So, if you’ve been anywhere near Twitter (or any other social media, to be honest) recently, you’ve definitely heard about the controversy surrounding British youtuber Marina Joyce and the trending hashtag #savemarinajoyce. In today’s blog post, I’m going to take a closer look at what’s happened and share my views on the situation (just for the bants).
To start off, I would like to say that I support Marina 100%, and I truly do hope that she gets the help she needs to overcome whatever she is battling – I feel like it’s pretty obvious that Marina is going through some personal issues, which she needs space and privacy to work through. Unfortunately, being a famous youtuber means you are almost constantly in the public eye – and many people think that this gives them the right to probe in her life.
So, where did it all begin?
Let me just start off by saying that I have been a fan of Marina for a number of years; I used to watch her videos all the time. One of the reasons I liked her so much was that she seemed cool, funny and energetic – just the type of person I would want to be friends with in real life. Naturally, I stopped watching her videos so much after a while – but when I revisited her channel earlier this year, I was kind of shocked to see how much she had changed. It wasn’t as dramatic a transformation as her more recent videos, but there was definitely a marked difference in the enthusiasm and engagement shown in the videos.
Anyway, I just put it down to her growing up and maybe not being as passionate about Youtube anymore – a reasonable judgement. But her videos have increasingly become more alarming and distant, which has led to have sparked crazy rumours about her being abused by a controlling boyfriend or even being kidnapped by ISIS.
What’s the evidence for these more-than-crazy claims?
While there definitely has been some worrying behaviour on the part of Marina, it’s safe to say that the internet has turned this into a much bigger, scarier crisis than it actually is. You may be wondering: how on earth did this get so big? It’s simple. One person spots something that may or may not suggest that something fishy is going on – then a million other people ‘jump on the bandwagon’, culminating in totally wack conspiracy theories which seem too extreme to be true.
In no particular order, here is the evidence that random people on the internet have pretty much sought out and then erroneously concluded that Marina has been kidnapped/abused.
#1: The ‘DATE OUTFIT IDEAS’ video
Arguably the video that started the whole crisis. Whilst Marina’s videos had been a little weird for quite a while, the latest video showed Marina acting confused, distracted and slightly fearful/nervous – which some interpreted to be signs of an abuser/kidnapper.
The other things in the video were:
- a piece of paper (like a script) in the corner of the frame
- a faint ‘help me’ whispered by Marina
- a finger telling her where to go
- visible bruises on her arms and back
- heavy breathing towards the end of the video
- a general sense of unease from Marina.
They sound convincing on their own, of course – but it turns out that most of these ‘clues’ picked up by cybersleuths have pretty simple explanations.
Obviously, Marina has been in a bad place lately – and it turns out that her mum was helping her make the video so Marina wouldn’t disappoint her fans. The piece of paper was probably a script to help Marina and the finger and whisper (which was in fact ‘stand like me’ not ‘help me’) was evidently her mum trying her best to help her daughter (we can assume the breathing is from her,too). The story of the bruises is a bit vague – at first she said she got them from falling over in the forest – but later on, in her livestream, she claims that it’s ‘personal’ how she obtained the bruises (I’ll come back to that later).
#2: The Meetup
On 26th July, Marina tweeted about an early morning meet up in Bethnal Green. Of course, this sparked widespread suspicion with many people theorising that it the meet up was being controlled by an abuser, or even part of an ISIS plot to lure teens to the area. Obviously these claims seem heavily unlikely – but nevertheless, a lot of people were wary of the event, and even other popular you tubers like Alfie Deyes warned fans not to attend the event:
It turns out the event was actually a ‘Summer of Love’ party organised by Morning Gloryville, a company who organise alcohol-free morning ‘raves’.
The lifestream and publicity stunt controversy
Following the whole hashtag debacle, Marina did a livestream on YouNow to ‘clear things up.’ During the livestream, Marina claimed that the situation ‘was a publicity stunt by viewers; not by me’ – however this led many fans to believe that she had waited to maximise on her popularity growth before finally admitting the truth (Marina now has 1.3 million subscribers, a great increase from previously)
To be honest, this annoyed me. All over the #savemarinajoyce hashtag are people berating Marina, believing the whole situation was a publicity stunt set up by her – when clearly, it is the viewers (and all the other random people who don’t even support her) who have escalated the whole situation into some sort of ‘Cluedo’ mystery. Both Marina, her mum and close friends have repeatedly said that she is okay and well – even the police have confirmed her wellbeing. Despite this, people are still being vicious towards her, even though she is obviously in a vulnerable state.
What do I think?
Let me be honest here. I do not know Marina, Marina’s family or friends, or about her life. However, I don’t believe she is being abused or similar – the ‘theory’ that speaks to me most is the one about her suffering from a mental disorder. Watching the videos, it is clear that jumpy and nervous – this could be a sign of hallucinations, one of the main symptoms of a mental disorder called schizophrenia. (To address the bruising that I mentioned earlier, schizophrenics often have violent and agitated episodes, where they may accidentally harm themselves, resulting in bruising/scratches.)
Obviously, I’m not a psychiatrist or anything (although psychology is an area that really interests me) – but I watched a video about the subject by another youtuber called Anna Campbell, who actually has a background in psychology (you can watch part 1 of the video here).
Whatever’s going on, I truly and sincerely hope that Marina gets better and continues making videos! 🙂 #spreadpositivity
Thank you for reading my post! What do you think about the situation? (comment below)