This Latina Fat Acceptance Activist Is Being Harassed After She Was Included In A ‘Cringe Compilation’ Without Her Consent
Jude Valentin is a Latina woman of size with a presence on the Internet, so, unfortunately, she is familiar with the vitriol that comes with being a marginalized person with a voice online. But that cruelty escalated when she became the target of a hateful YouTube compilation video.
While Valentin is used to the occasional fatphobic comment on her own YouTube channel and Instagram posts, she noticed an uptick in cadence and comments even started getting violent. At first, she didn’t understand why, but then she noticed that one of the commenters referred to a compilation video.
After a quick search, she discovered that one of her vlogs was added to a “fat acceptance cringe” video. In these “Cringe Compilation” videos, which are trending on YouTube and garner up to millions of views, the creator pieces together awkward moments that are intended to make the viewer cringe. In some cases, these videos are innocent, including clips of clumsy circumstances and pranks. Increasingly, though, these videos are now being created to attack people from marginalized communities, including fat activists and LGBTQ+ individuals.
In the compilation video Valentin was included in, the creator used an entire vlog to mock her using some of her own videos and reaction GIFs.
“I think the most disheartening part of it is this person has 16,000 subscribers. I have barely 2,000 subscribers,” Valentin, a New York-based Puerto Rican content creator, told BuzzFeed. “I’m struggling to make ends meet. That’s the most frustrating part.”
Sadly, YouTube hasn’t been of much help to her, either. While Valentin did notify the video-sharing website, the company said the video did not break any policies.
“At YouTube, we understand the value of free expression and take great care when we enforce our policies,” a YouTube representative told Valentin in a direct message on Twitter. “As such, while we will take down content that crosses the line into threats or harassment when flagged, not all negative videos or comments will be removed.”
Valentin, understandably, was not satisfied with the response.
“Yes, the person in the video is not telling me to go kill myself, and they have a harassment disclaimer,” she said, “but that doesn’t stop their followers from going and harassing me.”
In an interview with BuzzFeed, the video’s creator said while those included in the compilation “probably see themselves as victims,” the videos are made to spread “awareness that there is a movement called fat acceptance.”
“I in no way tell my viewers to attack any of the people in my videos. I don’t encourage it. When someone in my comments asks for a channel name, I never give it to them. I will never tell my viewers to harass anybody,” he said.
Valentin could file a copyright strike against the video, but doing so would force her to reveal her full legal name to the creator, which could lead to doxing, broadcasting private information about someone that makes them susceptible to attacks — a growing concern for digital activists.
“It’s hard when activism is involved because we are so, so hated on the internet, and people are just ready to be nasty and unleash out private information and be spiteful and not treat us like people,” she said.
While Valentin ponders her next move, she said she’s done feeling bad about the cringe video. Describing herself as “very loud” and “not ashamed” of her body and identity, she said she’s ready to continue her work as a woman of color fat acceptance activist.
“I’ve done too much, I’ve come too far, that bullies are not allowed to affect my world,” she said. “People are going to harass me no matter what, and they can’t win.”
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