Online hatred of famed internet troll Trisha Paytas has become a meme over the years. Now her critics are blurring the line between teasing and insults.
Paytas, a YouTube star who has been a controversial vlogger for more than a decade, has been the target of a coordinated harassment campaign whose participants are organizing on Reddit, where thousands of people follow her every move. Members of a Reddit community dedicated to Paytas have posted about her doctors and shops she frequents, digging into the private lives of her family members and publishing posts devoted to the shame of every part of her body.
This situation has worsened in recent months, especially since Paytas got married and started a family. She’s pregnant, her due date is in September, and the extreme scrutiny from her Reddit community has alarmed other internet personalities, some of whom are seeing a movement that’s moved from typical celebrity gossip into hate territory that’s directed against many women online lately.
“It’s not snippy, it’s just stupid and mean,” said Molly McAleer, who hosts the internet podcast Trend Lightly and co-founded HelloGiggles, an entertainment and lifestyle website. “There’s nothing smart or interesting about the way they talk about her.”
Internet celebrity culture can be particularly fervent. The “Stan” culture includes fandoms willing to defend their favorite stars, while the hate groups now commonly known as “Snark” communities hate certain celebrities and can be just as aggressive.
And just like Stan communities, Snark communities can be broad and discuss entire genres of influencers, such as: But more specific or targeted snark communities, like the one centered around Paytas, can often become hateful.
On Reddit, 42,000 people have joined “Trishyland,” the Snark subreddit (a term for a community within Reddit) dedicated to Paytas. Paytas, 34, has almost 5 million subscribers on YouTube. Users often discuss Paytas, but also their own reasons for being part of the community.
“She is my guilty pleasure. Real life Truman show at this point. I want to see the aftermath, the divorce, the fall, etc,” said one commenter on a recent post.
However, this community has also published calls for people to take action in the real world.
An Instagram account that one member believed was linked to Paytas’ fertility clinic was posted on Trishyland with instructions to “introduce us to the staff.” It is not clear if anyone followed this suggestion.
When Paytas was honeymooning in Hawaii, one post urged subreddit members to tweet at her hotel and “advertise them to this PR nightmare.” Multiple posts have coordinated efforts to spam Paytas’ chats during her YouTube live streams with messages containing “all the hateful things she’s done.” It is unclear how many Trishyland members followed these instructions.
Members have indicated their intention to call Paytas’ child protection service once she has given birth. One member took Paytas and her husband through an online background check service and posted the results on the subreddit.
These posts appear to violate some of Reddit’s anti-bullying and harassment rules, where “Remember the Human” is Rule 1.
Reddit said it will “examine closely” the subreddit regarding its policies.
Paytas is one of YouTube’s longtime characters. She began her career as an aspiring actress in Hollywood but found her calling vlogging every aspect of her life, often stirring up controversy with insulting and outrageous remarks. YouTube videos like “Trisha Payta’s Saying The N Word And Being Racist For A Minute Straight” have millions of views.
Paige Christie, a YouTube video essayist who has spoken about Paytas in dozens of videos, described Paytas in a phone interview as a “huge troll” who “upset a lot of people.” A troll is someone who posts objectionable content online to get people to react, like the classic fairytale troll luring passers-by under their bridge.
Those efforts have proven lucrative for Paytas. Paytas told Insider in 2019 that her career has been fueled by a “constant need for attention.” She told BuzzfFeed News in 2021 that she makes $800,000 a month. One of her most lucrative ventures today is her OnlyFans account, which costs $20 a month and is one of the most popular on the platform. It is also called Trishyland.
Paytas did not respond to a request for comment.
And while Paytas has spent her career cashing in on negative attention, the online vitriol has shifted into more troubling territory since her falling out with another popular YouTuber.
The Trishyland subreddit was created less than a year ago, in October 2021, following Payta’s dramatic exit from the popular YouTube podcast “Frenemies,” which she co-hosted with Ethan Klein, who has more than 6 million subscribers on the platform. Since then, Trishyland has grown rapidly, more than doubling its membership since Paytas announced she’s pregnant.
“I’ve never seen anyone so committed to someone else’s misfortune,” said Christie, who was also attacked by members of the Trishyland subreddit. “They want to destroy every happy moment in their lives.”
McAleer said the Trishyland subreddit joins a growing list of snark subreddits dedicated to one person, usually a female TikToker or influencer — some with fewer than 100,000 followers. These newer snark communities are less about accountability and more about bullying, often over their target’s appearance, McAleer said.
“It’s just a nightmare,” she said. “These people have swarmed over certain people, ladies doing makeup in the middle of the country.”
The Trishyland community is showing no signs of slowing down for the birth of Paytas’ child. If anything, members have expressed enthusiasm for new material from Paytas’ journey into motherhood, much of which is sure to be chronicled online.
“As long as she’s creative, I’ll be around and hating,” said one commenter on a recent post.