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Ticketmaster Slammed Over Updated Language in Refund Policy

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  • Ticketmaster updated language in its refund policy to only promise returns for canceled events.
  • The previous language also included refunds for postponed and rescheduled events, so many assumed the change was suspicious given the number of shows effected by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Ticketmaster claims that the language update was only intended to clarify that refunds for postponed/rescheduled shows were never up to them, but instead event organizers.
  • StubHub was also slammed for changing its refund policy. Rather than a full refund, StubHub users will get a credit worth 120% of the original cost of their ticket but only if an event is canceled.

Language Change in Refund Policy Causes Outrage

Ticketmaster updated the language in its refund policy amid the coronavirus pandemic, causing confusion and anger from ticketholders hoping to get their money back for canceled events. 

Ticketmaster’s refund policy previously stated that “refunds are available if your event is postponed, rescheduled or canceled.” Now, it’s been cut down to say that “refunds are available if your event is canceled,” leaving postponed and rescheduled shows in limbo. 

As the coronavirus spreads artists like Justin Bieber, BTS, and others have postponed shows left and right, meaning a lot of fans are wondering if a refund will be coming their way. Many have taken their frustrations to Twitter. Some hoped that artists would move to fully canceling tours to aid refunds, while others thought this should motivate artists to move their sales from Ticketmaster to other platforms. 

Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) also tweeted about the new policy language, saying the ticket selling giant was in a “competition to provide the worst customer service in any industry.

Ticketmaster Claims Policy is Consistent

Ticketmaster, however, is claiming that there has not actually been a change in their policy. The company gave statements to USA Today and the New York Times claiming their refund policy has remained consistent, and that this was simply a change in wording for clarity.

Ticketmaster put out a blog post in March titled “Information Regarding the Cancellation and Rescheduling of Live Events” to explain its policy moving forward as events were forced to cancel due to COVID-19 concerns.

“As we receive updates from artists, teams and show organizers on their postponed and rescheduled events, as well as their individual refund policies, we will be providing fans with the latest news on their event status via this comprehensive information portal,” the company wrote. 

In that portal, fans can view the status of upcoming events to see if their shows had been canceled. 

“As always, canceled events are automatically refunded,” the post continued. “If an event organizer is offering refunds for postponed or rescheduled events, a refund link will appear on your Ticketmaster account. Otherwise, you are encouraged to periodically check back online to see if the status of their event has changed.”

All of this was essentially to say that refunds could still be offered in the event of a postponed or rescheduled concert, but the responsibility lies with the event’s organizer, not Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster claims that this has always been the case, but fans were still irritated as the initial wording of their refund policy implied guaranteed refunds.

Some have also had trouble getting money refunded to their accounts. One concert goer told the New York Times that of the many shows she had lined up this year that are no longer happening, but she has not seen the money for any. 

“I have about $3,000 tied up in these tickets,” she said. “This is my money that they are holding hostage.”

Some artists have given fans varying information about what will happen to their tickets now that their concerts are put on hold. Former One Direction star Niall Horan, who canceled his 2020 tour, told his fans they will get full refunds, and to visit his website for more information. On the other hand, Justin Bieber, who postponed his tour, told fans to hang tight to their tickets while new dates are being settled. 

Others, like Camila Cabello, are simply telling fans that more information is coming down the pipeline. 

Anger at StubHub

Ticketmaster is not the only ticket vendor causing frustrations with their refund policy. The latest changes to StubHub’s refund policy have also raised eyebrows. If an event is postponed, tickets remain with the buyer until a new date has been selected. If it has been rescheduled, StubHub send the new details but if the buyer cannot make it, no refund will be given. SubHub users will be left to resell the ticket on the site. 

If the event has been cancelled, StubHub will give the buyer a coupon worth 120% of the original order that can be used through the end of 2021 as a credit on their account. In no case was a full cash refund offered.

As a result of this, StubHub is being sued, with some saying they should be legally obligated to give money back for canceled events. Some have also complained that refund credits have not made it to their accounts within the promised timeframes. 

Impact on Concert Industry

Fans are not the only ones who stand to lose from canceled events during this pandemic. According to Pollstar, the concert industry could lose close to $9 billion this year if events remain blacked out. That means that along with ticket sellers and venues, several jobs related to these massive events could be at risk.

“Each tour pays or helps pay the salaries of tens, if not hundreds of thousands who work in venues, production, marketing, concessions, security, box offices, sponsorships and more,” Pollstar notes. “Consider: each parked bus that would have been carrying crew not only includes other passengers who would be earning a living, but every night in every city on the route, hundreds of people would have been involved in making the magic happen at venues that now sit empty.”

See what others are saying: (New York Times) (USA Today) (LoudWire)

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Andrew Tate to Remain in Romanian Detention After Losing Appeal

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The controversial influencer, accused of sex trafficking and organized crime, has maintained his innocence. 


Appeal Rejected

A Romanian court on Wednesday upheld a judge’s decision to extend influencer Andrew Tate’s arrest another 30 days.

The judge initially tacked the extra time onto his detention on Jan. 20. According to BBC News, the judge cited “the capacity…of the defendants to exercise permanent psychological control over the victims, including by resorting to constant acts of violence”.

Tate appealed that decision alongside his brother and two others, all of whom were arrested as part of an ongoing sex trafficking and organized crime investigation. The court’s Wednesday decision rejected that appeal, meaning Tate and the other accused individuals will remain in custody until at least Feb. 27. 

Investigators claim that Tate lured victims under the guise of a romantic relationship, only to place them under surveillance and force them to make pornographic content. Tate has denied the accusations. 

“You know I’m innocent,” Tate said to reporters Wednesday morning while walking into the courtroom.

“Ask them for evidence and they will give you none,” he added while leaving court. “Because it doesn’t exist. You’ll find out the truth of this case soon.” 

Tate’s Controversial Online Presence

Ever since December his arrest, Tate’s Twitter account has continued to post sometimes cryptic messages about the investigation into him. 

“Would your life be fine without you?” he tweeted on Tuesday, one day before his appeal was rejected. “In Romania. They can steal your life without a trial. They do not need evidence, In this system, innocent men return to ruined lives. My life outside is fine. But for most men, 6 months detained and their whole life will crumble.”

Tate is a controversial online figure famous for spreading violent misogyny to his often young male followers. He has been banned by a number of social media platforms for his drastic remarks, including one where he said rape victims should “bear responsibility” for the assault they endured. 

Tate and his brother recently added high-profile lawyer Tina Glandian to their defense team. Glandian has previously represented celebrities like Chris Brown, Jussie Smollett, and Kesha. 

On Wednesday, she said there is a “lack of evidence against the Tate brothers.”

“So far the system has failed,” she said, via the Associated Press.

See what others are saying: (BBC News) (The Associated Press) (Rolling Stone)

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QTCinderalla Vows to Sue Deepfake Website: “Constant Objectification” is “Exhausting”

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The streamer said that anyone who chooses to view nonconsensual deepfake porn is “the problem.”


QTCinderella Plans Legal Action

Twitch streamer QTCinderalla said during a Monday stream that she is going to sue the maker of a website that hosts explicit deepfake images of herself and other content creators. 

“I promise you, with every part of my fucking soul, I am going to sue you,” QTCinderella, whose real name is Blaire, said through tears. 

Blaire went live after fellow streamer Atrioc accidentally revealed on Twitch that he had an open tab to a website that hosts deepfake porn. Graphic images of high-profile female streamers were visible his browser, and the website also includes deepfakes of more creators, including Blaire. 

Atrioc apologized for accessing deepfake images on a website that promotes explicit content of his female streaming colleagues. He claimed that he got “morbidly curious” and “clicked something” after falling down an artificial intelligence rabbit hole online. 

“It’s gross,” he said. “It’s gross and I’m sorry.” 

In the past, Blaire has talked about having to pay services thousands of dollars to remove graphic deepfake content that has been posted without her consent. Despite those efforts, it is an issue she still has to deal with on a regular basis. 

“Fuck the fucking Internet,” she said during her Monday stream. “Fuck the constant objectification and exploitation of women, it’s exhausting.”

“Fuck Atrioc for showing it to thousands of people,” she continued. “Fuck the people DMing me pictures of myself from that website.” 

The Objectification of Female Streamers

Blaire said that it “should not be a part of [her] job” to constantly fight for this content to be removed from the Internet, nor should it be her job to deal with the onslaught of harassment that comes with the dissemination of these fabricated images. 

“If you are able to look at women who are not selling themselves or benefiting off of being seen sexually — they’re not benefiting, they’re not selling it, they’re not platforming it themselves — if you are able to look at that, you are the problem,” she said. “You see women as an object.” 

On Twitter, she explained that the repercussions of these deepfakes go far beyond exploitation and violation. 

“The amount of body dysmorphia I’ve experienced since seeing those photos has ruined me,” she said. 

She was far from the only person to call out how invasive it is to post or consume deepfake content of people who did not consent to being depicted in a sexual manner. 

“Stop sexualizing people without their consent,” Pokimane, who is also among the female streamers featured on the site, said. “That’s it, that’s the tweet.”

No one should have themselves be put on a deepfake porn website w/o their consent and it’s fucking disgusting at the men who are making light of this shit. fucking despicable,” another person wrote.

See what others are saying: (Dexerto) (Metro) (The Gamer)

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Britney Spears Asks For Privacy After Fans Called Cops to Conduct a Wellness Check on Her

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Fans said they were concerned after the singer deleted her Instagram account.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was updated to include a statement from Britney Spears


Fans Call 911

Britney Spears said her fans “went a little too far” after some called the police to conduct a wellness check on her. 

The fans, many fueled by online conspiracy theories, were concerned about Spears because she deleted her Instagram account. While this is something the singer has done multiple times in the past, her fans thought she had left secret signals in her last post suggesting she needed help.

Some even posted videos of them calling emergency services on TikTok, a platform that is full of conspiracy videos about Spears. 

“I love and adore my fans but this time things went a little too far and my privacy was invaded,” Spears wrote in a statement on Thursday, citing “prank phone calls” that were made to police.

According to Spears, officers did not enter her home because once they got to her gate, they “quickly realized there was no issue and left immediately.”

“This felt like I was being gaslit and bullied once the incident made it to the news and being portrayed once again in a poor and unfair light by the media,” Spears continued. “During this time in my life, I truly hope the public and my fans who I care so much about can respect my privacy moving forward.”

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Ventura County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Page Six that the department “did get calls into our dispatch” but added there was no reason to believe that Spears was “in any kind of harm or any kind of danger.”

That spokesperson declined to say if officials contacted Spears or conducted a wellness check, citing privacy and public trust issues.

The Prominence of Britney Spears Conspiracies 

Just over a year has passed since Spears was freed from a highly restrictive conservatorship that controlled her life and finances for 13 years. Throughout the conservatorship, fans tried to use the pop icon’s social media to pick up clues that she was secretly struggling. She did not publicly speak about the conservatorship until the summer of 2021. 

Now that she has her freedom, fans are still reading heavily into her posts. Some believe there are hidden messages in her captions and in the gestures she does while dancing. Others think she is dead, missing, or hiding and that a body double is being used in her posts. Some are so concerned that they are coordinating a mass effort to pressure the Los Angeles Times into investigating Spears’ whereabouts and safety. 

In the last several years, many have reflected on Spears’ early days in the spotlight and the cruel ways she was harassed and targeted by paparazzi, news outlets, and culture at large. Often the punchline to a joke throughout the 2000s, many now sympathize with Spears, who was forced to endure heavy public scrutiny at a young age. Documentaries like “Framing Britney Spears” prompted many to see Spears as a victim of abusive media tactics, not the “crazy” woman tabloids painted her to be. 

Many are now concerned that fans are only going to subject Spears to a new onslaught of harassment by calling the police to her house. Even if the conspiracy theories are technically well-intentioned and often come from a place of concern, some believe they will jumpstart a media frenzy that could harm Spears’ mental well-being.

See what others are saying: (Page Six) (Jezebel) (TMZ)

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