TikToker Lily Chapman launches “Cancel Me” campaign to tackle trolling, doxxing and Reddit snark

Posted by Caroline Edwards in Comment

1 month ago

In the past year, US-based TikToker Lily Chapman has hired a lawyer and a private investigator, filed several police reports and sent out multiple cease and desist letters – all because of the nine vicious subreddits dedicated to dissecting her life and content.

Chapman has more than 838,000 followers on TikTok. In May, she launched a “Cancel Me” social media campaign and merchandise line to address and stop the spread of misinformation about her online – particularly on Reddit.

Chapman – who is eight months pregnant – has posted more than 20 TikToks detailing her experience with harassment, doxxing (the act of revealing identifying information about a person online, such as their address) and cyberbullying. The series has had more than 7.8 million combined views. She also provided evidence to disprove the allegations made about her on Reddit, such as that she berates homeless people and had sent a “racist mob” after a TikToker.

Chapman said in a video: “My Reddit interfered with my real life, threatened my ability to get paid work, defamed me, everyone in my family and my fiancé, encouraged and allowed for my stalker to continue stalking me, and bled into lies being spread about me on many different platforms.” One of the subreddits had nearly 5,000 members by the time she managed to get it shut down by citing a copyright law infringement.

The series has five main parts: Chapman’s experience of having a stalker with a criminal record; being accused of sending a “racist mob” after a TikToker who tried to have her cancelled; addressing her recent engagement and the false narrative the “snark community” created about her relationship; explaining her viral TikTok storytime series from 2022, in which she is seen yelling at a homeless man after learning he stole her passport, despite him pretending to help her find it; and hiring a private investigator who was able to shut down the main subreddit and her trolls subsequently claiming she was infringing on their right to free speech.

The TikToker’s goal was to alert creators of the risks of the career, educate social media users about what happens behind the scenes, and encourage people to be more media literate.

By creating a vulnerable “cancel me” TikTok series, Chapman has been able to reclaim the narrative, in a similar vein to how US-based writer and influencer Caroline Calloway has taken the word “scammer” as a badge of honour by making it her brand and self-publishing a book called Scammer.

Chapman isn’t the only creator who is experiencing malicious trolling on Reddit. On the platform, r/TikTokgossip has more than 231,000 members, r/blogsnark (a dedicated space for users to “snark on your favourite bloggers, influencers, and everything else on the internet”) has more than 190,000 members and r/LAinfluencersnark (for Los Angeles-based creators) has more than 92,000.

In the UK, the gossip site Tattle Life is a huge platform where people congregate to complain and pick apart creators. These snark platforms offer people a sense of community, to unite against an influencer they find annoying or problematic, as well as an escape from their own reality and a way to make them feel better about their own lives and problems. Some of these members were once fans of a creator, but they now feel a lack of connection with them, leading to resentment and hatred.

Chapman’s redemption arc has added fuel to the fire, with more subreddits popping up to discuss the “snark saga”. Additionally, many of her followers said they didn’t know about the subreddits, while some users (including this writer) had never heard of Chapman until she launched her anti-cyberbullying campaign. However, Chapman has acknowledged that her series is alerting more people to these subreddits and said: “I’m not a bad enough person that they can use shame to try to force me into silence.”

There’s no way to silence the trolls – whatever a creator posts, it will be criticised and picked apart. Chapman is doing a good job at swaying public opinion in her favour, but the subreddits are carrying on – even angrier than before.

Influencers, like all public figures, should be held accountable for their actions when warranted, but not bullied or doxxed just because someone finds them annoying. Should creators be open to valid and constructive criticism? Yes. But should there be dedicated forums to gossiping about creators and plotting their demise? No. Think before posting – creators are real people, too.

By Caroline Edwards, CORQ news and features writer. Picture credit: Lily Chapman via Instagram