Last night was quite a spectacle for those who frequent vapers.tv (VTV). Both shocking and eye-opening, things were said and done that have changed the course of vape entertainment moving forward... and only in a good way. But before we talk about that, let's go back in time so you have the whole story.
Recently, VTV viewers have had mixed reactions to a new channel that cropped up. Some were fans, many were baffled, and most were disgusted to find a girl who identifies herself as GG on screen, jiggling and falling out of her shirt, smoking cigarettes on camera, and often openly deriding vaping and vapers in some of the most rude terms. Worse, the host was soliciting donations during the broadcast... for advocacy you ask? For vapers in need? Not at all... it was brazenly admitted that the money was to line the personal pockets of the host. Against TOS? Not exactly. In grossly poor taste? Most definitely. Perhaps most disturbing was seeing one of VTVs owners, Mark, on screen with them, and staff members in the chat. Anyone who dared to question what was happening was met with strict warnings, verbal abuse, or worse. It became clear that a personal relationship exists between host and owners, and it seemed that if you're tight with the Vaughns, rules and common sense don't apply to you.
Moving forward, our own VaporJoe dropped into the channel one day, and in typical form made a snide comment directed at the host. He was instantly IP banned, which of course took me offline with VTV as well... same house, same network! I quickly tethered using a mobile phone to go politely inquire about the problem and seek a resolution. To be fair, Scruffy was very approachable and reasonable and had already lifted the ban by the time we spoke, but she was abundantly clear that no pokes or jabs would be tolerated from ANYONE if directed at GG and her crew. I was instructed to make that clear to Joe, and I politely agreed to deliver that message. During this time, comments were made in GG's channel that VaporJoe had sent his "girlfriend" to go clean up his mess for him. I chose to respectfully set the record straight.
Going into the channel with no malice whatsoever, I posted that I was not there to create or stir any trouble but wanted to clear up a couple of things.... that no one had sent me anywhere-- I went of my own volition-- and that I am VaporJoe's wife, not girlfriend. By the time I adjusted my sound settings to bring up the channel's audio feed, I was met with a verbal assault, that was comprised of vile and violent sexual threats, the likes of which would have a protective husband or boyfriend contemplating jail time to avenge. To say it was over the top is a gross understatement.... and all this with staff, including Scruffy, watching on in amusement. Not once did I fire back or say anything derogatory to anyone in the room, and after accepting that no amount of diplomacy would quell the onslaught or diminish tensions, I politely stated that I had meant no disrespect or harm, bid all in attendance a good night, and left the channel. I challenge anyone to ask for the chat log to prove my innocence. I very much doubt it will be made available however.
It was discussed behind the scenes before Mod Envy whether or not to discuss what happened during the show, and all hosts agreed to make no mention of the skirmish whatsoever. We took the high road and left it completely alone. After Mod Envy however, Joe and I chose to go live alone to make a very careful point. With a blackened backdrop reminiscent of the abusive channel, and only our faces in darkened rooms on screen, we proceeded to host a fun, highly personal, interactive show where we laughed with the viewers, and took some gentle tongue-in-cheek pokes at what had transpired earlier. We even solicited donations!-- Except we asked viewers to make their donation to the vaping advocacy organization of their choice. I'm happy to report money for advocacy was raised during that broadcast - thank you viewers! Yes, we alluded to what went on in the other channel, and laughed heartily, but we were extremely careful not to be abusive, or to name names. What happened next, was stunning to say the least.
Suddenly, Scruffy was in the room demanding we stop the broadcast. Having not broken any rules, nor even near that line, we were justifiably shocked, and declined to stop the cast. Next thing we know, the feed froze and we were unable to connect. We tethered to a mobile to re-kick the broadcast and got a few more minutes before we were threatened that VULive could be in danger next. Out of respect to our hosts, viewers and vaping friends, we disconnected. As of this moment, we are unable to connect to vapers.tv at all as our IP has been banned.
So to recap, if you say anything even slightly rude to someone who falls under Mark's very subjective protection, you are in danger of losing your privilege to connect to the domain at all. If you, however, are under Mark's protection and you say things that could be punishable in a court of law to a host Mark doesn't like, you will be championed and lauded. At the end of the day, VTV belongs to them and they can run it as they see fit..... straight into the ground.
In the aftermath, incensed viewers supported and stood up for us and were banned in droves. VIP members dropped their memberships out of sheer disgust. Many viewers swore never to visit VTV again. We later learned another entire network was banned that same night for daring to speak their minds. You can read their story here:
But the story isn't over..... this is where it gets good. We talked with VULive Council, hosts and viewers. Messages flew back and forth until well past dawn, and throughout this day. Tests were run, plans were formed, and decisions were made. We determined that we honestly didn't want to continue to be a part of anything that was so unfairly and poorly run... that we didn't need to be. We think we deserve better treatment than that, and YOU, our viewers, deserve better as well. VULive, Mod Envy and Tyger and Joe will continue to bring you the programs that you've come to love, we're just going to do it elsewhere. Stay tuned for announcements as to where-- you're all invited to come with us. Onward and upward!
Tonight Mod Envy will be live talking more about this.
9PM EST - Be there and check it out!