Marina Joyce is a 19-year-old YouTube star from north London who was well-known online for her fashion vlogs. In the past day, the hashtag #SaveMarinaJoyce has been trending all over the world, as social media users have come to the conclusion that she is facing some kind of danger.
A number of viewers raised concerns about the video, many of which were expressed in this blog. Among other fears, they said that they could faintly hear her saying “help me” 13 seconds in, that there were bruises on her arms, that she was reading from a script, and that she could be seen looking with fear at someone behind the camera. The author of the blog alleged that she may have been kidnapped in order to make YouTube videos.
The next day, #SaveMarinaJoyce began to trend around the world. The hashtag contained numerous assertions about her mental health, her domestic situation, and many more outlandish assertions.
Some social media users alleged it might be a trap, such as the one apparently laid by Ali Sonboly, the terrorist who shot dead nine people outside a McDonald’s in Munich earlier this month. In fact, it appears she was tweeting about a dance event due to take place on 3 August.
Joyce then attempted to talk to fans on a livestream, in which she denied being on drugs, said that a gun seen in one of her videos was a BB gun, and told her fans “I love you”. However, the fact that she didn’t address the question of why she appeared bruised in a video prompted more suspicion.
In an interview with Mail Online, she repeated her daughter’s claim that it was a BB gun, denied that there was an abusive relationship, and said: “‘It was me speaking in the video. I was filming for her and I whispered ‘stand LIKE me’ not ‘help me’”.
She went on: “It’s not a publicity stunt, not at all, and I don’t think it looks like one.”
Joyce herself has now given an interview to The Sun, in which she has said that she thought the concern expressed over her was “kind”: “People really care about me and it went crazy and blew up,” she said.
“I care about my YouTube channel and after this I have got lots more viewers which is really good.
“But I am really OK. There are no ISIS terrorists here.”