- 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.”
See what others are saying: (Daily Dot) (Wired) (BuzzFeed News)
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.