I don’t normally feel the need to comment on YouTube drama, but sometimes I just can’t help it.
A few days ago, Jackie Aina posted a video claiming that an unnamed black, female drama YouTuber in another country had hacked her email and stolen $1500 from her. She made a whole bunch of claims in this video, like about the money and consulting an ex-FBI agent, but she didn’t provide any actual proof. And while she didn’t come out and say who she was accusing, it wasn’t hard to figure it out. Most illuminating to me was that Jackie used a copyright strike on one of this YouTuber’s videos, not for its intended purpose, but because she didn’t like what the video said and she wanted it to go away. Huh. Ok. That seems a bit like an abuse of power.
Now, I’m not one to watch drama channels. The vast majority of the crap on drama channels is just juvenile bullshit and being an adult, it’s not something I’m interested in. I recently discovered a woman of color with a drama channel in the UK named Petty Paige. The first video I happened to come upon was this woman calling out Jackie Aina and other influencers for not disclosing affiliate links/codes. It’s not exactly a unique take, but I do agree that they should tell us when they’re shilling a product that could potentially make them money. I’ve watched a bunch of Paige’s other videos, and while I don’t necessarily love the way she speaks (she yells at the camera A LOT), she clearly does her research. She doesn’t make false claims and she calls attention to things that we as consumers might want to know. I don’t watch everything she posts, but I don’t actively hate her.
But now Jackie’s fans hate her more than they already did, and they actively attacked her on basically all of her social media platforms. This is where a rational person would think “Hey, those are some pretty serious accusations; where’s the proof?” But no. They just went HAM on another content creator. Who does this? Does the anonymity of the internet make people feel like it’s ok to insult, threaten and intimidate people? I really don’t understand.
Paige made a video addressing Jackie’s allegations, and she touched on a lot of the points I thought about while watching Jackie’s video. If Jackie really did have $1500 stolen from her, that’s larceny. If it was Paige, there are also international bank fraud charges that would apply. Why wouldn’t she report it to the cops and Interpol? And if the money was electronically removed from the account, her bank would be able to tell her exactly where it went and she would then be able to prove that it was, in fact, Paige. She wouldn’t need to consult an ex-FBI agent. And how exactly would someone who’s hacked an email address gain access to your financial accounts? Unless you’re really dumb and keep your account information in emails. If that’s the case, I kind of think it’s Jackie’s own damn fault. She’s a public figure who makes a lot of money. Come on.
In the video, Paige talked about how her video didn’t have any actual impact on Jackie’s career or livelihood, but making accusations like this could cost Paige her actual, real-life job. Her fiance could also lose his job; by virtue of him being in IT he’s being dragged into this as the unknown hacker. Because anyone who works in IT can hack? She laid out a whole bunch of information about hacks and the problems that basically every major company had with it last year, and the information is compelling. Again, the woman did her research. She provided proof. She also offered to send all of her personal information, home address, phone number, NHS number, etc., to Jackie by way of a mutual friend to aid in any criminal investigation. If she’s guilty, she’s really good at hiding it.
Jackie’s video has since been deleted, and she posted on Twitter that she’s above that and that it should have been handled privately. No shit. The only person who ended up looking bad in this scenario is Jackie, and while I respect her as a creator, I’m really disappointed that she pulled this childish nonsense. Regardless of what actually happened, YouTube wasn’t the place to address the problem. What possesses someone to make baseless accusations on such a public forum? On some level it also bothers me that this is how people get YouTube famous; drama, bullshit, and immaturity. I can count on one hand the number of big YouTubers who don’t engage in this crap. It’s part of the reason I don’t watch the bigger channels, and now I’ve unsubscribed to the one big channel I previously enjoyed.