We hate having to report on the bad side of YouTube but sometimes things are brought to our attention that we have a moral responsibility to share. In this case, Zoella has spoken out about people pretending to be her in order to speak to her young fans. The YouTube star claims that people are setting up fake social media accounts in her name to lure fans into believing they’re having a one-to-one chat. Eek!
Part of Zoe’s charm is her connection to her fans so you can see how easy it would be for a fan to believe Zoe had replied to one of their Facebook messages or was doing some sort of Skype chat. If you’ve watched the television show Catfish then you’ll know how easy these things can happen but also the dangers when the person on the end of the screen turns out to be someone entirely different.
Fans has tweeted Zoe asking what social platforms she was on and whether she’s been chatting to them over Facebook. Zoe was obviously worried that the fans could be tempted to meet the fake Zoella’s and end up in severe danger. Speaking out about the issue, Zoe said: “Just a reminder that I do not use Facebook & Skype to talk to viewers. If you think you’re talking to me, you aren’t. Please stay safe!” Scary stuff!
Zoe also confirmed that she doesn’t open Snapchats from fans, neither is she on Tumblr or Wattpad. She added: “Basically people pretend to be me sometimes and it’s creepy so be careful!”
Our advice? Only communicate with accounts the YouTuber has publicly confirmed and are ideally verified. If you’re even slightly concerned, stop all contact- it’s way better to be safe than sorry.
YouTubers have recently been working on Internet safety campaigns, including Zoe’s best chummy Louise.
How do you think we should deal with people pretending to be YouTubers online? Leave your comments below.