Greg Jackson, better known as Onision, has been under fire for his questionable relationships with young women over the past few years—and it’s all come to a head. As The Post Millennial documented, the infamous YouTuber who shot to fame in the mid-2000s during the early days of the video platform, has been exposed by former female fans who accused him of grooming them when they were underage.
In 2016, the 34-year-old YouTuber was exposed for running a forum where he urged young teenage girls—some of whom were underage—to post photos of themselves in their underwear. As documented by William Hicks on the now-defunct News Corp publication, Heat Street, Jackson used to publish videos consisting of “critiques” of young girls’ bodies. Jackson described his criticism as an enforcement of healthy body positivity, but his remarks often veered into scathing insults about their figures in videos that drew in thousands of views.
2019 was a landmark year for controversial decisions by Google, YouTube (owned by Google), and Facebook, where their power to snuff out political free expression became more publicly known. More and more evidence is surfacing that suggests efforts from the Big Three to minimize, or stifle, conservative voices.
And with the 2020 presidential election not so far away, the question remains: what effect will these Internet behemoths have on voters?
One of the biggest reveals came from whistleblower Zachary Vorhies. The former Google programmer blew the lid off of Google’s political bias, revealing the manipulation of search placements to tilt toward certain democratic candidates, and an autocorrect to favour them. Armed with his 950 pages of leaked documents, Vorhies asserted that Google programmed its algorithms to scale down the search engine’s results for right-leaning media, Republicans and Christian media.
Vorhies warned, “that they were intending to sculpt the information landscape… I saw something dark and nefarious going on with the company, and I realized that they were going to not only tamper with the elections, but use that tampering with the elections to essentially overthrow the United States.”
“If people don’t fall in line with their editorial agenda, their news articles get de-ranked. And if people do fall in line with their editorial agenda, it gets boosted and pushed to the top.”
Then there’s Project Veritas’ expose. Google executives were caught on undercover camera saying how they were going to influence the 2016 presidential election, and actively undermine Donald Trump. The video caught executives calling right-leaning personalities Jordan Peterson, Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro “Nazis”.
The ramifications of data manipulation are just beginning to come to the surface. Confirming these theories, Dr. Robert Epstein spoke in 2019 to a Senate hearing to discuss his investigation into Google’s data intervention that he believes gave “at a minimum” 2.6 million more votes to Hillary Clinton.
The former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today is a visiting scholar at the University of California, San Diego, and the founder and director emeritus of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies in Concord, Massachusetts.
The “very liberal” Clinton supporter dropped this bomb, too: the number one donator to the Clinton campaign of 2016 was Alphabet, a corporation formerly known as Google.
“You can bet all these companies will go all out… (The Big Three are) more powerful than anything I’ve seen in behavioural sciences,” he said in a 2019 government deposition.
He warned that 15 million votes could be shifted to the Democratic Party in the 2020 election due to data manipulation, and search engine tweaking.
But the Big Three’s crosshairs aren’t limited to votes or parties. Scores of “undesirable” media have been placed under the guillotine.
PragerU–a weekly online video series running since 2010 run by the charitable organization of the same name–has seen some 25 per cent of its 400-plus videos placed on YouTube’s “restricted” list. That means schools and libraries cannot view them. One of those is a lesson on “Thou Shalt Not Murder” from the Biblical Ten Commandments.
According to Google, who owns YouTube, teaching youngsters that it’s wrong to murder is off limits. PragerU claims it is censorship, and that Google’s rationale is really noble-sounding cover for squelching right-leaning voices.
PragerU isn’t the only casualty. According to Vorhies’ documents, Google further blacklisted hundreds of media that include Christian Post, Megyn Kelly’s website, Newsbusters, Rebel Media, Daily Caller, and Glenn Beck.
Facebook appears to be gunning down the same road. Brian Amerige, a senior Facebook engineer validated this, saying the media giant is “quick to attack–often in mobs–anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.”
So it’s the perfect storm: the amount of power that the Big Three wields, married to the political agenda of those who run them, could mean a 2020 presidential campaign marred by technological tampering.
A right-leaning publication, Epoch Times, is the latest victim in what appears to be the cyber-gagging of those with differing political viewpoints.
Spurred by a Snopes investigation in December 2019, Facebook barred Epoch Times from advertising on the platform, owing to what they believe was a breach of terms of service. They claim this was mostly because Epoch Times has a connection to another outlet, Beauty of Life (BL), accused of inauthentic behavior, spam and misrepresentation, by advertising and posting using fake accounts.
The BL, now banned from Facebook, at one point oversaw 610 Facebook accounts, 89 pages, and 156 groups, says Facebook.
The Post Millennial previously reported on the Epoch Times controversy in reference to a different matter, noting similar results to Capital Research, which found zero connection between Epoch Times and the BL’s online activities. Another rebuttal is unpacked by Epoch’s editor, Steven Gregory, who has stated that there is no link whatsoever to BL.
To whatever extent there was a remotely tenuous connection, happened to be that the two organizations had hired each other’s employees at separate times.
Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, explained the issue (from their point of view) to NBC News: “What’s new here is that this is purportedly a U.S.-based media company leveraging foreign actors posing as Americans to push political content.”
Here’s the upper cut: Gleicher was also director of National Security Council, at the Obama White House, from 2013 to 2015. In 2007, he clerked with Democrat Senator from Vermont, Patrick Leahy.
So, if Facebook relies on “linkage”–tying two loosely-related organizations to the same thread–the same reasoning could be used for Gleicher. Might he have a vested interest in squelching conservative voices, given the liberal politics of his former employers?
Interestingly, Facebook, its investigators-for-hire Graphika, and the Digital Forensics Lab, appeared to overlook the tar-and-feathering by Snopes, laden with a political agenda.
In an NPR interview, Snopes VP of Operations Vinny Green highlighted positive coverage of President Trump as a problem. “What we saw was an extreme amount of pro-Trump content,” Green said. “Almost exclusively what we were looking at …was the amplification of pro-Trump media…” [emphasis mine]
This has the whiff of a politically-motivated hit job.
There’s reason the Big Three should be gnawing at their nails about Epoch Times. Its reach, resources, and readership are gaining a foothold.
At last year’s CPAC–the annual conservative megaconference–the media outlet scored major interviews with Republican politicians, conservative pundits, and Trump cabinet members. Overall, their videos have been viewed billions of times over social media, which analytics company Tubular says ranks eleventh “among all video creators across platforms, outranking every other traditional news publisher.”
And with ten million Facebook followers, “the Epoch Times now wields one of the biggest social media followings of any news outlet,” according to NBC.
All the more reason for any liberal organization to target it as persona non grata.
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz told me a sobering thought after he published his book Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are.
“I think there are, definitely, ethical concerns that come with this powerful data source. Big Data isn’t good or bad, it’s just powerful… we don’t really have any way to regulate what information they are allowed to use, and what information they are not allowed to use.”
Perhaps this sums up the 1984-like Big Brother, in the year 2020. Except now it’s called Big Data.
The YouTube community has seen its share of drama since its inception in 2005. But thanks to the efforts of many content creators, one of the original “celebrities” of the platform has recently been exposed as having a disturbing history which users are finding out had unfolded in plain view.
Greg Jackson, more commonly known by his screen name Onision, has been on the YouTube platform since 2006 and has amassed over 336 million views on his collective videos.
Jackson’s YouTube history is tenuous at best, with his initial controversies surrounding the cruel and unusual nature of some of his videos. At one time, he took to his platform to mock a dangerously thin young woman with an eating disorder, Eugenia Cooney, teetering between tones to monetize off of the attention her condition could generate him.
At other times, Jackson would utilize both his website and YouTube channel to encourage his mostly underaged, mostly female fanbase to submit photos of their faces and scantily clad bodies to him for him to “rate.”
However, in 2019, Jackson’s controversies would take a turn for the decidedly darker and off-screen. Jackson was banned from funding platform Patreon for posting the personal address and contact information for a young woman who claimed he had harassed and groomed her when she was underage. Billie Dawn Webb, a former fan of Jackson’s work on YouTube, had been one of the first to come forward with her story of abuse in 2017.
Webb says she had been engaged in a relationship with Jackson, and had received disturbing messages from him after she had confessed to smoking marijuana against “his wishes.” Jackson is seen in the text messages suggesting “punishments” such as forcing her to get tattoos, sleeping in the basements, or preventing her from speaking to her family for an extended period of time.
The return of Webb’s story to the surface, as well as Jackson’s subsequent breakdowns following the deletion of his main source of income, would prompt the return of unprecedented interest in Jackson’s history.
Some of Jackson’s victims were as young as 13 at the time of their alleged abuses. Like Billie Webb, Sarah Smith (last name changed for privacy) was also a fan of Jackson on YouTube and was just 13 when their communications started. By 16, Smith had moved in with Jackson and his wife to escape a troubled home life, with Jackson’s wife taking legal guardianship of her.
According to reports by the victim, the couple would routinely demonstrate inappropriate behaviours towards the younger girl, such as Jackson mocking Smith for being a virgin. Smith would receive lewd photos from Kai, Jackson’s spouse, and be encouraged to have phone sex with the adult. When she came of age, Jackson engaged in sexual contact with Smith.
Perhaps most disturbingly, Canadian recording artist Shiloh Hoganson detailed the extent of her abuse at the hands of Jackson on Chris Hansen’s web series Have a Seat. Noting that she was underage at the time of their sexual relationship, Hoganson detailed how she was treated like a sexual slave to Jackson from 2010 to 2011, and that the emotional and sexual trauma she endured was so severe she began to experience seizures.
To Hansen, Hoganson explains that after she experienced an emotional and psychological break, Jackson recorded her ordeal and uploaded it to YouTube.
The stories of Webb, Smith, and Hoganson are just three of countless others that have come to the surface. Victim narratives have similar threads revolving around control, abuse, and what has been described as a “cult-like” environment.
Reaching out to Jackson for comment on the controversy, he stated “People get rejected, get over it. You should not be punished for kicking people out of your life. All of you need to get lives and stop obsessing over fake drama.”
When asked for clarification on what about the controversies was “fake,” or whether Jackson had any evidence to demonstrate his case, he instead issued a thinly-veiled legal threat, writing “when people want to attack others/ruin their public image, they talk to you. When people have a legal issue, they talk to a lawyer.” Jackson then demanded no further inquiries.
Prominent YouTuber Dave Rubin has introduced a new platform called Locals.com which intends to give “power” back to the creators, rather than to organizations like YouTube and Patreon who have often been criticized for being censorious and manipulative.
Speaking to The Post Millennial, Rubin described Locals.com as a “subscription-based community network for creators … I fully believe that the future of the internet is bottom-up instead of top-down.”
Rubin went on to say that content creators are “frustrated by these giant tech platforms and the way they manipulate the algorithm, the way they shadowban, the way they de-platform, and what I realized was that for me as an independent content creator, I needed to make sure that all my digital assets, my videos, my audios, the way I can communicate with fans, is protected”
Rubin wanted to build Locals.com so that content creators had the power to “put up ad-free videos, ad-free audio podcasts, so you can communicate directly with your fans. Ultimately, we will build web-communities, and also apps for independent creators.”
There will also be a social element to Locals.com. Creators, for instance, will now be able to communicate with other like-minded creators on the backend of the site—creating their own networks. “The future is about creators, not these big tech platforms,” Rubin stated.
Locals.com will allow creators to set their own rules within their community—meaning that there won’t be a universal term of service. “You will set your rules about what type of people you want, and what speech is allowed. We will empower creators to actually own their content.”
Rubin also has a solution to the bots and trolls that content creators often have to deal with on the larger tech platforms, as these people won’t pay to access the content.
On top of this, creators won’t be beholden to tech companies or the government. “The government is not the solution, usually the government is the problem,” said Rubin.
“The idea behind a big platform is that somehow everybody should be on there, and everybody should be able to say what we want, except we know that these big tech platforms treat different content and different people differently. Why not hand that power down to the creator: so if you want to build a community where it is a free-for-all then so be it; but if you want to have a community which is much more guarded and moderated, then you can have that.”
“These are gated communities that interact with other gated communities, to start creating real, mature conversation which is what’s been lost of Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.”
Rubin also emphasized the ability for creators to communicate with their audience: Big tech platforms have “created a situation where there are creators with millions of followers and you can’t even directly communicate with your people because the algorithm stops you from doing that. So, for example, I have over a million youtube subscribers, but my videos get out to very few of them. So we’re gonna ensure that there is no algorithm manipulation.”
Rubin has made clear that Locals.com will not sell data. As well as this, if a creator leaves the platform, they will be allowed to take the audience data they collected with them so that creators are in no way dependant on Locals.com. In other words, Rubin is “trying to think of the internet in a whole new way.”
Next week, Locals.com will begin to announce a batch of prominent creators who will be posting their content on the site.
In a new article in New York Magazine called “Why YouTube’s Biggest Star Can’t Be Canceled,” writer and woke bro Max Read laments the fact that PewDiePie is still popular despite the best efforts of the mainstream press to whack him.
This is part of what seems to be a ongoing, coordinated effort from establishment media to smear PewDiePie who is YouTube’s most popular content creator. The Wall Street Journal, Vox, The Verge have all previously labeled him “alt right” and anti-Semitic.
While he is known for his edgy humour, there is no evidence to suggest that PewDiePie is anti-Semitic or racist. In fact, he has explained over and over again that he is not. As the man himself says, “just because you interact with someone online, doesn’t mean you endorse all of their views.”
It doesn’t matter to New York magazine though, as Read tells us, “it’s important to keep in mind that the company has both the practical and the formal power to remove Kjellberg from its site, or find other ways to punish or limit him, the way a movie studio or television network might distance themselves from an anti-Semitic movie star.”
What Read is getting at is that he wants what many in the mainstream want. They want PewDiePie erased from YouTube. New York magazine is basically saying: “We want to force YouTube to deplatform PewDiePie to show everyone how strong we are. And we are frustrated that we can’t get what we want.”
Read also cites the junk science of so-called “academic” Becca Lewis, an individual who claims that people like Jordan Peterson and Joe Rogan are gateways to the “alt right.”
The article ends on an ominous yet familiar note: “Until we find a way to change the culture of mega-platforms, that’s probably not going to go away. And neither will PewDiePie.”
Like most progressivist hucksters, Read is obsessed with “changing the culture.” It sounds all well and good and progressive, but here’s the thing. “Changing the culture” is progressive-speak for censorship. And that’s what the war on alternative or new media is all about.
The truth is that PewDiePie’s edgy humour is actually far tamer than, say, Sarah Silverman, Louis CK, or even the legendary Mel Brooks. But we’ve lost perspective in 2018, and lamentably, we have allowed social justice crusaders to “woke off” all over the culture we love.
So why is it that all of these mainstream journalists and outlets want to end PewDiePie? It’s not because he’s a hateful or problematic figure. It’s way simpler than that. It’s that he’s more popular. What the popularity of people like PewDiePie, Sargon of Akkad, Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin, et al, shows us is that the traditional media companies no longer exclusively control the narrative. That drives them crazy. And that’s why they continually pump our moral panic-inspired clickbait. And that’s why they are trying to erase people. They’ve succeeded in some cases, on some platforms.
But there is hope. You see, ordinary people hate this kind of thing.
New York magazine is undemocratic and alternative media is all about democracy. I’ve quipped before that the only democracy is online in the form of the Twitter ratio (that is when the comments on a tweet far outweigh the likes) or the up and down-voting on YouTube. When content is bad, there is a means by which Twitter users can let you know. This is also the case when a YouTube video sucks. YouTube attempted to mainstream and progressivize their annual Rewind video. The down-votes on this year’s video are over 13 million.
When they try to cancel our content and the people we care about, we continue to make our voices heard. The Streisand effect kicks in. And that’s how we win. To paraphrase a certain galactic princess, the more they tighten their grip, the more cultural consumers will slip through their fingers.