Everyone has faced some form of scrutiny on social media, from cyberstalker exes to parents using fake accounts. But most of us have no idea what it’s like to be watched by 9 million online followers and to have dedicated fan pages. For YouTube and Twitch game streamer, Pokimane, social media fame led to compromised mental health. Earlier this year, Poki took a break from social media after a bout of online harassment from fans of prank YouTuber JiDion.
So, how did the beef start?
Following a video wherein JiDion expressed dislike for Poki, he sent fans to her live stream to bombard the comments section with the phrase ‘L + Ratio’. This translates to calling Pokimane a loser.
Poki noticed and thought they were bots at first.
After realising they were users of JiDion’s fanbase, she compared this incident with her everyday experiences online as a woman in a male-dominated industry. She had received thousands of misogynistic, lewd comments that led to her needing to ban many users on Twitch over the years. So, after receiving these comments, she felt overwhelmed.
The streaming platform Twitch, upon realising this, took action. Twitch banned JiDion’s account for 14 days. It turned into a permanent ban shortly after.
Failure to clarify can cause misunderstanding.
JiDion and his fans presumed that Pokimane was behind this ban and quickly took action. JiDion changed his Twitter display picture to a photo of Poki and his fans continued to send rude messages, tweets and comments to Poki.
A third-party YouTuber even got involved and the threat of a slander case arose from the interaction. Pokimane’s mental health state took a hit from the events, so she withdrew from social media for a while.
We need to give credit to JiDion for taking the initiative to bring peace to the situation. Upon returning, Poki chanced upon an apology video from JiDion entitled ‘Dear Pokie’.The video addressed the online feud and how JiDion thought it was ‘eye-opening’ especially after the third-party YouTube user escalated the issue.
How Pokimane handled it deserves a thumbs-up.
Pokimane, or Imane Anys, handled this public fight well. JiDion, or Jidon Adams, appeared to instigate the reparations, but Imane was proactive in resolving the dispute in spite of her emotional state. Here’s what she did that we can learn from:
- She tackled the comment raid by ending the live stream early.
- She took time off from her career to focus on her mental wellness.
- She was not reactive to the aggression from Jidion fans and simply blocked or ignored the spam.
- She did not press any charges or take anyone up on legal action. The YouTube veteran simply voiced her concerns about the industry to her fans and followers and took a much-needed sabbatical.
- She handled the misunderstanding with JiDion privately. This sort of drama could have been milked for more media coverage or attention but, instead, Imane decided to handle it privately and directly with her oppressor.
There was a resolution with a collaborative question-and-answer video on Jidon’s YouTube channel featuring Imane called ‘Pushing 🅿️ With Pokimane’. This video was posted after a tweet from Adams asking his followers to send questions for Imane and himself to answer.
The two seemed to have a fun time meeting in person, eating burgers and chatting. The YouTubers discussed collaborating on each other’s channels again.
What about us, who are not mega internet stars?
While Pokimane and JiDion have their own team of Public Relations behind them to sort out this peaceful resolution, we can always learn from them in how to handle a social media dispute before it becomes ugly. One way to start is to understand our emotions and learn to manage it before it rules our actions. Scrutinizing our negative thoughts to identify distorted thinking is a safe-guard against letting the wrong emotions go out of control. Having a clear understanding of social media boundaries would certainly help. Allowing everyone some space and time to calm down and mull over the details will give the friendship or relationship a chance to repair and heal. If you are the victim of cyberbullying, please don’t suffer silently on your own. Get help from trusted and mature friends for help.
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