A YouTuber with 2 million subscribers was accused of messaging a fake 13-year-old in a vigilante sting operation
- A YouTuber was seemingly caught attempting to meet up with a young girl.
- He was set up by another YouTuber, Alex Rosen.
- The incident was a vigilante operation staged to expose the YouTuber.
Bryant Moreland, a YouTuber known as
EDP445 sent explicit messages to someone he believed was a minor, according to the videoOn Monday,
Rosen said he set up multiple fake Instagram profiles, including one of a 13-year-old girl, and messaged Moreland on his verified account.Alexandra, a friend of Rosen's who posed as decoys for other stings, read through the messages she said were shared between Moreland and the fake account. In the two-hour live stream, Alexandra also said Moreland sent explicit videos and photos that could not be shown because of YouTube policies against sexually explicit imagery.
The purported conversation started on Instagram in February, with Moreland giving the decoy his private number, according to screenshots shown in the video. Moreland sent several sexual messages, according to the video. The conversation ended with the pair agreeing to meet.The next day, on Tuesday, the Chet Goldstein channel posted an hour-long video confronting Moreland. Rosen and YouTuber CC Unit - who goes by Ghost and is known for conducting his own pedophile stings in California on YouTube - approached Moreland with pictures of the purported messages. "I've gotten messages from my supporters asking me to look into
In the video, Moreland said he fantasizes about women "under the age of 16" and in the past, he's talked to six other girls. He also said the screenshots were of his messages.
"Let it be known I'm not a pedophile," Moreland said, looking into the camera. "My mom did not raise a f---ing pedophile, I know what the screenshots say."The video ends with Moreland going to his car as Rosen says he's calling the Bakersfield Sheriff's Department. Rosen said that he "followed up a few days later and left a message for a detective."
The Kern County Sheriff's Office, which has jurisdiction in the incident, did not verify that the call was made, but a detective told Insider in a statement that "it is the practice of the Kern County Sheriff's Office to not provide confirmation of or comment on an investigation."
Law enforcement told a local ABC affiliate
Moreland has since deleted all of the videos on his main channelRosen's video has over 1.9 million views since it was posted, with popular content creators like penguinz0, PierceTheKid, and Scarce sharing their own videos about it.
Moreland was previously accused of talking to underage girls. YouTuber ColdRaven created a series of videos where he accused Moreland of messaging and following underage women on Instagram, posting what he said were screenshots of their interactions. ColdRaven also pretended to be an underage girl himself and claimed Moreland sent his decoy sexually explicit messages. ColdRaven did not return Insider's request seeking further comment.Moreland did not respond to Insider's request for comment.
'Predator hunting' is a controversial genre of media that's existed for years
"Predator hunting" is a fairly popular genre on YouTube, focusing on decoys pretending to be minors asking to meet adults before "catching" those that arrive.Creators like Mike Fox, POP Squad, and Anxiety War pull in hundreds of thousands of views with their stings, following in the footsteps of Chris Hansen's "To Catch A Predator." Like Hansen's show, these channels have resulted in real arrests - CC Unit stings have led to the court-martial of a Marine in his 30s and the arrest of a teacher in Los Angeles. "We catch online predators, who go after minors and kids and expose them online. Sometimes it leads to arrests, they get fired from their job," Ghost told Insider. "Our goal is to change laws and give harsher punishments to these people."
The genre isn't universally praised, however. Prosecutors and police have previously warned that stings being conducted by civilians could fail to produce evidence that would stand up in court. Such stings can also go awry. Chris Hansen's show faced criticism after a man shot himself when confronted by police and a camera crew as part of a sting, according to the New York Times.
YouTube's Community Guideline policies do not explicitly ban these channels, though suspensions or bans can be given for "harmful or dangerous acts involving minors" and "Content that threatens individuals."