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Etika Detained by NYPD on Live Stream After Threats of Self Harm

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  • Etika went on Twitter after making suicidal remarks and has been posting troubling content since Monday.
  • During an Instagram live stream, he was detained by police and taken for a mental health evaluation.
  • After getting out of the hospital, he resumed posting tweets that have caused concern over his well being.

Warning: the content included in this article contains strong and graphic details about suicide.


Who is Etika?

Online personality Etika was detained by NYPD during an Instagram live stream on Monday following a long Twitter spree.

Desmond Amofah, better known online as Etika, gained internet fame for reviewing Nintendo games. He became a controversial figure in October 2018 when both his YouTube and Twitch accounts were shut down. Etika posted pornographic content to his YouTube, intentionally trying to get banned. On Twitch, he used a homophobic slur, prompting his channel to be removed.

He is still active on Twitter, where he has over 300,000 followers. He sent out several tweets in a long Twitter spree on Monday. These posts follow remarks he made about committing suicide on April 16.

“Sorry for scaring ya with that tweet,” he responded on April 25. “Being born and raised on the dark side of the internet, I sometimes go too far in my attempts at edgy shock humor.”

Etika’s Twitter Spree

During his most recent string of tweets, he ended up trending worldwide. Some of his posts were controversial, with one including a homophobic slur, and another including anti-Semitic language. The latter of which was quickly deleted.

In another tweet, he posted a photo of himself that appeared to be a photoshopped image of him pointing a gun to the camera.

A lot of the posts, however, followed a particular theme. He continuously referred to the end of religion and called himself God.

He also repeated the variations of phrases “There are no coincidences” and “The revolution will not be televised.” In several others, he alluded he was Thanos, the villain in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

Etika Blocks Friends

During his Twitter spree, several other online personalities and friends of Etika said they had been blocked by him. YouTuber Sky Williams said this made him “absolutely miserable.” Online personality Fiona Nova responded to “not take it personally,” adding that he was having a manic episode and that this is not a joke.

Alice Pika, another streamer who is close to him said she tried to help him, but that she was blocked as well.

As for why he did this, an E-Sports personality who goes by Slasher reportedly said Etika wanted help being verified on Twitter. When he could not help Etika, he got blocked.

Etika Gets Detained During Live Stream

At one point during Etika’s tweeting, he said the police were at his apartment in Brooklyn, New York. He then began a 45-minute-long Instagram live stream documenting his encounter with them.

During this, an EMT on the scene tells Etika that police came to his apartment after they received a call from a friend out of state. He continuously refuses to come out or let the police in, and someone who appears to be a bystander encourages him to do so.

“Yo broski, they’re not arresting you,” he says. “They want to make sure you’re alright. I know they say shit like that. They got called to make sure your mental state is alright.”

Still, Etika continues to tell the police he does not want them there, and that they have no cause.

“Do not enter my apartment,” he sais. “You do not have my consent. You do not have any justifiable reason.”

However, about 38 minutes into the live stream, what appears to be a SWAT team enters to detain him. A Twitter video posted after the live stream shows Etika getting into an ambulance.

Rogue Rocket contacted the NYPD. They told us that, as of now, no charges have been pressed against him. Their representative said that Etika was taken into custody without incident, then taken to a hospital for a psychological evaluation where he was in stable condition.

Tweeting Continues

After he was dismissed from the hospital, Etika resumed his tweeting. He tweeted a picture with paperwork from the hospital that appears to show he was diagnosed with agitation.

He made remarks about his detainment with the officers, claiming that he wants to press charges against whoever called them.

He also posted yet another message that alluded to suicide.

Online Users React

Responses to this incident have been mixed, but are generally sympathetic to Etika. Many are taking this seriously, and are hoping Etika’s health improves.

Some people made jokes about the situation or blamed Etika for his mental state. Others responded to counter this idea.

Slasher sent a few tweets he felt made light of the situation in hindsight and then said he regretted it.

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Content creator Jimmy Wong used this situation as a way to discuss how to reach out and help someone who might be struggling.

See what others are saying: (Newsweek) (Dexerto) (Daily Dot)

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YouTube Will No Longer Count Ad Views for 24-Hour Music Records

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  • YouTube said it will no longer count views from paid advertising in its calculations for YouTube Music charts and 24-hour debut records. 
  • The move came after YouTube did not congratulate Indian rapper Badshah for seemingly breaking the single-day viewing record.
  • Badshah admitted to paying for promotional ads and several media reports found that the practice was actually commonly used in the music industry to inflate views.
  • Critics argued that the strategy created financial hurdles for new artists and raised questions about real popularity. 

Ad Views No Longer Count 

YouTube announced a new policy Friday that changes the way the platform counts views from purchased ads in its one-day record reports, a practice that has faced massive criticism over the last few months

“In an effort to provide more transparency to the industry and align with the policies of official charting companies such as Billboard and Nielsen, we are no longer counting paid advertising views on YouTube in the YouTube Music Charts calculation,” the company said in a blog post. 

“Artists will now be ranked based on view counts from organic plays,” it continued.  

The change extends only to YouTube’s music charts and the reporting of 24-hour views. Advertising money can still be put towards increasing views, and the public view counter will still reflect views that were paid for.

Why? 

Before the changes, many artists and record labels would pay to run songs as YouTube ads, which boosted viewership and increased the artist’s odds of topping the YouTube Music charts. 

However, YouTube executives might have decided to rethink how it records single-day views after it faced backlash over its former policy earlier this year. 

YouTube faced intense scrutiny in July when Indian rapper Badshah racked up 75 million views in 24 hours on his music video for the song “Paagal.” The numbers seemingly broke the single-day viewing record set by K-pop superstars BTS in April, but YouTube did not acknowledge the achievement.

YouTube has a history of honoring artists for setting viewing records. It congratulated musicians like BTS, Blackpink, Taylor Swift, and Ariana Grande when they set records on the site, so naturally, many were confused by the company’s silence. 

Badshah made no secret that his team spent heavily on promotional ads, which he admitted to on Instagram. He even suggested YouTube’s lack of praise presented a double standard between the way the site treats mainstream global superstars like Swift and Grande, and artists who aren’t as popular in the West. 

As of now, it’s unclear how many paid-ad views make up the total views for Badshah’s video, which currently sits at over 161 million. YouTube’s spokesperson told Forbes that the video-sharing platform doesn’t “comment on specific view sources for videos.”

“We have always taken into account a number of factors, including the volume of paid advertising views on YouTube,” they added. “Based on our long-time criteria, Badshah did not qualify for our 24 hour debut records list.”

However, for many people, the interesting issue became the focus on the ad purchasing policy itself. The practice created doubts about the real popularity of the videos and brought new attention to industry marketing tactics. It also sparked conversations about how this tactic changes the landscape for new talent and creates a financial barrier for growth. 

A report from Rolling Stone said that the practice was common in the Latin Music industry, reporting that companies like Sony Latin and Universal Latin have been known to shell out between $20,000 to $60,000 in the first 24 hours. In more extreme cases, the companies would spend as much as $100,000, which could result in more than 12 million additional views.

“There is definitely money being spent on views,” Tomas Cookman, founder and CEO of the independent Latin label Nacional told Rolling Stone.Is it fair to pay to have all those perceived views on a video? Probably not. But any time there’s a system, there’s going to be some manipulation of that system. And whoever tells you there isn’t is probably doing it.”  

The report also said the ad strategy was likely more utilized outside of the U.S. because of the cost difference. One Latin label employee estimated that $1,000 on ads might bring in 250,000 to 500,000 views from countries in Latin and South America, meanwhile, the cost per view in the U.S would be five to ten times as much. The cheapest views reportedly came from countries like Turkey, the Philippines, and India. 

YouTube’s changes won’t necessarily mean fewer video ads since ads still allow for greater exposure. However, it could push the industry to think critically about how to place those ads for long-term success, rather than just spam users with them for the first 24 hours to inflate views and create a false sense of popularity.

See what others are saying: (Rolling Stone) (Bloomberg) (The Verge)


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PewDiePie Cancels 50K ADL Donation

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  • PewDiePie has decided not to gift $50,000 to the Anti-Defamation League, a group devoted to fighting anti-Semitism and hate, after his fans spread conspiracy theories about his previous plans to donate.
  • Fans online believed he was blackmailed into writing a check to the group, as they associate it with YouTube’s initiative to take town hate speech content.
  • After seeing the online backlash, PewDiePie said he chose the organization because he was advised to, and will instead donate the money to a group he feels excited about.

PewDiePie Calls Donation a “Mistake”

One day after pledging $50,000 to the Anti-Defamation League, a group devoted to fighting against anti-Semitism and bigotry, PewDiePie is taking back the offer. 

Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, the most popular solo YouTube creator, uploaded a video to his channel on Thursday announcing his decision. When Kjellberg first said he would be donating to the ADL in a video celebrating 100 million subscribers, he was met with mixed reactions from his fans. 

“I made the mistake of picking a charity that I was advised, instead of picking a charity that I’m personally passionate about,” Kjellberg said in the video. “Which is 100 percent my fault. Usually, when I pick a charity I take my time, I find a charity that I’m really excited about and actually passionate to donate to.”

The ADL’s Reputation Among Fans

The ADL’s mission is to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Its site also says it fights threats to democracy, including cyberhate, bullying, and biases in schools and in the criminal justice system, among other issues.

Many of Kjellberg’s fans and other YouTube users, however, attribute the ADL to content removal on the platform. YouTube has worked with the group on its initiative to take down content involving hate speech and online extremism. Some of these fans see it as censorship.

The ADL also applauded Disney for ending its relationship with Kjellberg in 2017 after the YouTuber uploaded content with anti-Semitic imagery. Kjellberg apologized for his video and took the content in question down.

Still, fans did not understand why he would make a donation to them after this incident. Many spread conspiracy theories on Twitter that he was being blackmailed into making the donation.

PewDiePie Seeks to Address Situations like Christchurch

At the time, Kjellberg said he “wanted to show publicly that I can move past it and move on.” In a statement on Twitter, he also added he wanted to distance himself from events like the shooting in Christchurch, where the alleged gunman said his name before killing 51 people and injuring 49 more. His statement has since been deleted, but he elaborated on this idea in Thursday’s video.

Twitter: @pewdiepie

“To be fair, I saw it as an opportunity to put an end to these alt-right claims that have been thrown against me. It wasn’t to try to clear my name or save grace, if it was I would have done it years ago,” Kjellberg said.

“But after the Christchurch tragedy, I felt a responsibility to do something about it because it’s no longer just about me, it affected other people in a way and I’m not okay with that.”

He added that he has struggled with learning how to address this situation, and ultimately decided this was not the answer. He later said that he saw information surface about the group that did not “fit at all.” Instead, he will donate to a different charity.

“It really doesn’t feel genuine for me to proceed with the donation at this point and I, instead, I actually wanted to take my time, keep the intent that I had, but just doing it with the right charity and doing it properly,” he said.

The ADL gave a statement to Fox News on Thursday about the incident, saying they only knew as much as the public did. 

“ADL learned about the potential donation from Felix Kjellberg when everyone else did: when he made the announcement on his channel earlier this week,” the statement read. “We have not received any communication from him beyond his public posts.”

See what others are saying: (Fox News) (Forbes) (The Verge)

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David Dobrik and Other Stars Criticized for “Tone-Deaf” 9/11 Content

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  • YouTuber David Dobrik set his Tuesday vlog to private after facing backlash over a plane crash skit included in the video.
  • Some viewers argued the skit was insensitive because it was posted the day before the 18th anniversary of 9/11.
  • Meanwhile, others defended the creator by noting that the video did not make any jokes about terrorists or references to 9/11.

Dobrik’s Plane Crash Skit

YouTube vlogger David Dobrik quickly marked his Sept. 10 vlog as private after viewers criticized a plane crash skit it featured ahead of the 18th anniversary the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Dobrik, head of the popular group known as the Vlog Squad, titled his Tuesday vlog “Airplane Seat Was Not Attached Properly!” The video begins with two of his friends sitting in a row of seats, which then falls over. Another friend standing nearby then delivers the punchline: “Spirit airlines be like.”

Later, another skit in the plane shows YouTuber Jason Nash running into the main cabin dressed as the captain and joking about the plane crashing.

“It can’t be fixed, man,” Nash jokes. “This fucker’s going down… Hey, guys, it’s your captain speaking. I got some bad news and some good news. Bad news is, we’re crash landing. Good news is we’re going to be on the ground a lot sooner than expected.”

“We’re fucked, Scott!” Nash continues. “This shit’s going down, bro! I told you to bring more gas!”

Numerous copies of Dobrik’s video have circulated on the internet since the creator set it to private.

Internet Response 

People quickly denounced the video as tone-deaf and called it insensitive to post just before 9/11.

“Usually I dont have comments about YouTube videos but @DavidDobrik should’ve really rethought posting a @jasonnash skit about a plane crashing on the eve of September 11th,” one person tweeted. “Very sensitive, emotional time for alot of people. #vlogsquad

Others, however, jumped to Dobrik’s defense, noting that he was young when 9/11 occurred and that his videos are usually filmed in advance. 

“Give DavidDobrik a break!” one Twitter user wrote. “1. he was like 5 when 9/11 happened. 2. The skit had nothing to do with a plane being taken over by terrorists.” 

Besides marking the video private, neither Dobrik nor Nash have made any public statements about the skit. It’s also unknown whether Dobrik plans to keep the post on private, take it off private later, or delete it altogether.

Similar Backlash Over 9/11 Posts

Dobrik’s not the only star currently facing backlash for social media posts tied to 9/11. On Wednesday, a photo shared on reality star Kristin Cavallari’s Instagram showed her standing in the streets of New York. The post included a caption that read: “NYC for 24hrs. And what a time to be here..always remember.”

Cavallari was in New York for fashion week, but many accused her of posting a hollow reference to 9/11 while posing. 

“Let me show off my body and then make a half ass remark about 911. WTF,” one person commented on her posted.

“I’m sorry that you had to choose such a solemn occasion to decide to make a fashion statement,” another person said. 

Others also flooded the post’s comments, calling it disrespectful, insensitive, and in poor taste.

Cavallari then changed the caption to just “NYC for 24hrs.

She later said she fired the staffer who wrote the caption, with reports saying the employee had changed an already-approved caption before posting. 

Former Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham also caught heat for referring to 9/11 as “7-Eleven” in a YouTube video. 

However, the comment appears to be a slip-up as in the same video, she correctly calls the day September 11th several times but once refers to the day as “7-Eleven,” apparently without noticing her mistake.

Abraham has not responded to similar criticism she’s faced.

See what others are saying: (Daily Dot) (Fox News) (E! Online)

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