YouTuber Sssniperwolf Catches Stray Bullet From Allegedly Falsified Copyright Strike

Sssniperwolf next to youtube logos
sssniperwolf jakkapan/Adobe Stock roballo/Adobe Stock sssniperwolf/YouTube

Lia “Sssniperwolf” Shelesh is a controversial figure in the online reactor space. With 34.5 million subscribers on her main YouTube channel, her videos mainly involve her reacting to other people’s videos. Oftentimes without substantial commentary or any credit to the original creator.

There are dozens of commentary videos about Shelesh calling her out for this behavior, including from large creators like penguinz0 and JacksFilms. The latter’s videos evolved into a feud that ended with Shelesh visiting his home unannounced in 2023. 

Now, Shelesh is riling up the internet again, after a smaller creator alleged that he received a copyright strike on one of his videos about her. But she didn’t actually claim the video — showing a fault in YouTube’s copyright system. 

Back in November 2023, the one-million-subscriber YouTube channel One Giant Onion posted a video in reacting to Shelesh until he “laughed” — which resulted in him sitting motionless for three hours. (The joke is that he thinks she never says something funny.) 

But on June 28, One Giant Onion posted another video on his channel saying that Shelesh had claimed his reaction video “because I guess she was upset about it or something.”

Though he did not provide evidence that Shelesh submitted the copyright claim herself, he provided screenshots that show he now has a strike on his channel. Two more could lead to his channel getting deleted.

(Side note: It’s worth noting that One Giant Onion is pretty controversial himself, known for clickbait videos defending racism as long as it’s a “joke.”)

In case you’re unfamiliar, strikes can be pretty scary for YouTubers. YouTube’s copyright system shares a similarity with baseball and California state law — because if a channel receives three strikes, YouTube will terminate it.

So it makes sense that One Giant Onion’s story spread like wildfire in the YouTube community. Over the next few days after One Giant Onion posted his video, some of the largest creators in the commentary space covered the story.

Despite the lack of evidence that Shelesh was the one who submitted the claim, YouTuber Penguinz0 returned to the drama with a video criticizing Shelesh.

“She doesn’t own her own content, she steals it,” he said. “So she shouldn’t be able to strike One Giant Onion.” 

Since most of Shelesh’s content consists of her watching other videos without much of a reaction of her own, critics like Penguinz0 and Jackfilms posted that it’s a bit hypocritical for a smaller creator to be punished for doing the exact same thing to her content.

“Her house of cards — and many other reactors’ channels — can come tumbling down at any moment if creators file strikes against thieves,” JacksFilms tweeted. 

In response to the accusations, Shelesh took to X on July 7. She shared that she “did not strike anyone’s video” and that “someone else” might have done it. 

Penguinz0 responded quickly, tweeting that Shelesh should reach out to One Giant Onion “and get the info of the person who did strike it so you can take legal action against them.”

Shelesh responded by writing, “That channel made no attempt to contact me, and neither did you.” She then shared a screenshot to show she has “no pending takedown notices” on her YouTube dashboard. 

(One Giant Onion and Shelesh did not respond to a request for comment via email by publication time.)

But it turns out that Shelesh most likely wasn’t the striker. On July 8, Penguinz0 posted a follow-up video claiming that it wasn’t Shelesh. Instead, he claimed it was a random person using a personal gmail account pretending to be working for an agency that represented her. 

Penguinz0 reached out to Shelesh, who denied working with the agency. He apologized to her “for the headache this must have caused.” 

False copyright notices that use YouTube’s system to silence criticism are a serious problem. Many creators fear losing their channels over false strikes. And YouTube’s system allows anyone to file a copyright claim under anyone’s name — all you have to do is fill out a form on YouTube Studio.

YouTube says you have to be an “authorized representative” of a copyright holder to submit a claim on their behalf. Falsifying a claim is against the law, and you must log in to a YouTube account to submit a claim. But as this story shows, it is still feasible to trick the system. 

“There’s nothing to gain, they aren’t making money from it. The only thing they gain is making Sssniperwolf look evil,” Penguinz0 said. “This definitely seems like someone pretending to work for the agency then filing a strike.”

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