Etika Detained by NYPD on Live Stream After Threats of Self Harm
- 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.
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.
i did not and have not reported on the situation today for clout. i do it because it is newsworthy within the industry and community. now that saying that, i should not have laughed nor should i make light of the situation, which is my fault— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) April 30, 2019
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)
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.”
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Associated Press) (People)
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.