Column: We messed up on James Charles

Javen Oswald, Opinions Editor

It seems like every day there is a new allegation going around the internet. Not all of them are true, but we don’t talk about just how harmful they are when they are false. Obviously, they cause damage to the accused, but they also may have unintentional outcomes. 

Now James Charles, a gay man, is under fire for pursuing a random straight man named David. 

According to @itstommygabriel Twitter thread, in which screenshots of their conversation are displayed, their messages began on TikTok, where Charles initially reached out to David, before they moved over to Instagram vanish mode. On Instagram vanish mode, chats, photos and videos automatically delete.

David alleges that his interactions with Charles made him uncomfortable.

The messages revealed in the Twitter thread mostly seem to be like two-person conversations in which both Charles and David were contributing. If David did feel uncomfortable, wouldn’t he just block Charles or stay distant in the conversation? By staying involved and replying back it seems as though he wanted a relationship with Charles, but by coming out with these leaks it can be determined that his intentions were disingenuous and he only was leading Charles on.

Even David’s sister came out on TikTok and said her brother “did it for views,” and “James Charles did nothing wrong.” She tried to get David to remove the TikToks, but he refused.

Any allegation on the internet is extremely dangerous. It is even more dangerous when they are made against someone who has had accusations that turned out to be true before, like Charles. In this situation, David created a falsehood that Charles was acting predatorily and made him feel uncomfortable, which the texts prove that did not happen. David was leading on the possibility of a relationship so he could come out on TikTok and act like this was a big scandal.

You might be thinking, what does it matter? James Charles is a bad person who has done awful things. Doesn’t he deserve this?

Well, yes and no. He does indeed deserve every bad thing because he is a terrible, scum of the earth human. But false accusations like this only hurt his reputation even more. 

Not everyone knew about the allegations of Charles being involved with minors in 2021. This means that they don’t know the full story, they don’t know about the evidence, and they are just taking everyone’s word for it. When someone comes out with a new accusation like this, it brings into the fold every other allegation against Charles despite some already being verified. People will see this new one and think, “Oh, since they lied about this one, the other allegations against him are probably false too.”

This situation faces different issues than one with two sexual assault allegations. The main difference between the two situations is that Charles has already been accepted back by the majority of the internet despite the nature of his previous allegations. When we see people with sexual assault accusations that are, true and they are falsely accused, people might become more willing to accept them back  into the public eye. This possible acceptance is very dangerous to  platform  these types of people.