A particularly perplexing controversy has gained steam in the last few days, and it revolves around internet personality Emma Chamberlain.
Since becoming a YouTube sensation in 2018, 21-year-old Chamberlain has evolved into a coveted “it girl” in the fashion industry, a sustainable coffee brand owner, and a relatable podcast host — making her own of Gen Z’s biggest and brightest names.
Chamberlain, however, recently received backlash after TikTok users claimed they saw a “personal thank you note from Emma in Instagram DM” for $10,000 advertised on her website.
Content creator Taylor (@miismisery) is one of many who’ve discussed the matter online.
“I can’t stop thinking about Emma Chamberlain having an option in her merch shop to buy a personalized DM from her on Instagram for $10,000,” Taylor says. “Don’t worry. I mean, if you still want a DM from Emma Chamberlain and you don’t have $10,000 to spare, they have Afterpay. It’s only $902/month… for a year.”
“This doesn’t even seem like the Emma Chamberlain I know and it makes me so sad”
Commenters, including Chamberlain fans, were quick to reveal their thoughts in Taylor’s comments. Some note that while this could very well be a joke, it’s not all that funny.
“i could’ve sworn on a podcast she said she doesn’t actually do these that’s why the number is ridiculous,” one user wrote.
“The real question is: if you buy it, does she refund you?” another asked.
“This doesn’t even seem like the Emma Chamberlain I know and it makes me so sad,” someone replied.
YouTuber MrBeast, who came under fire earlier this month, claims he’d purchase the DM just to “see what it says.”
“The test program was never discoverable on the main page or product listing site, which is another reason that Emma had no knowledge of this.”
By Tuesday, however, Chamberlain’s site was taken down “for internal review.” According to Cozack, Inc., “Emma’s merch company,” they allegedly created an “outrageous, never activated reward level” intended for “internal testing purposes.”
As for how the internal test became available to the public? A hacker, apparently.
“What we suspect is that data was activated and crawled by Google’s SEO indexing system and discovered by an individual who then began spreading false information to press outlets,” the statement reads. “This was never made public, and certainly was never planned to be sold or purchased. The test program was never discoverable on the main page or product listing site, which is another reason that Emma had no knowledge of this.”
Chamberlain also told E! News that she assumed it “was an online scam.”
“A few days I started seeing comments asking why I was selling a DM for $10k. I assumed this was an online scam, as I had never offered to sell a DM for any amount of money, let alone $10k,” Chamberlain told the outlet. “People were saying this was for sale on my merch site, so I checked the site to see if it had been hacked and couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary.”
In The Know reached out to Cozack, Inc. for comment but has yet to hear back as of reporting.
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