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[–]cironclad 405 points406 points  (1 child)

Do you have any fear of exposing these types of people, like fear of harm/ lawsuits?

[–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 1081 points1082 points  (0 children)

Yes and no. Before every big exposé, there's usually some kind of threat of legal action from the subject's lawyers. The first time, that was scary. Now I'm a little more seasoned at the legal editing process and I'm not scared of lawyers. I also know my rights and how to perform my due diligence so that I'm not liable for defamation or slander.

In terms of harm, no, I've never truly feared any of the people I cover. I think I could meet most all of them face-to-face and walk away unscathed. I DO get scared of OTHER people online, like stans who fake DM screenshots with me. That's what scares me the most, the idea of disinformation about me being believed. -KT

[–]wttdotm 280 points281 points  (1 child)

Hey Kat! I love the work you’ve been doing. I have a question about internet journalism more broadly: as part of your job you have to be plugged into everything that’s happening on social media all the time. Aside from the regular hazards of vengeful fans etc., that time on twitter/yt/tiktok/etc seems like a job hazard in itself. I know personally in trying to keep up with trends, my attention span has been whittled to a nub. Do you find yourself dealing with side effects of being very online? And if so, how do you manage them to stay as productive (and probably more importantly, as healthy) as you can be given the requirements of the job?

[–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 376 points377 points  (0 children)

Thank you! This is a great question!

I've been "very online" since high school, and as a result my attention span has also become a shell of its former self. Having semi-anonymous profiles is also very different than having a public profile that's intertwined with my professional identity. I have anxiety and depression that I take medication for, and facing backlash has been a massive adjustment period for me.

What helps me the most: therapy, reading books (usually on the train and before I go to bed), physically distancing myself from my phone, calling people instead of always texting, hanging out with my friends IRL, watching movies (I just can't do TV shows anymore, no long-term attention span), and engaging w/ healthy offline hobbies! I've been getting more into cooking and weight-lifting recently. -KT

[–]Zorawithhat 129 points130 points  (1 child)

You spend a lot of time going over the mistakes online personalities have made and learning about some of the awful things they’ve done and their questionable choices: is it hard to reconcile this in depth look at their transgressions with the in depth look I assume you also get of their humanness? The average person is much farther removed from these influencers than you are. I.e. we’ve never had a conversation with them or anyone they know. They’re just pixels on a screen to us. My question, I guess, is about whether or not it’s different for you and how that affects doing your job.

[–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 306 points307 points  (0 children)

This is a very good question. It absolutely depends on the person, the story, and how close I'm able to actually get to that person while reporting it out.

Even without speaking to an influencer whose transgressions I'm covering, I am generally the kind of person who can look at all the perspectives of the people involved, even if I'm more drawn to one. But that doesn't mean I don't empathize with the accused; I do.

I think especially with these teenagers who become famous while they're still minors, I see where things went wrong. Like James Charles, who I've met and spoken to and reported on both positively and very, very critically.

I do see the human side of James and it is something I take into consideration when I write about, say, the accusations from minors against him. I think James faced adversity before he was famous AND as he was BECOMING famous. His experiences as a gay boy who says he was preyed on as a child online by adult men informs my reporting.

But my empathy for James also doesn't override my empathy for the accusers I've spoken to. At the end of the day, I'm critical of the people who have power and misuse/abuse it, especially in something like the fan/influencer dynamic. -KT

[–]friend-of-tH3-show 716 points717 points  (9 children)

Content creators are starting to hate on journalists like yourself more openly now. They say that you guys only want clout, and build your careers off of them. Do you think there's some validity to that? Do you think that some journalists are going to transition to content creating in the future?

Edit: typo

[–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 1465 points1466 points  (7 children)

So, in terms of how some content creators disparage journalists — saying we only want clout, that we build our careers off them — they're viewing journalists like they view other influencers. To creators, "clout" is the building block of success, it's attention that can be monetized.

Journalists need "clout" in some ways, depending on what our jobs are looking for. I have goals in terms of how many paying subscribers I attract with my reporting. It's not the kind of "clout" the content creators disparaging me think it is. And if my beat IS influencers, then yes, I'm building my career off of them, which is how any type of beat reporting works.

In terms of journalists transitioning to content creation, I think modern journalism often IS content creation. Writing is content, blogs are content, videos & social media posts are content. So some of the tools are the same. I do think the creator/journalist crossover is growing and will continue to shape in different directions. -KT

[–]friend-of-tH3-show -407 points-406 points  (6 children)

So what about the hate, then? Is it going to continue? What do you think is going to happen with creators making the journalists their enemies? It can only make your work harder for it closes you access to information. I just find what happened with Trisha the begging of a trend, same with defnoodles. They first say that you're awesome for being a voice of truth, but when you have to report on them then your work is reduced/diminished to "clout chasing"

[–]seinn_t 369 points370 points  (5 children)

Bro this is a dumb af question. These "influencers" are nothing more than modern day celebrities. What is the relationship between a hollywood actor/actress and a journalist? There's your answer.

[–]Axon14 130 points131 points  (1 child)

Exactly. This same relationship has always existed between celebrities and the media. The media isn't always perfect, and I'm sure if you're in the cross hairs its fucking brutal, but they serve something necessary: accountability.

The suggestion that many or all journalists are looking to develop online "clout" and spin off their own successful youtube channel or the like is preposterous.

[–]friend-of-tH3-show -112 points-111 points  (0 children)

Celebrities are not the same as content creators. I may have worded my question weirdly but I am not trying to say that journalists should be looking for clout, but they ARE being attacked by influencers. I love Kat's work, for example, but she's sticking out for the truth in this weird ass people's world. For example, just look at how this AMA got brigaded by David's subreddit

[–]friend-of-tH3-show -129 points-128 points  (2 children)

They are very different from a "celebrity". I don't think Bill Cosby could have gotten away with so many rapes if he was an "influencer" with his life on the public eye like that. All these influencers have their thoughts on everything now, like Trisha's antisemitism or racists takes on shit, and there are content creators for political commentaries like Hasan. The range of these people is huge, and niche in their own way. This is not the case with celebrities, for them either they're liked by the industry or they are not. The relationship between journalists and their source is HUGE. So no, you didn't answer

[–]seinn_t 101 points102 points  (1 child)

Yes it is the same thing. They are all celebrities, you're getting hung up on the details instead of looking at the big picture. You are trying to compare some millenial/zoomers with some old boomer lmao. The difference is the internet and how fast communication is these days; if you hear a rumor today, as a journalist you can follow up immediately and reach a dozen sources without even having to leave your house. If you don't get this then you're a big dummy.

[–]friend-of-tH3-show -69 points-68 points  (0 children)

Oh yeah alright man, sounds easy as fuck. Didn't know that culture didn't change, ever. Thanks for the clarification, good talk

[–]melodawgs 116 points117 points  (3 children)

Do you think doctored screenshots meant to harm public figures currently serves or will serve as a legitimate problem?

[–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 284 points285 points  (2 children)

Yes! The debunked Chrissy Teigen DMs I wrote about are a great example of this. Anyone can doctor a screenshot, there are apps to do it. And when designer Michael Costello posted screenshots full of temporal inconsistencies, global news outlets still ran the story as if they were legitimate.

Were Chrissy not in the middle of a massive scandal, the fake DMs may have registered more. But either way, it's concerning that newsrooms and audiences aren't catching these obvious mistakes. Other fakes are much, much more convincing. I already ask for screen recordings in addition to screenshots whenever possible, because they're harder to manipulate. -KT

[–]cable387 -116 points-115 points  (1 child)

Are they confirmed fake? The original story came up in my friend circle as our more conservative leaning friend tried to use it as a hit job on how "liberals are bad also" and this is the first I'm hearing about them being fake. Seems like a lot of he said/she said rather than any confirmation of them being fake.

[–]Saolep 111 points112 points  (0 children)

The screenshots have some inconsistencies in the date when they were supposedly taken and the styling of Instagram at the time

[–]CordWit 90 points91 points  (1 child)

What would you say is the most enjoyable/exciting story you've broken?

[–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 209 points210 points  (0 children)

Oo that's a hard one! My big investigations usually make me SUPER emotionally frayed leading up to publication, but seeing the response to them can be very exciting.

I think one of my most enjoyable stories was a profile I did of Elijah Daniel and his rap alter-ego LIL PHAG. I was a huge fan of Elijah's vlogs in college and he was the first influencer I met who I actually watched beforehand. I met up with him at the music venue he was performing at that night in Brooklyn and I remember I did circles around the block for 10 minutes before going in, I was SO nervous.

But he was incredibly nice, cool, and talkative, and I ended up following him around until like 3 AM that night. It was such a fun profile to do and Elijah has been super supportive of me ever since! -KT

[–][deleted] 1499 points1500 points  (31 children)

Why do you refer to the rapist as “part of David Dobrik’s Vlog Squad” instead of his real name?

Random people can stop answering now. She responded and I got my genuine answer. I don’t need any more smart-ass remarks.

[–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 2809 points2810 points  (22 children)

So I'm assuming this is tongue-in-cheek but I'll answer it honestly!

Throughout the article Dom's real name, Dominykas Zeglaitis, is used. "Zeglaitis" appears in the article 78 times and "Dobrik" appears 58 times, even though his name is in the headline, photo captions, etc.

The reason we refer to Dom as a member of David Dobrik's Vlog Squad is because most people don't know who Dom is. He's only relevant because of his role on David's channel. So it's the most helpful to readers to identify him as what he's famous for, not as his legal name, which 99.9 percent of readers don't know. -KT

[–][deleted] 507 points508 points  (3 children)

It wasn’t a tongue-in-cheek question. I was genuinely curious, especially since he’s being referred to as part of the VS in the title instead of his name. Maybe if everyone started using his name, people would be able to identify him and then we could put all the attention on the real rapist.

It’s also odd that David’s name was mentioned in the article only 20 times less than the rapists name. But thank you for responding.

[–]letsallchilloutok 299 points300 points  (2 children)

David Dobrik's Vlog Squad is the title of the work Dom was doing when he was accused.

It's really normal for the name of someone's work to be included so that people have a frame of reference if it's not a household name.

E.g. "Brand New lead singer Jesse Lacey accused of sexual contact with underage girls" since most people don't know him by name alone.

[–]Hikalu 84 points85 points  (1 child)

Fuck I had no idea about Brand New

[–]letsallchilloutok 47 points48 points  (0 children)

That one really hurt :(

[–][deleted]  (11 children)


    [–]caangus 47 points48 points  (9 children)

    Ah, the 2 minute old account, the bastion of integrity and relevance

    [–][deleted]  (2 children)


      [–][deleted]  (1 child)


        [–][deleted]  (5 children)


          [–]PM_Me_ChoGath_R34 18 points19 points  (4 children)

          That's a matter of persepctive. From the outside, people can see that you stans are nuts. Legit performing triple backflips in your brains to make David a victim in all of this.

          [–]Gnostromo -13 points-12 points  (3 children)

          "you stans" ?

          [–][deleted]  (4 children)


            [–]sDeezyeazy 38 points39 points  (0 children)

            She's doing great lmfao what was this for

            Edit: Inb4 comment deleted by user 😔

            [–]Shermanasaurus 27 points28 points  (0 children)

            Posts in r/DavidDobrik

            Whatever you say, buddy.

            [–]smaackdab 47 points48 points  (0 children)

            Lol a David Dobrik fan

            [–]Hangry_Hippo 35 points36 points  (0 children)

            Found David’s burner

            [–]supercharged0709 53 points54 points  (0 children)

            Because that’s what he’s known by? Nobody would recognize it if she just said his real name.

            [–]ilikepstrophies 25 points26 points  (0 children)

            Because Dom isn't worth anything, David is.

            [–]viscagirona -10 points-9 points  (2 children)

            To get more clicks. It’s journalism 101

            [–][deleted]  (9 children)


              [–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 604 points605 points  (7 children)

              Jeff has pretty much been a dick to me this entire time, so it didn't surprise me. Much bigger creators than anyone in the Vlog Squad have reached out to me to apologize on his behalf, funny enough.

              It's disappointing that someone could be so much of a caricature of a frat bro and still attract such a huge audience, but frankly, that's what shines in our toxic masculinity-obsessed online culture. Look at the Paul brothers, look at the Nelk boys, look at Barstool Sports, look at the Vlog Squad.

              Fortunately (but really, unfortunately), I think Dom's accusers are well aware of the culture that led to their experiences. I don't think it surprises very many women at all, anymore, because we're raised in it.

              I used to get really overwhelmed by stans but these days I just brush it off and keep going. That's all you can do. You can't fight em, sometimes I have conversations with them to try and seek common ground, but they have to come around themselves. You can't convince anyone on their opinion of you; you can just be yourself and the ones who matter won't mind. -KT

              [–]No-Direction-6965 -670 points-669 points  (3 children)

              U quite literally attacked him for profiting money of the injury he had cause he called a very well KNOWN problematic women with a resume of the most awful things no human can do a “rat”. Then u wanna be mad for lashing out on u?

              You quite obviously done the same approach. You, trisha, ethan klein, drama channels made thousands of dollars off of exploiting the victim cuz david’s name brings money. No one cared about dom one bit.

              He’s literally speaking UR language kat. You r well aware there is no being civil with trisha. If u didn’t wanna be as bias as u want to be u could’ve clearly see the degrading language trisha has ALWAYS used against him & others. However, up till this day you, lindsey, & everyone that works at insider refuse to highlight that cause it doesn’t fit ur narrative also trisha was giving u shoutouts & the exposure u wanted.

              You want to call him a dick, a frat boy then expect him to talk to you in a decent way? This is not a fair equation kat.

              [–][deleted]  (1 child)


                [–]viscagirona -605 points-604 points  (0 children)

                He literally never addressed you again after the initial "altercation" between you two 3 months ago. He was definitely in the wrong in that situation but he took the video down and made another one retracting his comments and apologising to you. You are fully in your right to not accept his apology but you never said anything else in public after that and then when he got in a twitter spat yesterday, totally unrelated to you, you poked at him bringing up a situation that literally no one has mentioned since. Why are you shocked that he clapped back? I'm confused

                [–]NewFreezer18 -600 points-599 points  (0 children)

                No offence, but do you think he would be nice to you when the entire story relates to the vlog squad, indirectly putting guilt on Wittek? Even if he was more of a bystander?

                [–]TheDustyPioneer 29 points30 points  (1 child)

                How much of an impact would you say media illiteracy (when consuming news media in particular) has on the general public’s trust and relationship with journalists? In particular, what implications has this issue had in the YouTube space with reaching out to creators for comment or asking those around a YouTuber for comment? Do you find that many creators aren’t willing to work with you or other journalists due to a history of poor encounters either on a personal level or from what they’ve heard others tell them? And what do you think is the best way to combat the lack of trust and overall media illiteracy in today’s online world so that people can feel comfortable with journalists again?

                Thanks for taking the time to read it if you see it ^^

                [–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 52 points53 points  (0 children)

                I think media illiteracy is a major problem facing our country, maybe one of the biggest and most instrumental to how we got to this current moment of extremism and distrust.

                In the YouTube space, creators have had a shaky relationship with the media. Journalists were well overdue in recognizing the power and influence that creators hold. Plus, there were some major oversights in some of the early YouTube coverage.

                That being said, creators typically crave press, because it helps them obtain legitimacy — something many popular creators still struggle to find. So I have gotten and still get a TON of requests for coverage, every day, more than I could even read through. (A lot of that comes from more traditional PR that work for more established creators.)

                I think one step toward creating trust is to have media literacy woven into the journalism itself. I've tried to do this by being really active in responding to my audience, whether the feedback is critical or positive or neutral. Sometimes, critique just stems from a lack of understanding. I also think journalists can do a lot better at their own PR, myself included.

                But I've found the most success in just telling stories I'm passionate about and letting my audience engage with the passion through my writing on important, underreported topics and people. -KT

                [–]unknown010113 24 points25 points  (1 child)

                Do you actively search for these types of stories or are you asked by your boss to do these kinds of stories?

                [–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 73 points74 points  (0 children)

                It's a mix! I definitely have a lot of autonomy, which I am very grateful for, and my ideas/pitches mostly come from myself or tips people send to me.

                My editor mainly directs me to do things that "work" for us, so for example I'm encouraged to seek out scoops and do investigations into influencer conduct, because that has been incredibly successful (not just in terms of clicks and subscribers, but also in terms of real-world impact from our stories). -KT

                [–][deleted]  (2 children)


                  [–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 115 points116 points  (1 child)

                  The first thing I do when I wake up is check my phone (unhealthy, I know). I usually have a bunch of notifications, texts, and DMs, so I scan those and see if there's breaking news that happened overnight in the influencer drama world.

                  If I see something I can cover quickly, I'll spend the first half of the day writing it up (we call these "quick hits" because the turnaround is in a few hours). I used to do a quick hit every day, and sometimes multiple, but lately I've been spending more time on investigations and features.

                  My days vary a lot, but I spend a lot of time immersed in the social media world looking at what people are talking about (and sending to me). I read a lot of articles on my beat, surf Discord groups, and watch drama & commentary channels. And I have LOTS of conversations with other people who cover & care about influencers.

                  For bigger pieces, I usually spend a good period of time looking for ways to contact potential sources and doing outreach. I typically do a few phone interviews a week and I'm constantly digging through the internet for "receipts" for stories.

                  Writing-wise, I have a terrible habit of pulling all-nighters to get the first draft done for my big stories. I need zero distractions to write long-form, so I like to do it at night when everybody is sleeping and my phone isn't going off every 2 seconds. -KT

                  [–]sDeezyeazy 24 points25 points  (0 children)

                  That's pretty interesting, thanks for the realistic insight into that industry!

                  [–]Discussionist 44 points45 points  (13 children)

                  How did you get your job at insider and what did you originally want to be??

                  [–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 155 points156 points  (12 children)

                  I've wanted to be a journalist since I was a freshman in high school! I fell in love with the field while working on the school newspaper. Then I went to Ohio University to study journalism and I was heavily inspired by the New York media scene.

                  In college, I applied to dozens of internships in New York and got rejected from every single one of them. But I freelanced a little bit, and one of my freelance editors passed my name along to an editor at Inverse, a little tech news start-up, and I got to intern there the summer before my senior year.

                  I worked under the culture editor at Inverse, and he ended up moving jobs to Insider. He hired me out of college to be an intern on the general news desk, and we started working together on digital culture stories. After my six-month internship at Insider ended, they created the digital culture team and I became its first full-time reporter! -KT

                  [–][deleted]  (10 children)


                    [–][deleted] 107 points108 points  (0 children)

                    Yo this dude got banned for brigading and he’s trying to blame the author of the post for it. What a tool

                    [–]BeeExpert 66 points67 points  (0 children)

                    Or it's a highly competitive field...

                    [–]kombatunit 53 points54 points  (0 children)

                    The butthurt is real.

                    [–]lemonstrangers 173 points174 points  (6 children)

                    Are rape allegations really gossip? Grow up

                    [–][deleted]  (2 children)


                      [–]slobsaregross -123 points-122 points  (2 children)

                      Until there is proof of wrongdoing, that’s exactly what they are.

                      [–][deleted]  (1 child)


                        [–]aepozsik 25 points26 points  (1 child)

                        Would you ever consider doing a full summary of the Gabbie Hanna drama?

                        [–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 51 points52 points  (0 children)

                        And so much more. -KT

                        [–][deleted] 31 points32 points  (1 child)

                        how can be better prepare ternagers to sudden celebrity status and extreme scrutiny from seasoned journalists ?

                        [–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 198 points199 points  (0 children)

                        So, my take on this is basically that I don't think teenagers should be in a position where they experience sudden celebrity status. That's unbearable for adults; kids' brains aren't able to adapt to the pressure right away and many of them end up making huge mistakes or becoming emotionally stunted.

                        However, our culture seeks youth. So it's a problem that will continue to exist. I think there need to be more advocates for creators' welfare within the industry, because from what I've seen, most people young talent encounter are just interested in squeezing every penny from them at whatever cost to their wellbeing. -KT

                        [–]taylor_lorenz 37 points38 points  (3 children)

                        I was wondering what advice you'd have for newsrooms looking to beef up their digital culture coverage? I feel like Insider has done such a great job dominating this beat in the past year. How should other newsrooms approach covering influencers/creators/online culture?

                        [–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 35 points36 points  (0 children)

                        I think over the past decade or so, as newsrooms look to cover this space, most hiring has focused on already established beats — business, technology, and entertainment. Lately I've noticed positions tend to revolve around the "creator economy" and following the money, which is really great and necessary.

                        But I think the traditional beats kind of edge out the type of content Insider excels at when it comes to digital culture. My personal beat is a blend of explanatory and watchdog journalism, and I lean toward online entertainment, but cover the influencers like an investigative reporter would.

                        Allowing for flexibility and innovation on this beat, plus emphasizing the importance of getting scoops and doing original reporting, will hopefully open up digital culture positions to a lot of varied reporters with different backgrounds and skillsets! -KT

                        [–]wttdotm 5 points6 points  (0 children)

                        omg hi taylor lorenz

                        [–]say592 80 points81 points  (23 children)

                        With the Vlog Squad story you put the majority of the focus on David Dobrik and the others who were there that night rather than on Dom. Was that a conscious decision? If so, do you regret that the conversation then focused on these indirect participants instead of the perpetrator and the victims?

                        [–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 870 points871 points  (11 children)

                        So, I already know you're coming from a position of not liking me or my work. But I'll give it my best shot.

                        The vast majority of the article is focused on Dom. There's literally a couple paragraphs devoted to other Vlog Squad members. David is mentioned throughout the piece because he's the reason the night happened, the person who filmed and edited it, and the person who uploaded it to his YouTube channel, where it got millions of views.

                        Regardless of where you think blame lies in the situation, David is instrumental to the context of the story. It's his show; Dom was a participant. David is the boss, he's the face, he's the name, he's the foundation of everything. He said that himself, too.

                        The conversation around indirect participants, namely Jeff, happened because Jeff didn't read the story. He thought the piece implicated him when it was just a handful of sentences unrelated to the primary narrative. Jeff inserted himself into the conversation and later profited greatly from his role in the drama. I handled it as best I could. -KT

                        [–]say592 -787 points-786 points  (1 child)

                        Hey Kat, I truly appreciate the reply.

                        I dont know you. My opinion of you is solely based on your work, your appearance on H3, and your comments on Twitter. I did say in another thread that I dont respect you or your work, and maybe that was a bit harsh, but I will stand by saying I dont respect your work. I dont really have any basis to form an opinion on you personally, so maybe saying I dont respect you goes a little far. If nothing else, taking the time to reply to someone who is critical of your work does say something positive about you as a person.

                        Look, Im not obsessive, so Im not going to go through and count how many times you have talked about David vs how many times you have talked about Dom, but I will point out that in the article they are mentioned the same number of times (doing ctrl + f shows Dom is mentioned 7 times, David is mentioned 6 times plus once in the headline and the article is tagged David Dobrik). Given their respective involvement, that certainly is disproportional. David isnt without blame, please dont misinterpret my criticism as me trying to let him off the hook. You have also made some odd comments for journalist about David having more to lose and that is why the focus is on him. Im not a journalist, but I dont think you would typically frame a story around whose reputation it will damage more rather than the personal involvement of each of the parties. That is more tabloid esque than journalism.

                        You mention that Jeff profited from the drama, can you expand on that?

                        Lastly, do you agree that the conversation could have been more constructive if it had not been interpreted as attacking David? Even if that wasnt your intent, that is obviously how many people viewed it.

                        [–][deleted] -555 points-554 points  (0 children)

                        Journalism is the same thing as tabloid youtube influencer trash these days.

                        [–][deleted]  (4 children)


                          [–]-disquiet 49 points50 points  (0 children)

                          I feel like your take is sort of an apples and oranges situation.

                          One thing to take into account is the publicity around Dobrik. If you host/co-host/partake in a party event, with the intention of creating content around it, and then that leads to said "content" involving a sexual encounter where someone got raped, then at least I think you should be held accountable for doing so.

                          I feel not scrutinising Dobrik would show a lack of critical thought in the article seeing as she is, as she pointed out, focusing on the "dark side" of influencers as a whole. After all, he broadcasted this on his massive platform without doing any real due diligence work regarding if this was acceptable.

                          At the end of the day I have watched him too, and will probably keep doing so from time to time, but at least to me the sort of main focus isn't solely on the rape or rapist, but rather the entire debacle around it. Dobrik is sort of the central figure in the web here.

                          [–]PM_Me_ChoGath_R34 110 points111 points  (2 children)

                          That's a disingenuous question asked in bad faith. Nice try Stan.

                          [–][deleted]  (1 child)


                            [–]PM_Me_ChoGath_R34 109 points110 points  (0 children)

                            The sheer about of mental gymnastics it takes to make David a victim of a situation he created and enabled makes no sense. It's definitely the kind of logic you'd see from a Stan.

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                                  [–][deleted] 107 points108 points  (3 children)

                                  To piggy back off this - what is your take on David and his stans ignoring David’s very clear involvement in the night?

                                  [–]say592 -187 points-186 points  (2 children)

                                  I think she has made her take pretty clear on that in the past.

                                  Ive enjoyed the content, but I wouldnt describe myself as a "stan". I am glad she did her reporting, and I think it was appropriate for David to get scrutiny. I dont think anything unfair has happened to David at this point. The level of backlash has been entirely consistent (maybe even a little lower) than you would expect given the circumstances. All that being said, Kat comes off more as a tabloid writer to me than she does a serious journalist. I think her focus on David and the others has detracted from the story and put many of the fans on the defensive, rather than actually accepting that what happened there was really fucked up, entirely preventable, and David had some culpability.

                                  [–][deleted] 165 points166 points  (1 child)

                                  Dude all you do is victim blame on the David Dobrik subreddit

                                  [–]say592 -105 points-104 points  (0 children)

                                  Are you actually reading my posts over there? I feel like I have a fairly measured take on the situation. Like I said, I enjoy the content (David is really one of my least favorites of the group), but I do recognize that this story needed to come out, its not some conspiracy to make David and friends look bad because they did that on their own, and that they have some culpability for what happened. Certainly the victims in that instance have no blame here, and I dont think I have ever implied otherwise.

                                  My criticism here is that putting the focus on David detracted from the crime that was committed and the trauma Hannah and her friends by making the conversation about David and friends instead of the victims and the perpetrator. Dom never stopped making content and being on social media yet people are still complaining about David coming back too soon. Focus some of that energy on the guy who has a pattern of sexually assaulting woman.

                                  [–]popcornnut 17 points18 points  (5 children)

                                  hey Kat don’t answer this, there’s a recent comment from this person blatantly saying they don’t respect you/your reporting.

                                  [–][deleted]  (4 children)


                                    [–]popcornnut 131 points132 points  (3 children)

                                    y’all are literally just running here from the David subreddit because you can’t stand to see your leader be criticized, I see the posts lol.

                                    [–]big_bearded_nerd 115 points116 points  (0 children)

                                    This AMA makes a lot more sense now that I know people are brigading. The top couple of questions seemed loaded.

                                    [–][deleted]  (1 child)


                                      [–]ilikepstrophies -60 points-59 points  (0 children)

                                      She won't get any clicks and interest if it's about Dom, she wants clicks to make her money, David is money.

                                      [–]Hype_l -105 points-104 points  (0 children)

                                      More views and more attention. People like this don't give a shit. It's just their worm way of making themselves feel important.

                                      [–]chuckduck365 7 points8 points  (1 child)

                                      When in your life did you know you wanted to be a journalist? Also—was this the type of news you thought you’d be covering?

                                      [–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 33 points34 points  (0 children)

                                      I knew when I was a freshman in high school! I had always wanted to be a writer, and journalism was the professional industry that sparked my interest the most. When I decided to major in journalism, I thought I was destined to do environmental reporting on climate change. I actually have a degree in environmental studies for that reason.

                                      Then, in college, I shifted gears and thought I would cover politics. I had a couple internships covering Ohio state politics and I even got to go to the White House in 2018 to receive a scholarship for student reporting!

                                      Trump was elected to office my sophomore year and frankly, I burned out of politics within a year of watching the Trump administration unfold. It was all too damaging and the reporting around Trump's election was so contentious. It disillusioned me in a lot of ways.

                                      My passion for YouTube was always something I thought of as a personality quirk, not a reporting beat. But when TanaCon became a trending news story, I realized that my encyclopedic knowledge of YouTube drama could translate into mainstream journalism. Other people like Taylor Lorenz had rolled out the red carpet for my position and I jumped at every opportunity to cover influencers from then on. -KT

                                      [–]bobcats2019 10 points11 points  (3 children)

                                      Favorite bar in Athens?

                                      [–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 33 points34 points  (2 children)

                                      Definitely the Skull :) -KT

                                      [–]bobcats2019 3 points4 points  (0 children)

                                      great answer

                                      [–]froggrip -94 points-93 points  (0 children)

                                      Lol this one gets answered

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                                            [–]Wzup 31 points32 points  (2 children)

                                            Condemns a man and praises a woman who did similar things. Sounds pretty hypocritical and biased to me.

                                            [–][deleted] 36 points37 points  (1 child)

                                            what the hell happened here with a these [deleted]s

                                            [–]roenick99 41 points42 points  (0 children)

                                            Is there even a “bright” side to the influencer industry?

                                            [–]thisisinsider Scheduled AMA[S] 61 points62 points  (10 children)

                                            This is Kat logging on to answer your questions! I'll be signing my responses "-KT" so you know it's me.

                                            [–][deleted]  (5 children)


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                                                      [–]__System__ 3 points4 points  (0 children)

                                                      What are some things about influencers in general that you have learned and how has this new class in media changed communications and journalism?

                                                      [–][deleted]  (1 child)


                                                        [–]mermaidassasin 4 points5 points  (0 children)

                                                        How did you get your foot in the door covering the influencer industry at Insider? I recently graduated with a communication degree and have been inspired by your work ever since I saw you on the H3 podcast. ✌️&💗

                                                        [–]NoAdministration8612 15 points16 points  (0 children)

                                                        They all seem to have these grand lives. What percentage of this tribe of narcissists is secretly broke?

                                                        [–]BrokenBoredom88 6 points7 points  (0 children)

                                                        Are you working on a piece about Trisha Paytas? With her actions of late and past, whether it be about her racist antics, SA, or abuse against current and past partners. I feel like she flies under the radar all the time even though she has a major internet present and would be apart of this 10 billion dollar influencer industry you "cover". Also can't her sexually harrashing the likes of Jason Nash, Moses, Keemstar, and H3H3 just to name a few.

                                                        [–]say592 9 points10 points  (0 children)

                                                        You have been criticized for putting more focus on some creators than others because they generate better headlines or "they have more to lose". Some of that criticism revolves around how it deludes the impact of your reporting by putting fans of creators on the defensive rather than focusing on the victims. Do you think that is a fair assessment?

                                                        [–]menaceman42 3 points4 points  (0 children)

                                                        Kat I don’t know who you are I just came across this AMA but your research seems very interesting. Could you elaborate on what you mean by an “influencer industry”? How is that an industry and how is it profitable? I’ve always been aggravated by the term influencer because it seems to imply that these people are actually smart when they’re just people (usually morons) with substantial online followings

                                                        [–]thestudlife 5 points6 points  (0 children)

                                                        While working on this story, did you ever speak directly with Dom? If so, what was the conversation like?

                                                        [–]rajde1 6 points7 points  (0 children)

                                                        What do you think of YouTube and how it doesn’t seem to suspend or demonetize creators for bad behaviour? It doesn’t seem like they react until after the fact.

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                                                        [–]Wasted_Penguinz -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

                                                        Hi Kat! I really enjoy your work, thank you for looking into things properly and actually doing the work that matters. There are very few journalists who actually matters in this day and I think you are one.

                                                        I would have a really general and vague question in terms of who do I need to contact if I would have a potential story that includes corruption, sexual assault, dismissing of women. I've tried reaching out to several people, including you on Twitter, and I have people that could give interviews but I've had no-one covering this topic. I've tried to get justice on the matter for a year now, and I think it's kinda important but I don't know if it is to other people. Who should I contact?

                                                        [–]FaustusC 1 point2 points  (0 children)

                                                        James' Charles Buttshaving and Faulty moderation are the same link fyi.

                                                        For an actual question, have you ever considered targeting twitch for faulty/biased moderation? It's well known at this point that certain streamers could basically fuck on camera without punishment while other's can get punished for absolutely nothing.

                                                        [–]geoffbowman 1 point2 points  (0 children)

                                                        Is there a bright side to the (holy shit!) $10 billion dollar influencer industry???

                                                        [–][deleted]  (2 children)


                                                          [–]PMmeimgoingtoscream 15 points16 points  (0 children)

                                                          Are you inside David’s ass as you post these comments? What fuels your crazy obsession with this internet person

                                                          [–]verybeaniebaby 6 points7 points  (0 children)

                                                          Bc that’s the story that ignited her career and the one major news outlets picked up so that’s where people would know her from?? Why ask a question with such an obvious answer

                                                          [–]abhi0536 2 points3 points  (0 children)

                                                          What advice would you give to someone aspiring to be a journalist/watchdog? Also, what's your take on racial disparity when it comes to the influencer scene? Do you think it exists, and people should be more cognizant of it?

                                                          [–]ez061313 2 points3 points  (0 children)

                                                          As a journalist, do you have any recommendations for student journalists when reporting on matters that can instigate lawsuits? I work for a student publication at OU and I always fear that when I report on court matters or when I have investigated to report I’ll get a lawsuit.

                                                          [–]foggybrownjaguar 1 point2 points  (0 children)

                                                          Influencer culture seems to be constantly evolving, as it’s a relatively new thing, so I’m just wondering what you think an influencer’s role should be in this changing climate? How would you like to see this “profession” (if you can call influencing a profession) going forward? Also what do you think the impacts of influencer culture are going to be, say, 10 years from now?

                                                          [–]killys07 3 points4 points  (0 children)

                                                          It seems challenging to get coverage of events like this in the Influencer/YouTube culture, despite it capturing a ton of viewership across the country. Why do you think that is?

                                                          [–]popcornnut 2 points3 points  (0 children)

                                                          What’s your favorite and least favorite part of reporting on an industry that can be so toxic at times?

                                                          [–]brittneebug 1 point2 points  (0 children)

                                                          Will you be using your voice to make the Eugenia cooney situation known and get her off the various platforms she is promoting anorexia on?

                                                          [–]SimpletonSteve 1 point2 points  (0 children)

                                                          What are your thoughts on social media as a whole and how it affects us as a greater society? Personally I think we’d be much better off without it.

                                                          [–]BrendanJaySullivan 4 points5 points  (0 children)

                                                          What is worse: getting backlash from big creators or getting their fan-bases sicc’d on you?

                                                          [–]Classic_Leg7055 2 points3 points  (0 children)

                                                          Do you think YouTube does a good job at combating misinformation, and how do you think they could do better?

                                                          [–]NewFreezer18 -13 points-12 points  (0 children)

                                                          Hi Kat, thanks for your work. I want to ask why you use Trisha Paytas as a credible source throughout your articles and Twitter feed? Do you not feel, given Paytas' long history of erroneous, false, and misleading claims, and her past abusive history with the vlog squad (a la , crashing her car into Jason Nash's house whilst high on meth), that she isn't a credible source about Dobrik?

                                                          [–][deleted]  (8 children)


                                                            [–][deleted]  (7 children)


                                                              [–]PM_Me_ChoGath_R34 13 points14 points  (6 children)

                                                              No, Bias looks like your comment here. You're convinced that David is a victim in this situation when he's the one that allowed it to happen in the first place. Not only that, he had the power to make it stop at any time (With all this happening in his home) and yet he continued to enable the behavoir. David is just as culpable as Dom, being an accessory to rape.

                                                              Nice try Stan.

                                                              [–][deleted] -10 points-9 points  (5 children)

                                                              Everyone who were there are to blame, so why is the hate only coming to David? I didn't see any hate towards Trisha, she was there too.

                                                              [–]PM_Me_ChoGath_R34 10 points11 points  (4 children)

                                                              It wasn't Trisha's house, was it? She wasn't in a position where she could tell them all to leave or quit their shit. What did you expect her to do, film it and put it up on her insta?

                                                              [–]pennydreadful000 -7 points-6 points  (3 children)

                                                              It was dom's house just fyi.

                                                              [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

                                                              Why hasn’t James Charles been brought to justice ?

                                                              [–]TheVagWhisperer 3 points4 points  (0 children)

                                                              Have you ever done any investigation into the behavior of Trisha Paytas?

                                                              [–]thedrtony 1 point2 points  (0 children)

                                                              Hi Kat! When did you discover that what your research was going to lead to something major?

                                                              [–]NewFreezer18 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

                                                              Hi Kat, appreciate the work you put into the Dobrik story although I admit I was/am a fan of his videos. I want to ask, from the recent apology video and current comeback, do you feel Dobrik has 'changed'?

                                                              And in general, do you believe 'cancelling' a social media star should last forever? If not, what do you think should be the criteria for forgiveness?

                                                              [–]Bluelabel -1 points0 points  (0 children)

                                                              Can you do the current sitting Australian government next? please and thank you.

                                                              [–]whickman 0 points1 point  (2 children)

                                                              How do you find a new story? Does watching YouTube help direct you to a new lead?

                                                              [–][deleted]  (1 child)


                                                                [–]hruaizar-kim67 -1 points0 points  (0 children)


                                                                [–]Rrmack -7 points-6 points  (3 children)

                                                                Can you think of any examples of an influencer actually being cancelled?

                                                                [–][deleted]  (1 child)


                                                                  [–]Phrantasia 1 point2 points  (0 children)

                                                                  What a terrible take.

                                                                  [–][deleted] -51 points-50 points  (2 children)

                                                                  Why did you write an article implying it was David fault that Tana had trauma, yet you didn't mention all the times Tana sexually harassed David? Hypocrite much?

                                                                  [–]Xeixis -27 points-26 points  (0 children)

                                                                  Idk who this 'reporter' is anyway. She wrote 3 articles and didn't "break" anything, were late to the headlines, and spins each story to clearly paint a bad guy. Notice I said bad GUY. She demonizes men specifically in all of her articles. This is just some reporter looking for more clout to chase.

                                                                  [–]dudesonly69 -41 points-40 points  (1 child)

                                                                  Why not answer all the juicy ones? Would they make you look bad?

                                                                  [–]froggrip -23 points-22 points  (0 children)

                                                                  When people come to do an ama and leave this many questions unanswered, it almost says more than the ones that they did answer.

                                                                  [–]19kitty_kat93 -37 points-36 points  (0 children)

                                                                  Do you feel any remorse using the victim's story as a claim to fame?

                                                                  [–]jackiemoon6969420 -33 points-32 points  (0 children)

                                                                  So how much Trisha paying you?

                                                                  [–]kiroks -1 points0 points  (0 children)

                                                                  What do you think about sentinels Sinatra's situation?

                                                                  [–][deleted] -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

                                                                  what’s your take on paparazzis ?

                                                                  [–]Brom126 -48 points-47 points  (1 child)

                                                                  How offten do you go to the toilet for the number two?

                                                                  [–]_zarkon_ -27 points-26 points  (0 children)

                                                                  Now that's he's released are you going to go after Cosby?