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EXCLUSIVE: Twitter pays thousands to account blasted for ‘mocking’ child’s suicide

Ads for LG Electronics, Nordace, Buzznet, and others are also appearing on the account.


Claire Goforth


X is monetizing an account that posted about the suicide of a 14-year-old transgender boy and suggested his mother was to blame for his death because she’s written about depression and struggling to pay bills. Many have accused the account of making fun of the boy’s death.

Ads for major brands are also appearing on the account’s feed and in its comment section.

The account, @ValidLs, frequently posts transphobic content. Its schtick essentially consists of posting screenshots of trans people’s posts, which prompts its audience to mock and degrade them. The account’s bio describes the content as, “Posting L’s from the ‘valid’ and ‘stunning & brave’ community, occasionally memes.”

On Sunday, ValidLs, which uses the screen name “‘Valid’ people taking L’s,” posted a screenshot of a mother writing about the death of her son.

In the post, the mother said that her 14-year-old trans son had taken his life despite having family support. “…[H]e was still targeted and suffered anti-trans hate online,” she wrote. “‘GC’ people, this is the result of your bigotry. I hope you are proud. #protecttranskids.” (“GC” stands for gender critical, a code phrase that transphobic people use to describe their beliefs.)

The mother included a photo of her son in happier times and one of her kissing his forehead in the hospital while he was on a ventilator before he passed away.

The parent’s X account is now protected. She did not respond to a direct message seeking comment. The Daily Dot is not identifying her or her son out of respect for the family’s privacy.

ValidLs’ followers reacted by also blaming the boy’s mother, misgendering him, and making other hateful and abusive comments. One wrote that the grieving mother “encouraged her [son] to join the death cult.”

Some expressed sympathy for the family. A few thought that ValidLs’ post crossed the line. “I’m all for going against this kinda stuff but making fun of a child’s suicide is kinda far,” wrote one user.

Also on Sunday, ValidLs reposted a meme glorifying the account for screenshotting suicide notes by transgender people.

In Body Image

Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at the Harvard University Cyberlaw Clinic, informed the Daily Dot of the post celebrating the boy’s death and noted that ValidLs is both monetized and has ads displayed on their X account.

“ValidLs account is now monetized. Ads are showing up right next to tweets mocking a 14 year old trans kid who died by suicide,” Caraballo posted on X.

On Monday, the Daily Dot found major brands’ ads on ValidLs’ account. The brands include LG Electronics, Nordace, Trulieve, Buzznet, Knightscope, and Online Shopping Tools, among others. None of the companies immediately responded to requests for comment on Monday. An inquiry sent to Online Shopping Tools via email bounced back as undeliverable.

ValidLs responded to Caraballo’s post with derision. “Here’s more to get mad about,” they wrote, along with a screenshot of their purported earnings showing that they’ve made $4,500 from X since February. They’ve earned nearly $3,000 of that income since the beginning of September according to the screenshot.

X did not respond to a request for comment about monetizing ValidLs’ account and displaying advertisements there. An email to the company’s press office prompted an auto-reply that claimed it was “busy now” and to “check back later.” Its previous auto-reply to press inquiries was simply a poop emoji.

X has been bleeding advertisers since Elon Musk bought the company and went on a spree of unsuspending accounts that were permanently suspended for hate speech and other violations. Earlier this year, the Daily Dot reported that it paid portions of ad revenue to far-right figures, including Andrew Tate, who is charged with rape and human trafficking in Romania.

In response to a direct message seeking comment, ValidLs wrote, “Daily dot” followed by three laughing emojis and a poop emoji.

On Monday, ValidLs suggested it wasn’t making fun of the boy. They reposted another account that also posted about his death and denied that they were mocking the child. The post went on to blame the mother for her son’s suicide.

Update 2:46pm CT Oct. 16: X briefly suspended ValidLs following publication. However, according to a post from the account, X unsuspended the account shortly after.

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The Daily Dot