Pre-teen Fortnite YouTuber gets swatted after achieving a high profile

In one story here we have the best and worst of humanity on display. It all begins with 12-year-old YouTuber Peter Varady, who goes by Rolly Ranchers and has been doggedly making Fortnite videos to his small audience. This all changed recently when a much more popular YouTuber named Cizzorz paired up with the kid in a match and drove thousands of subscribers to Varady’s channel.

While overwhelmed with the generosity and support that came with the leap in popularity, Varady soon learned that a higher profile also meant a higher chance of griefing. Sure enough, some jerk swatted him by placing a 911 call that he and his mother were going to hang themselves. The police showed up, which frightened the family and led to an investigation of the report.

Cizzorz was incensed on Varady’s behalf, and while Varady said that he was scared from the experience, he doesn’t intend on quitting his hobby any time soon. “If somebody swats my house again, I don’t care,” he said. “I will keep going on with this channel.”

Feel like showing the kid some support? You could always check out and subscribe to his YouTube channel, which has risen from 87,000 subs at the time of the swatting to 124,000.

Source: Kotaku, ABC
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69 Comments on "Pre-teen Fortnite YouTuber gets swatted after achieving a high profile"

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k2apa
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k2apa

Youtube, LUL

This is why most streamers on Twitch have their set up in a room with no Windows, doesn’t give out any actual Personal Info and Blocks/Hide anything related to IRL.

I actually have no idea how the one that pulled the prank got the Youtuber’s phone number in the first place…

That said, Swatting is pretty bad and stupid.

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Terren Bruce

((deleted by user))

ernost
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ernost

On the bright side, at least a trigger-happy cop didn’t murder anyone this time.

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rafael12104

So… what can I said that hasn’t be said already? And yes, it should be a felony and treated as such with full blown investigations every time. And if deemed a possible swatting incident, bring the FBI right in. Why? It has implications across state and country lines.

Nothing like the Feds and Fed time to make things stick. No parole, no appeal, just hard time.

One more thought. I often wonder if the mainstream catches on way too late the implications of things such as this. It seems like our law enforcement professionals are always a step behind too. My bet is that most cops think youtube is just vid caps of them getting it wrong. Sadly, that is the only time they are engaged with youtube.

Trump’s answer? Everyone should be armed…

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Jack Pipsam

Hell yeah i’m going to subscribe to his channel, nobody should be forced too quit their love or hobby out of fear.

I hope he keeps on going for as long as he wishes.

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TotalCowage .

From the article linked;

Los Angeles police are investigating the incident and trying to track down the mystery caller, who has threatened to do it again.

And here is the saddest thing about this; the person doing it probably has gotten away with it previously, and many times too, because until the story escalates to capture the jaded media’s notice, the police generally don’t have the resources, or the interest in prosecuting crimes that have an internet component. The reason sociopaths like this are getting so cocky is because they’ve plenty of prior experience proving they don’t have to worry, until they go way too far and suddenly they’re not so anonymous.

It was the same with the SWAT shooting in Wichita, the caller was known to the police and had prior convictions for the same crime, but he kept on until someone died. It was the same with the recent school shooter, the FBI just didn’t take it seriously, despite having the name and advanced warning, because the threats were being made online and so they weren’t quite as real somehow…

And I know because I’ve been trying to prosecute someone over more than a year of harassment now, including multiple hints about SWATing, one a few days before the fatal shooting in Wichita. I know how to identify the person doing it (it’s a lunatic on the Shroud of the Avatar forums; he’s openly said my family will be raped and killed for criticising that game) but at every stage I’ve had to fight the authorities to do more than just make records of the threats, sometimes because they didn’t understand the internet, or referred me to the wrong department; sometimes because the law didn’t allow them to act until it raised to the level of an Extraditable offence, sometimes it did but they couldn’t ask to confirm who was doing it because the crime technically wasn’t committed “here” and nor was the evidence of who it was held “here”…

That is what makes such harassment so especially toxic; even if you are not at risk of the Police directly harming you, the ability to fight against the constant threats is virtually nil, even if you have the strength, time and ability to fight like I have. The young boy in this story is fortunate in that the press have picked up on it, and now he has an outpouring of sympathy. But when the public attention wanes, he’ll be alone with the harassment again. And will he be able to cope with it after weeks, months, years of abuse?

And if he doesn’t, then people will turn on him for actually being a victim; if he gets angry, or upset, people will blame him for his reactions and not think about what pressure he is under. As the subject of the story reported here, of the Shroud subreddit potentially being shut down as it had become dedicated to harassing me, I’ve had the joy of the new moderator falling for the PMs from sockpuppets of the sociopath, and blaming me for being “angry”, and then promoting to moderator status someone who joined in with the comments about SWATing previously, just to annoy me; whilst on the Shroud forums themselves, someone I have proof is a real life scammer encourages the forums to question my mental health, whilst Starr Long himself (one of the Devs) runs around the internet posting spam claiming I’m part of a conspiracy to harm the game… even though he knows I’ve got as far as retaining a Lawyer in their own city to try and get it to stop.

And, until I can legally force the truth out into the open, that kind of sneering poisonous suspicion is what most people will think the truth is. And always will be unless I’m equally the kind of hard assed bastard that can get through it all and hang on til the bitter end. Asking a 12 year old to be that much of a hard ass, let alone his wider family who might not have any idea what the internet works like, is the real power of this kind of harassment.

And sometimes, people get killed because of it too.

Veldan
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Veldan

How is this person harassing you, is it just forums / reddit or does he have your info beyond that?

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TotalCowage .

This is just the basics, and also because I’m in the process of legal action, I need to be careful how much I give away… but…

* Hacked into my email address in Dec 2016.
* Used the discovered personal details to try and get back in,
* Quoted said emails when being abusive, but usually in a way I’d have to reveal someone else’s private matters to challenge.
* Forges further attacks with Proxies in places I mention online to look like he’s
stalking me in real life, continues to do so until today.
* Used the email address he knows to shut down any associated account with deliberately incorrect passwords; EA et all confirmed it was malicious, fixed that by using a secondary email
* Creates an endless wave of sock puppets to manipulate moderation, or attempt to directly gaslight me; he’s gone as far as pretending to be a girl, trying to seduce me, got banned because he forgot to change IP address when posting, then PMd me on yet another account and claim “you drove away a beautiful German girl!” but forgot to say how this other account, which had ALSO abused me in the past, knew she was beautiful?
Another time he sent me the supposed log in details to an account “to prove I’m legit” and asked me to read a message on a webpage, thus allowing him to get my current IP address and forge me hacking you, yes? And when THAT didn’t work, he started sending weird 8-bit videos about how he controlled me…
* Openly asked people to join his AltArmy and help try to damage my pyschological health, whilst declaring my accounts wouldn’t be secure until I stopped criticising Shroud
* Declares he’s fighting a “Total War” and publicly stating I’m about to get a “Romper Stomper” style beating.
* Slowly devolved into writing insane screeds to himself on Imgur where he dreams about the “traps” he’s setting, and then PMing anyone who knows me telling them to make sure I see it…

And this is the part that leads up to the brief coverage MassivelyOP has

* When all of the above fails, towards the end of 2017 he went batshit insane. He stopped even trying to make his sockpuppets look convincing, and just took over the /r/shroudoftheavatar Sub Reddit
* He posted 2-3 threads a day, all dedicated to obsessing over and threatening me, even on Christmas Day;
* One thread was stating he had “Unfinished Business” in the UK, and he was looking for weapons. Someone asked if he was making a threat and he openly stated he’d considered SWATing.
* Another was stating my family would be raped and killed if I kept criticising the game.
* Another was an insane, rambling description of how he’d abused moderation, but replacing my name with his in every statement…

At that point, Reddit stepped in and told the old Mod to either clean up the Sub, or they’d take action as he was allowing clear criminal threats on his sub.

Which drove my insane stalker BONKERS. When the new Mod came in, he used all the more subtle alts he has (it’s amazing how few people can keep track of who is honest and who isn’t) to bombard the new Mod with claims of “Don’t let that guy (me) back in, he’s craaaaazy”. This is the background of the Poll MassivelyOP reported on; the new Mod wondered if the sub could even BE saved when there was such an obviously toxic community.

And of course, my insane stalker then manipulated the Reddit poll just as he did the MassivelyOP years end polls for Shroud. Except he publicly tried to blame breaking the Reddit poll on me too…

* When that failed too, he started writing comics about myself, claiming I’d somehow hypnotised everyone around me (how else would I remain unbanned, and be able to claim the Police were involved?! Magic swirley eyes, that’s how!), and once more posting them to anyone I knew… Imgur would ban one account and he’d just make more…

So anyway… The problem is not that he’s not broken the law. I have multiple crime reports in the UK and US active because of what he’s done. The issue is getting the Police to act when it’s “only” this serious. So far, he’s “only” made threats, and committed a crime that, because it’s so hard to prove, isn’t really a crime at all…

If he ever acts out on the threat, or actually steals from my bank say, oh yes THEN they can act. Right now? Not quite yet. That’s what I mean about the real crime being that it isn’t taken seriously. Sociopaths like this know just how close to the line they can get, whereby they can wiggle around the rules, or rely upon Police laziness or lack of funding, or just the fact that the internet is just anonymous enough, and maybe they’re behind national borders to get away with it all the same.

Remember, in Wichita and this story, the people involved openly brag they’ve already SWATed people before. The real threat then is that you won’t be able to stop them before they do it to you.

I don’t live in fear of my sociopath. But I do have to act to shut him down before he does. Asking a 12 year old, or even his mother to try and make that kind of call however, is the REAL evil in this story…

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Armsbend

That post was honestly mind boggling. Please get out of that shit you are in.

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Melissa McDonald

I’m for making this a felony.

Veldan
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Veldan

Is it me, or is swatting, just like school shootings, a US thing?

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Jack Pipsam

The United States is still figuring out if shooting kids at school is alright or not i’m afraid.

After Sandy Hook, I partly gave up hope for the nation in the gun regard, it’s doomed to repeat itself over and over, until something (or someone) truly radical is brave enough to change it.

All the rest of us can do is watch on, sad and confused.

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Alex Hyer

The absurdity of the human race isn’t bound by any nation’s borders.

Veldan
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Veldan

No doubt, but though I’m Dutch, every article of swatting that I’ve seen on a Dutch website was about a US case.

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Melissa McDonald

i suppose other countries have the equivalent but SWAT is a US police thing.

Veldan
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Veldan

Is it done in other countries though? Calling the police on streamers?

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Toy Clown

People are more respectful toward each other in most other 1st world nations and haven’t reached the levels of harm that US citizens tend to do to one another. It goes hand in hand with Capitalism, which also rewards extroversion and Might equals Right. Our judicial system has turned into a rich man’s arena where people who are guilty as sin and everyone knows it, are let off as innocent because lawyers know how to manipulate information bound by laws of what enters the courtroom for the jury to hear. I’ve seen several cases where jurors are horrified they let someone walk after they come out of seclusion and find out they were dead set guilty, but unable to see the harder evidence. I could go on…

But yeah, couple that with a multitude of ways for people to remain anonymous and having internet-savvy the authorities don’t have, coupled with the fact they haven’t emotionally matured and learned to live in the world yet (aka still living at home, not working, etc) and we get the society we’re living in now.

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Armsbend

What other country would that be a thing besides the US? I guess throwing acid in people’s faces like London might be a comparable.

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TotalCowage .

Our police don’t regularly carry acid though, so the chances of you being scarred by it after them being sent to your address is zero.

However if the Armed Response officers came around, thinking it was Terrorism, there is a non-zero, but still lower than the US chance of being shot dead. Why? Because not only are our forces trained in de-escalation techniques whilst the US trains it’s forces in maximal response, but the chances of someone carrying a gun are vastly lower so they don’t feel quite as afraid here and so less prone to shooting first.

And as a result, our criminals don’t often carry guns either. Because they can commit crimes without one, and don’t have to worry they’re making themselves more likely to die when trying to outgun the official forces of the State.

Which is why you’ll often see even people wearing fake explosives vests taken alive and into custody. That wasn’t even the story I was thinking of when I went to look for a link, but it’s only 4 days ago. This is the expected outcome here.

But as I say above, the real toxic result of the atmosphere of online intimidation is that it’s not seen as a real crime… right until it becomes one that can’t be ignored. And yes, I’ve hard from various officers here “Oh that guy sounds like he’s genuinely mentally ill; have you considered deleting your online presence, at least until he focuses on someone else, because he clearly is too ill to stop.”

And what kind of world do we have where “Give in, or let someone else suffer” is the main response? It’s the normalisation of that which is the most horrifying.

Veldan
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Veldan

Wow that’s crazy… I wasn’t aware, but just did some googling, and appearently acid attacks are a big thing in the UK. People are horrible :(

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TotalCowage .

Not that big; horrendous results for the poor sods attacked, but still vastly lower incidence rates than almost every other form of crime, even violent ones.

Even Sky News only gives figures of 800 acid attacks a year… compared to 32,000 knife attacks.

It’s largely media sensationalism. And a bit of racism too in reporting too. South Asian means Indian / Pakistani here, just to clarify. There’s the assumption acid attacks are “Honour” related, which gives it added media push.

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Armsbend

800 acid attacks in a year is so much more than I thought it would be. That deserves every bit of sensationalism it gets. because it is absolutely insane.

Knife attacks can mean many things. Bar fight. Robbery. Domestic violence.

An acid attack? That has no point or saneness in any context ever. Like our school shootings.

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Armsbend

The absolute worst.

solardragon4114
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solardragon4114

I guess it will get to the point of no one wanting to make any content for youtube. Or at the very least sticking to a small amount of subs so the popularity remains low. Plus, this could affect people playing the game. Why bother playing a game when you know that others could decide at any moment to swat you. A good reason to aviod this game. Now if the issue of swating in this game along with others like this one is taken care of by the people in power (Congress or States) making new laws that would make such actions not only illegal but also have some real teeth that would make people think twice before swatting someone.

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Sally Bowls

I also share the sympathy, anger, disgust, and sadness over this.

Less frequently voiced issues are:

he doesn’t intend on quitting his hobby any time soon. “If somebody swats my house again, I don’t care,” he said. “I will keep going on with this channel.”

So his mother lets a preteen broadcast with facecam over the internet, then she and he get swatted, and she is still letting him continue??? IMO, a lot of times “Don’t let the bad guys win” sounds better than it works out in reality, especially for pre-teens.

I will probably subscribe to his Youtube channel. But that is probably bad public policy. The moral hazard is the next boundaryless preteen who has a channel can think that they don’t want to be swatted but if I do I could get X new subscribers. I can see the argument is that the better action for people to make is to send the unfortunate victim your sympathy along with a prayer/good thought, perhaps a small donation to his college fund and then unsubscribe.

Again, I also share the sympathy, anger, disgust, and sadness over this. And, of course, the penalties for the criminals who did this should be severe.

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Jack Pipsam

I suppose if he did just cut-off and end his hobby, then the bad guy did win. If he shows strength and keeps on going, that is an F-U to whoever did it.

He shouldn’t be victim blamed for just doing what thousands upon thousands of others do.

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Armsbend

Until the bad guy steps up his game or the next police swatting ends up as a bullet to his mom’s chest when she answers the door.

Let the fuckhead win or die? It’s easy to say dont let the bad guy win…until you look at the bad guys around now. They are very literally crazy and armed to the teeth unlike your country.

It is a choice with no clear answer.

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Jack Pipsam

Perhaps, but I think it everyone who was a victim of Swatting (and survived) did suddenly stop and end their online lives there, that would only promote it more.
Feed the trolls if you will, but if all who survive keep on going, it makes the overall stunt less effective and less appealing too those who want too grief.

Instead of victim blaming, perhaps more focus should be placed on questions like, how come the police force is pretty much trained to kill? Or more focus on changing the very culture of the nation, like those brave teenagers are doing right now after the shooting.

They aren’t sitting down, they’re standing up.

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Armsbend

There is a growing fear in my country of letting our children exist in this garbage “free” society the baby boomers have ruined for them. I can tell you that as an absolute fact.

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Armsbend

Until he gets the cop who might be suffering from PTSD after the war, lost his wife last year who ran off with his neighbor and got passed on the raise last week.

Hopefully whoever answers the door won’t get one center left of his chestplate this time right? Seems like a calculated risk.

Then again, let the asshole win? It is a hard choice for either parent or child.