Nearly two months after leaving social media, Gabbie Hanna returned to YouTube with an explanation.
“I’m well, thanks for asking,” Hanna said toward the end of her latest video. “Surprise! I’m still here”
In a 46-minute video titled “i’m back. (why i left, why i’m scared for my life, the shadowban, & everything else)” Hanna explained that she had been “some kind of manic” after becoming a TikTok meme and deleting Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.
She had gone viral and became the butt of online jokes after she posted a video accusing YouTube of suppressing her content. Being involved in years of creator drama fueled her critics, whom she infamously referred to as “high school fucking bullies.” Hanna described the actions leading up to her departure from social media as a “mental breakdown,” and said she needed to separate herself because it brought back trauma from being part of a “toxic, abusive friend group.”
“I was dealing with some really heavy shit that I wasn’t able to properly process with all those eyes on me,” Hanna said in her return video. “I needed to fuck off with the internet and handle this shit the right way.”
Leaving the public eye didn’t stop the harassment, Hanna said, which followed her to a private Discord server she uses to communicate with fans. She added that “they” — she believes former friends are leading the harassment campaign against her — began harassing her fans, a majority of whom are minors. Hanna said the harassment aimed at her fans pushed one to self-harm.
Addressing accusations of YouTube shadow banning her channel, or preventing users from seeing her content, Hanna clarified that the platform has listed her channel as restricted before. She said that in 2018, after going viral for her botched Genius interview, YouTube added a “Restricted” tag to her videos, which meant it was unavailable to underage users and those trying to view her content on public Wi-Fi, like libraries.
Hanna touched on her ongoing feud with fellow creator Trisha Paytas. Paytas previously claimed that Hanna told her then-boyfriend that Paytas had herpes, which Paytas disputed and found wildly inappropriate. Hanna said breaking down her feud with Paytas would require a whole video in itself, but expressed concern that her side of the story would never be taken seriously because of her involvement in past scandals.
“I feel like YouTube has fostered a really toxic, harmful environment where people have figured out the quickest way to make a name for yourself is to destroy the name of somebody who has already made theirs,” Hanna said. “YouTube rewards that heavily.”
She said that seeking treatment for her mental health and being in a healthy relationship has helped, and that she had considered taking legal action against her harassers. Her Twitter and Instagram accounts are public again.
“I’m not this devil everyone makes me out to be, but I’m not a fucking angel,” Hanna concluded. “I have a lot of issues that I’m working through and will continue to work through for my entire life.”