- Shane Dawson issued a lengthy statement announcing his departure from the beauty community on Sunday after people accused him of orchestrating Dramageddon 2, the explosive feud between Tati Westbrook and James Charles that erupted last year.
- But outrage at Shane continued after his statement as people slammed him for standing by Jeffree Star, seeming to justify attacks on James Charles, and labeling the entire beauty community as drama obsessed.
- Others also accused him of using the community for a cash grab with his Conspiracy makeup collection, pointing to the fact that a restock of the line was announced a day earlier.
- Shane later said he was taking a break from Twitter for a few months and deleted all his statements.
Dramageddon 2 Recap
It’s been more than a year since the feud between James Charles and Tati Westbrook captured global attention, but now, Shane Dawson has reignited conversations about the drama with a lengthy statement on social media.
To give a brief history of what brought us here, here’s a short recap of Dramageddon 2 and what’s happened since to help better understand Shane’s statement.
Last year Tait Westbrook posted her infamous “Bye Sister” video announcing the end of her friendship with James Charles. She explained a lot of reasons for her decision, but one of the points people really latched onto was this claim that James used his power to go after and manipulate straight men.
That quickly resulted in people throwing some serious accusations against him online, and it really picked up after Jeffree Star specifically called him a predator and a danger to society. Jeffree never ended up releasing any more details to back up his claims and James eventually tried to clear his name in his “No More Lies” response video.
So everyone decided to end the drama there, after James lost around 3 million subscribers and was subjected to a lot of hate online that he’s admitted put him in a dark mental space. James has since bounced back from the massive subscriber drop and everyone has tried to move forward.
As far as how Shane fits into this: when all this originally happened, he was filming a series with Jeffree Star about the beauty community and their makeup collaboration. At the time, it appeared as if he had a lot of first-hand knowledge about what was going on, siding with Tati.
But after it all ended, it seems like only Shane and Jeffree remained tight. Tati, Shane, and Jeffree ended up unfollowing each other and Jeffree later admitted that he and Tati were no longer friends.
Tati has remained quiet about the drama and Shane walked away from the situation relatively unscathed. He did receive some backlash from people accusing him of click-baiting after including some of the drama in his series trailer, but not the series itself. He’s also faced some criticism for continuing to be friends with Jeffree Star despite this drama and Jeffree’s long history of racist and offensive incidents.
Kameron Lester Speaks Out
Why are we talking about this now? Well, recently Jeffree Star has been hot water again because of more offensive things he’s said and done in the past. Along with that, in a recent video, an influencer named Kameron Lester announced that he was cutting ties with Jeffree and Shane.
Kameron talked about Jeffree’s brand giving him huge opportunities in the beauty space, but he eventually started feeling like he was used as a “token Black boy” and felt like their relationship was conditional. He also talked about Jeffree refusing his request that he make amends with the Black beauty community.
On top of that, Kameron talked about knowing that tensions with James were brewing behind the scenes months before Tati’s video came out because of a call he overheard between Shane and Jeffree.
“I just remember Shane Dawson called, and he was going off about James Charles…just like cursing James out and I was just kind of taken back because I’ve never seen Shane Dawson like that and he was going in on James.”
Then three months later, the public drama went down and Kameron said he felt regretful for not warning James. So after hearing that, people began to accuse Shane of helping orchestrate the drama by encouraging Tati to release her video and fueling all the tension between them behind closed doors.
Shane Leaves Beauty World
By Sunday, Shane had finally had enough and posted a 4-page letter that laid out his “final thoughts” on the beauty world.
In it, he directly responded to some questions he’s received, essentially saying that he knew Tati was planning the video but did not orchestrate it or need it as drama for his series. Still, he said that he has huge regrets about how he could’ve helped everyone handle it all better.
He talked about loving his experience working on his Conspiracy palette with Jeffree, saying it changed his life and taught him to stand up for himself.
However, as far as what he learned about the community, he said: “The beauty gurus who are ALWAYS involved in scandals are ALL THE FUCKING SAME. They are all attention seeking game playing egocentric narcissistic vengeful two faced ticking time bombs ready to explode and Im OVER it.”
He said they’re a talented group, but are on a side of the internet that enjoys “receipts” as a way to defend or expose someone. He added that he knows Jeffree is in that group but said, “he will always be family and I love him despite those characteristics.”
Shane said Jeffree is aware that he doesn’t agree with how he handles situations and Shane has told him that, nut he said he can’t take the drama anymore and is “out.”
Shane added that he’d never been involved in drama with another YouTuber before filming his beauty community series and did not plan Dramageddon 2. He said people come to him with problems like he’s a grandpa and he gets wrapped up in these situations when they involve someone he cares for.
That’s what he said happened with Tati. He said he believes a lot of what she said and added: “Do I think James is THE DEVIL? No. Do I think he was a young egocentric power hungry guru who needed to be served a slice of humble pie the side of the fucking Empire State Building? YES. Has he grown as a person since then? It really seems like it! And that’s AMAZING. I’m truly happy he’s realized how his ego was effecting others which he did address in his no more lies video.”
He also went on to make some jokes about how hard she “snapped” in her video and what an impact it had. Then, Shane explained that he doesn’t think Tati is a villain and said Jeffree didn’t orchestrate the drama either but did latch on because he was also frustrated by personal issues with James.
“Was Jeffree excited to see a competitor fall? Probably! He’s jeffree FUCKING star what do you expect?? I guess I missed the part where he got baptized and devoted his life to Christ.”
He did admit that Jeffree took it too far and called it one of the biggest regrets of his life.
Shane ultimately said he’s sick of hearing about all this drama and people using his name in drama videos. He also said he regrets putting drama in the trailer. But in the end, he said that drama is going to continue in the community because people love it.
He said to not expect these gurus to maintain some moral high ground, asking who will be left to watch if we cancel them?
“You don’t go to a circus to watch the hay on the ground. You got to watch the over-the-top performers who just want to be liked and want to do whatever they can to get your attention.”
Shane said he wanted people to stop pretending they were “above it all” and hit at “drama-free gurus” saying that even they participate in drama with some of the videos they create.
So, in the end, he said, enjoy the circus and unsubscribe from gurus you don’t like. Just don’t take the community as seriously as many did last year.
As for himself, he said he’s done with the beauty world. He said he’ll still watch beauty videos and play with makeup privately, but added: “I need to get back to why I started youtube back in 2005 and that was to make things that bring me joy (not drama) and to make movies one day.”
Public Response and Additional Statement
Shane’s comments were then met with a flood of backlash for several different reasons. One of the main reasons was that people felt like he was trying to justify Tati and Jeffree going after James, who was 19 at the time. Many felt he was essentially saying that James got what he deserved.
James needed humble pie…what he means is I needed to justify why a group of 30 yr old people got together to ruin a 19 yr old they were jealous of. Also geez Shane you are too sensitive….Imagine how poor James felt! You always say you’re such an empath shouldn’t be hard— Jessica Marie (@jessie_marie24) June 21, 2020
He literally said James deserved what he got while defending a known racist?????? Yiiiiikes Shane— Megan (@TakingSparks) June 21, 2020
Others were upset with humor he used that made it seem like he was making light of the situation. Following some of those responses, Shane posted another statement, calling it his “last addition.”
In it, he said “Do I think it was ok for the internet to bully james? NO. Of course not. Not sure why some people would [take] that away from my post. I literally said it was “too far” and should “never happen again.”
He explained that he didn’t want to get into too many dark details in his original post but said “we all know collectively that the internet was too mean to James.”
He added, “Me saying he needed to be humbled isn’t mean it’s honest,” before explaining that the humbling should have happened off-camera.
He also apologized for some humor he added in his original post when talking about Tati’s initial video, explaining that humor is how he deals with stuff.
Shane Deletes Statements, Backlash Continues
Shane then said he was leaving Twitter for a few months because it’s bad for his brain. Not too long after, he actually deleted all those statements, saying people could find it reposted somewhere else. “I don’t want this energy in my life or on my timeline. I’m too sensitive for this shit and I’m done.”
Still, the backlash has poured in, with many angry at Shane for continuing to support Jeffree Star despite everything he’s done. Others noted that he often supports people constantly involved in drama, like Trisha Paytas and Tana Mongeau.
Many were also angry at Shane for leaving the beauty world after he seemed to profit off it so much. A lot of people called his own beauty series and palette a cash grab, noting that he never even posted a YouTube tutorial with the palette.
Others noted that the statements about leaving also came a day after he announced that he restocked his conspiracy collection with Jeffree Star Cosmetics and presumably made a ton of new sales.
On top of that, some were frustrated that he labeled the whole community as drama obsessed, including beauty YouTube Samantha Ravndahl who said, “If you genuinely still believe that the entirety of the beauty community is constant, toxic drama, then I can assure you that you are watching the wrong people.”
That’s where this story ends for now. No other creator involved has addressed Shane’s statement and Shane has been silent on social media since. As of Monday morning, people have starting to dig up some of Shane’s old controversies as they continue to slam him online.
See what others are saying: (Insider) (Teen Vogue) (MTV)
South Korea’s Supreme Court Upholds Rape Case Sentences for Korean Stars Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon
- On Thursday morning, the Supreme Court in Seoul upheld the sentences of Jung Joon Young and Choi Jong Hoon for aggravated rape and related charges.
- Jung will serve five years in prison, while Choi will go to prison for two-and-a-half.
- Videos of Jung, Choi, and others raping women were found in group chats that stemmed from investigations into Seungri, of the k-pop group BigBang, as part of the Burning Sun Scandal.
- The two stars tried to claim that some of the sex was consensual, but the courts ultimately found testimony from survivors trustworthy. Courts did, however, have trouble finding victims who were willing to come forward over fears of social stigma.
Burning Sun Scandal Fall Out
South Korea’s Supreme Court upheld the rape verdicts against stars Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon on Thursday after multiple appeals by the stars and their co-defendants.
Both Jung and Choi were involved in an ever-growing scandal involving the rapes and sexual assaults of multiple women. Those crimes were filmed and distributed to chatrooms without their consent.
The entire scandal came to light in March of 2019 when Seungri from the k-pop group BigBang was embroiled in what’s now known as the Burning Sun Scandal. As part of an investigation into the scandal, police found a chatroom that featured some stars engaging in what seemed to be non-consensual sex with various women. Police found that many of the message in the Kakaotalk chatroom (the major messaging app in South Korea) from between 2015 and 2016 were sent by Jung and Choi.
A Year of Court Proceedings
Jung, Choi, and five other defendants found themselves in court in November 2019 facing charges related to filming and distributing their acts without the consent of the victims, as well as aggravated rape charges. In South Korea, this means a rape involving two or more perpetrators.
The court found them all guilty of the rape charge. Jung was sentenced to six years behind bars, while Choi and the others were sentenced to five years. Jung was given a harsher sentence because he was also found guilty of filming and distributing the videos of their acts without the victim’s consent.
During proceedings, the court had trouble getting victims to tell their stories. Many feared being shamed or judged because of the incidents and didn’t want the possibility of that information going public. Compounding the court’s problems was the fact that other victims were hard to find.
To that end, the defendants argued that the sexual acts with some of the victims were consensual, albeit this didn’t leave out the possibility that there were still victims of their crimes. However, the court found that the testimony of survivors was trustworthy and contradicted the defendant’s claims.
Jung and Choi appealed the decision, which led to more court proceedings. In May 2020, the Seoul High Court upheld their convictions but reduced their sentences to five years for Jung and two and a half years for Choi.
Choi’s sentence was reduced because the court found that he had reached a settlement with a victim.
The decision was appealed a final time to the Supreme Court. This time they argued that most of the evidence against them, notably the Kakaotalk chatroom messages and videos, were illegally obtained by police.
On Thursday morning, the Supreme Court ultimately disagreed with Jung and Choi and said their revised sentences would stand.
Jung, Choi, and the other defendants will also still have to do 80 hours of sexual violence treatment courses and are banned from working with children for five years.
See What Others Are Saying: (ABC) (Yonhap News) (Soompi)
YouTube Says It Will Use AI to Age-Restrict Content
- YouTube announced Tuesday that it would be expanding its machine learning to handle age-restricting content.
- The decision has been controversial, especially after news that other AI systems employed by the company took down videos at nearly double the rate.
- The decision likely stems from both legal responsibilities in some parts of the world, as well as practical reasons regarding the amount of content loaded to the site.
- It might also help with moderator burn out since the platform is currently understaffed and struggles with extremely high turn over.
- In fact, the platform still faces a lawsuit from a moderator claiming the job gave them Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They also claim the company offered little resources to cope with the content they are required to watch.
YouTube announced Tuesday that it will use AI and machine learning to automatically apply age restriction to videos.
In a recent blog post, the platform wrote, “our Trust & Safety team applies age-restrictions when, in the course of reviewing content, they encounter a video that isn’t appropriate for viewers under 18.”
“Going forward, we will build on our approach of using machine learning to detect content for review, by developing and adapting our technology to help us automatically apply age-restrictions.”
Flagged videos would effectively be blocked from being viewed by anyone who isn’t signed into an account or who has an account indicating they are below the age of 18. YouTube stated these changes were a continuation of their efforts to make YouTube a safer place for families. Initially, it rolled out YouTube Kids as a dedicated platform for those under 13, and now it wants to try and sterilize the platform site-wide. Although notably, it doesn’t plan to make the entire platform a new YouTube Kids.
It’s also not a coincidence that this move helps YouTube to better fall in line with regulations across the world. In Europe, users may face other steps if YouTube can’t confirm their age in addition to rolling out AI-age restrictions. This can include measures such as providing a government ID or credit card to prove one is over 18.
If a video is age-restricted by YouTube, the company did say it will have an appeals process that will get the video in front of an actual person to check it.
On that note, just days before announcing that it would implement AI to age-restrict, YouTube also said it would be expanding its moderation team after it had largely been on hiatus because of the pandemic.
It’s hard to say how much these changes will actually affect creators or how much money that can make from the platform. The only assurances YouTube gave were to creators who are part of the YouTube Partner Program.
“For creators in the YouTube Partner Program, we expect these automated age-restrictions to have little to no impact on revenue as most of these videos also violate our advertiser-friendly guidelines and therefore have limited or no ads.”
This means that most creators with the YouTube Partner Program don’t make much, or anything, from ads already and that’s unlikely to change.
Every time YouTube makes a big change there are a lot of reactions, especially if it involves AI to automatically handle processes. Tuesday’s announcement was no different.
On YouTube’s tweet announcing the changes, common responses included complaints like, “what’s the point in an age restriction on a NON kids app. That’s why we have YouTube kids. really young kids shouldn’t be on normal youtube. So we don’t realistically need an age restriction.”
“Please don’t implement this until you’ve worked out all the kinks,” one user pleaded. “I feel like this might actually hurt a lot of creators, who aren’t making stuff for kids, but get flagged as kids channels because of bright colors and stuff like that”
Hiccups relating to the rollout of this new system were common among users. Although it’s possible that YouTube’s Sept 20. announcement saying it would bring back human moderators to the platform was made to help balance out how much damage a new AI could do.
In a late-August transparency report, YouTube found that AI-moderation was far more restrictive. When the moderators were first down-sized between April and June, YouTube’s AI largely took over and it removed around 11 million videos. That’s double the normal rate.
YouTube did allow creators to appeal those decisions, and about 300,000 videos were appealed; about half of which were reinstated. In a similar move, Facebook also had a similar problem, and will also bring back moderators to handle both restrictive content and the upcoming election.
Other Reasons for the Changes
YouTube’s decision to expand its use of AI not only falls in line with various laws regarding the verification of a user’s age and what content is widely available to the public but also likely for practical reasons.
The site gets over 400 hours of content uploaded every minute. Notwithstanding different time zones or having people work staggered schedules, YouTube would need to employ over 70,000 people to just check what’s uploaded to the site.
Outlets like The Verge have done a series about how YouTube, Google, and Facebook moderators are dealing with depression, anger, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of their job. These issues were particularly prevalent among people working in what YouTube calls the “terror” or “violent extremism” queue.
One moderator told The Verge, “Every day you watch someone beheading someone, or someone shooting his girlfriend. After that, you feel like wow, this world is really crazy. This makes you feel ill. You’re feeling there is nothing worth living for. Why are we doing this to each other?”
That same individual noted that since working there, he began to gain weight, lose hair, have a short temper, and experience general signs of anxiety.
On top of these claims, YouTube is also facing a lawsuit filed in a California court Monday by a former content moderator at YouTube.
The complaint states that Jane Doe, “has trouble sleeping and when she does sleep, she has horrific nightmares. She often lays awake at night trying to go to sleep, replaying videos that she has seen in her mind.“
“She cannot be in crowded places, including concerts and events, because she fears mass shootings. She has severe and debilitating panic attacks,” it continued. “She has lost many friends because of her anxiety around people. She has trouble interacting and being around kids and is now scared to have children.”
These issues weren’t just for people working on the “terror” queue, but anyone training to become a moderator.
“For example, during training, Plaintiff witnessed a video of a smashed open skull with people eating from it; a woman who was kidnapped and beheaded by a cartel; a person’s head being run over by a tank; beastiality; suicides; self-harm; children being rapped [sic]; births and abortions,” the complaint alleges.
“As the example was being presented, Content Moderators were told that they could step out of the room. But Content Moderators were concerned that leaving the room would mean they might lose their job because at the end of the training new Content Moderators were required to pass a test applying the Community Guidelines to the content.”
During their three-week training, moderators allegedly don’t receive much resilience training or wellness resources.
These kinds of lawsuits aren’t unheard of. Facebook faced a similar suit in 2018, where a woman claimed that during her time as a moderator she developed PTSD as a result of “constant and unmitigated exposure to highly toxic and extremely disturbing images at the workplace.”
That case hasn’t yet been decided in court. Currently, Facebook and the plaintiff agreed to settle for $52 million, pending approval from the court.
The settlement would only apply to U.S. moderators
Chinese State Media Calls TikTok-Oracle Deal “Reasonable” as Trump Signals Approval
- On Friday, the United States Commerce Department issued an order that would ban U.S. downloads of TikTok and WeChat starting Sunday night.
- The order for TikTok was delayed for one week on Saturday after President Donald Trump gave his preliminary approval on a deal between TikTok and the software company Oracle.
- A federal judge also issued a temporary injunction Sunday against the WeChat ban, which would have largely destroyed the app’s functionality.
- Oracle and Walmart have since released more details of the deal, including that TikTok Global will likely pay $5 billion in U.S. taxes. This does not seem to be the same as a commission from the deal, even though Trump suggested such.
- On Monday, Chinese state media called the deal “unfair” on ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company. However, it also described it as “reasonable,” suggesting the Chinese government may approve the deal.
U.S. and China Signal Support for Deal
What began as a tumultuous weekend for TikTok ended with both the U.S. and Chinese governments potentially signaling approval of its deal with Oracle.
Last week, TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, struck a deal with Oracle to avoid a U.S. ban. On Monday, Chinese state media called the deal “more reasonable to ByteDance,” and said it’s less costly than a shutdown.
“The plan shows that ByteDance’s moves to defend its legitimate rights have, to some extent, worked,” it added.
While not officially confirmed, this seems to suggest that the Chinese government may approve the deal.
It also came off the heels of Saturday, when President Donald Trump, after having suggested unhappiness with the deal last week, said he has given his approval “in concept.” He will still need to officially sign off on it before the deal is set into motion.
Because of that, the U.S. Commerce Department staved off a download ban that was set for Sunday, now pushing it back to this coming Sunday, Sept. 27.
Some Republicans, such as Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), have still expressed concern because ByteDance won’t be handing over its secretive algorithm as part of the deal.
What’s in the Deal?
On Saturday, Oracle released more details of its deal with TikTok. Under it, Oracle and Walmart would take a combined 20% stake in TikTok Global.
Still, there’s been much back and forth over how much control ByteDance, will have under the agreement. For his part, Trump has claimed that TikTok Global will “be a brand new company… It will have nothing to do with China.”
However, ByteDance has maintained that it will retain 80% of the stake. The discrepancy here seems to be because 40% of ByteDance is owned by U.S. venture capital firms. Therefore, Trump could technically claim that TikTok Global will be majority-owned by U.S. money.
Trump doubled down Monday and said that he would not approve the deal if ByteDance retained ownership. He added that the Chinese-owned company will “have nothing to do with it, and if they do, we just won’t make the deal.”
Later, Oracle announced that ByteDance will not have any stake in TikTok Global, though this statement heavily conflicts with what is being reported in China.
“Upon creation of TikTok Global, Oracle/Walmart will make their investment and the TikTok Global shares will be distributed to their owners, Americans will be the majority and ByteDance will have no ownership in TikTok Global,” the company said.
According to Walmart and Oracle, if this deal goes through, TikTok Global will pay $5 billion in new tax dollars to the U.S. Treasury over the next few years. As both companies noted, this is just a projection of future corporate taxes, and that estimate could change.
The water around that $5 billion figure was later muddied as Trump claimed that TikTok Global would be donating “$5 billion into a fund for education so we can educate people as to [the] real history of our country — the real history, not the fake history.”
To be clear, Trump is referring to his plans to establish a “patriotic education” commission.
On Sunday, ByteDance said in a statement that this was the first it had heard about a $5 billion education fund.
In fact, TikTok Global never promised to start an education fund. Instead, it promised to create an “educational initiative to develop and deliver an AI-driven online video curriculum to teach children from inner cities to the suburbs a variety of courses from basic reading and math to science, history and computer engineering.”
That initiative doesn’t seem to have anything to do with that $5 billion tax figure. Since he began pursuing a ban, Trump has vowed that the U.S. will receive some form of commission from a deal with TikTok. As far as it is known, this $5 billion figure is also not that commission.
As previously reported, this deal will allow Oracle to host TikTok’s user data on its cloud service and review TikTok’s code for security. According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, it would also shift TikTok’s global headquarters from China to the U.S.
On top of that, TikTok’s board members would reportedly have to be approved by the U.S. government, with one being an expert in data security. That person would also hold a top-secret security clearance.
Commerce Department Announces Download Ban
Friday seemed like the beginning of the end for TikTok. That morning, the Commerce Department issued an order that would ban U.S. downloads of not only TikTok but also WeChat starting Sunday night.
Both bans were a result of concerns the Trump administration has that ByteDance and WeChat’s parent company, Tencent, are either already giving or could give U.S. user data to the Chinese government.
The Trump administration has repeatedly said that both apps pose a national security threat.
TikTok and ByteDance have consistently denied these claims, saying that U.S. user data is stored domestically with a backup in Singapore. WeChat, for its part, has also made similar statements.
The download ban was announced in response to two Aug. 6 executive orders from Trump. Those orders ban any U.S.-based transactions with TikTok and WeChat starting on Sept. 20, which is why the Commerce Department set the deadline for this past Sunday.
While this ban would have been much more restrictive for WeChat because a large part of its functionality relies heavily on in-app transactions, for TikTok at least, it would only affect new downloads and updates to the app.
“So if that were to continue over a long period of time, there might be a gradual degradation of services, but the basic TikTok will stay intact until Nov. 12,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business on Friday.
“If there’s not a deal by Nov. 12, under the provisions of the old order, then TikTok would also be, for all practical purposes, shut down.”
What Happens on Nov. 12?
Ross is referring to another executive order, this one signed on Aug. 14. Notably, it gives ByteDance 90 days to divest from its American assets and any data that TikTok had gathered in the U.S. As Ross pointed out, that requirement could be satisfied if a deal is reached before the deadline.
If that doesn’t happen, the TikTok app could begin to see lags, lack of functionality, and sporadic outages.
However, it’s not just the U.S. One of the big questions that loomed after Oracle and ByteDance confirmed their deal last week was whether or not China would also need to approve it. ByteDance later confirmed that it will need the confirmation of the Chinese government, despite the deal not involving a technology transfer.
Downloads Soar and TikTok Sues
On Friday, downloads for both apps soared. TikTok was downloaded nearly a quarter of a million times that day, up 12% from the previous day. WeChat was downloaded 10,000 times, up 150%.
The same Friday, TikTok as a company criticized the Commerce Department order, saying it had already committed to “unprecedented levels of additional transparency.”
TikTok added that the order “threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the US of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods.”
Later Friday, TikTok sued the Trump Administration to stop the download ban.
On Sunday, a federal judge also halted the download ban for WeChat with a preliminary injunction. The injunction additionally blocks the Commerce Department’s attempt to bar transactions on the app.
The Commerce Department responded by saying that it’s preparing for a long legal battle.
TikTokers: “Scared, angry, and confused”
“I’ve mostly just been feeling scared, angry, and confused,” TikToker Isabella Avila, known online as onlyjayus, told Rogue Rocket on Monday. “Those are just the main things.”
Avila has amassed a following of 8.7 million followers on TikTok in a relatively short amount of time. She’s also gained about half a million followers on YouTube and Instagram each.
A couple of months ago, Avila said she thought a potential ban was all just talk; however, as the situation progressed, she said she became more worried.
While she said that she personally thought her career could survive a TikTok ban (thanks in part to a Netflix podcast deal), she added, “The people in-between a 100,000 to a million [followers], they have a platform right now, and if TikTok’s were to be gone, their platform’s pretty much gone if they haven’t built an audience on anything else.
“This is where we go to express ourselves,” she said. “This is where we go to make videos. I don’t know, TikTok gave everybody a chance to kind of get famous and have a following. That’s what people liked about it. YouTube, it’s really hard to get followers and subscribers. TikTok was a lot easier.”
Avila also expressed that a ban wouldn’t just be detrimental to creators.
“I feel like my generation needed an app,” Avila said. “There was Instagram and Twitter, but it was kind of like for the millennials. Gen Z didn’t really have an app, and TikTok kind of fit that spot, so if TikTok’s gone, I don’t know, I feel like Gen Z isn’t really going to have a place.”
Avila now says she is largely hopeful that TikTok will not be banned in the U.S.