Jake Paul, a 22-year-old millionaire who built a career out of peddling merch to children and being loud on the internet, took a brave stance against cyberbullying by calling out a reaction vlogger who made fun of him a few times.
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Fellow YouTuber Cody Ko is known for making videos reacting to cringey content, from ASMR influencers eating deodorant to Christian women who slut shame others in the name of the Lord. He's posted several videos criticizing Jake Paul for being a generally terrible influence on children, highlighting the diss track Paul dropped last year that told kids to disrespect their teachers.
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Apparently Paul has had enough, and decided to 'confront' his 'internet bully' in a video posted on Saturday.
'Now he just shits on people to become famous,' Paul ranted in the first few minutes of his attempted takedown. 'I'm not YouTube's hero, I'm not here to save the day .. this guy Cody Ko, he's a cyberbully and I fucking hate cyberbullies.'
He also tried to land a jab against Ko's previous career path — Paul first knew Ko when he was a 'backend tech developer' at Fullscreen, a company that provides consultations to YouTubers. (Ko was a senior software engineer with a computer science degree from Duke University, but considering Paul's disdain for teachers, it's unlikely that he respects Ko's formal education.)
SEE ALSO: Woman says she was drugged at Jake Paul's party, police report
'It's consumed our generation, it's consumed our society,' Paul continued on the subject of bullying. 'I think it's largely in part to do with these negative 'trolls' online .. that just spread negativity into the earth. I want to put a voice up against it.'
As examples of his 'bullying,' Paul showed clips of Ko calling someone's awkward Instagram sketches 'not comedy' and referring to a health supplement as 'cum powder.'
'This guy is 28-years-old, sitting behind a computer making fun of kids younger than him,' Paul complained in his rant. 'And he's comedic, yes .. he's definitely crossing the line in a huge way.'
Paul decided to valiantly confront Ko in person while the latter was getting his hair cut for a video with another YouTuber, Jeff Wittek. When he burst into the appointment, Ko responded by literally screaming.
'I don't want to fight,' Ko joked.
'He cyberbullies kids, bro,' Paul said, when Wittek asked him to 'come in nicer.'
'Kids? You're an adult. Which kids?' Ko asked in response.
'I don't like cyberbullies, and you're a cyberbully,' Paul continued. He declined to name 'which kids' Ko had cyberbullied.
'I'm sorry for bullying you,' Ko finally conceded. 'I can't tell if he's joking.'
The exchange, while probably well-intentioned, was incredibly painful to watch. Paul seems to be completely oblivious to the fact that as a celebrity, receiving genuine criticism isn't the same as getting 'bullied.' Twitter users mocked him for missing the point.
Jake Cody Twitter
this messed me up. jake paul made a video confronting cody ko for making youtube videos critical of him. he legitimately thinks he's standing up against a hateful cyberbully. it’s so hard to watch a millionaire with crazy influence not be able to separate criticism from hate pic.twitter.com/s5iBeNGGvP
— Jarvis Johnson (@jarvis) May 19, 2019
Jake Paul’s video where he confronts Cody Ko is the Tanacon of anti-bullying videos.
— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) May 19, 2019
jake paul: *scams kids for years and hosts a party where women were allegedly drugged*
also jake paul: we need to talk about cody ko “bullying” these children in their 20’s man!
— Eddy Burback (@eddyburback) May 19, 2019
jake paul’s new video: “confronting internet bully cody ko..”
the internet: pic.twitter.com/N678lCNxwl
— ً (@KlWlBABY) May 19, 2019
Jake Paul making an entire video complaining about Cody Ko, the most unproblematic youtuber ever who really just sits at home with his gf, is major mister struggle vibes
— Brianna (@wtvrbriii) May 19, 2019
Cody Ko: no one likes minions
Jake Paul: I cant imagine having this much hatred
— jadyn (@jadynandharry) May 19, 2019
jake paul really called cody ko a bully like he didn’t release this banger pic.twitter.com/6YH6KphhY8
— emo spice (@frannwizzlee) May 19, 2019
jake paul: 'you bully kids'
cody ko: 'sorry for bullying you'
F A T A L I T Y
— jeonghoe [daily quackity pics: pinned] (@quackity_hoe) May 19, 2019
Paul's own reputation is marred by a string of problematic behavior, including bullying his former roommates into moving out of his Team 10 mansion, terrorizing his former neighbors with YouTube stunts, and most recently, throwing a wild party where at least one woman was allegedly drugged. To come after another content creator for calling him out for being repeatedly shitty isn't just hypocritical, but actually pretty funny.
He's just one of many celebrities who can't take criticism — we saw a multitude of celebrity meltdowns in April, from Lizzo tweeting 'PEOPLE WHO ‘REVIEW’ ALBUMS AND DONT MAKE MUSIC THEMSELVES SHOULD BE UNEMPLOYED' after a lukewarm review of her album to Ariana Grande defending her very OK Coachella performance with her now-infamous 'all them blogs' tweet.
Olivia Munn invoked #MeToo and induced some very long sighs when she compared criticism from a fashion blog to perpetuating the 'suppression of women.' While some celebrities may have valid complaints about how harsh the media can get, Paul's attempt at taking down Ko has an added layer of irony because he lacks any self-awareness of his own reputation.
As of Monday, neither YouTuber has released a formal statement via Notes app or a Laura Lee-style apology video. But Ko did comment about it on Twitter.
Jake Cody 10 4
hey guys whats up just logged on sorry i was busy cyber bullying people
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Maybe Paul was trying to capitalize on the internet's love for cancel culture, riding the coattails of the James Charles/Tati Westbrook/Jeffree Star drama dump. But it's unlikely anyone will try to cancel Cody Ko now, just because Jake Paul was the one calling for it. If it was any other influencer who had a valid claim that Ko had bullied them, instead of the internet's most controversial success story, then Ko may have been more willing to listen.
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Instead, Paul continues to make a fool of himself by going after a critic without looking at himself first.