- In a video posted Sunday, massive YouTuber Felix Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie, called for the end of the “Subscribe to PewDiePie” movement.
- The phrase was popularized by fans during his battle against the Indian media company, T-Series, for the most subscribers on YouTube.
- According to PewDiePie, the movement was once a light-hearted meme, but it has since been used in acts of hate and violence, which he does not condone.
End of “Subscribe to PewDiePie”
PewDiePie addressed the recent negative uses of the “Subscribe to PewDiePie” meme in a video posted Sunday, calling for an end to the movement.
For months now, Felix Kjellberg, known online as PewDiePie, and the Indian media company T-Series, have been facing off for the title of No.1 most subscribed on YouTube. PewDiePie fans have gone to great lengths to encourage people to “Subscribe to PewDiePie” in an effort to protect his spot. However, the YouTuber is now calling for the meme to stop.
In a video titled “Ending the Subscribe to Pewdiepie Meme,” Kjellberg says that the movement started out as something fun and positive, but it took a turn when someone defaced a World War II memorial with the phrase “Subscribe to PewDiePie.”
Kjellberg disavowed the act and donated to the memorial, saying that he hoped that would be the end of it. Unfortunately for PewDiePie, it wasn’t.
In March, Kjellberg made headlines when a shooter said “Subscribe to PewDiePie” on a live stream before killing 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Kjellberg disavowed the act on Twitter when it happened, but has since deleted that message.
“I didn’t want hate to win”
In his latest video, he addressed the attack for the first time on camera saying, “to have my name associated with something so unspeakably vile has affected me in more ways than I’ve let show.”
Kjellberg went on to say that he waited to comment on the situation to avoid giving the shooter more attention, but he now says that it is clear the movement should have ended after the Christchurch attack. “I didn’t want to make it about me because I don’t think it has anything to do with me. To put it plainly I didn’t want hate to win,” said Kjellberg.
Response to India’s Diss Track Ban
PewDiePie also addressed the Indian High Court’s decision to block two of his diss tracks towards T-Series, “Bitch Lasagna” and “Congratulations.”
Kjellberg says that while the songs were all meant to be fun and not meant to be taken seriously. “It’s clearly not fun anymore. It’s clearly gone too far and out of respect for that I’m going to keep the videos blocked,” the YouTuber said.
He also addresses those who have accused the “Subscribe to PewDiePie” movement of being focused on race or politics by saying, “I don’t agree with that at all and I want that to stop. This negative rhetoric is something I don’t agree with at all.”
“To make it perfectly clear: No I’m not racist. I don’t support any form of racist comments or hate toward anyone.”
He closes the video by saying that he does not want to make the milestone of reaching 100 million subscribers focused on beating another channel.
“This movement started out of love and support, so let’s end it with that.”
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Business Insider) (Engadget)
Schools Across the U.S. Cancel Classes Friday Over Unverified TikTok Threat
Officials in multiple states said they haven’t found any credible threats but are taking additional precautions out of an abundance of safety.
Schools in no fewer than 10 states either canceled classes or increased their police presence on Friday after a series of TikToks warned of imminent shooting and bombs threats.
Despite that, officials said they found little evidence to suggest the threats are credible. It’s possible no real threat was actually ever made as it’s unclear if the supposed threats originated on TikTok, another social media platform, or elsewhere.
“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” TikTok’s Communications team tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Still, given the uptick of school shootings in the U.S. in recent years, many school districts across the country decided to respond to the rumors. According to The Verge, some districts in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas shut down Friday.
“Based on law enforcement interviews, Little Falls Community Schools was specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” one school district in Minnesota said in a letter Thursday. “In conversations with local law enforcement, the origins of this threat remain unknown. Therefore, school throughout the district is canceled tomorrow, Friday, December 17.”
In Gilroy, California, one high school that closed its doors Friday said it would reschedule final exams that were expected to take place the same day to January.
According to the Associated Press, several other districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania stationed more police officers at their schools Friday.
Viral Misinformation or Legitimate Warnings?
As The Verge notes, “The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating.”
For example, many of the videos online may have been created in response to initial warnings as more people hopped onto the trend. Amid school cancellations, videos have continued to sprout up — many awash with both rumors and factual information.
“I’m scared off my ass, what do I do???” one TikTok user said in a now-deleted video, according to People.
“The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” Chicago Public Schools said in a letter, though it did not identify any specific post. “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”
According to Dr. Amy Klinger, the director of programs for the nonprofit Educator’s School Safety Network, “This is not 2021 phenomenon.”
Instead, she told The Today Show that her network has been tracking school shooting threats since 2013, and she noted that in recent years, they’ve become more prominent on social media.
“It’s not just somebody in a classroom of 15 people hearing someone make a threat,” she said. “It’s 15,000 people on social media, because it gets passed around and it becomes larger and larger and larger.”
Jake Paul Says He “Can’t Get Cancelled” as a Boxer
The controversial YouTuber opened up about what it has been like to go from online fame to professional boxing.
The New Yorker Profiles Jake Paul
YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul talked about his career switch, reputation, and cancel culture in a profile published Monday in The New Yorker.
While Paul rose to fame as the Internet’s troublemaker, he now spends most of his time in the ring. He told the outlet that one difference between YouTube and boxing is that his often controversial reputation lends better to his new career.
“One thing that is great about being a fighter is, like, you can’t get cancelled,” Paul said. The profile noted that the sport often rewards and even encourages some degree of bad behavior.
“I’m not a saint,” Paul later continued. “I’m also not a bad guy, but I can very easily play the role.”
Paul also said the other difference between his time online and his time in boxing is the level of work. While he says he trains hard, he confessed that there was something more challenging about making regular YouTube content.
“Being an influencer was almost harder than being a boxer,” he told The New Yorker. “You wake up in the morning and you’re, like, Damn, I have to create fifteen minutes of amazing content, and I have twelve hours of sunlight.”
Jake Paul Vs. Tommy Fury
The New Yorker profile came just after it was announced over the weekend Paul will be fighting boxer Tommy Fury in an 8-round cruiserweight fight on Showtime in December.
“It’s time to kiss ur last name and ur family’s boxing legacy goodbye,” Paul tweeted. “DEC 18th I’m changing this wankers name to Tommy Fumbles and celebrating with Tom Brady.”
Both Paul and Fury are undefeated, according to ESPN. Like Paul, Fury has found fame outside of the sport. He has become a reality TV star in the U.K. after appearing on the hit show “Love Island.”
See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (Dexerto) (ESPN)
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.