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Johnny Depp’s Online Fandom Is Toxic Toward Domestic Abuse Survivors, Some Online Creators Warn




In the previous few months, audio clips from the defamation trial involving Amber Heard and Johnny Depp went viral as trending TikTok sounds.

“Customers have been lip-syncing to an audio of Amber’s testimony and utilizing it to mock her,” stated Lauren, a creator referred to as gothamshitty, who didn’t need her final title used out of concern of harassment from Depp’s supporters.

“Particularly they have been utilizing an audio of her recounting how Johnny had raped her,” Lauren continued. “These customers have been responding to the audio by declaring that what Amber was describing was not rape however ‘each girl’s dream.’ That sickened me.”

Till that time a couple of weeks in the past, Lauren had “hesitated” to publish concerning the trial, however she stated the development was “too disgusting, misogynistic and disrespectful to survivors in every single place” to disregard.

In a video she posted in Might, Lauren voiced assist for Heard, citing earlier allegations of abusive conduct from Depp and his 2020 defamation trial in the UK. She linked the widespread public disdain of Heard to the overturning of Roe v. Wade and stated the social media frenzy surrounding the trial “displays the immense quantity of misogyny and hatred of girls that’s so deeply ingrained in society.”

Lauren stated the net response to her video was initially “fairly balanced,” till an “inflow of hateful feedback began to return in.” She stated she tried to delete as many inflammatory feedback as she might, however some viewers started harassing her on Twitter, too. A streamer with a big following reacted to her video throughout his stream, and his viewers mocked Lauren’s speech and look within the feedback.

“As soon as the streamer discovered my video, I hit a breaking level,” Lauren stated.

The net fandom supporting Johnny Depp, which ballooned throughout his defamation case towards his ex-wife, has turn into poisonous, some creators say.

The net fandom supporting Johnny Depp, which ballooned throughout his defamation case towards his ex-wife, has turn into poisonous, some creators say.

Depp sued Heard for $50 million after she described herself as a “public determine representing home abuse” in a 2018 Washington Submit op-ed. The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, and awarded Heard, who had countersued Depp for $100 million, $2 million in compensatory damages.

Content material concerning the trial flooded social media quickly after it started in April. The variety of posts expressing assist for Depp dwarfed these supporting Heard; on TikTok, the tag #justiceforjohnnydepp has a staggering 19.6 billion views whereas #istandwithamberheard has 19.8 million and can be utilized in movies supporting Depp.

Although many Depp supporters have celebrated the decision as a win for male survivors of home abuse, they’ve additionally been accused of harassing creators, together with home abuse survivors, for expressing something however assist for Depp.

The trial turned leisure

“I’m truly unhappy this trial is coming to an finish,” true crime YouTuber Bailey Sarian stated in a now-deleted tweet.

In style leisure, whether or not a YouTuber’s weekly vlog or a beloved TV present, typically conjures up fan content material. Within the weeks because the defamation trial began, followers consumed the livestreamed courtroom continuing as if it was leisure and posted content material sometimes seen in fandom communities.

Viewers posted supercuts of Depp’s facial expressions through the trial. Some began “transport” Depp together with his lawyer Camille Vasquez, and posted fan edits romanticizing their interactions.

Image: Camille VasquezJohnny Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez speaks along with her colleague Benjamin Chew in courtroom on the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., on June 1, 2022.Evelyn Hockstein / Pool/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

“She undoubtedly has a crush! And I am right here for it,” one commenter stated underneath a TikTok transport Depp and Vasquez.

Beneath one other fan edit of the pair, a TikTok consumer speculated, “Everytime she’s subconsciously copying his physique language [it’s] as a result of she’s drawn to him.”

Vasquez gained a following of her personal — followers in contrast her to the “Legally Blonde” protagonist Elle Woods and began a petition for her to interchange Heard within the upcoming “Aquaman” sequel. Singer Jazzmyn Wollfe went viral for tattooing herself with a top level view of Vasquez, and was broadly criticized for “taking being a fan too far.”

An image of Wollfe's tattoo of Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez.A picture of Wollfe’s tattoo of Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez.Courtesy Jazzmyne Wollfe

“For me the tattoo represented quite a bit, notably the energy and fervour Camille possessed in her extremely clever supply of Amber Heard’s cross examination,” Wollfe stated. “Traits of outspokenness and confidence I needed to remind myself to additional implement in my very own life.”

As followers made content material in assist of Depp, content material maligning Heard exploded on-line. Movies criticizing her conduct on the stand proliferated on TikTok, and creators carried out dramatized reenactments of her testimony utilizing trial audio. Instagram meme accounts shared pictures mocking her facial expressions and physique language.

Contempt for Heard reached fanfiction circles, as effectively, the place at the least two “revenge fics” about Heard revealed on the fanfiction website Archive Of Our Personal explicitly described scenes by which Heard was tortured, sexually assaulted or killed.

“And y’all nonetheless suppose this can be a regular response to a trial,” creator jordxn.simone stated in a TikTok video responding to a sea shanty parody about Heard. “I’ve seen some really wild fandom stuff throughout my stint on the web … None of it compares to this.”

Creators had an incentive to proceed posting concerning the trial as a result of the content material acquired a lot engagement. Creator Cbatogivename began their TikTok account by posting scenes of TV reveals and flicks. In late April, they posted a clip from the trial displaying Depp detangling Vasquez’s cellphone charger. The video went viral and has over 12.7 million views.

“Everybody commented asking me to publish extra, so I discovered extra movies and far to my delight it went viral once more!”

Tiktok creator cbatogivename

“Everybody commented asking me to publish extra, so I discovered extra movies and far to my delight it went viral once more!” Cbatogivename, who requested to be referred to by their username out of concern for his or her privateness, stated.

Earlier than posting the clip, that they had simply over 200 followers; three weeks later, they have been as much as 269,432, they stated.

A number of creators have accused essentially the most fervent Depp supporters of utilizing the trial as a chance to belittle and invalidate ladies fairly than assist home abuse survivors.

In a TikTok posted within the final week of the trial, creator André Rickman requested, “The place the [expletive] have been a few of you males’s rights activists once I was abused?”

Rickman stated he “felt seen” as a result of the defamation trial raised consciousness of male home violence survivors however was skeptical of Depp’s supporters. He questioned why males accused of home violence and sexual misconduct, equivalent to Chris Brown and James Charles, have not acquired the criticism Heard has.

“Some males will use this verdict as a kind of gotcha second for all the feminine victims of home violence,” Rickman stated. “[I’m] disgusted to see my fellow sisters get bullied, berated within the media and simply have to show the opposite cheek … I really feel horrible and enraged as a result of males do not care about male victims. If something they use me as an argument.”

One other creator who has used her platform to debate home violence after her personal expertise in an abusive relationship stated she was harassed for talking negatively about Depp.

After Jessica Jordan, a creator referred to as midwestbimbo, posted a video debunking the “mutual abuse” that Depp and Heard’s former marriage counselor described through the trial, folks went “completely rabid,” she stated.

She was harassed on a number of social media platforms with feedback telling her to die, and he or she stated she felt unsafe “for a bit” after receiving a threatening letter to her mailing handle. Whereas Jordan has handled harassment on-line earlier than — particularly after talking out towards transphobia and males’s rights activists — she stated this wave of harassment was particularly taxing.

“I laughed it off at first and even despatched a postcard again, nevertheless it actually clicked to me simply how severe a few of his followers have been,” Jordan stated. “And made me have a look at the threats I used to be getting a bit extra intently.”

She stated she is uncertain Depp’s supporters are passionate out of real concern for home violence supporters and referenced actor Terry Crews’ 2017 allegation {that a} Hollywood govt sexually assaulted him throughout an business operate.

“If folks cared about male abuse survivors there could be extra data and assets about them,” she continued. “Together with love and assist for males like Terry Crews … As an alternative it is used as a silencing tactic.”

“All this discourse this has created solely creates a hostile on-line setting for victims of all genders.”

lauren, tiktok creator knownn as gothamshitty

Though the trial wrapped with the jury’s verdict this week, memes about it proceed to blossom on-line.

Lauren, the creator who was harassed for criticizing the informal misogyny in content material concerning the trial, has been inactive on TikTok since. She famous that even these claiming to assist Depp have been “undermining the severity of the scenario” by treating the case “like a sports activities recreation with groups to aspect with.”

“Even when Johnny’s claims have been completely true, what good does it do to meme-ify each side of his abusive expertise?” Lauren stated. “All of the discourse this has created — what makes an ideal sufferer, the ‘legitimacy’ of marital rape — solely creates a hostile on-line setting for victims of all genders.”


AU official calls out Germany over leopard jibe that left some offended




A Leopard 2 tank is pictured during a demonstration event held for the media by the German Bundeswehr in Munster near Hannover, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011. - Copyright © africanews Michael Sohn/AP2011

Germany apologized on Thursday (Jan. 26) for using a leopard emoji in a tweet refering to the Russian Foreign Minister’s visit to Africa. The post that was regarded as offensive by some users was called out by the spokeswoman for the African Union chairman Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat.

The German foreign ministry attempted to poke fun at Russia’s top diplomat during his tour of Africa when it tweeted that he wasn’t there looking for leopards, but using the trip to try and justify Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The tweet, and the leopard emoji the foreign ministry used on its official account, apparently sought to play off Germany’s decision to send some of its advanced Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine to back its military fight off Russian forces.

An African Union official questioned the use of emoji, pointing it could be interpreted as the continent being portrayed once again as only about wild animals.

Ebba Kalondo, the spokeswoman for AU Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, tweeted back to the German government account questioning if Africa, its people and its wildlife was “just a joke to you?”

“Foreign policy is not a joke nor should it be used to score cheap geopolitical points by illustrating an entire Continent with colonial tropes,” Kalondo wrote in a follow-up tweet.

The German foreign ministry apologized and said that the tweet wasn’t meant to offend, but rather “to call out the lies that Russia uses to justify its imperialist war of aggression against Ukraine.”

Lavrov has visited South Africa, Eswatini, Angola and Eritrea this week, where he has repeated his claims that the United States and its Western allies are using Ukraine as a tool in a “hybrid war” against Russia.

Many African nations hold historical ties with Moscow. South Africa was one of several to abstain from a U.N. vote last year condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Eritrea voted against the resolution alongside Russia, Belarus, North Korea and Syria.

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Bomb injures at least a dozen people near a market in north-eastern DR Congo




Congolese Defense Forces soldiers inspect the scene of an attack near the town of Oicha, 30 kms (20 miles) from Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, Friday July 23, 2021.

A bomb exploded at a market in eastern Congo on Wednesday (Jan. 25), injuring at least a dozen people, authorities said.

An unknown person detonated a bomb inside a bag in North Kivu’s Beni town, said Tharcisse Katembo, a local official.

“Damage was documented (and) at least 12 people were injured. They were injured in the lower limbs, others in their upper limbs and others were hit in the head,” he told reporters in Beni.

The victims were taken to the hospital and an investigation was underway, Katembo said.

No one claimed responsibility for the bomb. However, attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces, which is believed to be linked with the Islamic State extremist movement, have been increasing in North Kivu, according to the United Nations.

Deadly violence

Earlier this month, at least 14 people were killed and dozens injured in an attack on a church in Kasindi town, which was claimed by Islamic State. It said in its Aamaq news outlet that it planted an explosive device inside the church and detonated it while people were praying.

Since April, attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces have killed at least 370 civilians, and the group has abducted several hundred more, including a significant number of children, the U.N. says.

The explosion Wednesday (Jan. 25) occurred in a local market next to a cassava mill, witnesses said.

Danny Syaghuswa, 16, said he was sitting on his motorcycle when a man in a striped shirt put a small bag behind a door, saying he would come back for it, according to an interview with local reporters heard by The Associated Press. “Less than five minutes after he left the bomb exploded,” Syaghuswa said.

Images of the attack circulating on chat groups show people lying on the floor. One woman in blood-stained clothes was carrying a small child.

Violence has wracked eastern Congo for decades as more than 120 armed groups and self-defense militias fight for land and power. Nearly 6 million people are internally displaced, and hundreds of thousands are facing extreme food insecurity, according to the United Nations.

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Somalia: Al-Shabaab terrorists storm mayor’s office, killing six




Al-Shabaab terrorists set off a bomb and stormed a government building in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.  The Al-Qaeda-backed terror group has stepped up bombings in the country.

At least six people were killed on Sunday in an attack by Al Shabaab militants at the mayor’s office in central Mogadishu, police said.

A suicide bomber set off a huge blast that tore through building near the office complex with gunfire erupting afterwards, Somali police spokesman Sadik Dudishe said at the end of the four-hour siege.

“All the six attackers died. Five of them during the fire exchange with the security forces and one of them detonated himself,” Dudishe told reporters.

“Six civilians also died during the attack and the situation is back to normal.” All the staffers at the mayor’s office were rescued, the police added.

Al 0Shabaab, a militant group allied with Al Qaeda claimed, responsibility for the attack via its communication channels, saying its fighters “made their way inside the targeted building after killing the security guards.” Witnesses said the initial explosion damaged nearby buildings and gunfire could be heard in the vicinity of the mayor’s office.

The area was quickly cordoned off by security officers, a witness who runs a business near the offices said.

Another witness, Omar Nur, said he was inside a nearby mall when the explosion went off and “was lucky to have escaped safely.” The Al Shabaab militants have been waging a bloody insurgency against the frail internationally backed central government for 15 years, carrying out attacks both in Somalia and neighbouring countries.

The latest attack comes days after seven soldiers were killed on Friday at a military camp in Galcad, a town in central Somalia about 375 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu. The US military said the attack — in the Somali town retaken by the army this week — involved more than 100 Al Shabaab jihadists.

“The combined actions by partner forces on the ground and the collective self-defence strike is estimated to have resulted in three destroyed vehicles and approximately thirty Al Shabaab terrorists killed” the US military command for Africa (AFRICOM) said in a statement.

Source: Dawn

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