- People have been flocking to a bright blue lake in Siberia to snap Instagram photos, but the area is actually a dump for chemical waste.
- A Siberian power company said the color comes from calcium salts and oxides of various metals that are dissolved in the water.
- Though the company says the water has been independently tested by two labs and is not poisonous, it also warns that skin contact with the water can cause an allergic reaction.
“Maldives of Novosibirsk“
A Siberian energy company is warning tourists to avoid swimming in a breathtaking blue lake that has become a popular backdrop for Instagram photos.
Social media users have been flocking to the site to snap pictures in the bright blue water. The little piece of paradise just outside of the industrial city of Novosibirsk has even been nicknamed the “Maldives of Novosibirsk,” named after the tropical destination in the Indian Ocean.
The area even has its own Instagram page with over 200 posts showing visitors in the water.
But the lake is not actually a natural wonder. It’s a man-made chemical waste site, and that beautiful blue color is the result of a huge dump of ash from a nearby coal plant. Now the company that runs the plant is warning visitors to stay out of the water.
Company Issues Warning
The waste comes from a nearby power plant, operated by the Siberian Generating Company.
The company took to the Russian social media site VK last month to warn visitors about the water, writing: “In the last week, our ash dump of the Novosibirsk TEZ-5 has become the star of social networks.”
“It is not poisonous,” the company said of the water. “The radiation level is normal,” it added, saying that tests were conducted by two independent labs.
“But you can not swim in the ash dump. The water in it has a high alkaline environment,” the statement continued. “This is due to the fact that calcium salts and other metal oxides are dissolved in it. Skin contact with such water may cause an allergic reaction!”
The post goes on to say that the bottom of the pond is muddy, which makes getting out of the reservoir alone “almost impossible.”⠀
“THEREFORE, WE ASK YOU VERY MUCH THAT IN YOUR QUEST FOR A SELFIE YOU DON’T FALL DOWN INTO THE ASH DUMP! THIS IS THE BIGGEST RISK,” the company said.
Quests for the Perfect Photo Continue
Still, the warning hasn’t deterred people from the area. Dozens of social media users have continued to visit on their quests for the perfect Instagram picture, with some getting into the water in swimsuits and paddleboards.
One couple even took their wedding photos in the area. In an Instagram post, the photographer said the photos were a “creative idea and no one really organized a picnic on the ash dump and did not splash in the water.” However, she added that she thought the danger was “slightly exaggerated.”
“Naturally, you should not swim there, but because of a photoshoot lasting an hour you will not grow a third hand.”
But others have ignored the warnings. According to a translation from BBC, one user wrote: “The next morning, my legs turned slightly red and itched for two days, but then everything went. But what wouldn’t you do for the sake of such pictures?”
The chemical dumping ground is now the latest example of the lengths some people go to take the perfect Instagram pictures. In March, Lake Elsinore, California was swarmed with tourists rushing to take photos in the fields of poppies. Officials in the area were even forced to briefly close access to the fields and declare a “public safety crisis.”
Some have even been harmed while trying to snap a selfie. A 2018 study found that over a six-year period, more than 250 people worldwide died while taking a photo of themselves. Several of the deaths stemmed from transportation accidents, animal attacks, falling from heights, or incidents related to firearms and electrocution.
Jaclyn Glenn Raises Concerns Over Eugenia Cooney’s Recovery
- Shane Dawson’s most recent video is a profile of YouTuber Eugenia Cooney and her journey towards recovering from an eating disorder.
- However, creators like Jaclyn Glenn, David Michael Frank, and Evangeline DeMuro posted a video on Glenn’s channel saying that Dawson’s project does not include the darker details about Cooney’s path to recovery, which they say they witnessed firsthand.
- The three say they fear that she could still be in a bad situation, especially under the care of her relatives.
- Some criticized them for publicly sharing details about Cooney without her permission during this time, while others argued that sharing their side of the story was important.
Shane Dawson’s “The Return of Eugenia Cooney” Video
After Shane Dawson made a video about Eugenia Cooney’s recovery from an eating disorder, Jaclyn Glenn spoke out about the dark side of Cooney’s story that she says went untold.
On Friday, Dawson uploaded an hour-long video called “The Return of Eugenia Cooney.” The video tells the story of Cooney, a YouTuber who has long been the subject of public concern due to her weight and physical appearance. When Cooney started her YouTube channel in 2013, she was thin, but fans noticed her get visibly thinner as time went on, which caused many to suspect Cooney was struggling with an eating disorder.
Many comments on her videos were related to this, and some even petitioned to have her removed from social media sites because they argued she was sending an unhealthy message to her followers. For a long time, she avoided speaking about the subject or brushed comments off by saying she was fine.
In January, she uploaded a video of herself looking extremely thin, which caused people to become incredibly concerned. The following month, she announced that she was taking a break from social media to work with a doctor, but did not give any more details than that. Many assumed it was related to her weight.
In Dawson’s video, she confirmed this was the case. While she did not give her condition a label, she told Dawson that she was dealing with an eating disorder. Dawson told the audience that she is out of rehab, and that he wants this video to help others who could be struggling.
“This, to me, feels like the most important thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “I don’t want to fuck this up, I want to do this right.”
He also spoke with YouTuber and therapist Kati Morton about the subject so he could try his best to use the right language when discussing eating disorders.
When Dawson arrived at Cooney’s house, her lawyer was present. Cooney gave him a tour while they made light conversation about the decorations and Cooney’s upbeat personality. He says he asked her if anything was off-limits, and she said nothing that could help someone would be.
When Dawson asks Cooney if her friends helped her behind the scenes throughout this process, she gave a mixed answer.
“Yeah, there were some people that were, then there was kind of, some people that kind of like really weren’t, really,” she said. “There was almost like some people that like never said anything before, but then later one were like, kind of like bullying me into like trying to make like, decisions for me. And kind of like, they were just not wanting to listen to me at all not wanting to hear like, how I’m feeling.”
“But then I also have like, you know, good people in my life that like, did genuinely, like really do care,” she added.
Cooney elaborated on events that lead up to her entering rehab, including her noticing that she should be eating more, and her family telling her the same. She said that receiving comments about her weight online only made her situation worse.
“Then there was like, certain people that would like make videos about me and like talk about my body a little bit,” she said. “It kind of like was really affecting me like really badly, and like making me feel really bad and like, not taking care of myself, like really, in a really bad like mind state. I guess it was just, kind of like, progressing, and I wasn’t like really doing much to like stop that. I guess it like eventually, it just like, felt at a point where I like realized it would be a good idea to like, get some help for that.”
The two dove deeper into what her program in rehab entailed, and what she learned while in treatment. Dawson kept the video lighthearted, and he and Cooney did their makeup together in part of it. He suggested she make a “What I Missed While I was in Rehab” video, which she has already uploaded to her channel, along with an “I’m Back” video.
Dawson calls her recovery a miracle. “The fact that she is, I think, doing better, is, I don’t want to use the word like, a miracle. Is it wrong to use that word,” Dawson asks Morton.
“Anybody getting better you could say is a miracle,” she responds.
Reactions to Shane Dawson’s Video
The video has been viewed over 20 million times, and reactions have been mixed. Some have thanked Dawson for making a video on Cooney.
Cooney also noted that she is seeing a lot of positivity flowing her way as a result of the video.
However, others were rubbed the wrong way by the video, arguing that it did not take the subject matter as seriously as it should have.
Jaclyn Glenn Responds
One of the most notable reactions came from YouTuber Jaclyn Glenn, who says she was Cooney’s friend. After Shane posted his video, she uploaded two videos called “The Return Of Eugenia Cooney – The Real Truth.” One was a 24-minute long story, and the other was a 3-minute long TLDR version of it.
Her video features her along with two other creators: David Michael Frank and Evangeline DeMuro. The three said that even though Dawson probably had good intentions, his video glossed over a lot of the grittier details about Cooney’s path to rehab, which they were all a part of.
Her video opens with the clip of Cooney saying she was bullied by friends who were making decisions for her. They feel that comment was aimed towards them. Jaclyn said that watching Shane’s video was hard to do, especially having lived through the darker side of what really happened.
They said that fans and others, including themselves, would often call the cops in order to help Cooney, but she developed a “script” to make officers think she was fine.
“This video with Shane is another example of a script,” said Frank. “And the police, or Shane in this situation, walking away feeling that that person is fine and I don’t know if that’s the truth.”
They also added that they staged an intervention for Cooney where she could speak privately with mental health professionals. It would then be up to those professionals to decide the next steps.
“They were really concerned,” said Glenn. “They decided they wanted to take her into care, and they ordered something called a 5150 and it’s mandatory.”
Once this decision was made, Cooney fought back. Her mother allegedly got involved and yelled at Glenn, swearing at her, and asking why a friend would do this.
“She called the cops on me and tried to have me arrested for kidnapping,” Glenn claimed. “So when Eugenia was trying to leave we had two sets of cops show up. One to take her into care and one to arrest me for kidnapping.”
She explained that this situation was eventually sorted out, but there were still tensions between the group and Cooney’s family. The group believes toxic people in Cooney’s life were using Dawson’s video to make the situation look fine to the public.
“Yeah, Eugenia is a great person and I love her and I care about her,” Glenn said. “But the people surrounding her in her life, I feel like, are dangerous, and I think they were aware of Shane’s potential to cover their tracks and make this look like some kind of beautiful recovery story.”
The three went on to say that they think Cooney’s mom is manipulating her daughter’s life. They even went so far as to say she was killing Cooney.
“All I know is I’m doing what I think is right and not letting a lie persist,” Glenn said.
The group wished Cooney well, but also said they had reason to believe she may not be.
Reactions to Jaclyn Glenn’s Video
There were also mixed reactions to this video, with many arguing that Glenn should not have posted this for the public to see.
Though there has been some support for Glenn. One comment on the video says, “You guys did the right thing. You see the truth. The outsiders don’t. Good job.”
“No matter what anyone says these are real friends,” another user added. “Actually taking a stand and really helping a friend rather than sitting back and accepting her denial.”
Neither Dawson nor Cooney have responded to Glenn’s video.
See what others are saying: (Cosmopolitan) (Insider) (Entertainment Tonight)
FaceApp Addresses Privacy Concerns
- Social media users are downloading a popular Russian-owned app called FaceApp to alter their photos with features like its aging filer.
- However, many have raised concerns about the app’s privacy policies and terms of service, accusing the company of collecting user data to sell to third parties or share with Russia.
- The company released a statement saying it does not do either of those things.
- However, other concerns about the app and what it specifically does with user data still exist.
FaceApp Challenge Goes Viral
FaceApp is a Russian app that uses artificial intelligence to alter photos of people’s faces. The app is two years old, but a recent FaceApp challenge has prompted the app to trend again. Users are posting photos of themselves with an aging filter that adds a few decades of wrinkles to their faces.
The trend has caught on with celebrities, many of whom have posted their own photos. Drake showed us what promo for his farewell tour might look like.
The Jonas Brothers gave us a glimpse of the year 3000.
Scooter Braun showed the damage a Taylor Swift controversy might do to your skin.
Here’s what Lil Nas X might look like after severe back pain stops him from taking his horse down the old town road.
We also got a peek of what Piers Morgan might look like in a month or so.
Celebrity photos and jokes aside, there is actually a big controversy surrounding FaceApp and the access it has to information on users’ phones. Many voiced their concerns on Twitter, though much of the fears turned out to be speculation.
Developer Joshua Nozzi said that he believed the app might be “uploading all your photos.”
Others brought up the app’s Russian ownership.
“You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you,” the policy reads.
This essentially means that the app can take your photos and use them on their own. Many say that this could mean content could get used for marketing purposes.
“We use third-party analytics tools to help us measure traffic and usage trends for the Service,” the policy states. “These tools collect information sent by your device or our Service, including the web pages you visit, add-ons, and other information that assists us in improving the Service.”
The policy also says that while it will not sell your data to third parties, it can “share certain information such as cookie data with third-party advertising partners.”
FaceApp Addresses Concerns
FaceApp gave a statement to TechCrunch on Wednesday about some of the app’s policies to clarify some of the rumors spreading online.
FaceApp said that photos are processed in the cloud, but it debunked Nozzi’s theory that it was downloading all photos from your camera roll.
“FaceApp performs most of the photo processing in the cloud,” their statement reads. “We only upload a photo selected by a user for editing. We never transfer any other images from the phone to the cloud.”
At the bottom of the statement, they linked to Nozzi’s tweet, which has now been deleted, specifically to drive their point home.
“We don’t do that. We upload only a photo selected for editing. You can quickly check this with any of network sniffing tools available on the internet.”
The statement went on to say: “We might store an uploaded photo in the cloud. The main reason for that is performance and traffic: we want to make sure that the user doesn’t upload the photo repeatedly for every edit operation. Most images are deleted from our servers within 48 hours from the upload date.”
The statement said that the company accepts requests from users to remove all their data from its servers. They also added that the app’s features are available without logging in and said that 99% of users don’t log in, meaning that in most cases, they don’t have access to any data that could identify a person.
In its final points, the company confirmed that it does not sell data to third parties, and does not transfer information to Russia.
Many don’t think the statement answered enough questions. For example, it did not address the app’s right to use your data, which is mentioned in the terms of service, or other marketing concerns.
However, outlets like the Independent have noted that this is “fairly standard within such apps.”
Back in 2017, the chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation, David Vaile, spoke to the Australia Broadcasting Company about this lack of transparency.
“They ask for way more rights than they need to offer the service to you,” Vaile said. “It is impossible to tell from this what happens when you upload it, that is the problem. The licence is so lax.”
See what others are saying: (The Independent) (Mashable) (Tech Crunch)
Man Kills 17-Year-Old Bianca Devins and Posts Photos Online
- On Sunday 17-year-old Bianca Devins was murdered and her alleged killer posted graphic photos of her body online.
- He also posted cryptic and incriminating messages to his Instagram story and called police making comments alluding to both the murder and potential self-harm.
- He is being treated for serious injuries after slitting his neck and has been charged with second-degree murder.
- #RIPBianca began trending online, with people sharing condolences and speaking out about this type of violence.
Bianca Devins Killed
After a 17-year-old girl was murdered, graphic photos of her taken by her suspected killer circulated on online forums.
Bianca Devins was a micro-influencer in Utica, New York, who, according to reports, had around 6,000 followers at the time of her death. She was known as an e-girl who posted about video games and other online content.
In a statement, the Utica Police Department confirmed that she was killed on Sunday morning. According to authorities, she and a 21-year-old man went to a concert together on Saturday night. On the way back, they got into an argument, which continued until they arrived back in Utica early on Sunday.
The situation ended with the man pulling out a knife and stabbing Devins.
“During this time it is believed that he took and distributed photographs of the killing on the Discord platform,” the statement reads. “Members of Discord then viewed the images and posts and contacted the Utica Police Department. We can confirm that the images distributed of both the victim and the offender’s injuries are authentic and occurred at the time of the incident.”
According to other reports, the photos were also posted on Instagram and 4chan.
The man then called 911 himself making comments alluding to the murder, as well as comments about harming himself. When officers arrived at the scene, he began stabbing himself in the neck.
An officer also noticed a tarp at the scene, with brown hair sticking out from underneath.
“The male advised him that the female was beneath the tarp, and proceeded to pull out a cell phone,” the statement continues. “It was at this time that is believed that the male took self-photographs of himself laying across the deceased female.”
Officers were able to disarm the man, who was taken to the hospital with severe injuries but is expected to survive. He has been charged with second-degree murder.
The police investigation is ongoing and officers are still trying to figure out the nature of Devins’ relationship with the suspected killer. According to their statement, they met online two months ago. However, some reports have identified him as her boyfriend, some say he was a man who was obsessed with her, and others call him a family friend.
Devins’ family released a statement about the tragic news saying she “was a talented artist, a loving sister, daughter, and cousin, and a wonderful young girl, taken from us all too soon.”
“We are very grateful for the outpouring of love and sympathy we have received from our Friends, Family, Bianca’s Friends and the whole community,” the statement added. “Your prayers help to strengthen us through this difficult time.”
Photos Circulate Online
The story blew up on social media, with many focusing on the photos shared of the killing, as well as other social posts from the alleged murderer.
The photo of Devins that was posted to Discord was reportedly captioned with, “sorry fuckers, you’re going to have to find somebody else to orbit.” Orbiting is a phrase that refers to a “non-alpha male” who idolizes and pedestalizes a woman in hopes of pursuing her.
BuzzFeed News obtained screenshots of very cryptic messages he allegedly posted to his Instagram story that night. One included a quote from the movie Fight Club that says, “this is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.”
Another photo posted to his Instagram story said, “Here comes hell. It’s redemption, right?”
BuzzFeed News and the Washington Post obtained screenshots that allegedly came from his Discord and show him saying “subscribe to Pewdiepie.”
BuzzFeed News also obtained screenshots of his Instagram bio before his account was taken down. It was updated to include a lifespan that read “10/06/1997-7/14/19,” which notably marked Sunday as his date of death. It also said, “just know that I feel no pain now.”
Instagram gave a statement to Rolling Stone saying they removed his account.
“We have also taken steps to prevent others from re-uploading the content posted to that account to Instagram,” they added.
Discord also gave Rolling Stone a statement about the news.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this terrible situation,” their spokesperson said. “We are working closely with law enforcement to provide any assistance we can. In the meantime, our hearts go out to Bianca’s family and loved ones.”
#RIPBianca Trends Online
The story also created the hashtag #RIPBianca, which began trending on Twitter. People are using it to share their condolences and to speak out against violence of this nature.
Many are also commenting messages on Devins’ Instagram, which has gained over 100,000 followers, sharing messages of love and saying “Rest in Peace.”
However, the comment section has also brought out an ugly side of the Internet. Some users are commenting that they have the graphic photos available on their profile.
Others are fighting back against users victim-blaming Devins, claiming she “literally had it coming” for meeting men online and allegedly leading them on.
“What happened to bianca is absolutely sickening and the way the internet is responding is almost just as sick,” one comment reads.
“She didn’t deserve it or have it coming. she was a child,” said another.
Editors Note: At Rogue Rocket, we make it a point to not include the names and pictures of mass murders or suspected mass murderers who may have been seeking attention or infamy. Therefore, we will not be linking to other sources, as they may contain these details.