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Toxic YouTube Culture Leads to Another Suicide Attempt

Hyojin "Squizzy" Choi attempted suicide after a brutal stream of online bullying over YouTube "drama."

Edit (9/24): To clarify, Slazo is not a "rapist" and this article never accuses him of such. That does not mean Chey speaking up about being sexually assaulted is a "false rape claim" either; it's not even a "rape claim" because she never claims she was raped. She felt pressured into a sexual situation and genuinely seems to believe she was sexually assaulted. Her feelings are valid. So are his. This is not the kind of alleged sexual assault scenario that anyone could or should prosecute, and it should absolutely not ruin Slazo's career. As the article states, this is a grey situation that boils down to a bad high school relationship characterized by poor communication, playing out on a public stage. Again, nobody's life or career should be ruined here, least of all by a bunch of random a**holes on Twitter bullying people against the wishes of everyone involved.

19-year-old YouTuber/animator, Hyojin "Squizzy" Choi, attempted suicide after a brutal stream of online bullying over YouTube "drama." Her horrendous treatment once again puts the extreme toxicity of YouTube "drama" culture into perspective.

The culture surrounding YouTube is an absolute powder keg of hormones, sexism, and unchecked aggression. Outside of absolute grifters like Keemstar, the actual details of most of the drama would seem petty to almost any mature adult.

Unfortunately, YouTube drama usually involves younger people who don't have the life experience to see the forest for the trees. They're enmeshed in a culture wherein their private lives and interpersonal relationships play out on the public stage for the consumption of a rabid, largely uncaring audience. When that audience turns against someone, their viciousness knows no bounds.

This particular case, however, seems especially egregious. The details, which play out across a series of Twitter posts, explanation videos, and private message screenshots, boil down to a young girl being singled out and harassed for the "crime" of defending her friend who spoke up about being sexually assaulted by another YouTuber.

slazo

The alleged sexual assault involved is one of those grey area cases that tends to stoke strong emotions on both sides––a bad former relationship, characterized by awful teenage communication, in which one person claims the other person pressured them into sexual acts they weren't comfortable with. In this particular instance, the accused YouTuber, Michael "Slazo" Kucharski, verified that the screenshots between him and his ex (Chey "FiZZIP0P"), detailing how she felt pressured by him, were real but not in their proper context.

Somehow, this spiraled into people claiming that it was a "false rape claim" and that anyone defending Chey was a "bad person" trying to destroy Slazo's career. While the YouTube community isn't exactly known for its subtlety, it's absolutely baffling that they jump to "false rape claim" instead of realizing that if someone legitimately felt pressured into a sexual situation, they were sexually assaulted. That doesn't necessarily mean that the other person could be prosecuted in a court of law, but that's very different from a "false rape claim"––especially in this case where Slazo admitted to pressuring her."

Regardless, YouTube's community of screeching lunatics piled onto Hyojin, in particular, probably because out of all the people defending Chey, she also happens to be female. They demanded she publicly apologize to Slazo for not wanting to associate with him because he allegedly sexually assaulted her friend. Any time she posted online, they filled her comments with hatred.

They deemed her a psycho and a liar and spread a debunked story about her abusing a dog. They maliciously edited her Wikitubia to reflect their assertion that she was a known liar. Some of them sent death threats. And eventually, sure enough, Hyojin tried to kill herself, making a post on Twitter stating: "and for my next trick I'm going to f**king kill myself."

This, too, was the subject of ridicule with memes and claims that she was "just seeking attention." Except she wasn't. She actually tried to kill herself.

On the one hand, it's easy to write off YouTube drama culture as stupid and petty. Most of it is. But at the same time, what seems like petty drama to everyone outside of the loop can be absolutely life-destroying for a person being targeted.

Most full-grown adults aren't capable of mentally handling the wrath of a hateful social media mob. Imagine being forced into that position at 19, having everything about you, including the most private details of your life, attacked and ridiculed on a public forum. Imagine feeling like so many people hate you and want you dead, all because you had the audacity to defend your friend for a totally valid reason.

Now, imagine all the people ridiculing you, mocking you, and spending their energy trying to hurt you, actually believing they're the good ones.

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