The Chaotic Aftermath of Our Story About Lillee Jean, the Faux Influencer

Cartoon Primink in front of "Discord copyright infringment" message
Primink/YouTube @Primink/X

About a week and a half ago, Passionfruit published the largest story I’ve ever written about creator Lillee Jean and her mother Laura Trueman. For 4,000 words, we examined claims that the pair abused the copyright systems of multiple online platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit to try and silence any criticism of their online antics.

Multiple creators shared emails and messages they received from the pair — who, along with sending repeated copyright claims on fair use videos, baselessly accused the creators of being “anti-semites,” “terrorists,” and other pointed terms. 

I’ve covered many, many, many stories about controversial figures online, but none of them ever got this personal. Laura would email me and my bosses threats of “defamation” and “slander,” even going so far as to bring my deceased father in as some proof of a conspiracy theory.

Though I’m very proud of the work and the overwhelming response from the community, it still seems like many of the platforms Lillee and her mother used are still allowing them to use their vicious tactics.  

The Aftermath

The story resonated with readers and creators alike, who were flabbergasted at the claims, wild accusations, and threats sent by the mother-daughter duo. Creators like SomeOrdinaryGamers, Curtis Price, and Xylie posted videos on the article and others shared their thoughts on Reddit and social media.  

The story gave some creators the confidence to finally share their experiences covering Lillee. 600-subscriber YouTuber ButterHolt posted a video talking about how the pair have been sending their channel copyright claims since 2020. Tater Tatiana, who left YouTube after harassment from Lillee Jean and Laura, finally made a return to the platform to share their story.

Right after publication, “Lillee Jean Beauty Inc” filed a DMCA claim to Google about our site (which you can see on Lumen.) They claim that the “Photograph of Lillee Jean in a hoodie,” which is the only image of Lillee in the entire story, is enough for them to take our URL down.

But it turns out they didn’t claim the actual article, but rather the second page of articles on our homepage (which doesn’t index on Google search results anyway.).

What is YouTube Doing?

Throughout this whole process, I wondered about YouTube’s role in all this, and why Lillee Jean and Laura hadn’t been stopped. The platform never returned my request for comment, but now, it does seem that it is finally taking action to stop Lillee Jean’s spurious copyright threats. 

On June 10, Primink posted an update to X claiming that two weeks ago, he had gotten “into contact with YouTube” about Lillee Jean and that the platform has “spent this time reviewing every single claim that these two had made for signs of abuse.”

He shared that the “repercussions” YouTube may have given the pair weren’t shared with him, because they are a “legal issue.” He claimed YouTube “referenced” a 2019 lawsuit where a man tried to extort Minecraft creators using the copyright system.  

“I think they were trying to tell me they are taking legal action without actually telling me,” Primink told Passionfruit. 

Over Twitter DMs, Primink elaborated on the statement, which he said was intentionally vague because YouTube “refused to tell me about any of the repercussions taken” against Lillee Jean and Laura.

He claimed that YouTube also told him that “no doxxing occurred” against him, even though on Lillee’s YouTube channel, Primink’s private name, city, and state were shared in YouTube videos. 

“Apparently, if you are a public figure they don’t care about your information being posted,” Primink said.

We Still Have a Platform Problem

Primink also noted that it seems Lillee Jean and Laura have not stopped claiming content on other platforms. On June 6, Primink posted on Twitter that his video talking about his experiences with the pair was taken off of his own Discord server for “copyright infringement.”

This isn’t the first time Lillee Jean and Laura claimed content on Discord. After doing some digging, I found that YouTuber Calimara allegedly dealt with a wave of claims for reposts of Lillee’s “public art” made to her Discord server posted years before. I also found quite a few Reddit posts about Lillee that have been taken down by copyright claims. 

“I think the next step is to get other platforms to be aware of this,” Primink said.

As content creators, it can be difficult to get your voice heard and even when it is, large platforms are ultimately the ones with all the deciding power. I can spend weeks digging into some of the strongest claims against bad-faith actors and have some large creators discuss it. But ultimately, we are at the whims of the tech oligarchs who don’t seem to want to chat. 

YouTube, Discord, Lillee Jean, and Laura Trueman did not return our requests for comment.

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