You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YouTube Star PewDiePie Clears Air About Being Unverified on Twitter and Bizarre ISIS Joke

PewDiePie, YouTube’s biggest star, played up a fake news story about getting “unverified” by Twitter because he supposedly joined Islamic terrorist group ISIS to do what he does best — produce short-form content for his millions of fans.

Twitter, or its automated terrorism-filtering algorithms, apparently didn’t understand the joke: The YouTube gamer and comedian, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, was briefly suspended Wednesday from the social service, hours after he tweeted facetiously that he had been unverified on the social service because he had joined ISIS. His Twitter account was restored after less than an hour.

In a video posted Wednesday, PewDiePie explained the sequence of events: He said he unverified his Twitter account Tuesday, in a protest over the company’s “annoying” verification process, and inserted a globe icon instead of the blue check-mark because it’s “way f—ing cooler.” According to Kjellberg, his clearly absurd comment about joining ISIS came after an obviously fake tweet, which appeared to be from Sky News, that said he was unverified on Twitter “due to suspected relations with ISIS.”

“I’m fairly certain social media is making us all retarded,” Kjellberg says in the video, noting that some news outlets picked up his ISIS tweet at face value. About three hours after it posted, the video had been viewed more than 460,000 times.

A Twitter rep declined to comment, saying, “We don’t comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons.” For Twitter, ISIS is no laughing matter: The company has been hit with lawsuits alleging that it provides a platform for terrorists to spew propaganda and earlier this month said it had suspended 235,000 terrorism-related accounts in the past six months.

The production company run by Kjellberg, who has more than 47 million YouTube subscribers and 8.1 million on Twitter, earned an operating profit of $8.1 million in 2015, according to a regulatory filing.

Watch Kjellberg’s video about the Twitter situation:

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify VP Paul Vogel Talks Subscription Prices, Label Licenses, Podcasts

    The annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference gives representatives from major companies the opportunity to present to the investment community, and Paul Vogel, Spotify’s VP and head of financial planning & analysis, treasury and investor relations, spoke on the streaming giant’s behalf on Tuesday morning. While many of his comments were statements frequently heard in the [...]

  • Directv Now

    AT&T Sued for Allegedly Creating Bogus DirecTV Now Accounts

    A group of investors sued AT&T, alleging the telco artificially inflated subscriber counts for its DirecTV Now streaming service — including by creating fake accounts. In the federal class-action lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that AT&T wanted to make DirecTV Now seem more successful than it actually was as another way to rationalize its $85 billion [...]

  • Streaming Battle: Disney, Apple and More

    The Battle for Eyeballs Makes for an Action-Packed Streaming Arena (Column)

    It came as no surprise last week that Disney CEO Bob Iger had resigned from the Apple board since the two companies are poised to launch competing subscription streaming services in less than two months. But Iger’s departure (announced the same day that Apple revealed its Nov. 1 launch date and $5-a-month price point) underscores [...]

  • AVOD streaming video OTT users -

    Fast-Growing Asia Video Market Awaits Arrival of Disney Plus and Apple

    Asia’s over-the-top video streaming market is growing so strongly that there is currently room for a wide variety of business models. Local companies have many of the most compelling success stories, but the global players have found plenty to chew on too, and competition is expected to increase with Disney and Apple launches starting from [...]

  • Streaming Wars Placeholder TV

    Explosion of Streaming Services Points to Price Wars on the Horizon

    With its $800 iPhones and $1,400 Hermès smart watches, Apple’s not exactly in the business of bargain-bin pricing. But the surprisingly low-priced debut of Apple TV Plus, at $4.99 per month for a family subscription, is a signal that the streaming video market of tomorrow — soon to be awash with services from Disney, WarnerMedia [...]

  • VJ1 RuPaul's Drag Race

    Pluto TV Adds Seven More Free Viacom Channels, Including One for 'RuPaul’s Drag Race'

    Viacom continues stuffing more library content into Pluto TV, its free, ad-supported internet streaming service, adding a range of African American and LGBTQ programming from VH1 and BET. On Tuesday, Pluto TV launched seven new genre channels with content from its parent, including dedicated channels for VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” — with episodes from the [...]

  • Spotify

    Spotify Dismisses Amazon’s High-Definition Audio: ‘It’s Not a Big Differentiator’

    At the moment Amazon Music launched its new high-definition audio service on Tuesday morning, which it says offers the best streaming audio fidelity available, Spotify VP and head of investor relations Paul Vogel was speaking at Goldman Sachs’ Communicopia conference in Lower Manhattan. While Tidal and Deezer have long offered a high-fidelity service and Apple [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content