Ruiz from the site.
“In the wake of
“He or she must be removed from his or her platform before he or she is given the opportunity to make more vindictive, deceitful petitions.”