- 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.
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.