- Deji posted a video accusing his older brother KSI of subjecting him to physical and emotional abuse throughout their YouTube careers.
- KSI has lost over 60,000 subscribers since the video was shared, while Deji has gained over 115,000.
- KSI briefly responded on Twitter saying he has seen the video and will reply soon.
Allegations of Physical Abuse
YouTuber Deji posted a 46-minute-long video on Saturday alleging physical and mental mistreatment by his brother and fellow YouTuber KSI.
Deji and KSI, who is also known as JJ, have been active on YouTube since 2012. In his video, Deji claims that since then, he has been subject to acts of abuse that were used on camera for laughs.
Deji says that all the actions started small, first citing a prank called “Slap Deji” where KSI would slap Deji across the face. Deji claims that at the time, he thought all of this was funny, as everyone in the comments saw it as just a joke.
“But through the progression of the videos that we did, on my brother’s second channel, it slowly progressively started to get more violent,” he said. “From throwing controllers to throwing bottles, belts, even chairs.”
He also included clips of a game the two played called “FIFA Slavery.” In this game, any time someone scored in FIFA, they got to hit the other person with a belt. The clips show Deji getting hit repeatedly.
In addition to this physical mistreatment, Deji says there was mental mistreatment as well. He starts off by citing examples of KSI interfering with his interactions with girls.
Deji claims that his brother once slept with a girl he knew Deji was interested in. He also said that KSI would constantly insert himself in situations with girls and make an effort to embarrass Deji when he was speaking to them.
Tensions Surrounding Diss Track Drama
He then goes on to lay out what seemed to be the bulk of the mental mistreatment, which was allegedly all started by a series of videos and diss tracks that began in November 2018.
In a “Family Fortunes” video, KSI asks the players to name a dead YouTube channel. One of KSI’s friends, Randolph, responded “Deji.”
This upset Deji, prompting him to make a video where he mocks Randolph.
“You are the Sidemen’s, as well as JJ’s bitch,” he says in the video. “You Are JJ’s cameraman. He pays your salary. I mean, you spend more time with JJ than you do your own wife.”
Deji says that he regrets saying this now, but claims it prompted Randolph to make a diss track. In the track, Randolph states that he paid for Deji’s taxis and calls him the “poorest rich man that I know.”
“Deji, tell me are you braindead,” Randolph says on the track. “Because you still live with your parents.”
KSI then made a video reacting to the diss tracks where he laughs and says “that’s true” to many of the claims Randolph makes. Deji says he was upset by his brother siding with his friends instead of him.
Deji then says he called his brother on the phone to express this, to which KSI said it was just “a bit of banter.” KSI later texted him and told him it was actually helping his channel.
Deji then did a video where he said KSI paid for his friend’s wedding. He said that looking back, he should not have spoken about the finances behind the wedding. He claimed he was speaking out of anger.
“I was angry,” he said. “Considering my brother…I just felt alone. I felt alone and angry, and I thought my brother clearly doesn’t support me, so why do I care?”
After this, Randolph posted another diss track that included what Deji says was private footage of KSI and Deji. Deji also said that KSI saw the video before the video was posted. Deji claims his brother did nothing to stop the video from being uploaded.
“This sparring footage was for his eyes and my eyes just so I could get better,” Deji said. “And then for me to see it in his diss track, you can understand how I was feeling.”
He also said that the diss track included false accusations against him, including getting a woman pregnant. He said that this was a lie.
This ultimately led to Deji making a diss track about his brother called “Unforgivable.” Deji says he got permission from KSI before he posted it.
The situation around this diss track started to escalate after an incident between the two on Christmas of 2018.
KSI went to Deji’s house to talk, but things got heated.
“As I locked myself in my office, he threatened to smash the door, saying he would smash the door down,” Deji claimed. “Obviously my parents stopping him. For the safety of my parents, and due to his behavior, I asked if he could leave my house, or I would call the police.”
According to Deji, KSI ended up recording this incident and posted it on Twitter. Deji says his post made him look like the bad guy because no one had the context of what was really happening. The tweets have since been removed, but KSI has a larger following that Deji, which Deji claims worked against him.
In several videos, KSI also spoke negatively of Deji and as a result, Deji claims people turned on him and he lost subscribers. He says this brought him to a “dark place.”
“I honestly thought what was the purpose,” Deji said. “What was the purpose of me living?”
Deji says he then asked KSI to stop talking about him in videos. KSI responded by asking for him to take the “Unforgivable” diss track down. Deji ended up putting the diss track on private on January 6. In addition to this, KSI texted Deji to say that he would not mention him in any more videos.
However, Deji showed videos of KSI still making fun of him by laughing at memes like this.
According to the video, their mother even got involved, and asked KSI if Deji could re-upload the diss track, which he ended up putting back on the channel.
Towards the end of his video, Deji says that KSI would constantly make jokes about trying to get his fans to ask him to delete his channel, as well as making other cracks about his YouTube presence.
He closed the video by saying he posted it just to get his side of the story out, but does not want everyone to harbor ill-will towards KSI.
“This is me finally standing up for myself and not letting my brother bully me anymore,” he said.
“I don’t want any negativity towards my brother from what you’ve heard in this video please.”
KSI Responds to Allegations
Since this video was posted, KSI has been losing subscribers, while Deji has been gaining them. According to Social Blade, Deji is up over 115,000 subscribers. Many have also commented on Deji’s video with support, some even apologizing for not seeing his side of the story sooner.
KSI has not made a video in response yet, but based on a series of tweets he suggested one may be coming soon.
He initially responded on Sunday with a meme and posted a string of tweets about the video and the subsequent subscriber loss.
He also posted screenshots of a text of Deji telling him he loves him, as well as potential plans to do a Reddit video.
On Tuesday morning, he tweeted several times alluding to an upcoming video. In a now-deleted tweet, he asked for anyone with a story about Deji to DM him.
See what others are saying: (Dexerto) (We the Unicorns) (Newsweek)
Are Instagram Influencers Flocking to Chernobyl? Not Exactly
- On Sunday, a tweet called out “Instagram Influencers” for using Chernobyl as a backdrop for their social media posts.
- The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was home to one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters in 1986.
- After a closer look, it seems that the visitors in the viral post are not all “Instagram influencers” as the tweet suggest, but instead regular tourists.
- Since the airing of the HBO series Chernobyl, the site has a 30 to 40 percent increase in visitors.
The Viral Tweet
A tweet posted Sunday that criticizes Instagram influencers for treating Chernobyl like a new photo hot spot went viral, but that’s not exactly the case.
The tweet shows four pictures of different “influencers” using the toxic nuclear power plant as the backdrop for their photos.
However, after further investigation, it seems that only the first photo of a woman in protective gear was shared by a user with a significant following. That user is Julia Baessler, who has over 300,000 followers.
The other three photos were taken from Instagram accounts with much lower follower counts, ranging from 200 to 1,500.
On top of that, as many social media users have pointed out, in her caption, Baessler, talks about the terrible tragedy that took place at Chernobyl. “Yesterday I had the chance to visit one of the most fascinating but also most terrible places on earth- control room number 4 ChNPP,” her caption read.
“The actions taken in this room 33 years ago led to the worlds worst nuclear disaster. Standing there is just indescribable, it’s shocking and something I will never forget :pray:”
Baessler further explained her trip in an interview with Business Insider.
“Because of the engineering work of my boyfriend we were able to get a special admission to go inside control room 4 which is actually not accessible for visitors,” Baessler told BI. “I left those stories online because they are full of informations [sic] and I really want to spread them but I don’t want to be seen as an influencer going to Chernobyl because it’s trendy now. that’s not true,”
Another photo from the tweet showcased a man holding a Geiger counter, an instrument used for detecting radiation. The Instagram user who posted the photo actually wasn’t the photographer or the person in the image. He only reposted it. Patrick Smith, an airline pilot, took the photo back in October of 2006.
The woman who posed next to the burnt bus, Irene Vivch, said she posted the photo because she is from Ukraine and stated so in her caption. She called the site, “an eternal monument to the horrid cruelty of the Soviet regime.”
Vivch told the Atlantic, “Chernobyl made a massive impression on me … So I made a big Instagram post about it describing my feelings.”
Trips to Chernobyl
In May, HBO aired a new series, Chernobyl, that focused on the 1986 nuclear reactor malfunction at the power plant that caused radioactive particles to cover the surrounding area. At least 30 plant operators and first responders died in the weeks following the accident. To this day, there is still debate on the total possible deaths from cancer caused by the radioactivity, with estimations between 9,000 and 115,000.
According to reports, since the release of the show, trips to the site have jumped dramatically. One tour guide has said in the month of May alone, trips increased 30 percent. The guide also added that trips for the rest of the summer were up 40 percent.
“Many people come here, they ask a lot of questions about the TV show, about all the events. People are getting more and more curious,” Viktoria Brozhko, a tour guide, told Reuters.
Craig Mazin, the writer and executive producer of the HBO series, responded on Tuesday to the impact his show has had. In his post, he reminded people visiting the area to have respect for those who suffered from the tragedy that occurred there.
Chernobyl is not the first site of a tragedy to be used as an Instagram background. In 2014, a girl took a smiling selfie at the concentration camp, Auschwitz and she received massive backlash. The concentration camp museum even tweeted this past March asking people to people respect the site.
See what others are saying: (Business Insider) (The Atlantic) (Reuters)
Drug Charges Against Russian Reporter Dropped After Protests
- Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was released Tuesday after Russian officials dropped drug charges that had been brought against him last week.
- Golunov said that he had been framed because of his reporting on government corruption.
- Russian journalists responded by launching a multi-day protest, and prominent Russian newspapers called for his release in a move experts have said was unprecedented.
Russian government authorities dropped drug trafficking charges against investigative journalist Ivan Golunov Tuesday, following significant backlash and protests from Russian journalists and media over his arrest.
Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev said in a statement that the charges had been dropped because of a lack of evidence.
“According to the results of biological, forensic and fingerprint examinations and DNA testing, a decision was made to terminate the criminal prosecution of citizen Ivan Golunov due to the lack of evidence of his participation in the crime,” Kolokoltsev said in the statement.
Golunov was arrested and detained by police on Thursday, and after an invasive search, the officers claimed to have found drugs in his backpack. The police also said they found more drugs and other paraphernalia when they searched his apartment.
He was later charged with drug trafficking and taken to prison, though he denied the charges and said he was framed because of his reporting on high-level Russian corruption.
Suspicion Around Arrest
Others were quick to echo Golunov’s accusation against the police.
Golunov, who is well-known in Russia for his investigative work, had been writing for an online publication called Meduza, which is Russian-owned but is operated in Latvia to avoid persecution.
Following Golunov’s arrest, Meduza published a statement online defending him and arguing that his imprisonment was politically motivated. “We are convinced that Ivan Golunov is innocent,” the statement said. “Moreover, we have reason to believe that Goll-Loo-Noff is being persecuted because of his journalistic activities.”
Meduza also outlined suspicious activities surrounding Golunov’s arrest. According to the statement, Golunov’s lawyers requested that the police test his hands and nails to see if he had touched narcotics. The police refused.
Meduza also said that Golunov had been beaten by police when he was detained, but when he and his lawyer requested he go to a hospital he was again denied. Meduza additionally noted that Golunov had received threats over his work in recent months
Following the arrest, the police launched their own publicity campaign, publishing nine “incriminating” pictures of drugs and a pharmaceutical scale that they claimed they took at Golunov’s apartment.
However, several journalists quickly established that the pictures were not actually taken in his apartment. Shortly after, the police backtracked and admitted that most of the pictures were in fact taken elsewhere.
After the police fumble, even the Russian government acknowledged that there was conflicting information in the case.
“We have paid attention to the corrections that were later published, and we also proceed from the fact that there are several issues that are in need of a clarification,” a Kremlin spokesman said.
On Friday, Russian journalists launched a protest in front of the police headquarters in Moscow.
Under Russian law, protestors are required to get permits two weeks before planned demonstrations, but the protestors came up with a clever solution. Instead of all protesting together, activists took turns standing one at a time and holding a sign for 15 minutes or so and then passing the post off to the next person.
People lined up down the block to take turns to be the one-person protest. Reportedly, the line was so long that people waited for hours.
Unsurprisingly, police special forces moved quickly to detain about a dozen protestors, including some prominent Russian journalists who were held in custody for a little while before being released.
However, the line kept getting longer and longer, and those protests continued all weekend, even moving to the court where Golunov was set to appear for a hearing.
At the same time, a number of Russian celebrities and artists took to social media to call for Golunov’s release, and argued that his arrest was a violation of freedom of speech and an important test case for rule of law.
Russian Newspapers Express Support
The most surprising move came on Monday, when three leading Russian business newspapers published the same exact front pages with the headline: “I/We are Ivan Golunov.”
While all three of those newspapers are private rather than state-owned, all of them are usually very loyal to the Russian government.
After that, even a few very prominent pro-government broadcasters express skepticism about the case. Additionally, a petition calling for Golunov’s release reportedly received 7,500 signatures from other journalists, including those who worked for state-owned outlets.
As a result, experts have described the act as an unprecedented expression of solidarity with another journalist, as well as an unprecedented defiance of the Kremlin.
While Golunov’s release is an exciting and watershed moment for journalists in Russia, many wonder if it is just a one-off occurrence. Russia has long been criticized for its treatment of independent journalists, and just recently, have significantly ramped up their censorship efforts in the past few months.
In March, Vladimir Putin signed two new laws that would punish anyone who spread “fake news” or insulted the government with heavy fines and jail time. Under those laws, online media can be reported to the government, which then can block access to websites if the content that violates the law.
Golunov’s arrest was also not an isolated incident. On Friday, Meduza published an article listing 8 other journalists and activists who have gotten prison time for “drug charges” over the last few years.
See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (CNN) (BBC)
Life With MaK Vows to Quit YouTube
- LifeWithMaK, a popular 13-year-old ASMR YouTuber with over 1.5 million subscribers, said she is leaving the platform because it removed too much of her content while dealing with its child predator problem.
- She claims YouTube unfairly discriminates against her videos, especially in comparison to how it treats other young YouTubers like Danielle Cohn.
- She also says the company has done nothing to actually protect her from online predators.
Life with MaK Leaves YouTube
13-year-old ASMR sensation Life With MaK announced her plans to quite YouTube as the site continuously removes her content in an effort to combat child predators.
Makenna Kelly, who the internet knows as Life With MaK, has over 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube. However, on June 5 she announced her plans to leave the platform. Kelly tweeted a screenshot showing that YouTube removed another one of her videos. In this case, it was an ASMR video of her eating dish soap and sponges, which she noted were fake in the video’s description.
“AGAIN, thanks @YouTube! This is getting REALLY OLD,” she said. “To my fans: what platform would you like to see me on?”
On June 6, she followed that statement up with another tweet saying she decided to leave YouTube.
Life With MaK Fights YouTube’s Actions
YouTube has been cracking down on the way it allows minors to post on the site, as part of its effort to tackle its issue of child predators. Specifically, YouTube is aiming to remove content that could be perceived as sexual.
Other videos that Kelly has had removed in the past include one of her trying on clothes like turtlenecks, one of her pretending to be a dentist, and one of her first popular videos where she did ASMR while eating honeycomb. Reports say YouTube found the sticky sounds in the honeycomb video to be inappropriate.
Since announcing her departure from the site, Kelly has been tweeting about YouTube’s policy, and said that it instead of protecting children, it discriminates against her. She claims that while the content she posts gets removed frequently, other similar content does not.
She also said that she felt she was being treated differently not just in comparison to all creators, but in comparison to young YouTubers like herself.
As an example, she tweeted a screenshot of a video by Danielle Cohn, a 15-year-old YouTuber. In the video, Cohn’s boyfriend reacts to her Halloween costumes.
She later said she found this to be an example of how YouTube “picks and chooses” what kind of content it removes and what kind of content it keeps.
Claims of “Sexual Cyber-Bullying”
In addition to claiming that YouTube is inconsistent in determining what kind of content it removes, she says the site and its policies do not make her any safer online. She tweeted several times about an instance where she said a grown man “sexually cyber-bullied” her.
She later told the Daily Dot that a man called her “offensive and derogatory names” as well as made “lewd sexual comments” about her.
Kelly has also specifically called out YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. She addressed her about her claims of being cyber-bullied and the double standard she sees when it comes to content posted by minors.
YouTube has not yet responded to Kelly. However, they have addressed ASMR videos featuring minors in the past.
In February, Claire Lilley, YouTube’s child safety policy manager, told Wired that they are working on how to enforce guidelines when it comes to this kind of content.
“We’ve been working with experts to update our enforcement guidelines for reviewers to remove ASMR videos featuring minors engaged in more intimate or inappropriate acts,” she said. “We are working alongside experts to make sure we are protecting young creators while also allowing ASMR content that connects creators and viewers in positive ways.”