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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.” 

See what others are saying: (Newsweek) (Distractify) (Daily Dot)

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James Charles, Tana Mongeau, and Erika Costell Apologize for Attending Parties During Pandemic

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  • Youtube and TikTok personalities have recently come under fire for attending parties during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
  • After much backlash online for attending a party last week, YouTuber James Charles issued a text apology within a new video, calling it a “selfish and stupid decision.”
  • Viral footage from Tana Mongeau’s social media showed her and Erika Costell at another party Saturday, saying “We don’t care!” which many interpreted as their stance on the pandemic.
  • Both later issued text apologies for attending parties and clarified that the comment was in reference to suspected drama between them.

Influencers Just Want to Party

Influencers James Charles, Tana Mongeau, and Erika Costell have issued apologies for attending parties during the coronavirus pandemic after widespread backlash.

On July 21, an estimated 70 people gathered at a Hollywood Hills home to celebrate Hype House member Larray Merritt’s birthday. Influencers in attendance included James Charles, Tana Mongeau, Nikita Dragun, and the D’Amelio sisters.

The guests were widely criticized for ignoring social distancing recommendations and not wearing face masks after fans and fellow creators saw photos and videos of the party online. Despite online backlash, most creators were silent about being involved with the party, only Larray issued a quick apology.

James Charles Apology

Photos of the event showed James Charles ignoring social distancing guidelines and not wearing a mask. Most of these images have since expired from his Instagram story, but on Twitter, he still has a photo up with the caption, “uhh, I think this is the best paparazzi photo I’ve ever taken oh my god.”

It wasn’t until Saturday, after delaying a video he was supposed to have released on Friday, that he finally broke his silence on the matter.

Saturday’s video is titled A Day in the Life of James Charles,” and shows what the title suggests. Around 17 minutes in, there’s footage of James in an Uber, wearing a mask on his way to the party. The video also shows him at the party wearing a mask, albeit ignoring social distancing.

Then the video cuts to the following message, “Hi sisters! I decided to cut the party footage from the video. Even though I have been wearing a mask in public and have tested negative multiple times, going to a party during a pandemic was a selfish & stupid decisions. People’s safety and keeping COVID-19 contained is FAR more important than celebrating a friend’s birthday and unsafe partying is not something I want to promote to my audience.”

“I recognize that with my platform comes responsibility,” he continued, adding, “and I encourage you guys to be smarter than I was – Wear your masks and continue to social distance. Love you.”

The message stays on screen for 12 seconds before showing footage of James speaking with paparazzi while standing outside of the party.

His apology for attending the party was met with severe backlash online.

“James Charles apology is bs. He knew what he was doing when he went and he knew he shouldn’t go but he didn’t care. He’s only apologizing because he got in trouble and the same with everyone else apologizing,” wrote one user.

However, there were people who defended the YouTuber, saying, “Y’all just an excuse to hate, nothing ever pleases you all, he could’ve made a 1 hr long apology and y’all still would have been shitting on him, he messed up…”

One Party Is Bad Enough…

While James faced critiques over attending Larray’s party, Tana has received particular backlash for attending at least three parties during the pandemic: one at Jake Paul’s home, Larray’s birthday bash, and another party on Saturday.

Outrage against her grew after an Instagram story she posted with Erika Costell Satursady made it seem like the two were making light the pandemic. In the now-expired Instagram live story, the two can be heard saying, “Listen, we don’t fucking care.”

The video quickly caused outrage, and users wrote things like, “Nobody is surprised at the fact that tana mongoose is out there partying everyday day and instead of posting an apology shes out there saying “we dont fucking care” during a whole ass pandemic.”

Although, it’s worth noting that many pointed out that both women were involved with Jake Paul, leading to theories that the post was actually about that.

The confusion was clarified on Sunday night, when Costell tweeted out, “Hey guys – I just want to apologize for the video that was posted last night on Tanas Instagram story. The comment we made as NOT intended as it was perceived. Saying “we don’t care” was about our previous “beef”. It was in no way related to the COVID-19 pandemic we are in.”

She went on to add that she understands why people were offended, calling her attendance “careless and stupid.”

“I am truly sorry to anyone I let down or upset in any way & I fully take accountability for my actions,” she added.

A few hours later, Tana followed up with her own apology on her Instagram story.

“Partying/going to any social gatherings during a global pandemic was such a careless and irresponsible action on my behalf. I fully hold myself accountable for this + will be staying inside,” she wrote.

Actions like that don’t deserve a platform and I want to fully apologize and be better than this. I’m sorry. While Erika and I were referring to past drama in our video the topic no longer matters – I need to be a example and person.”

Tana Mongeau apologizes for party with Erika Costell
Tana’s apology as seen on her Instagram Story, July 27, 2020.

While many appreciated that an apology and explanation was finally given, not everyone was buying it. Many pointed out that Tana is constantly giving apologies over the various controversies that she seems to find herself in. YouTuber Elijah Daniel directly called out Tana and Erika for partying, and later added that he was fed up with influencers constantly apologizing and not actually changing.

“hi influencers caught partying, this video is for you. spread this to your fans on ALL of your platforms (since you don’t mind spreading things!), then self quarantine for 14 days and come back and we will consider even reading your apologies.”

See What Others Are Saying: (Dexerto) (Vulture) (Newsweek)

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US Army Suspends Twitch Streaming Amid Recruitment Concerns and Free Speech Controversies

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  • The U.S. Army has faced substantial blowback for banning Twitch users asking about war crimes on its eSports channel, a move that potentially violates free speech laws.
  • The criticism has been so intense that the Army has now paused streaming on its Twitch channel, which it uses as a recruitment method. 
  • Also on Wednesday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) filed a measure that aims to completely block the military from using Twitch to recruit. 
  • Separately, the Army has come under fire for seemingly hosting a fake giveaway that linked to a recruitment page. Twitch ultimately forced it to remove that giveaway, but the Army maintains that it was a legitimate giveaway.

Army Suspends Twitch Streaming

The United States Army has hit pause on the Twitch channel for its eSports team as of Wednesday, following mounting concerns that it has repeatedly violated First Amendment free speech laws by banning viewers who ask about everything from U.S. war crimes to Eddie Gallagher.

The news of the Army’s banning practice gained traction on July 8 when activist Jordan Uhl posted a clip of him asking about war crimes during a stream on the channel. Notably, the channel is used as a way for the Army to promote recruitment and talk with viewers about life in the military.

“What’s your favorite U.S. w4r cr1me?” Uhl asked after learning that “war crime” was already a banned phrase on the channel. 

Uhl also posted a link in the chatbox to the Wikipedia page for U.S. war crimes. He was then banned. 

“Have a nice time getting banned, my dude,” said Army recruiter and gamer Joshua “Strotnium” David.

On Saturday, Uhl was again banned for asking similar questions, this time on the Twitch channel for the Navy’s eSports team. Reportedly, others asking similar questions were also banned during that stream.

On Wednesday, the Knight First Amendment Institute then demanded that the Army and Navy change their banning practices. It also asked the Army to restore access for not only Uhl but also for 300 others who have been banned for similar comments. 

“When the government intentionally opens a space to the public at large for expressive activity, it has created a ‘public forum’ under the First Amendment, and it cannot constitutionally bar speakers from that forum based on viewpoint,” the Institute said in a letter to the two branches.

Later that same day, the Army announced it would suspend streaming on Twitch to “review internal policies and procedures, as well as all platform-specific policies.”

Still, a spokesperson for the Army has maintained that the branch did not violate free speech laws, arguing that people like Uhl were banned because the term war crimesis “meant to troll and harass the team.” 

AOC Files Measure to the Block Military from Twitch

Also on Wednesday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) announced plans to file an amendment that would block the military from using video games and esports as recruitment methods. 

“It’s incredibly irresponsible for the Army and the Navy to be recruiting impressionable young people and children via live streaming platforms,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“War is not a game,” she added while pointing to the Marine Corps, which is the only branch of the U.S. military that has refused to form an esports team.

For its part, the Marines have said it does not want to “gamify” combat since it is a military agency that deals in combat. 

“The Marine Corps’ decision not to engage in this recruiting tool should be a clear signal to the other branches of the military to cease this practice entirely,” Ocasio-Cortez said. 

Is the Army Violating the First Amendment on Twitch?

Uhl has maintained that he wasn’t simply trying to troll the Army eSports Team; rather, he said the reason he asked questions about war crimes was because he had heard rumors of people receiving bans by the Army and Navy for broaching such topics on their Twitch channels. 

“Was I undiplomatic? Sure,” Uhl said in an article posted on The Nation. “But if the military is going to use one of the world’s most popular platforms to recruit kids, then it shouldn’t be able to do so without some pushback. Right now, with the support of Twitch, gamers with the US military are spending hours with children as young as 13, trying to convince them to enlist.”

“While members of military e-sports teams offer the regular gaming skill set, they’re also on-screen talent and recruiters,” Uhl said. “Instead of approaching a recruiter behind a table in a school cafeteria, kids can hang out with one who is playing their favorite video games and replying to their chat messages for hours on end.”

While a normal Twitch streamer can generally moderate their channel however they want, public forums hosted by the government must abide by free speech laws. In fact, there’s even legal precedent to support this. 

For example, in June 2019, a federal appeals court ruled that President Trump can’t block critics from his Twitter account because it constitutes a public forum.

Despite that, in a statement, the Army originally argued that it banned Uhl because he had violated Twitch’s harassment policies.

“Team members are very clear when talking with potential applicants that a game does not reflect a real Army experience,” a spokesperson said following the July 8 incident. “They discuss their career experiences in real terms with factual events.”

“Team members ensure people understand what the Army offers through a realistic lens and not through the lens of a game meant for entertainment,” the spokesperson added. “This user’s question was an attempt to shift the conversation to imply that Soldiers commit war crimes based on an optional weapon in a game, and we felt that violated Twitch’s harassment policy.”

That spokesperson also went on to defend the Army by noting that it offers multiple career paths and that “the goal of the Army eSports Team is to accurately portray that range of opportunities to interested youth.”

Despite that, the statement quickly drew the ire of the American Civil Liberties Union, which responded on Twitter by saying, “Calling out the government’s war crimes isn’t harassment, it’s speaking truth to power. And banning users who ask important questions isn’t ‘flexing,’ it’s unconstitutional.” 

US Army Caught Seemingly Offering Fake Giveaways

In addition to free speech concerns, the Army has also found itself defending its recruitment practices on the platform.

Last week, Uhl accused the branch of “repeatedly” presenting viewers “with an automated chat prompt that says they could win a Xbox Elite Series 2 controller… and a link where they can enter the ‘giveaway.’” 

However, upon clicking that link, Uhl said he was redirected to a recruiting form with no additional information on the “contest, odds, total number of winners, or when a drawing will occur.”

The news prompted outrage among streamers and game developers who urged Twitch to take action against the Army’s esports channel. 

On Thursday, Twitch finally responded, telling Kotaku that it had forced the Army to stop advertising that giveaway, saying, “This promotion did not comply with our Terms, and we have required them to remove it.” 

Since then, an Army representative has said that, despite transparency issues, a legitimate giveaway system had been in place. 

“Each giveaway has its own URL and marketing activity code that directly connect the registrant to the specific giveaway,” the rep said. “An eligible winner is selected at random, and the prize is given out. Twitch asked our team to remove the giveaway for lack of transparency, and they did. The team is exploring options to use platforms for giveaways that will provide more external clarity.”

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (Kotaku) (Vice)

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Twitch Forces US Army to Stop Sharing Fake Giveaways That Link to Recruitment Page

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  • Twitch has ordered the U.S. Army to stop offering fake giveaways on its platform.
  • The issue first came to light after a reporter noticed that a prize giveaway link, which was posted into the chat box of an Army esports stream, redirected users to a recruitment page. 
  • According to that reporter, the recruitment page offered “no additional mention of a contest, odds, total number of winners, or when a drawing will occur.”
  • Separately, the U.S. Army has also faced substantial blowback for banning Twitch users asking about war crimes, a move that potentially violates free speech laws.

US Army Offers Fake Giveaways

After the United States Army was allegedly caught promising fake prize giveaways on Twitch to promote its recruitment page, Twitch has ordered it to abandon the strategy.

The practice was first detailed by reporter Jordan Uhl in The Nation on Wednesday and stems from the Army’s esports team, which regularly streams on Twitch as a way to talk to teens about life in the military and recruitment options. Both the Navy and the Air Force also have esports teams that stream on Twitch.

In the chat box of those streams, the Army would reportedly post automated links promoting prize giveaways. For example, one prize included an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller; however, once people clicked the link to try to win that controller, they weren’t taken to a page to enter that drawing. 

Instead, according to The Nation, they were directed to “a recruiting form with no additional mention of a contest, odds, total number of winners, or when a drawing will occur.”

The news prompted outrage among some streamers and game developers who then urged Twitch to take action against the U.S. Army esports channel.

“The silence from @Twitch on the latest wave of criticism regarding the military using the site to scam kids into sharing personal info speaks volumes,” streamer Jayson “MANvsGame” Love said on Twitter. “Imagine ANY other channel doing that. Feel free to manipulate your viewers as much as you like, I guess?”

On Thursday, gaming website Kotaku reported that Twitch had forced the Army to stop tricking viewers, with Twitch saying in a statement to the outlet, “Per our Terms of Service, promotions on Twitch must comply with all applicable laws. This promotion did not comply with our Terms, and we have required them to remove it.”

Meanwhile, the Army has remained silent on why it allegedly engaged in fake giveaway tactics. 

Is the US Army Also Violating Free Speech Laws on Twitch?

The fake giveaway is not the only Twitch-related controversy the Army has recently faced. Last week, after catching wind of users being banned for asking uncomfortable questions, Uhl reported that the Army’s Twitch channel banned him after he asked about war crimes during a stream—a move that could be seen as a blockage of free speech.

In a recorded video, Uhl asks other viewers what their favorite U.S. war crime is in the chat box of that stream. He then links to the Wikipedia page for U.S. war crimes. Seconds after that, he is banned.

“Have a nice time getting banned, my dude,” Army recruiter and gamer Joshua “Strotnium” David tells Uhl just before the video ends. 

The U.S. Army (and its esports team) are not private entities. While general Twitch streamers can moderate their channels however they wish, public forums hosted by the government are generally required to abide by strict free speech laws.

In response, the Army later confirmed that it banned Uhl directly because of his comments, arguing that those comments violated Twitch’s harassment policies.

“Team members are very clear when talking with potential applicants that a game does not reflect a real Army experience,” a representative of the U.S. Army esports team told Vice. “They discuss their career experiences in real terms with factual events.”

“Team members ensure people understand what the Army offers through a realistic lens and not through the lens of a game meant for entertainment. This user’s question was an attempt to shift the conversation to imply that Soldiers commit war crimes based on an optional weapon in a game, and we felt that violated Twitch’s harassment policy.”

“The U.S. Army offers youth more than 150 different careers, and ultimately the goal of the Army eSports Team is to accurately portray that range of opportunities to interested youth.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, however, has argued that “calling out the government’s war crimes isn’t harassment, it’s speaking truth to power. And banning users who ask important questions isn’t ‘flexing,’ it’s unconstitutional.”

Concerns Over Army Streaming With Teens

“Was I undiplomatic?,” Uhl asked in his Wednesday article. “Sure. But if the military is going to use one of the world’s most popular platforms to recruit kids, then it shouldn’t be able to do so without some pushback. Right now, with the support of Twitch, gamers with the US military are spending hours with children as young as 13, trying to convince them to enlist.”

As Uhl noted, the military’s newfound use of Twitch could be an even more effective method than “approaching a recruiter behind a table in a school cafeteria.” For example, “kids can hang out with one who is playing their favorite video games and replying to their chat messages for hours on end.”

Of the four main branches of the military, only the Marine Corps has refused to launch an esports team. 

“This is due in part to the belief that the brand and issues associated with combat are too serious to be ‘gamified’ in a responsible manner,” the Marine Corps Recruiting Command said in January. 

See what others are saying: (The Nation) (Kotaku) (The Verge)

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