Gabbie Hanna, who first gained internet fame through Vine, is now the butt of jokes all over TikTok.
The 29-year-old Vine star turned YouTuber turned musician left social media this month after weeks of accusing YouTube of suppressing her content. Although her views and subscriber count has been dropping, per SocialBlade, Hanna’s YouTube channel is still publicly accessible.
Hanna is no stranger to controversy — she was widely criticized for associating with former Vine star Curtis Lepore, who plead guilty to sexually assaulting his then-girlfriend Jessi Vasquez. Vasquez, known online as Jessi Smiles, accused Hanna of being friends with Lepore’s friends, who protected him when Vasquez accused him of sexual assault. She detailed the fallout between herself and Hanna in a 27-minute-long video in November 2019 titled “Gabbie Hanna needs to be stopped.” YouTuber Trisha Paytas was also involved in the feud after Hanna allegedly told Paytas’ then-boyfriend that Paytas had a sexually transmitted infection.
It didn’t help that days before, Hanna tweeted that she wanted to be involved in a scandal because “views are down.” But as Business Insider reports, the resulting drama ultimately cost her 70,000 subscribers.
Given her online presence, it’s no surprise that Hanna has previously been the subject of a meme. In 2018, a clip of her Genius interview about her song “Monster” went viral. To Hanna’s credit, she leaned into the joke and posted a video reacting to the memes making fun of her.
Her poetry book Adultolescence was also criticized by both social media users and poets alike for its immature approach to discussing mental health.
Hanna’s departure from the Vlog Squad, a group of popular Vine stars who began posting YouTube videos together, also fueled the rumors about drama between herself and other YouTubers. Other members included David Dobrik, Liza Koshy, and Trisha Paytas.
As the controversy surrounding Hanna continued, her view count and subscribers fell. In a series of tweets in June, Hanna claimed that YouTube shadow banned her, or prevented other users from seeing her content. She posted a screenshot of a YouTube search of her name in incognito mode, and pointed out that commentary channels criticizing her came up first over her own channel. Hanna furthermore claimed that her fans were automatically unsubscribed from her channel and that they weren’t able to subscribe again. Although Hanna said she was discussing the issue with YouTube, the company has not publicly commented.
Hanna addressed her concerns in a YouTube livestream on Jun. 16. In the hour-long video, she compared YouTube to a manipulative, gaslighting partner and accused drama channel TeaSpill of defamation. While social media users have asked for proof that YouTube shadow banned her, Hanna has not provided evidence other than screenshots from searching in incognito mode.
“Say you’ve always suspected your boyfriend cheats on you, and you’ve never had proof,” Hanna explained. “And then you finally find out… And it’s this huge rush of release of, ‘Oh, I’m not crazy.'”
On her podcast Box of Thoughts, she defended herself against her critics, which she decried as “bullies” and “narcissistic abusers.”
“I’m not gonna show you the facts and the evidence because I’m 29-fucking-years-old,” Hanna ranted on her podcast. “And I’m not gonna sit down and make a video with screenshots exposing my bullies. Those are bullies. These are high school fucking bullies and they wanna come at me saying, ‘You’re 29-years-old [with] how you’re acting?’ Fuck you. You’re in your 30s.”
She then quoted the lyrics from her song “Glass House,” singing, “So point the finger, pull the trigger, throw them off your trail, you’ll get yours eventually.”
The two sounds went viral on TikTok, feeding the memes and criticism surrounding her.
In one video, TikTok user countingschleeps mimicked Hanna’s livestream rant, matching her cadence and rhythm. In another, a TikTok user laughed at excerpts of Hanna’s poetry while her rant played in the background. Remixes of the rant with Meg Thee Stallion’s “Savage” and controversial YouTuber Shane Dawson’s livestream rant also went viral.
A clip from Hanna’s 2018 spoken word poetry video “ROAST YOURSELF EVEN HARDER CHALLENGE” also went viral. In one, a TikTok user compared it to “whenever that one classmate gets too into the popcorn reading.” In another, a TikTok user covered the song in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s voice, adding it to the end of a Hamilton track.
As of Thursday, the tag #gabbiehanna has over 133 million views on TikTok. Hanna deleted her Instagram and Twitter accounts, and made her TikTok private.
YouTube has unintentionally shadow banned creators before. In March, popular vlogger Meghan Rienks revealed that her main channel had been hacked. When she successfully changed the password, the channel became inaccessible to viewers. Subscribers couldn’t view Rienks’ content at all. Her secondary channel was also taken over by a rogue beauty brand, Dexerto reports, which began reposting content ripped from various makeup Instagram accounts. While Rienks did gain control of her channels again, she couldn’t recover her backlog of videos.
But Hanna’s case seems to be different, as viewers can still see her channel and all of her public videos.
While some of the criticism is justified, especially from former members of her inner circle, much of the pile-on is especially cruel. Hanna’s viewership has been declining for years, and although she’s found some success in her musical career, being embroiled in conflict has taken a toll on her reputation.
It’s unclear whether Hanna will continue to post on YouTube. But it’s clear that her content isn’t resonating like it used to for the younger generation just now discovering her on TikTok
Mashable has reached out to Hanna for comment, and we’ll update this post if we hear back..