Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.
When Anna Scanlon immersed herself in the underworld of veganism on the internet, she did not imagine that messing with another YouTube blogger would end up in a defamation lawsuit and a public scandal.
“At one point I searched my name on Google and found the result” Anna Scanlon offers sex. “I felt like throwing up,” she told the BBC.
For Anna it was an infernal turn of events about what had been a positive change in her life.
After moving to the United Kingdom from California in 2012, Scanlon found in YouTube video publishing a way to keep friends and family informed about his new life, and also a way to introduce himself to a whole new community.
“When I went to live in England I did not know anyone, and YouTube became a means to interact with other people in my day to day,” he recalls.
At the same time she decided to become a vegan, motivated by her desire to lose weight and for ethical reasons. This is how he began to address issues about veganism through the video platform.
However, soon it would become the target of criticism of another well-known vegan video blogger: ” Vegan Cheetah “ (Vegan Cheetah) .
“Vegan Cheetah”, whose real name is Charles Marlowe-Cremedas, is a very popular vegan video blog that lives in California.
Its YouTube channel has more than 37,000 subscribers, and in its videos it tends to encourage debates about veganism .
He has a style that on YouTube is known as “dramatic” and that combines reports about his experiences with gossip and uncorroborated rumors about other creators of content and celebrities.
And that genre is widely used by vegan video bloggers.
As in other subcultures, disputes within the vegan world are often complex and, especially for those who are not part of it, are often tedious.
Vegans discuss issues like, for example, whether it is okay to have dates with non-vegans or whether it is okay to have pets.
Anna watched the videos of “Vegan Cheetah” and called her attention.
“It echoed many things that many think in the community (vegan),” he explains.
But soon, he says, “Vegan Cheetah” ran out of original ideas on his channel and “became aggressive towards other vegans . “
Anna criticized Charles in a private group on Facebook but, somehow, the videoblogger found out and started posting videos about Anna.
In them he claimed that the girl had called him on Skype and had seduced him by performing sexual acts in front of the camera. Anna says that “never happened”.
The brawl on the internet culminated in a four-hour live broadcast on another video platform, YouNow .
In that broadcast, Charles repeated the accusations against Anna and encouraged people to join the conversation.
“I confronted him asking him to retract his statement, but as the conversation progressed I think he enjoyed the attention he got when he said those things, ” says Anna.
“His audience loved it and more people joined.”
“For me it was very shocking because I had no real foundation, I felt offended and at that moment I thought about taking legal action.”
From YouTube to the courts
In April 2017, Anna filed a defamation lawsuit in California.
Charles Marlowe-Cremedas did not want to make statements to the BBC for this article, but in the court ruling he denied Anna’s allegations.
Until recently, the youtuber has continued to publish a series of videos insulting Anna and claims that the demand does not give “any fear . “
Anna says that neither YouTube nor YouNow have taken action, although she denounced the videos of “Vegan Cheetah”.
“I sent several emails to YouNow and they did not even respond,” he says.
“The companies responsible for social networks should do much better when it comes to protecting the safety of people on the Internet,” says Anna.
“If there is someone who is constantly reporting incidents, it might be better to have them take a look and take complaints seriously, instead of just ignoring them.”
In a statement, YouTube told the BBC: “We have clear rules and policies about harassment and hate speech, and we enforce them.”
“Our transmissions are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and any user reported is quickly sanctioned .”
YouNow said in a separate statement that it has “strict policies against inappropriate behavior, harassment and illegal activities” and that its moderators “respond to any problem pointed out by the community or detected by automatic systems.”
After Anna filed the lawsuit, Marlowe-Cremedas was suspended on YouNow. His YouTube channel is still active , although most of his older videos were recently deleted.
After initially refusing to respond to legal action, Charles filed an answer in May, 13 months after Anna filed her lawsuit. Now there is a pending judgment.
“I think one of the positive aspects is that many people have seen that they can defend themselves,” says Anna.
“I hope that gives some hope to people that the internet can be a bit more secure.”