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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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PewDiePie Banned in China After President Xi Jinping Memes

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  • PewDiePie posted a meme review on Oct. 16 where he discussed the pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong and shared memes about China, including several that compared President Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh.
  • Three days later, PewDiePie posted a YouTube video saying his content was banned in China. 
  • Many on Twitter said this ban was an “honor,” as China tries to silence the voices that criticize it and its censorship tactics. 

PewDiePie Discusses Chinese Censorship in Meme Review

PewDiePie announced his content was banned in China days after the YouTuber posted a video discussing the long-running Hong Kong protests, which featured memes about President Xi Jinping. 

Felix Kjellberg, the platform’s biggest solo creator who is better known as PewDiePie, went over memes about the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in his Wednesday Meme Review. He mentioned that the gaming company Blizzard banned a Hearthstone player earlier this month after the user expressed support for the protestors on a live stream. He said Blizzard made this choice because “obviously China is like that one person on Twitter that can’t take any criticism and just blocks everyone.”

He also shared several memes about the protests, Chinese censorship, and President Xi. Specifically, he shared numerous memes comparing President Xi to Winnie the Pooh and joked that they do share a strong resemblance. 

Screenshots via YouTube: PewDiePie

PewDiePie Gets Banned in China

On Saturday, just three days after this video went up, Kjellberg posted a new video titled “PewDiePie is BANNED in China.”

“Well boys, we did it. I’m banned from China,” Kjellberg said at the start of the video. “That’s right. After I spoke about the Hong Kong protests and showed their leader being mocked for looking like Winnie the Pooh, I got banned from China.” 

The exact terms and extent of the ban are unclear. He said that if you search his name on Reddit or YouTube related platforms, the results are blank. YouTube is already blocked in China, so the creator was likely referring to other sites that share reuploads of his work.

“I’m laughing but yeah I’m sorry if you are in China and trying to watch my videos,” Kjellberg continued. “That kind of sucks. It’s just kind of funny. Like I knew it was gonna happen.” 

After making the announcement, he then discussed creator Bart Baker, who used to make music parodies on YouTube but has recently pivoted to making content for Chinese sites and audiences. 

Kjellberg announced the news to Twitter as well, claiming that China already took the copyright of PewDiePie back in 2017. 

Online Reaction

The news generated a lot of attention online. Many applauded the star for getting banned and thanked him for discussing Hong Kong. 

DJ and producer Zedd also chimed in. He was recently banned in China for liking a tweet from South Park’s account. South Park spoke out against Chinese censorship resulting in content pertaining to the show being censored.

Others shared screenshots of what happened when they searched for PewDiePie. 

Though some also shared screenshots saying they did find results. Still, however, the majority of users were sharing the error codes and blocked messages they were receiving.

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Ace Family’s Austin McBroom and Team Accused of Rape

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  • YouTuber Cole Carrigan posted a video where he claimed his friend and another woman were sexually assaulted by Austin McBroom, his basketball player friend, and his father.
  • McBroom is part of the Ace Family, which has over 17 million subscribers on YouTube.
  • Carrigan’s video also included screenshots to show that the women had met with McBroom, along with a photo of blood on the bedsheets after alleged forced penetration, and an anonymous phone call with one of the alleged victims.
  • The story prompted #AceFamilyisOverParty to trend on Twitter. McBroom addressed the situation himself online denying the allegations and claiming he is a victim of extortion, defamation, and slander.

Accusations in Video

Family vlogger and patriarch of the Ace Family Austin McBroom, his father, and other acquaintances, have been accused of sexual assault in a new video posted by YouTuber Cole Carrigan. 

Carrigan uploaded a 15-minute video titled “The Truth About The Ace Family..” on Monday. He opened by discussing the recent rumors about McBroom cheating on his wife, Catherine Paiz, before saying the allegations go further than just infidelity. 

Carrigan claimed that his friend and another woman were assaulted by McBroom and several people he knew. He claimed he was making the video on behalf of them because they signed an NDA and because it is difficult to bring allegations forward against a prominent man.

According to Carrigan, the two girls had been drinking when they went back to their room to change. McBroom, his security guard, father, and two friends followed them back. 

“Obviously I don’t have recordings of what went down in the room,” Carrigan said, “but my friend told me that she repeatedly said ‘no’ multiple times over and over to the point where she started crying and begging them to stop. That’s when they forced themselves in her and I will insert the photos of the blood all over the bedsheets in the hotel room right here.” 

He included a photo that showed bloodstains on sheets as potential evidence that the intercourse was forced.

He also called his friend so she could tell her story, though she was not named and her voice was distorted to hide her identity. She also said that she and another woman had walked to their room and that the group had followed them there.

She claimed that the guys were being flirty, but she and the other girl were too under the influence to push them off.

She said that one of McBroom’s friends had sex with her without her consent and that McBroom’s father tried to force her to perform oral sex. 

“But the next thing I remember is, unfortunately, being on the bed and his NBA player friend was having sex with me,” she said. “I don’t ever remember giving him consent to. The next thing I remember is looking up and Austin’s dad Allen is there and I am seeing him unbuckle his pants, pull down his pants, and pull out his penis in front of my face, basically wanting me to suck his penis.” 

She went on to say that around then, the security guard walked in and she went to check in on her friend. 

“All of a sudden I hear her yelling ‘no’ and screaming and crying,” she said. “And all of the guys start rushing around the room because my friend is literal hysterical crying and sobbing and she’s just sitting in the shower. Then after that we just got in bed and we were just crying for the rest of the night.”

Carrigan’s video also included several screenshots to show that his friends had met with McBroom. There were screenshots that show McBroom and his father in Miami on June 21, the night before the incident. 

Screenshot via YouTube: Cole Carrigan

There were also screenshots of texts Carrigan claims were sent the following morning. The first was to one of McBroom’s friends, where the girls seemed disinterested in communicating. The video alleges that the two girls had been hiding in their room when they first received the messages.

Another showed one of the girls reaching out to her ex in Miami and beginning to explain the situation. 

Screenshot of conversation with alleged victim and McBroom’s friend.
Screenshot of one of the alleged victims reaching out to her ex.

Carrigan also showed screenshots of his friend allegedly texting McBroom about what girls he wanted to be brought to Miami. 

Screenshot via YouTube: Cole Carrigan
Screenshot via YouTube: Cole Carrigan

Another screenshot allegedly showed McBroom’s assistant telling Carrigan’s friend to not let the story out because there could be “serious consequences.” 

Screenshot via YouTube: Cole Carrigan

There were also screenshots Carrigan said came from girls who told him they had their own inappropriate interactions with McBroom. In one, it appears someone is accusing McBroom of impregnating them. These allegations are unverified. 

Screenshot via YouTube: Cole Carrigan
Screenshot via YouTube: Cole Carrigan

Online Responses

The video ended up generating a lot of online chatter, with #AceFamilyIsOverParty trending on Twitter. Many used the hashtag to express their disgust in the story. 

More also shared screenshots of their alleged encounters with McBroom. 

While some shared them online, others doubted their legitimacy. Paiz tweeted that she did not know who was worse: “The person who photoshops conversations OR the people who believe it?” She accompanied this tweet with what appears to be a fake interaction between her and Kanye West. 

Another screenshot that, again, is unverified allegedly came from one of the girls in the story, Leslie. Users said she had posted her side of the story to Instagram before deleting it.

She posted a notes app message where she discusses Carrigan’s video, which she says was made with ill intent, and also identifies the other alleged victim in it as Amanda. 

“I feel like this video was made for the wrong reasons and this wasn’t Cole’s story to tell,” she wrote. “Cole even texted me saying we could potentially get paid $100,000 from this following the claim that Drama alert was payed off $500k.”

Screenshot via Twitter @AustinMcBroom

This refers to Carrigan claiming that Drama Alert’s Keemstar was going to post a video on the topic but was paid $500,000 not to. Keemstar denies this and posted his own video on Tuesday.

Leslie went on to say that McBroom did not rape her and was not to blame.

 “I wasn’t aware Amanda or Cole were in contact with drama alert to anonymously run our story,” the alleged post continued. “But I was aware of Cole’s video being made, and I only wanted it to be factual if it was ever going to be posted. I wanted to say that Austin McBroom is not to blame in the situation and did not rape me or anyone. I’m currently handling this situation in my own way. I brought this to social media to address false accusations. This isn’t what I wanted, there’s several sides to every story and this isn’t how I wanted to tell mine.”

The post also included a screenshot of what appears to be a text from Carrigan saying they could be paid $100,000 not to tell the story and that they could all split it. 

Screenshot via Twitter @AustinMcBroom

On Tuesday morning, McBroom responded to the allegations. He shared Leslie’s screenshots and released a statement claiming he was a “victim of extortion, defamation, and slander.” 

“I knew this was a cold world but never did I foresee something this disturbing upon me,” he wrote. “Thank you to all of my Ace Family members for all of your concerns and thank you to those who know my character and my heart. I don’t wish this upon anyone and I can only hope that those responsible for this learn from their mistakes and become better people. My family and I dealing with this matter privately and taking legal action. Bullying, extortion, slander and defamation of charterer is something I will not stand for and I can promise that justice will be served.” 

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Following Ninja Deal, Gamers Flock to Mixer but Viewership Falls, According to New Data

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  • Following Mixer’s exclusive acquisition of Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, a new report shows that the number of unique channels on the platform has nearly doubled, but viewership has fallen.
  • In contrast, Blevins’ former platform Twitch has gained viewership but seen a decrease in channels and number of hours streamed.
  • Last week, Blevins’ wife and manager, said he made the decision to move to Mixer because his chatroom on Twitch became “toxic” and because Twitch’s contract with him would have limited his licensing deals. 

Mixer’s Growth Since Ninja Deal

A new report shows some of the contributions Ninja’s exclusive streaming deal with Mixer may have generated, including a major increase in the number of streamers and content on the platform, though overall views have decreased.

Ninja — whose real name is Tyler Blevins — joined the platform in August after leaving Twitch, a move that sent shockwaves through the gaming community, with many wondering how the switch would affect not only Blevins’ career but also Twitch and Mixer.

The report, published by Streamlabs and Newzoo, found that the number of unique channels on Mixer had doubled from 1.96 million in the second quarter to 3.92 million when Blevins joined in the third quarter.

Source: Streamlabs

Streamlabs attributed the massive gain to Blevins’s relocation to the platform, which it said likely encouraged other gamers to make a similar switch.

Because of the influx of new streamers, the number of hours users streamed on Mixer tripled from 11 million hours to just under 33 million.

Source: Streamlabs

Even though the number of streamers skyrocketed, Streamlabs actually reported that Mixer lost viewership in its third quarter, dropping from 100 million hours watched to 90 million hours watched. 

Source: Streamlabs

Since 2018, Mixer has consistently risen in viewership, with this quarter tracking the only dropoff within the past two years. Nonetheless, the yearly growth for Mixer has more than doubled. Experts have also noted the third quarter is usually the weakest part of the year for streaming platforms.

Metrics for Twitch and YouTube Gaming

Conversely, the Streamlabs report found that Twitch suffered the opposite problem: gaining viewership but losing streamers and content. 

Many have attributed Twitch’s loss of streamers in Q3 partially to those users moving to Mixer following its deal with Blevins; however, Twitch has been losing users for two quarters now. Since Q1, Twitch has actually lost about 2 million streamers and now sits below Mixer at 3.77 million users.

Twitch currently still dominates the streaming community, however, logging 2,551 million hours viewed for Q3.

Regarding users and hours streamed, YouTube Gaming has also seen a dropoff since Mixer’s acquisition of Blevins, but the number of hours viewed on the platform remained relatively unaffected between quarters. 

Source: Streamlabs

The Mixer-Ninja Deal

While the report indicates Blevins may not have had a substantial impact on bringing viewers to Mixer, it is unlikely his deal with the platform will change because of that. 

In an interview with Business Insider last week, Ninja’s wife and manager — Jessica Blevins — discussed why he decided to move to Mixer. She said part of his decision stemmed from toxicity in Blevins’ chatroom while streaming.

“I could tell, as his wife, the last few months on Twitch, he just didn’t seem like the Ninja that I knew,” she told the news agency, “He didn’t seem as enthusiastic, as loud, as hyped-up about wins and motivated to stream. It really seemed like he was kind of losing himself and his love for streaming.”

She also said they had tried to make a deal with Twitch but said they felt like they weren’t being listened to. She specifically pointed to the fact that Twitch’s contract would have limited Ninja’s licensing deals.

She then went on to say that Microsoft aligned with their ideals, calling it a warm and friendly environment. 

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