Online creators steered the conversation on Amber Heard and Johnny Depp and grew their accounts in the process

Online creators steered the conversation on Amber Heard and Johnny Depp and grew their accounts in the process
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.Getty/Getty
  • Content creators are garnering millions of views posting Amber Heard and Johnny Depp trial content.
  • The content skews towards support for Johnny Depp.

Haider Ali, a 27-year old YouTuber who had never posted trial content prior to Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's trial, told Insider that at first, he had "zero interest" in the lawsuit.

After watching clips of the trial online, however, Ali found Depp's story to be "relatable." Now, after a month of commenting on aspects of the trial for his YouTube channel Haider Tonight, Ali went from 100 subscribers to 18,000 subscribers during the month of May. He now has 22 million views on his channel.

During the live-streamed trial between Heard and Depp, online creators like Ali are finding their own ways to take part in the conversation, and finding themselves with millions of views as a result. Business Insider reported that law channels on Youtube made tens of thousands of dollars by streaming the trial.

Ali, who posts pro-Depp content, said that he does not collect ad revenue from his videos. He said he was a victim of domestic abuse with a former partner, and contemplated taking his own life as a result. Ali said he and his viewers have connected to Depp.

"The response I got on my YouTube channel has been overwhelming because I never expected it to go anywhere," Ali said. "I thought it was going to be just a small community, people talking about their experiences, but the way the clips were received overall has been quite stunning."


Ali said that now that the trial is over, he plans to return to music, but will continue to post content about domestic abuse and mental health topics.

Content creators covering the Heard-Depp trial garnered views and followers on platforms like TikTok and YouTube, NBC reported. Most of the accounts are in support of Depp and use hashtags like #JusticeforJohnny. Content creators have also used the hashtags like #IStandwithAmberHeard to share pro-Heard messages on platforms like Twitter.

Ivana Escalera is one such social media personality who has used her platform to tweet in support of Heard. Escalera, a photographer based in London, said that she began following a similar libel suit between Depp and British newspaper The Sun two years earlier. Depp lost that case.

Escalera posted trial moments and tweets in support of Heard on her Twitter account during the Virginia trial.

"I saw not a single person supporting Amber, and after reading the court transcripts and the evidence everyday, I felt like I need to speak up for her and to get the truth out there," Escalera said.


Escalera said that during the Virginia trial, she amassed 7,000 new followers on her Twitter account. She said she has found a community of people who "silently" support Heard because of a fear of harassment by Depp fans. She also said that now that the trial is over, she will continue to tweet about "injustice in this world."

Recently, a TikTok trend has gone viral mocking Heard's testimony, Variety reported. Observers online have also said that some of the videos going viral contain misleading or fabricated thumbnails and video titles. A spokesperson for YouTube did not immediately answer questions Insider sent regarding these videos.

Vice News also reported that conservative outlet The Daily Wire spent at least $35,000 on social media ads promoting articles biased towards Depp and against Heard.

On June 1, a jury found both Heard and Depp liable for defamation against each other. Depp was awarded $15 million in damages, while Heard was awarded $2 million. Heard plans to appeal the verdict.

Depp sued Heard for $50 million over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed that he said damaged his career. Heard countersued for $100 million, claiming that Depp was controlling, sexually abusive, and violent during their rocky relationship between 2012 and 2016.


Representatives for YouTube and TikTok did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.