- YouTube removed PewDiePie’s latest diss track aimed at the popular children’s channel CoComelon, which may soon surpass him in subscribers.
- The platform said his video violated its child safety policy because it looked like it was made for kids but contained violence and other inappropriate content.
- It also violated YouTube’s harassment policy, with the site noting that it allows criticism and diss tracks, but this one “crossed the line” because it “had the effect of encouraging abusive fan behavior.”
- Ahead of YouTube’s announcement, PewDiePie said that the song would end his fake fued with the channel, adding that he doesn’t actually care if others surpass him in subscribers and doesn’t want this situation to “get out of control” as it did when he infamously competed with T-Series to be the most subscribed channel on the site.
YouTube Announced Take Down
Team YouTube clarified Tuesday that PewDiePie’s diss track against the popular children’s channel CoComelon was removed for violating its child safety and harassment policies.
CoComelon is a nursery rhyme channel with 105 million subscribers and over 93 billion total channel views. In the last few months, it earned PewDiePie’s attention after it became clear that it could quickly surpass him in subscribers and eventually become the platform’s biggest channel.
However, YouTube took the new diss track down a few days after it was uploaded, explaining its decision on Twitter. As far as how it violated child safety, YouTube said the video looked like it was made for kids but actually included inappropriate content, including violence.
When clarifying the violation for harassment, it said: “We allow criticism & also diss tracks in some cases, but w/ both policies in mind, this video crossed the line.”
Full and partial reuploads of the video will be removed, though still images are allowed, the company added.
Fears of Encouraging Harassment
While the video is gone from YouTube, uploads of it still exist elsewhere on the internet. For those who haven’t seen it, does include a lot of swearing and vulgar jokes. He even throws in some digs at rapper Tekashi69 and Harry Potter author JK Rowling. Near the end, children in the video appear to use fake weapons to attack a watermelon – a reference to CoComelon’s watermelon logo.
The video’s removal did not result in a channel strike, but further violations of its policies may result in one, a YouTube spokesperson later told various media outlets.
“Our policies prohibit content that leads to repeated patterns of harassment on- and off-platform,” the spokesperson continued. “Following a review, we’ve removed the video in question for violating those policies because they had the effect of encouraging abusive fan behavior.”
Some might find that hard to believe that the video could encourage abuse, but it’s worth noting that PewDiePie’s previous diss tracks may have set a precedent here. His past songs, and the global campaign to make PewDiePie the No. 1 most subscribed channel on YouTube, led to an outpouring of harassment and sometimes racist sentiments against T-Series.
For now, it seems like the responses to the diss track and its removal have been fairly mixed.
In a follow-up video, which came ahead of YouTube’s decision, PewDiePie explained that the joke feud with CoComelon will end here.
“I wanted to make it clear before I start this video by saying that, you know, I saw this as the finale. I saw this as ending the meme,” he said.
“I’m not going to continue with it because number 1: It would just not be funny. And number 2: I don’t actually care about CoComelon. Like if anyone ever passes me in the future, I’m not going to make a whole spiel out of it. It was fun for what it was. And number 3: I don’t want it to get out of control like it did last time,” he continued. “So I just wanna be clear. Keep it civil. Keep it fun. ”
Schools Across the U.S. Cancel Classes Friday Over Unverified TikTok Threat
Officials in multiple states said they haven’t found any credible threats but are taking additional precautions out of an abundance of safety.
Schools in no fewer than 10 states either canceled classes or increased their police presence on Friday after a series of TikToks warned of imminent shooting and bombs threats.
Despite that, officials said they found little evidence to suggest the threats are credible. It’s possible no real threat was actually ever made as it’s unclear if the supposed threats originated on TikTok, another social media platform, or elsewhere.
“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” TikTok’s Communications team tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Still, given the uptick of school shootings in the U.S. in recent years, many school districts across the country decided to respond to the rumors. According to The Verge, some districts in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas shut down Friday.
“Based on law enforcement interviews, Little Falls Community Schools was specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” one school district in Minnesota said in a letter Thursday. “In conversations with local law enforcement, the origins of this threat remain unknown. Therefore, school throughout the district is canceled tomorrow, Friday, December 17.”
In Gilroy, California, one high school that closed its doors Friday said it would reschedule final exams that were expected to take place the same day to January.
According to the Associated Press, several other districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania stationed more police officers at their schools Friday.
Viral Misinformation or Legitimate Warnings?
As The Verge notes, “The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating.”
For example, many of the videos online may have been created in response to initial warnings as more people hopped onto the trend. Amid school cancellations, videos have continued to sprout up — many awash with both rumors and factual information.
“I’m scared off my ass, what do I do???” one TikTok user said in a now-deleted video, according to People.
“The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” Chicago Public Schools said in a letter, though it did not identify any specific post. “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”
According to Dr. Amy Klinger, the director of programs for the nonprofit Educator’s School Safety Network, “This is not 2021 phenomenon.”
Instead, she told The Today Show that her network has been tracking school shooting threats since 2013, and she noted that in recent years, they’ve become more prominent on social media.
“It’s not just somebody in a classroom of 15 people hearing someone make a threat,” she said. “It’s 15,000 people on social media, because it gets passed around and it becomes larger and larger and larger.”
Jake Paul Says He “Can’t Get Cancelled” as a Boxer
The controversial YouTuber opened up about what it has been like to go from online fame to professional boxing.
The New Yorker Profiles Jake Paul
YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul talked about his career switch, reputation, and cancel culture in a profile published Monday in The New Yorker.
While Paul rose to fame as the Internet’s troublemaker, he now spends most of his time in the ring. He told the outlet that one difference between YouTube and boxing is that his often controversial reputation lends better to his new career.
“One thing that is great about being a fighter is, like, you can’t get cancelled,” Paul said. The profile noted that the sport often rewards and even encourages some degree of bad behavior.
“I’m not a saint,” Paul later continued. “I’m also not a bad guy, but I can very easily play the role.”
Paul also said the other difference between his time online and his time in boxing is the level of work. While he says he trains hard, he confessed that there was something more challenging about making regular YouTube content.
“Being an influencer was almost harder than being a boxer,” he told The New Yorker. “You wake up in the morning and you’re, like, Damn, I have to create fifteen minutes of amazing content, and I have twelve hours of sunlight.”
Jake Paul Vs. Tommy Fury
The New Yorker profile came just after it was announced over the weekend Paul will be fighting boxer Tommy Fury in an 8-round cruiserweight fight on Showtime in December.
“It’s time to kiss ur last name and ur family’s boxing legacy goodbye,” Paul tweeted. “DEC 18th I’m changing this wankers name to Tommy Fumbles and celebrating with Tom Brady.”
Both Paul and Fury are undefeated, according to ESPN. Like Paul, Fury has found fame outside of the sport. He has become a reality TV star in the U.K. after appearing on the hit show “Love Island.”
See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (Dexerto) (ESPN)
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.