×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Wall Street Journal Site Hacked With Pro-PewDiePie Message

PewDiePie’s ongoing battle to keep his channel’s YouTube subscriber count No. 1 ahead of India’s T-Series took another bizarre twist: A branded-content section of the Wall Street Journal’s website was hacked with a fake message apologizing to PewDiePie and urging people to subscribe to his channel.

A spokeswoman for Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Wall Street Journal, noted that the affected page was not affiliated with the Journal’s newsroom but rather was operated by advertising group’s the WSJ Custom Solutions team. The affected page appeared under Oracle’s sponsored section of WSJ.com.

“We are aware of the issue and the page has been taken down,” the Dow Jones rep said. “We have launched a full investigation.”

The hacked WSJ.com page was removed Monday (Dec. 17) around 11:45 a.m. ET. That came shortly after PewDiePie — the popular gamer/comedy vlogger whose real name is Felix Kjellberg — posted a link to the page and gloated in a tweet Monday, “WSJ joins the fight vs tseries.”

The vandals behind the Wall Street Journal’s marketing page conflated the fight with T-Series with PewDiePie’s anger toward the news outlet after the Journal’s February 2017 report calling attention to his videos with jokes that included Nazi imagery and anti-Semitic themes, which led to Disney’s Maker Studios and later YouTube cutting their business ties with him. At the time, PewDiePie complained that the WSJ and other news organizations took the anti-Semitic elements of his videos out of context to inaccurately portray him “as a Nazi” and he labeled the Journal piece “a personal attack.” (PewDiePie also apologized, saying “I admit that the joke itself went too far.”)

A few weeks ago, a pro-PewDiePie hacker hijacked 50,000 internet-connected printers to spit out messages urging people to subscribe to PewDiePie and unsubscribe from T-Series.

The hacks have been part of a larger campaign by Kjellberg’s fans to help PewDiePie retain his reign as the most-subscribed individual YouTube channel ahead of the steady rise of T-Series, which posts popular Indian music videos. Currently, PewDiePie has 77.2 million subscribers, followed by T-Series at 75.8 million.

On the hacked WSJ.com page Monday, a message (bylined as being from T-Series) read: “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.” The WSJ.com page also included a “Subscribe Here” link to PewDiePie’s YouTube channel, followed by a string of photo memes.

Here’s an image of the now-removed hacked page on WSJ.com:

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Urges Gavin Newsom to Sign Law Punishing 'Deep Fake' Videos

    SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. “We urge Gov. [...]

  • Facebook Portal logo

    Facebook Is Launching a Portal TV Device: Here’s What We Know

    Facebook is getting ready to launch a TV streaming device in time for the holiday season, Variety has been able to confirm with multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, and combining video chatting with TV viewing and [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

    MoviePass, the long-struggling theater subscription service, finally appears to be down for the count. On Friday, MoviePass notified remaining subscribers that it would be shutting down the service effective Sept. 14, 2019, because “its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics announced. “The company is continuing [...]

  • Disney Plus - Full Lineup

    How to Browse the Disney Plus Catalog the Company Is Testing in the Netherlands

    Disney began testing its Disney Plus streaming service in the Netherlands this week. Consumers in the U.S. will have to wait until November 12 to get access to the service, but European streaming aggregator JustWatch already makes it possible to browse the catalog available during this beta test. JustWatch is one of a number of [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content