A new low for the human race.

Honestly, I should just make an series on this blog to showcase all of the reasons why Influencers are idiots. Because there are a lot of them. There are stories which anger me, there are stories that annoy me and then there are stories that make me wonder how I am the same species as some people.

An ‘Influencer’ (we all know I use that term lightly) and aspiring rapper from Ontario was recently detained at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport due to a stunt he pulled on a plane headed for Jamaica that he hoped would make him go viral.

Approximately 30 minutes from landing in Montego Bay, Jamaica, WestJet Flight 2702 (Toronto to Montego Bay) was rerouted back to Toronto.

Why?

James Potok stood up in the back of the plane to exclaim that he had just gotten back from China and was not feeling well, and that he thought he might have Corona Virus.

Potok’s buddy actually filmed the stunt because they had hopes of releasing the video of his ‘prank’ to his YouTube channel and it would make him an internet sensation.

Being the idiot that he is, Potok thought everyone would laugh it off, he’d sit back down and land in Jamaica for a nice holiday, which he exclaimed was to ‘film his new music video’.

Oh no, no, no.

Infectious disease protocols require that any plane must return to it’s originating city unless there is imminent risk of death to one or more passengers on board. Furthermore, the infected passenger must be quarantined and ALL passengers are subject to medical evaluation upon landing.

Jamaica, an Island Nation, certainly isn’t going to let someone land in their country with an infectious disease that could spread throughout the rest of the tiny country. So, the plane turned around and returned to Toronto. More than 200 people had their holidays delayed, put on hold or cancelled and Potok’s response was ‘I’m an artists… any publicity is good publicity’.

There are three important notes to point out here:

  1. More than 200 people were forced to sit on a plane for several hours (as it returned home to Toronto) with someone who’d claimed that he had an infectious disease, a disease that they could very well have caught by just being in proximity to him.
  2. Those people were then subject to medical evaluations, as precautionary measure, after it was learned this was all a hoax, thus delaying their abilities to get on new flights, or rearrange their travel plans. Many people didn’t just miss a day or two of their holiday but there were at least a dozen people on that flight who were headed to Jamaica for a wedding and were not able to get to the wedding because of this.
  3. More than 200 people were stranded in Jamaica, unable to return home to go back to work on time, or back to their lives because the plane that was supposed to drop people off in Jamaica and pick up passengers to fly back to Toronto never got there. Work was missed, and people were in panic mode trying to secure childcare because they thought they were going to be home several days before they were actually all able to get home. They had to spend extra money to stay extra nights in Jamaica because of this, and it could take up to a year for the airline to reimburse them for this, if they get reimbursed at all.

As you can tell from the #VirusBoy and #WuhanClan that are new additions to his Instagram Bio, James Potok clearly shows a great deal of remorse for what he did.

Here’s what he had to say in the airport after returning home, getting medical clearance that he did not, in fact have corona virus, and being detained by Canadian authorities:

Look at the smug written all over his face…

It’s worth noting that Potok is being charged with mischief and breach of recognizance and is due in Ontario Provincial Court on March 9th for the stunt he pulled. But, I really don’t think that he cares.

To take his manipulation even a step further into the territory of shiteous human being, and, in his words ‘to say sorry for all of the hassle [he’s] caused’, he’s now claiming to be giving away $5,000 on his Instagram page. All you have to do is like and follow his account, his friend’s account who was on the flight to shoot the video they hoped would go viral, and to like his post, tag three friends and share the post to your own Instagram.

God, if I were a lawyer right now, that would be cataloged as Exhibits A through Z of why he’s not sorry for what he’s done, shows no remorse and is currently trying to capitalize on the attention he’s received for his careless, dangerous stunt.

I mean, how am I the same species as this person?

Could you imagine believing you were trapped on a plane (a tiny sky tin with recirculating air) with someone who potentially had an infectious disease? As someone who suffers from anxiety, those several hours flying back to Toronto would have been the worst hours of my life. Imagine the people on board with babies, or the elderly people on board who’s immune system’s are, at times, weaker than the rest of us. Imagine the torture of having to fly back to Toronto wondering the whole time, worrying the whole time.

And to the 179 people who commented on his ‘Instagram Giveaway’ tagging their friends, you also need a lesson in basic human decency.

As far as I’m concerned, this smug idiot should have his social media accounts shut down. I’d love it if Instagram just outright deleted his account and if YouTube just deleted his channel. People like this deserve to fade into obscurity somewhere.

Point of Note – When asked if he felt sorry for what happened, Potok proclaimed that his joke was taken out of context and that he was talking about a Chinese Food restaurant and that he had food poisoning. Though it’s on video him saying ‘I think I have Corona Virus’, he’s currently trying to tell the news outlets, and the world through his online platforms, that he never said anything about corona virus.

Given this is basically all online at this point, I can’t wait to, in a month’s time, hear that a judge used his Instagram and YouTube messages against him and that he’s being charged criminally.

And honestly, if I were WestJet, he’d be on a no-fly list for life and I’d go after him to seek damages for all of the reimbursements to other travellers they had to make and are going to have to make, because of his stunt.

This disease has killed more than 500 people worldwide. And all that is to him is a means to get more Instagram followers…

*Additional Note: To the people tired of me ragging Influencers, I’d be happy to share some good stories about Influencers, I just don’t know any. I wholeheartedly believe that people who use their influence for good don’t seek credit/internet fame for what they do. But, if you have a lovely story of an Influencer using their influence for good, please share. I’d love to shine a light on it.

89 thoughts on “A new low for the human race.

    1. Ahuh…last year I had a mental health crisis, when it hit me that my brother was more worried about updating his facebook profile photo to show how good his life was, than worrying about me who was living in my car and suicidal at the time.

      Even after that, I’ve still managed to become addicted to posting on wordpress in the last month, despite my hesitation about it because of all these stupid achievements that are designed to keep you addicted. But i’m taking steps to correct that now.

      Like

      1. In fact I just reminded myself that I was going to disable the like and follow notifications.

        Like

      2. Thanks for your comment, that makes sense :). Yeah, I started out anonymous and it was great feeling free to write anything. Now I feel less free because they are reading it.

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    2. Social media has given people the green light to say and espouse things people would have never done 10 years ago, and society as a whole is much the worse for it. I spent about 25 minutes over five sessions on Facebook in 2018 and havenโ€™t logged on since. Iโ€™m much better off. I look at few accounts on Instagram, mostly some very close friends and sports and music stuff. Itโ€™s just too depressing otherwise.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. LMAOโ€” at the incredible stupidity of it.

    That story made me rightly mad as I read itโ€”but ended on such a fucking light and optimistic note xD. The idea of him being charged criminally with his shit videos and posts being used against as evidence him…or his accounts just being deleted outright, with no argument, would just be so fucking funny ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I hope the DA in Ontario knows enough to go online and take screenshots and download the videos for evidence. His YouTube channel and Instagram pages would be very incriminating in court.. and I think his smug butt just doesn’t care.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m sure they will! ๐Ÿ˜€.

        To be honest he seems to go beyond smugness, right into the realm of uncanny valley. Like he’s a badly-programmed humanoid robot.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. To be honest, though, trying to argue with his thought process IS like trying to argue with somebody whose brain is so different, it just makes no sense to even try. Because what he’s saying IS mostly logicalโ€” it would generate him more publicity etcโ€” but argued from a point of view that is so selfish, that it’s coming from a clinically empathy-devoid brain. Like trying to argue with Trump. Except he’s pushed his logic too far so that this time it probably has backfired on him overall, thankfully!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Don’t let this kind of stuff get too under your skin. The world has far more decent people than people like this and odds are, his incident will actually cause a lot of these YouTube folks to think twice before pulling this kind of stupid shit. But just don’t let it get to you. Get upset that half of the Americans think Donald Trump is a good President. Get upset that the Catholic Church is the richest organization in the world, but largely sits on that money barely doing anything to help cure physical or mental conditions. Get upset genital mutilation is still happening or mandatory vaccinations aren’t a thing in this world. Get upset 1/3rd of the koalas alive a year ago aren’t or that polar bears won’t be around for your grandchildren to see. Hopefully the Canadian courts take doing this kind of stuff on planes as serious as the US does. This seems like the kind of guy who needs to do at least 6 months to get the message.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. These are things that cross my mind and bother me as well.

      I’m just not one of those people that gives validity to the notion ‘well there’s bigger problems so let it go’. When we let it go, that’s when bad shit goes unaccounted for in whispered tones or as dark secrets for years on end. Yeah, I know what the Catholic Church is famous for, and it ain’t just their money.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know you’re going to say the molesting stuff and that’s horrible, but fairly isolated. On a larger scale is the whole set-up that, as one lecturer put it, “the belief that some cosmic Jewish zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.”

        Liked by 3 people

      2. LMAO! That lecturer had been watching too many Richard Dawkins videos ๐Ÿคฃ. That’s an awesome summary haha.

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      3. I was taken aback for some reason. I knew we saw things differently, but I wouldnโ€™t have thought I seemed a fool. Maybe I misunderstood.

        I think itโ€™s wise to be skeptical and consider things carefully.

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      4. “Iโ€™m just not one of those people that gives validity to the notion โ€˜well thereโ€™s bigger problems so let it goโ€™”

        I strongly agree with thisโ€” it basically states that nothing is a problemโ€” because where do you draw the line (subjective to each person)? Reductio ad absurdum ๐Ÿ˜‰.

        And whilst I cognitively try to tell myself not to worry about some things sometimes, they inevitably affect me emotionally.

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  4. I work for the airport, and the protocol for screening for the Corona virus is NO JOKE. It’s unbelieveable that that man had the audacity to make a joke out of it, let alone a stunt that affected hundreds of passengers onboard. Seriously, screw idiots like him.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. When I saw you post this on twitter I thought it was a joke at first – man claims he has coronavirus to go viral – but unfortunately it isnโ€™t. I hope he is charged and made to take down his YouTube channel. Recently in Ireland there have been two incidents – one where people filmed the results of a fatal car crash and put it on line, the other where the victim of a brutal murder was filmed and put on line. I think people who do such a thing should be criminally prosecuted and banned from the internet in some way. I think this guy should be too. And the whole idea of โ€˜influencersโ€™ makes my skin crawl.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. They should be banned. Unfortunately, I doubt any online platform work do anything about it. The only thing that is likely to possibly happen to him is hefty fines.

      If I were the airline, I’d come after him for damages.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. The internet is being shaped by by tech companies for their own benefit, which is harmful to many of us. I think, one thing that we can do is to try to use the internet for good โ€“ such as sharing information and strengthening communities.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True. This might not have been the most positive of posts, but I do think we can learn from subjects like this and help ensure the people we know don’t pull stupid stunts like this!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, and hopefully these kind of discussions can also expose the tech companies that are incentivising this kind of behaviour. Maybe, if we know what they’re doing, more people will boycott them and without an audience, they will be forced to change their model.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes banks is a good one to have on that list. Nothing good can ever happen from pulling a prank on a plane. And DEFINITELY nothing good can happy from pulling a prank in a bank. Maybe one day I’ll tell the story about the time I was outside the bank door when it was being robbed.

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  7. Why do you care so much about this topic? Why don’t I care about it? Do you think there will ever be a situation wherein every human being will post things on the internet of which you approve and are harmless? Does it not stand to reason that your definition of the ‘good’ necessitates a ‘bad’ by which it can be rendered meaningful? Would you accept that “any publicity is good publicity” is something which stokes the very thing to which you object? Therefore, in your publicly stated aversion to Influencers, you are actually feeding it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 1. Because it fascinates me that this entire industry was basically shaped around people realizing they could take advantage of brands, companies and businesses around the world for little to not return. (See “10 Times Influencers Got Caught Trying to Take Advantage of Businesses” on Youtube if you’d like to learn more stories that I haven’t shared)

      2. Because you have different interests than I do? Since I’m not in your head, I can’t speak for certain. But, judging from this comment, that would be my guess.

      3. I’m not looking for people to post things which I approve of or view as harmless. People post things all day every day which I don’t approve of and which I think are harmful to their audience. That’s their platform, they can post what they want. I saw a story on the news that I wanted to talk about it so I posted it to my blog. If you don’t want to read about it then don’t come to my blog.

      4. Sure, good necessitates a bad. But are we never allowed to talk about bad then because if we do some stranger comes to our blog to tell us that their views are clearly better than our own and thus our own don’t matter?

      5, I am not under the impression that I’m giving anyone more of a fanbase by shining a light on the negatives within an industry that people largely overlook. That being said, if you, or other people want to now be this aspiring rapper’s fan, please by all means go to his Youtube Channel, Instagram and more and be his fan. If informing people of a news story that I found angering causes that, then I guess that’s the cause…

      At the end of the day, it’s my blog and if i see something on the news I want to talk about, I can. If you don’t like that, no one is forcing you to come here.

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    2. I may be incorrect, but I think the main point was how his actions affected those around him. Iโ€™m quite certain you would care if you had been one of the passengers.
      Vee, and plenty others, care on their behalf as well.

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      1. I don’t care what anyone writes on the Internet. It’s just individual human expression, like dogs barking. If it’s peace you seek from the speech of others, don’t take it personally. Focus on what pleases you.

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  8. I’ve started admiring you quite a lot…not only are you a good writer but you also talk about morons like him (an a$$…who wants to earn greens on panic, mysery, fatal disease, lives n a lot more) and says “any publicity is a good publicity”. Such people should be banned from social media.
    I second this:
    “Iโ€™d love it if Instagram just outright deleted his account and if YouTube just deleted his channel. People like this deserve to fade into obscurity somewhere.”

    Social media MUST take a stance and do something about people like him. They MUST have some system, which is capable of scrutinizing such people and ban them forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, with Onision (I won’t speak to what he’s alleged to doing as it’s still alleged) still making hundreds of thousands of views per video and the revenue he’s probably banking off that, I really don’t think YouTube has any sort of a policy with respect to removing creators or suspending creators.

      Alex Jones claimed Sandy Hook was a hoax for YEARS. Years and years and years, all across his YouTube channels, which wasn’t the least of his claims and it took YouTube until 2018 to take action against him.

      Basically, there’s not really any accountability on these platforms for when people do shiteous things.

      Like

  9. When people like this refer to themselves as “artists,” it makes me scoff even whenever I hear a legitimate artist refer to themselves as such. Because all this guy does is say “artist” which translates to me to “pretentious douche.”

    Liked by 2 people

  10. As a Brit who regularly watches Scared Straight, I can’t help but wonder if he’s ever watched such a show? It might be American rather than Canadian, but jail is still jail, and the treatment won’t be that much different.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve heard of the show but I’ve never seen it on TV. I honestly wonder if something like this can even get jail time. I’m not sure. Something tells me he’s going to get off with a fine.

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      1. I’m pretty sketchy on air traffic control laws so you’ll have to forgive me, but I know in the UK certainly causing disruption is a criminal offence. Certainly it could have far reaching repercussions for his channel and a judge could lawfully rule that his channel be demonitised or deactivated, at least until all of the victims of his thoughtless stunt have been compensated. The unfortunate thing is jail time costs taxpayers money and prisons are usually overcrowded. For that reason, judges often look to other means.

        I do hope he doesn’t get let off. It’s only a matter of time before some prankster sets off a false bomb alert and gets themselves fatally shot by a trigger-happy member of airport security, if it hasn’t already happened. A joke is a joke, but there is a line and he hurdled right over it.

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  11. Yes yes yes yes!! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ I am ๐Ÿ’ฏ on board with every word in this post. I thought the exact same thing. What a complete idiot!! I thought only of those poor people so excited for their vacation to have this happen to them.

    Social media is insane these days. Itโ€™s not real life. And itโ€™s goes way too far in so many aspects.

    Great post!!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does go way too far. People seem to have lost a grasp of what it means to be a decent human being when they’re willing to do stuff like this to be famous on social media.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, though honestly at this point Iโ€™m not even surprised about the way some of these influencers behave. Though I will add that there are definitely decent people in the influencer circles itโ€™s just they happen to be over shadowed by people like our oh so wonderful entertainer.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It is just to call a spade a spade, and an African proverb says ‘that it takes a community to raise a child of good standing’, social media should show some desciplinery actions against such Staunt, as that will discourage things of such nature. The social media is a community that has come to stay and will continue to exist till this Earth packs up. People should take responsibility for their actions. The system of this terrestrial world is infested with darkness oriented ideas, let’s be on the watch and say no to misconducts.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I just took the minute or so it takes to report his YouTube account – and explained in the comment box that he fits the final paragraph of their reporting rules – “If a YouTube creator’s on- and/or off-platform behaviour harms our users, community, employees or ecosystem, we may respond based on a number of factors…” – I think his off-platform behaviour warrants a report ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 5 people

  15. Huh… I must be older than I thought I was ??… I would NOT call that person an influencer.. (thatโ€™s not a term I know very well though, so bare with me)

    To me I would call that person a Punk or trouble maker… if thatโ€™s what a influencer is … wow!!!! The world is in trouble – who raised these people???

    I just had a convo with someone today about this very subject kinda – we coddle the kids now … let them direct shit

    No!!! Kids need to be raised… and guided. Parented!!!

    They are exposed to way too much at way too young of an age… and have no idea how to cope or relate to the real world!!

    Sorry … but kinda true. How are these little pissants like this, gonna deal if they should ever hit hard times??

    And this person who is called and influencer … should now be listed on the do not fly list…

    Yeah like that… yeah I have a little harshness on a few subjects … if those are influencers we are in trouble!!

    I do believe in harsher punishments and all that… something like that – banned from flying for maybe 10 years – til he grows up? Then be on flying probation ๐Ÿ˜ 

    I am all for โ€œteaching momentsโ€… and not destroying someone for a mistake… however that would be a pretty massive and not funny mistake. If was me on that flight I would be scared then pissed!!!

    Vacations are also expensive!! He should then pay for lost vacation time

    So where exactly is the punishment ? What punishment or penalty did he get ?

    If this is what influences our kids then Oh my god! – god help us!

    Yeah I think I got old ๐Ÿ˜ฎ โœŒ๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Youยดre so right.

    How depressing to experience such a blatant idiot expressing himself. Just to create draw attention to himself in the vain hope to hit the jackpot.

    But he will only be remembered as someone who ought to be told straight out that such a behavior is not an example to follow.

    This kind of influence is especially bad, because there actually are like-minded idiots out there who will seek a cheap laugh in everything at hand.

    The Corona virus is something to take really serious. It is threatening our existence on this planet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully the courts tell him straight on March 9th. That’s what I’m really hoping. The corona virus is no joke. 3,600 people are quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan essentially waiting to get sick, thousands of people are being dragged out of their homes in China with no control, the world is going to be effected from it for years to come.

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  17. I heard about this story and felt horrible and sorry for the passengers but when I realized it was actually an INFLUENCER doing this to have more hits and likes? This is a new blow and one of the reasons I am actually getting TURNED OFF by influencers and You Tubers blah blah blah…This disgusts me and I just hope people realize that this is NOT FUNNY when you are impacting people in a negative way. I would have totally sued his ass. By the way, really liking your blogs ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 3 people

    1. He’s going to be in court in a few days in Ontario. Hopefully they ‘throw the book at him’ so to speak. At least as much as they can for what he did.

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  18. What a fucking idiot! Why is he giving away money to ‘his following’ when he could pay back all the money to the passengers that were on board the same flight. If he can give that amount of money away willy-nilly then I’m sure he can pay back it to its rightful owners.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He’s from a really wealthy area near Toronto so I reckon his family’s probably pretty loaded. It looks like his Youtube and Instagram pages haven’t really moved much as far as follower counts go since he was giving away cash, so that gives me a little hope for the human race.

      Like

    1. People will shill out their morals for a giant pay cheque it seems. And the prospect of being famous to get that giant pay cheque… I mean in a world full of Kardashians… I hate everyone. lol

      Like

    1. In his case, it doesn’t seem to have worked as his Instagram and Youtube accounts have barely moved a nail since… which means there’s hope for the human race left.

      Liked by 1 person

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