PewDiePie, Wall Street Journal & Vox Feud Explained

PewDiePie

Getty PewDiePie

PewDiePie’s fans hacked the Wall Street Journal today and claimed that the site was apologizing for misrepresenting the YouTube star. The hacked page was quickly taken down, but not before it was saved on Internet Archive. The hack referenced “misrepresentation” by the Wall Street Journal over the publication’s coverage of the YouTube celebrity. Fans are also feuding with Vox over similar coverage of PewDiePie. You can see screenshots of the hacks and more details below. Here’s a quick explanation of the feuds happening between PewDiePie fans, the Wall Street Journal, and Vox.


The Hacks on The Wall Street Journal Appeared on WSJ’s Sponsored Posts Page

Internet Archive

The hack appeared on a sponsored post page owned by Custom Solutions, a unit of Wall Street Journal’s advertising arm, but not affiliated with the newsroom, a representative told The Verge. The hack claimed that the publication was apologizing for its recent coverage of PewDiePie.

PewDiePie Wall Street Journal

Internet ArchiveScreenshot from the Wall Street Journal

Here’s what the hacked page read:

BY T-SERIES

December 17th, 2018

WallStreet Journal would like to apologize to pewdiepie.
Due to misrepresentation by our journalists, those of whom have now been fired, we are sponsoring pewdiepie to reach maximum subscribers and beat Tseries to 80million.
We also need your credit card number, expiry date, and the lucky 3 digits on the back to win the chicken dinner in fortnite.

Beneath the note was a link to subscribe to PewDiePie’s YouTube channel.

A couple memes were posted below the note, which you can see in the screenshots below.

WSJ

Screenshot of The Wall Street Journal Hack

Pewdiepie Wall Street Journal Hack

Internet ArchivePewdiepie Wall Street Journal Hack screenshot

Because the hack appeared on a sponsored content page, the hack ends with the message: “This content was created and provided by the sponsor. Neither Dow Jones nor the news or advertising departments of the Wall Street Journal were involved in the creation or review of this content.” 

According to Motherboard, the page where the hacked article appeared was linked to cybersecurity firm Oracle. The person who claimed to be behind the hack told Motherboard that they had obtained the login credentials the Wall Street Journal content management system because the person’s password was their username.

PewDiePie mentioned the hack a couple times on Twitter.


The Feud with T-Series Is Mentioned in the Hack

The hack isn’t just about the feud with The Wall Street Journal. It also mentions the ongoing competition with T-Series to see who has the most YouTube subscribers. T-Series has 75 million YouTube subscribers, while PewDiePie has 77 million. Fans’ seeking to increase PewDiePie’s followers so he stays ahead of T-Series have done all sorts of stunts recently, including hacking printers to print out messages about subscribing to PewDiePie.



The Hack Includes a Fake Apology from the Wall Street Journal, Which May Reference a Story that Led to Disney Cutting Ties with PewDiePie

The hacked article may have been a response to a feud over coverage by The Wall Street Journal last year. In the past, The Wall Street Journal wrote about PewDiePie YouTube videos that had anti-Semitic jokes. This resulted in Disney cutting ties with Felix Kjellberg, known as PewDiePie, Motherboard reported. PewDiePie later said he was distancing himself from those jokes and didn’t want a part of them.


Vox Has Also Been the Target of Fan Ire Recently Due to Coverage of PewDiePie

Vox and reporter Aja Romano have also been the focus of angry fans ever since Romano published a series of stories on Vox about PewDiePie. These stories came after PewDiePie had encouraged followers to check out multiple YouTube accounts, including E;R’s account, in a December 9 video. You can watch the video above. PewDiePie later apologized for the video.

In the original video he said, “E;R…does great video essays…he did one on death note which I really, really enjoyed.” Death Note is a Manga series, and PewDiePie’s comment was eight seconds out of a 17-minute video.

The death note video that he mentioned included a joke about Heather Heyer’s death 37 minutes into the video. Heyer died during the Charlottesville protests. In a tweet on December 10, E;R wrote: “I suppose I do have to apologize–to . My wording in my thank you tweet was esp irresponsible, knowing they might happily pounce on it. Hope these journo flies don’t end up bothering you.” You can read more about what happened in Heavy’s story here.

PewDiePie later edited his video to take out the E;R reference and said he didn’t know about E;R’s Nazi imagery. He said, in part: “Obviously, if I noticed that, I wouldn’t have referenced him in the shoutout. Not because I have a problem with Nazi references being offensive in themselves, but because I said publicly a year and a half ago that I was going to distance myself from Nazi jokes and that kind of stuff because I want nothing to do with it.”

Here’s his video about it:

Vox, meanwhile, has posted a couple stories recently about PewDiePie which reference his original video and question his motives. One story read: “YouTube’s 2018 Rewind is the site’s most disliked video ever. The implications are huge. PewDiePie is YouTube’s most popular user. He doesn’t appear in the video, and his followers are waging war in his name. Here’s what’s at stake.” A later story read: “PewDiePie’s ties to white supremacy spell serious trouble for the future of YouTube.” You can see a tweet about the story below.

PewDiePie’s fans are angry about the coverage and have taken to Twitter and other social media outlets, urging PewDiePie to sue or boycott Vox brands. Here are some of his fans’ messages:

Romano, meanwhile, has said she has received many harassing messages about her articles:

You can read a thread that Romano wrote on Twitter about PewDiePie below:

PewDiePie fans, meanwhile, are saying that articles attacking PewDiePie are inaccurate or biased:

Did you see the hack when it appeared on The Wall Street Journal’s website? Let us know in the comments below.

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