Black Twitter giveth power and takes it away. This large virtual community can enable us to build connections with people we haven't met in person -- including anonymous accounts such as the social media persona known as "emoblackthot."
The account which was allegedly owned by a bisexual Black woman named Nicole amassed a following of over 150,000 followers through tweets that included self-care advice and skincare tips. 'Nicole' also brought a spotlight to artists on the rise like Megan Thee Stallion, even warranting attention from the rapper, herself, as well as celebrities like Ariana Grande and Lil Nas X. But in a wild twist you'd expect on a Catfish episode, 23-year-old Isaiah Hickland revealed himself to be the creator of the account via a Paper magazine profile yesterday.
"I fucked up and I lied, and I'm extremely sorry for it, but I want to take accountability for it and, hopefully, people will forgive me for that," he tells the outlet. "But, if not, I get it. All the good, all the creatives I've helped, the GoFundMes I've boosted, to me, it means nothing [to me] because I lied. All that good is outweighed by the fact I'm hiding behind a facade."
Hickland goes on to remorsefully say that he could have handled the situation better. "But it's also my fault. I could've [handled this whole thing] better. I had good intentions, but I still hid behind an anonymous identity and hid who I was -- I feel like I fucked up majorly."
The profile includes a link to a YouTube video, titled "The Reveal / My Story," which was posted by Hickland himself. In the video, he explains how "emoblackthot" was created and confessed that he was face behind the mask.
In light of Hickland's confession, "emoblackthot" followers -- most of whom are a part of Black Twitter -- expressed feeling deceived and exploited. Hickland used his influence and deceit to connect with people in a way that allowed them to crowdfund under his identity of "Nicole." In the past, the account also tweeted about experiencing the pains of a menstrual cycle.
Some users have noted that they assumed Hickland was a man all along based on assumptions of his gender through his tweets. Yet others within the transgender and non-binary community say that this type of assumption can have a damaging effect on their community, as it can lead to transphobic tropes when assuming someone is a gender they state that they're not online (despite that being exactly what Hickland did).
Another harmful implication to Hickland cosplaying a Black woman is that it can play into ignorant assumptions that transgender women too are engaging in a form of trickery, which was expressed by a number of transphobic Twitter users.
"What's the difference between emoblackthot, EBT pretending to be a Woman and Trans Women pretending to be Women? They are all MALES slithering their way into feminist spaces. Stop letting Males into Feminists spaces. Let them build their own spaces...," a user by the name of @invisiblewomyn claims.
\u201cI worry about the transphobia that will result from this.\u201d
\u201c@emoblackthot Black women trusted you, confided in you & you took advantage of them, it\u2019s emotional abuse.\n\nYou complained about menstrual cycles, took their money & etc.\n\nThen you use @PaperMagazine on #ComingOutDay to reveal that you are a man & come out as bisexual? Trash! I\u2019m disgusted!\u201d
— Jerome Trammel, MBA (@Jerome Trammel, MBA)
\u201cI don\u2019t understand how someone creates an entire online persona, lies about it, says they lied, then gets a glowing profile story. We are in the end of times.\u201d
\u201cEmoblackthot/Isaiah defrauded people by crowdfunding claiming to be a Cis Queer Black Woman. \n\nNow that betrayal of trust is going to ruin how Queer people, specifically Black Queer & Trans people/ people of colour crowdfund for themselves.\n\nThey might have to risk their safety..\u201d
\u201cSo you telling me that people who aren't black women get to have a successful platform by pretending to be black women????\n\nBut black women don't get shit besides of being taken advantage of???\n\n K.\n#emoblackthot\u201d
— We Live In Hell (ArmyHottie) (@We Live In Hell (ArmyHottie))
\u201cSoooo a gay light skinned pretty privilege \u201cBlack okay?\u201d used National coming out day to debut emoblackthot was Black woman cosplay? \n\nsupport Black women in this betrayal of their trust. This is f***ery smh.\u201d
"I don't understand how someone creates an entire online persona, lies about it, says they lied, then gets a glowing profile story," activist DeRay Mckesson tweeted. "We are in the end of times."
Since Hickland's revelation, followers of "emoblackthot" have stated that they shared nudes with Hickland in a group chat in which they assumed Hickland was also a woman.
\u201cthis EBT nigga sent nudes and selfies of some random black woman (posing as her) in the fucking gc years ago... or was that the real EBT... or does the real EBT even exist? who did we share our nudes with????\u201d
\u201cSIS it was a gc for BW where we would talk about anything & everything related to being a black woman & this gc has been alive & well since like 2014 and EBT was added sometime between then & now. one day we all just shared nudes hyping each other up and HE (EBT) participated.\u201d
"Idk how I feel about [emoblackthot] being in a [group chat] with women who shared nudes. And getting nudes from women because women thought he was a black woman," one user says. "And To be in so many intimate spaces where black women shared? No".
\u201cRegarding #EmoBlackthot:\n\nToo many folks don\u2019t give a shit about protecting Black women but always want to emulate us, profit from us, bash us, and lie on us. \n\nBlack women were vulnerable and were transparent with this clout chaser and the end result ...just fucking trash man\u201d
\u201cSo NasMaraj (now known as Lil Nas X) and Emoblackthot were friends. NasMaraj let go of that account and became Lil Nas X. Emoblackthot obviously wanted to do the same, but forgot that the only reason he is famous is because we thought he was a black woman. Xoxo, Gossip Girl\u201d
Hickland responded to the backlash in a since deleted tweet.
"To black women: i want to sincerely apologize," he wrote."The intention of my actions doesn't matter, the impact & how they make you feel does. i take full accountability for my actions and i'm sorry."
Hickland says in the video that he is taking a social media break until Sunday and the emoblackthot Twitter account has since been deleted.