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Culture > News

Let’s Talk About the Gabbie Hanna Situation

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

If you have been on Twitter or TikTok in the past couple of weeks, you know that YouTuber Gabbie Hanna had a very public, as many including herself described, manic episode.

This episode consisted of her posting hundreds of videos on TikTok within minutes of each other speaking on random topics, some of which people took offense to.  Viewers saw Hanna blaring loud music throughout her home, dancing around, making bold statements – most of which were seen as by viewers to be allegedly transphobic and racist– claiming she died and came back as the second coming of Christ. It is so disturbing to see someone all by herself with seemingly no one around her to help, say and then post these videos.

But I think the scariest part was when a man entered her home under the pretense that he needed to use the restroom and then continued to film the inside of her house, all while Gabbie was not bothered by the situation, without realizing the potential danger she was in. It was later revealed that the man was aware of Hanna’s identity and the content she was posting but pretended to be an aloof neighbor looking to use the bathroom. It was later allegedly revealed to Hanna by her friends that the man was filming her entire house, resulting in her blowing up at him completely. 

As a spectator, I do not know if this man is a true stranger, but according to other TikTok viewers, he was a stranger to Hanna, which furthers my fears of this social media age and how easily private information such as home addresses can be accessed. A random man looked up Hanna’s address on the internet and continued to enter her home, all while she was experiencing mental distress. Coupled with the fact that TikTok users could see the events unfolding in real-time but could not do anything about it, shows how we, as viewers, are so involved in the lives of influencers. Still, we do not KNOW them, which is an important realization. 

Hanna later revealed that even though she was not in a sound mental state to make decisions, she did make sure to “size him up” in case she needed to retaliate against him; she also noted he was wearing tight clothing so she could see he did not have any weapons on him. But viewers watching somewhat live did not know that and genuinely thought she was in danger, some even contacting her sister, who is also on social media to check up on her. The situation with the man is still very undefined; Hanna does state that he is a stranger and is looking to file charges against him. Although, he did go on live and state that he was only looking out for her and took it upon himself to make sure she was taking care of herself; eating, drinking water, taking her medications, etc.

I think when a lot of us see people on social media platforms, it is easy to think that we know them or what is going on in their lives when the reality is we only know what they show us. I know when I was viewing this situation unfold, I felt helpless as I saw someone who I am familiar with going through something extremely scary and dangerous. Other than concern for her, there was not much I could, or should do.

Furthermore, I think many people did not take her seriously, as she is known to “cause drama” to promote her projects. She also did not help her case, because up until a few days ago she denied that she experienced this mental health crisis and made fun of people who genuinely cared for her.

I think this whole situation incited so much fear in people because they could view this familiar personality experiencing this very real mental distress in somewhat real-time but could not do anything to help. It furthers this concern for parasocial relationships created because of social media. Viewers’ relationship with influencers mimics friendship or real-life familiarity, which is false; and illustrated by the inability to provide actual assistance to her. To the viewers she is one person, but to Hanna we are essentially just numbers, not people with separate identities- making the relationship one-sided. 

Angel is a junior majoring in Political Science at Florida International University. After she graduates, she hopes to attend law school, later practicing criminal law. She enjoys politics, astrology, and the most random Netflix shows.