- A person claiming to have attended Dixie D’Amelio’s former high school said that according to their teacher, the TikTok star would frequently fake seizures to get out of class.
- D’Amelio responded to the rumor in an emotional Instagram live, saying she had a seizure once at the school, outside of class, and never returned again.
- She said her high anxiety caused Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures (PNES), which prompted her to be hospitalized for a few days and put on bed rest for months afterward.
- During that time, she developed other symptoms that come with PNES, including a stutter and shaking whenever her anxiety levels or heart rate were high.
- She condemned those who believe she would fake a seizure for attention, adding that she doesn’t like talking about this but feels it’s important for those in similar situations.
Rumors About Fake Seizures
Social media star Dixie D’Amelio held an emotional live stream Monday to open up about her medical history after rumors about her allegedly faking seizures in high school picked up steam.
On Monday, a YouTuber known as Def Noodles, who covers influencer stories, published screenshots of a conversation he had with someone claiming to have attended D’Amelio’s former high school.
In those messages, the anonymous person said, “from what i’ve heard, she would randomly fake a seizure in the middle of class and after a while, my teacher and people caught onto it. The nurse would come in and take her out of class.”
In another, they explain that their teacher is the one who told this information to their class. They said that one day when kids were making TikTok’s at school, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio’s names came up. About Dixie, they said the teacher, “remembered her easily. He said he had her as a student and that she used to pretend to have seizures during his class and that it got annoying after a while.”
When asked if they know how often this happened, the source said they didn’t know, but added that “it was in my teacher’s class often if he was able to catch on to it after a while.”
This interview was met with a slew of different reactions, with some saying if true, that this was disgusting. Meanwhile, others defended D’Amelio and slammed the teacher for talking about her to students. However, the new claims ultimately just fueled this rumor about D’Amelio that has popped up on social media for some time now in different versions.
Later that Monday, D’Amelio decided to address the rumors in an emotional Instagram live stream. In it, said she saw the post of a person talking about something very personal to her that she never wanted on the internet. She said that she wanted to explain the story herself so that this rumor doesn’t go any further.
“When I was in Sophomore year in high school, I had very bad anxiety, and it got so bad to the point where I developed this thing called PNES, which is Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures,” she said. “And it happened once, it happened on my last day of school, because I never went back…”
She went on to talk about what happened that day, remembering feeling sick and shaky. She said she asked a friend to help take her to her mom’s car when she fell to the floor and started having a seizure.
“And I start compulsing and having these seizures because that is what they are classified as, even if they are not an epileptic seizure, the anxiety brought me to the point of having a seizure and this is a very very real thing,” she continued.
After this, she explained that she was placed in an ambulance and added, “then I’m taken to the hospital and I’m there for two days where they are constantly monitoring me and I have over 400 of these compulsions over the next two days.“
After this happened, she said withdrew from the school, feeling too embarrassed about what happened to come back. She said she remained on bed rest from that day in April until starting at a new school that September.
During that time, she said “I developed a lot more things that come with Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures, where I developed a stutter, and I was shaking all the time. Anytime I would have anxiety or my heart rate would go up, I would start skating my legs or something like that.
D’Amelio also explained that she’s heard this claim about her “faking seizures for attention” a lot before. She said she doesn’t like talking about it and added: “I didn’t want to share this but to a point, there has to be a time because I know it’s something people deal with and it’s a real thing, but it’s not a big thing so not a lot of people know about it.”
A few hours later, she took to Twitter to say that she will “use this opportunity to help spread awareness about some of the things ive been through because even though i dont do it offten i think it’s important to talk about mental health.”
Then, she took a minute to hit back at her critics by sharing the most recent allegations against her and writing: “to all of the adults replying to this tweet saying im ”disgusting”…how do you think i feel when i actually lived through this and people say i was faking for attention? maybe think before you type…”
Since then, people have been coming forward with statements claiming that the teacher didn’t make those comments about the teenager, while others said that they did.
Either way, most internet users have shared the general sentiment that details about D’Amelio’s health are for nobody to share or make speculations about, and many have applauded her for opening up about anxiety.
JoJo Siwa Fans Caution Against Labeling the Star’s Sexuality
- JoJo Siwa was featured in two TikTok videos Wednesday that many felt signaled her as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
- One showed her dancing and lip-syncing to Paramore’s “Aint It Fun,” along with members of the TikTok group Pride House LA. Siwa specifically mouthed the lyric “Now you’re one of us,” which is also the caption of the post.
- The second video showed her lip-syncing to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” a song that has long been heralded as an LGBTQ+ anthem.
- The 17-year-old entertainer has not directly addressed speculations about her sexuality, prompting many to caution against labeling her.
JoJo Siwa TikToks Trigger Sexuality Speculations
JoJo Siwa fans are urging the public not to label the 17-year-old entertainer’s sexuality, especially when she has not explicitly done so herself.
The request came after Siwa became a trending topic Wednesday when many speculated that she had come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
The speculations stem from two TikTok videos she was featured in. The first was posted on choreographer Kent Boyd’s account. It features him and other members of the TikTok group Pride House LA, which includes several stars from Disney Channel’s “Teen Beach Movie.”
It showed them all lip-syncing and dancing along to Paramore’s hit song “Ain’t It Fun.” Siaw specifically mouthed the lyric “Now you’re one of us.” That lyric was also the caption of the post.
Later in the day, Siwa posted a video on her personal TikTok account that featured her lip-syncing to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” a song that has long been heralded as an LGBTQ+ anthem.
Part of the lyrics she sang along to were: “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian transgender life / I’m on the right track baby, I was born to survive.”
These posts really started all the rumors online, and things picked up when influencers like James Charles, Bretman Rock, and others expressed their support.
Many fans also left comments on the videos saying they were proud of her, and journalist Yashar Ali tweeted, “This feels like a big deal if it is what I think it is…JoJo Siwa is hugely popular with kids.”
“And as someone just pointed out, if it is what I think it is, she’s doing it at the height of her fame when she’s selling out arenas,” he continued.
Despite the wave of praise, other fans feel that it’s inappropriate and harmful to make speculations about anyone’s sexuality.
Many have even shared their own experiences coming out, reminding people not to label Siwa as anything until she explicitly chooses to share that information herself.
While Siwa hasn’t directly addressed any of the responses as of yet, she has retweeted a post that features her video, the pride flag emoji, and the caption, “@itsjojosiwa is on the right track, she was born this way.”
Still, others also noted that she has publicly asked Lady Gaga to collaborate with her in the past, so perhaps this is a signal about that happening soon.
Others believe it could also be Siwa’s way of signaling that she is an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.
See what others are saying: (Insider) (Metro) (Teen Vogue)
Google Investigates Top AI Researcher Who Was Looking Into a Previous Firing
- Google is investigating the co-leader of its Ethical AI team, Margaret Mitchell.
- While Mitchell has not been fired, her account has been locked because Google said she “exfiltrated thousands of files” and shared them with people outside of the company.
- In a tweet, Mitchell indicated that she had been “documenting current critical issues” related to the firing of another Google AI Ethicist in December.
- Sources reportedly told Axios that Mitchell had been specifically looking for messages that showed discriminatory treatment of that fired researcher.
Google Investigates Margaret Mitchell
On Tuesday, Google stated that it is now investigating the co-leader of its Ethical Al team, Margaret Mitchell.
Mitchell has reportedly not been fired, but her company email account has been locked.
According to Google, its security systems automatically lock employee accounts “when they detect that the account is at risk of compromise due to credential problems or when an automated rule involving the handling of sensitive data has been triggered.”
In this case, Google said Mitchell “exfiltrated thousands of files” and then shared them with people outside of the company.
Why Did Mitchell Begin Looking Through Files?
Mitchell’s investigation is related to the ousting of another top AI ethicist at Google, Timnit Gebru, who was fired at the beginning of December.
Before Gebru was fired, managers reportedly instructed her to withdraw an unpublished research paper upon her return from vacation. In an email to the internal listserv Google Brain Women and Allies, Gebru then voiced frustration at managers for allegedly making the decision without her input.
“You are not worth having any conversations about this, since you are not someone whose humanity (let alone expertise recognized by journalists, governments, scientists, civic organizations such as the electronic frontiers foundation etc) is acknowledged or valued in this company,” Gebru said in a critique of the decision.
Gebru’s firing led to such a massive outcry from Google employees that Google CEO Sundar Pichai pledged to investigate the situation.
On Friday, Mitchell indicated in a tweet that she was also looking into Gebru’s firing, saying that she was “documenting current critical issues from [Gebru’s] firing, point by point, inside and outside work.”
According to Axios, sources have said that Mitchell used automated scripts to siphon through messages that potentially document discriminatory treatment against Gebru.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Says Trump Ban Was the “Right Decision” But Sets “Dangerous” Precedent
- While defending Twitter’s decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump, CEO Jack Dorsey noted the “dangerous” precedent such a move set.
- “Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation,” Dorsey said in a lengthy Twitter thread on Wednesday. “They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning.”
- Dorsey’s message came the same day Twitter fully reinstated Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Co.) account, hours after locking it for violating Twitter rules. A Twitter spokesperson later described the lock as an “incorrect enforcement action.”
Dorsey Describes Trump Ban as a Double-Edged Sword
In a lengthy Twitter thread published Wednesday, CEO Jack Dorsey defended his platform’s decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump, while also noting the “dangerous” precedent such a unilateral move sets.
Twitter made the decision to ban Trump on Jan. 8, two days after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol complex in an assault that left multiple dead.
“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban [Trump] from Twitter, or how we got here,” Dorsey said in the first of 13 tweets.
Nonetheless, Dorsey described Trump’s ban as “the right decision for Twitter.”
“Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all,” he added.
“That said, having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications,” Dorsey continued.
“[It] sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.”
Dorsey described most bans as a failure of Twitter to “promote healthy conversation,” though he noted that exceptions to such a mindset also exist. Among other failures, Dorsey said extreme actions like a ban can “fragment public conversation,” divide people, and limit “clarification, redemption, and learning.”
Dorsey: Trump Bans Were Not Coordinated
Dorsey continued his thread by addressing claims and criticism that Trump’s ban on Twitter violated free speech.
“A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same,” he said.
Indeed, multiple legal experts have stated that Trump’s ban on social media does not amount to First Amendment violations, as the First Amendment only addresses government censorship.
“If folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service,” Dorsey added. However, Dorsey noted that such a concept has been challenged over the past week.
This moment in time might call for this dynamic, but over the long term it will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet. A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same.— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
Trump has now been banned or suspended from a number of platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. On Wednesday, Snapchat announced plans to terminate Trump’s account in the “interest of public safety.” Previously, Snapchat had only suspended his account, but as of Jan. 20, it will be permanently banned.
Addressing criticism of the swift bans handed down by these platforms in the wake of the Capitol attack, Dorsey said he doesn’t believe Trump’s bans on social media were coordinated.
“More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others,” he said.
Twitter Reverses Course of Locking Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Account
Dorsey’s thread regarding the fragile nature of regulating users’ privileges on the platform seemed to play out earlier the same day.
On Wednesday, newly-elected Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Co.) posted a screenshot to Instagram showing that her Twitter account had been locked for six days. The screenshot stated that she had violated Twitter’s rules and would be unable to tweet, retweet, or like until her account was unlocked.
Hours later, Twitter reversed course and fully reinstated her account.
“In this instance, our teams took the incorrect enforcement action. The Tweet in question is now labeled in accordance with our Civic Integrity Policy. The Tweet will not be required to be removed and the account will not be temporarily locked,” a spokesperson for the platform told Insider.
It is unknown what tweet caused that initial ban, as Twitter refused to say.
The latest tweet from Boebert’s account to be tagged with a fact check warning is from Sunday. In that tweet, she baselessly and falsely accuses the DNC of rigging the 2020 Election, a claim that largely inspired the Capitol attacks.