- Dispo, a new social media app by YouTuber David Dobrik, is facing a slew of negative reviews as Dobrik continues to remain silent about sexual assault allegations from former Vlog Squad member Seth Francois.
- Francois recently opened up about the trauma he experienced after Dobrik twice tricked him into kissing fellow Vlog Squad member Jason Nash on camera.
- Another member of Dobrik’s group, Scotty Sire, incited more outrage last week after calling Francois a liar in a video defending Dobrik and Nash.
Dispo Review Bombed
David Dobrik’s new social media app Dispo is being review-bombed amid allegations that the YouTuber orchestrated a prank, which resulted in the sexual assault of one of his former Vlog Squad members, Seth Francois.
In 2017 and 2018, Francois, 26, was featured in two of Dobrik’s videos where he was pranked into making out with fellow Vlog Squader Jason Nash, 47. Last month, Francois spoke about the trauma he has experienced as a result of those situations, also telling a variety of media outlets that both happened under false pretexts and without his consent.
Despite growing calls to do so, Dobrik and Nash have yet to respond. With the silence, frustrated fans have now begun sharing screenshots of their one-star app store Dispo reviews that call on Dobrik and Nash to take accountability for the pranks against Francois.
As of Monday morning, the app has over 1,500 reviews with a 3.1-star rating, with nearly the same amount of one-star reviews as five-star reviews.
Scotty Sire Defends Dobrik and Nash
The review bombing also comes after Vlog Squad member Scotty Sire posted a video Thursday defending Dobrik from Francois’ allegations.
Near the beginning of the video, Sire shares an already circulated clip of Dobrik asking for Francois’ consent for a second kissing prank.
“Do I have permission to try to prank you again and get you to make out with Jason?” Dobrik asks in the clip.
“I’m very confused by that because how the hell could you be so confident to tell me that I have to consent to something that I’m not going to know what I’m going to do?” Francois says.
Many have lodged criticism against Dobrik via this clip in particular by noting that consent doesn’t work the way he seems to suggest it does. For example, a person can’t ask someone to consent to a future event they don’t know about.
Nonetheless, Sire claimed that “the clip was cut short to not actually show Seth giving his consent but show David asking for the consent.”
According to Sire, that footage exists but was not shown in the video Dobrik uploaded to YouTube.
“This is from a period of time where David was always at my house editing,” Sire said, “and I very vividly remember when he was editing that clip, there was a clip in there, of Seth agreeing and giving his permission to film this bit again. He’s like, ‘There’s no way you’re going to get it on me again. There’s no way you’re going to get me again, so go ahead. Go for it.’”
Sire does not provide that clip in his video to back up his claims.
Meanwhile, Seth himself has claimed that after the camera was turned off, he explicitly asked David not to pull another kissing prank on him.
Moreover, even if Seth agreed, some have argued that David was in a position of power and Seth may have felt pressured to do as he said or risk not being in future videos. In fact, that’s a fear Seth himself has even touched on in interviews.
Sire Claims Francois Asked for a Third Kissing Prank
Notably, Sire also shared a clip from Dobrik that he claimed is proof Francois requested to do a third kissing prank.
“Guys, this is a text from Seth from about two years ago,” Dorbik says while off-cam in the clip. “He goes, ‘Yo, bro, I was thinkin about it. I’m down for another kissing sketch.’ I said, ‘haha, what do you mean?’ He goes, ‘Lol I don’t really care as long as u clout me up. I’m not gay just don’t care lol.’”
Dobrik then plays an audio message that appears to be from Francois where he says, “I mean, yeah. I mean, I don’t know. It’s not really a big deal. I mean, it’s the same shit. Just, I don’t know… more open-minded.”
While notable if later confirmed to be 100% authentic, critics have noted that even if Francois did directly ask for a third prank, this still never shows him asking for or consenting to the first two pranks, which are the ones in question.
Others also emphasized that this time, Francois says he’s “more open-minded,” with many interpreting that as him not being comfortable with the previous two pranks.
In fact, as Francois told Rogue Rocket, “The ‘audio’ clip and ‘text’ that is surfacing the internet is a manipulation to misinterpret my trauma and experiences. This ‘audio’ further concludes I did not consent to those published video.”
As further proof that Francois was not comfortable with the first prank, many online have shared a clip of Dobrik and Nash joking about the incident on an old podcast.
“I’m like, yeah Seth, just don’t hold back,” Dobrik says. “You can make out as much as you want, have as much tongue as you want. Just keep kissing her. But what Seth didn’t know is that I replaced Corinna with Jason.”
Dobrik and Nash even seem to acknowledge that they were aware of the consequences this could potentially result in for Francois.
“His friends are probably going to chew him out for that for the next like, 3 to five years of his life,” Dobrik says in the audio.
“Well, as Seth tells it, homosexuality is not so accepted in his, where he comes from,” Nash says.
“Seth is from Compton,” David responds. “It’s literally the perfect set up. Like a guy from Compton, and I made him make out with another, older man.”
Revenge Porn Claims
At one point in Sire’s video, he also claims Francois posted revenge porn of fellow Vlog Squad member, Erin Gilfoy.
“Do you know how that affected her?” Sire asked. “You posted revenge porn, which is actually 100% illegal. It’s totally immoral and so so fucked up. Did you get her consent?“
This claim isn’t actually a new part to the story. It’s something people often bring up as a way to try and discredit Francois, though others argue that it’s a separate issue from Francois’s own allegations.
Many people believe Sire is referring to a clip Francois shared in July that shows Gilfoy using the n-word. That clip appears to have been featured in a larger video compilation Francois shared when accusing Vlog Squad members of performance activism and calling on them to take accountability for past offensive content.
Gilfoy addressed the situation in a video at the time, saying there were clips of her circulating online that were taken 10 years ago. She apologized, said she was ashamed, and stressed that she does not use language like that anymore.
She also said the videos being shared show her completely naked and were filmed without her consent. In fact, Gilfoy claimed she was blackmailed about a year and a half earlier by a person who threatened to leak the videos unless she met their demands, which she did not do.
“People have decided that me saying a racial slur, justifies them posting videos that I did not consent to have taken,” she said last year. “I did not consent to have posted anywhere. It’s okay to post them and share them and circulate them, even though it’s such an insane violation of my privacy.”
Since Gilfoy’s remarks, Francois has repeatedly denied that the clip he shared showed nudity and said it is not considered revenge porn; however, Gilfoy has maintained that it is revenge porn, regardless of whether or not her body was blurred.
“In this day in age it is unfortunate that people are still using pornographic videos to get revenge,” Francois told The Rogue Rocket. “I have not promoted nudity but only highlighted a peer confidently saying the slanderous derogatory term “N*****.”
It’s unclear exactly how Seth got a hold of the clip or if he ever publicly shared an uncensored version of it.
In a statement to the drama channel Spill Sesh, Seth said the clip was already posted online by others when he reshared it. It’s unclear if those versions were already censored or not.
New Streaming Metrics Highlight Staggering Gap Between Male and Female Gamers
- Valkyrae and Pokimane are the two most-watched female gamers in the world, bringing in 12.2 million and 6.8 million hours of watch time in the first quarter of 2021, respectively.
- The data comes from a new report by Stream Hatchet, which also showed that streaming remains a heavily male-dominated industry despite recent increases in the number of female gaming streamers.
- On its list of top 100 streamers ranked by hours watched, Valkyrae and Pokimaine were the only two women included, placing 27th and 98th.
- For comparison, the top streamer overall was xQc, a male variety gamer who raked in over 73 million hours of watch time.
Valkyrae Leads Female Streamer List by Giant Margin
Female streamers like Valkyrae and Pokimane have each amassed millions of followers and have become household names in gaming, but a new report shows that women in the industry are still affected by a massive gender gap.
In its findings for the first quarter of 2021, Stream Hatchet, which tracks metrics among gaming streamers, found that Valkyrae easily topped the most-watched female streamers chart with 12.2 million hours of watch time across Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming. That’s a leap of double from the 6 million hours that she brought in during the third quarter of last year.
Pokimane followed Valkyrae as the second most-watched female streamer during Q1 of this year, with 6.8 million hours viewed.
Men Dominate Overall Streamer List
Still, the report makes clear that “the male/female streamer gap is… substantial,” as Valkyrae actually ranks 27th if both male and female streamers are grouped together. Pokimane falls farther down that same list at the 98th spot. Of the top 100 streamers, they are the only two women on the list.
In fact, just looking at the overall top 10 streamers for most hours watched, the numbers showcase a staggering divide.
For example, variety streamer xQc topped the list with over 73 million hours watched. Other popular streamers such as Ludwig and Shroud came in lower on the top 10, but both were still very well above the 20 million hours mark.
One factor that could explain this massive discrepancy is the fact that, historically, the gaming sphere has been dominated by men. In 2017, it was reported that over 81.5% of all Twitch users were male, despite the Entertainment Software Association estimating that 41% of gamers are female.
By 2019, the percentage of female users on Twitch grew to 35%, with male users making up the other 65%. No statistics have been published regarding the makeup of non-binary users on the platform.
One interesting note with this report is that for the top gaming V-Tubers, the opposite seems to be true: Women overwhelmingly dominate the sphere. One female Twitch V-Tuber even saw an astronomical growth of 274%.
As Stream Hatchet noted, “Most VTubers broadcast in Japanese or Korean, and as a result, there are strong similarities between VTubing and Anime.”
Generally, Streaming Has Surged
More generally, Stream Hatchet reported that live streaming audiences have continued to “skyrocket.” In fact, between January and March, the number of daily hours watched increased 80% from the same timeframe last year.
Twitch also dominated as the top streaming platform, with 8.8 billion hours watched compared to YouTube’s 1.4 billion hours and Facebook Gaming’s 1.1 billion hours.
Instagram Head Says Scammer, Not Facebook Employee, May Have Asked Julia Rose for $65K To Restore Her Accounts
- Content creator Julia Rose shared a Twitter thread on Wednesday claiming that Instagram removed two of her accounts for nudity, despite the fact that larger mainstream accounts post similar or more explicit content.
- Rose even alleged that a Facebook supervisor said they could restore her accounts for $65,000 and 2.5% of her company’s profits before revoking that offer because someone had paid to take her accounts down in the first place.
- She called on the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, to ensure that policies are enforced equally and fairly across all accounts.
- She also asked him to look into the issue of people paying for account takedowns, and Mosseri responded by claiming Rose may have been communicating with a scammer.
Julia Rose Calls Instagram Out for Unfair Policy Enforcement
Julia Rose, a content creator and founder of the digital magazine Shag Mag, claimed on Wednesday that she was asked by a Facebook employee to pay $65,000 in order for them to restore her removed Instagram accounts. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, however, says this may have been a scam.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, Rose said both her personal account and her account for Shag Mag were taken down in December and have still not been reactivated. The accounts had 5.2 million and 700,000 followers respectively. They were also the primary tools she used to promote her company and her podcast, “The Shitshow.”
Rose said sources at Instagram told her the accounts were removed for impersonation and nudity, however each of those reasons left her confused. First, she noted that they were her official, verified, accounts. Secondly, while Rose often posted physically revealing content, the accounts for Playboy and other mainstream companies frequently get away with posting similar and even more explicit content.
To resolve the matter, she said a mutual friend linked her with a Facebook supervisor who said they could get her accounts back for $65,000 dollars and 2.5% of her company. She was also told to label herself as male in order to decrease her chances of another takedown. The offer was allegedly later revoked because that supervisor had been paid to remove her accounts in the first place.
Rose Reaches Out To Adam Mosseri
Rose escalated the situation in an email to Mosseri, alerting him of these alleged under-the-table deals happening at his company.
“It has now been over three weeks of filling out every possible form, using every single resource and now we are within weeks of having to terminate employees,” she wrote in that email, “because the only answers I have gotten are ‘Thank you for contacting us. Upon review, the account was correctly removed and cannot be restored’ as well as a pretty hefty dollar amount offer put on the table to get this account back from someone on the inside at Facebook (which raises even more red flags that should be addressed).”
She emphasized these accounts are part of her life’s work and business. Rose wrote that considering Mosseri’s previous promises to commit to helping young creators, he should take this issue seriously, as she is a young female CEO in the digital space.
“I am asking for a fair assessment of reinstating my accounts, for fair treatment, and for you to value me as a woman whose body should not be seen as pornographic,” she continued. “I am not asking for you to allow nudity on your platform but I am asking you to treat accounts fairly across the board and equally with more clear guidelines that can help ensure other small businesses won’t get shut down, like myself.
Rose claims she got no response but said that when her male friend messaged him on the platform, Mosseri immediately responded by saying “not sure of the specifics but I will look into.” Communication apparently stopped there.
Rose Calls for Change at Instagram
Since then, another Instagram account she had made and built 100,000 followers on was again taken down without warning. Rose pleaded in her thread for the platform to enforce their content policies equally and fairly regardless of who posted it. She also encouraged Mosseri to look into the issue of employees being paid to take down accounts.
“How is it fair that my business and I, a female CEO can be shutdown for the EXACT same content that mainstream companies like Playboy get away with posting?” she asked.
“I encourage all who have a voice and the power to create real change to stand up and use your platform for all of the women and women owned businesses who are currently being taken down and treated unfairly by iInstagram,” she continued.
“I do not believe that a woman’s body by itself should be looked at as pornographic or sexually explicit.”
Rose made another Instagram account and attempted to post her Twitter thread there but said the post was taken down within minutes. As of Thursday morning, however, a post containing her tweets was available on her new page.
Her thread prompted many to say they have faced similar problems with Instagram and have heard numerous stories of employees getting paid to either remove or restore accounts. Many used the hashtag #FreeJulia to call attention to the problem and encourage Instagram to help her. Big creators, including YouTubers Corinna Kopf and Adam22 tried to call attention to the issue.
“The way Instagram blatantly shits all over women trying to make something out of themselves is insane and they need to be held accountable,” Adam22 wrote.
Adam Mosseri Responds
Mosseri ended up responding to Rose’s thread late Wednesday.
“This looks like a scam, we sometimes see people pretending to be employees to defraud people,” he wrote. “Instagram will never DM you or ask you for money to recover an account. DM me if you have questions, happy to help.”
Rose responded by saying she had sent Mosseri a direct message, but she has not shared any updates on the process of restoring her accounts. Both her personal account and the Shag Mag account are still not accessible on the platform as of Thursday afternoon.
Why Andrew Callaghan Is No Longer Part of “All Gas No Brakes”
- Andrew Callaghan, the host of the “All Gas No Brakes” YouTube series, announced in early March that he was no longer a part of the show.
- At the time, Callaghan noted that he did not read his full contract with the show’s owner, Doing Things Media, when he first signed on, calling it a “lesson learned.”
- This week, The New York Times revealed that Callaghan and members of his team were fired from the company, which fully owns the IP, brand, and name of the show.
- Tensions between Callaghan and Doing Things Media allegedly grew because Callaghan was interested in tackling current events and politics, but the company wanted him to focus on “party content” instead.
Callaghan No Longer Part of “All Gas No Brakes”
Andrew Callaghan will no longer be a part of his popular “All Gas No Brakes” YouTube series after signing a contract that handed the name and intellectual property of the show to a production company he no longer works for.
Callaghan first announced he would no longer be a part of the show on March 9.
“I am no longer associated with All Gas No Brakes,” he wrote on Instagram. “I no longer receive any of the Patreon crowdfunding, YouTube monetization, or any other income. My team, Nic and Evan, who lived in the R.V. and created the original material with me, are also no longer involved. We have no control over any AGNB pages or future of the show.”
“I signed an employment contract without reading it,” the post continued. “Lesson learned.”
“All Gas No Brakes” followed Callaghan as he traveled across the country in an RV exploring the weird and sometimes upsetting aspects of American life and culture. He did man-on-street style interviews at Proud Boys rallies, furry conventions, Black Lives Matter protests, and numerous other events. Those interviews often elicited humorous soundbites, and sometimes insightful glimpses into humanity.
New York Times Details Creative Conflict
In the weeks following Callaghan’s post, fans wondered exactly what happened to the series, which had amassed 1.7 million YouTube subscribers since it started in 2019. They finally found answers on Wednesday when New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz published a piece detailing what happened to Callaghan and the show.
Callaghan first had the idea for a series like this after writing about his experience hitchhiking across the U.S. When he was just a 21-year-old recent college graduate, he pitched that idea to Doing Things Media, a new production company that was hoping to expand its original content. Its founders, Derek Lucas and Reid Hailey, saw the man-on-the-street videos Callaghan made in college and brought him, along with his two friends, Nic Mosher and Evan Gilbert-Katz, on board.
Callaghan signed a contract with the company which gave him an RV, an annual salary of $45,000 and production costs for the show. When the show started a Patreon, Callaghan received 20% of the profits. Another 20% was split between other crew members and the remaining 60% was pocketed by Do Things Media.
The first episode of “All Gas No Brakes” was at the Burning Man Festival in 2019, showcasing the eccentric people who attended the event. Putting odd people attending bizarre events in front of a camera was a staple for the series before it took a political turn in 2020.
Callaghan and his crew went to Minneapolis to cover the protests following the murder of Geroge Floyd. In January, he told Vice that this changed his perspective on what he could do with the show.
“Minneapolis was the first time I was like, let me actually use this platform that I have to cover some shit that I care about,” he said.
“It wasn’t so much of me being like, ‘Let me get political because I want to get more of a liberal audience,” he continued. “It was like, ‘Media is not covering this. The media is not talking to the people causing destruction in Minneapolis and figuring out why.’”
However, according to the Times, Doing Things Media wanted Callaghan to stick to “party content” instead of current events. Eventually, “All Gas No Brakes” entered a deal with comedians Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s production company to turn the show into a long form project. While doing so, Callaghan was still required to make his regular content on the side, but was told to stay out of politics. Still, he continued to cover protests and rallies.
“Andrew wanted to prioritize the things he cared about and was inspired by — the conditions of the pandemic, the end of the election cycle — rather than just crank out content for the purpose of being monetized by Doing Things Media,” Lance Bangs, a filmmaker who worked on the show, told the Times.
Callaghan and Crew Fired from Doing Things Media
This is when tensions started to rise. A source described the contract Callaghan was under as “a 360 deal where Doing Things owned everything Andrew did.” The company offered him a promotion at one point, but it required him to extend the deal another six months. He had already signed over the rights to intellectual property and the name “All Gas No Brakes.”
According to the New York Times, eventually, Callaghan and his crew felt like they could no longer make content they felt excited about. In December 2020, he asked for more Patreon earnings and to get out of his contract, which was not set to expire until 2022. After this, he, Mosher, and Gilbert-Katz got locked out of the show’s social media log-ins.
The Times reports that in February, Doing Things told Callaghan he would be fired if he did not make two pieces of Patreon content by March. The company then fired Mosher and Gilbert-Katz and asked Callaghan to hand the show over to a new host. He was fired after refusing to do so.
“We’re really bummed it didn’t work out with Andrew,” Hailey said in a statement to the New York Times. “He was the heart and soul of the show. It was a special moment in time and we’re excited we got to be a part of it. We wish him the absolute best and we’ll be watching along with everyone else for where he goes next.”
What’s Next for Callaghan
Callaghan has made no announcements about what he has planned next, but according to his March 9 statement, he has something up his sleeve.
“This is not the end,” he wrote. “It’s only the beginning to a bright, independent future for the team.”
Online, people have lamented the fact that the series will not continue with Callagan and praised his unique boots-on-the-ground interviewing.
“He’s done a fantastic job of capturing a lot of the darker, more unique corners of the US and providing an unfiltered lens into protests and political opinions around the country,” one person wrote. “I can’t wait to see what he does in the future.”