- The New York Police Department confirmed on Tuesday that YouTube star Desmond “Etika” Amofah was found dead. He was 29 years old.
- Amofah was reported missing last Wednesday. Prior to disappearing, he uploaded a YouTube video, since removed, stating suicidal intentions.
- Across the last year, Amofah demonstrated increasingly erratic behaviour. Much of that behaviour was on public display due to his work on YouTube.
- In the wake of his tragic death, fans and colleagues are sharing an outpouring of grief and caution.
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YouTube star Desmond “Etika” Amofah was found dead, the New York Police Department confirmed on Tuesday. He was 29 years old.
Amofah rose to prominence in the YouTube world through video games, and he counted prominent figures like Dominique “SonicFox” McLean among his colleagues.
In the wake of Amofah’s death, his fans and colleagues are mourning.
“Rest well Etika,” McLean said. “This is such a heartbreaking thing to see. People don’t understand how important mental health is, especially when you reach that level of popularity. It’s insanely hard to feel treated like a human being at that level, and I wish he had got the help he needed.”
Amofah was reported missing last Wednesday following the release of a video he made where he spoke about suicidal thoughts. The video has since been removed.
Across the past year, Amofah was involved in a handful of high-profile incidents: His YouTube channel was banned for streaming pornographic content, and he streamed himself being detained by the Brooklyn Police after threatening self-harm.
His death is sparking conversation about social media voyeurism when mental health issues are involved:
Also any of his "fans" who encouraged and enabled this behavior instead of pushing him to seek help should be ashamed. I saw way too much mixed messaging from people that egged him on. This isn't a meme, this is real life, this was somebody's son
— Max Ketchum ???????? (@MaxKetchum_) June 25, 2019
And meanwhile half the world was just posting ???? ???????????? on all of his stuff to troll him whenever he was posting content indicating a CLEARLY unstable behavior.
On his tweets, on his stream, on EVERYTHING.
Don’t you see what social media can do?
Was it worth the laughs now?
— hungrybox (@LiquidHbox) June 25, 2019
And it’s also calling into question the responsibility of the platform to its creators:
This Etika story made me reevaluate social media this week.
None of this story is pretty. We watched a young man thrust into the public eye several times, saw the toll it took on him, and continued enabling him.
He needed help and we ignored him.
— sharpie ???? #SupportFGC (@dapurplesharpie) June 25, 2019
awful news … and raises questions about youtube's accountability as a platform that essentially "employs" and hosts creators publicly suffering and in need of help … everyone deserves — requires — as much support as they can get where mental health is concerned. https://t.co/rnEczMCSrM
— tall allegra frank (@LegsFrank) June 25, 2019
But, most of all, there’s an outpouring of grief over the needless death of a young man:
I’m kinda fucked up over this. He lived two blocks from where I go to school. I saw him outside the Atlantic Ave Target taking pics with kids who were fans. I didn’t stop to say I appreciated what he did, and for making a living doing something so mentally and emotionally taxing. https://t.co/nNwkwsQROw
— chris kindred (infernal edition) (@itskindred) June 25, 2019
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