YouTuber Fakes Trouble to Gain More Followers

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Have you seen the hashtag #SaveMarinaJoyce and wondered what was up? You’re not alone. Social media was buzzing about British beauty blogger Marina Joyce as her fans worried about the YouTube star. Her fans were that she was kidnapped, being held captive, or having an emotional breakdown. For several days, the woman was the subject of tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media posts across the Internet.marina-joyce-bruises

Who Is Marina Joyce and Why Did She Need Saving?

Before Marina Joyce was the subject of a hashtag, she was a popular YouTube beauty vlogger who had over 600,000 subscribers; that number has climbed significantly in the wake of the recent events. Marina, like other beauty YouTubers, would make videos about makeup and clothes. But her latest video gave her fans pause. Entitled “Date Outfit Ideas,” the video features Marina looking stiff, and to her fans, terrified. Bruises are visible on her arms, and she seems to be looking off to the left the whole video. The video was sponsored content for StyleWe, an online dress and fashion store. Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 6.23.45 PM

Soon, her fans were pointing out things that were disturbing and that didn’t quite seem “right.”  They pointed out that at one part of the video (0:08), you could see a piece of paper in the corner, which means she was using a script. Later in the video (0:13), they said she said “help me” very faintly, and then 2 seconds later (0:15), you can see a finger pointing where she should stand.

Her fans also indicated that her eyes were wide with fear and that the duration of the video looks like something she was made to do. They also point out heavy breathing that can be made out if you crank your speakers or headphones high enough.bars-video

Soon, people started noticing more things: bars on her window, and only one window in the whole house was barred. Next fans turned to her other videos to see if there were more clues – she had a video called “Every Day Makeup Tutorial” and you can clearly see a gun, a rifle or shotgun, propped against the drawer. The fans also zoomed in on the bottles on the nightstand, deducing they were pills, sleeping medicine or illegal drugs. Later in the video, they were concerned about how quickly she reacts to the sound of a car, and then at the end, she switches out her outro to include one from an older video.

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After looking at all of these clues, as they called them, people began deducing that Marina was being abused and needed help. A fan asked if she was okay, then Marina responded with yes, followed by no, then deleted the second response. She tweeted “Hope everyone likes pancakes,” which her fans soon said was an acronym for “help.” When Marina did a livestream on YouNow, fans typed for her to give them signals if she was in need of help: “make a heart with your hands” “play with your hair” “clap” – when she did all of these things, they said that she was in need of help. They also pointed out that she had two blue lines painted on her face and that two blue lines is a common signal that a person is in a domestic abuse situation.

Fans contacted the police who tweeted that they had visited with her and she was fine. She later put out a statement saying that she was fine, and it was something her fans had started. A video chat with Philip Defranco had her saying the same, and also swearing she wasn’t on drugs.  Her mom has also come forward saying that she was the one behind the camera in the “date outfit ideas” video, and that it was her instructing Marina. Theories ranged from Marina being held by ISIS to her being a captive by her boyfriend – she says all of this is pure rubbish.Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 6.23.31 PM

Now many are furious saying that she created a hoax to get followers. She received 700,000 new subscribers, so whether it was a hoax or not, she certainly will get paid thanks to the uptick in watching her videos. Her latest video, “Facts About Me” barely mentions the #SaveMarinaJoyce commotion and leaves us wondering about what’s next in this story.

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