real life

Fans thought Marina Joyce was begging for help on YouTube. Three years later, she vanished.

In 2016 a hashtag popped up on the internet and swiftly went viral: #SaveMarinaJoyce.

Fans of British vlogger Marina Joyce were left terrified for the then 19-year-old’s safety after watching a makeup tutorial uploaded to her YouTube account.

They were convinced the influencer had been kidnapped, was the victim of abuse, or was suffering from a drug addiction.

Here’s some of Marina’s explanation for the saga. post continues after video.

Video via YouTube

The video was watched 1.2 million times as fans debated in the comments section about her safety.

At one minute 45 seconds they were sure they saw a gun resting on her dresser. Throughout the video they were positive she looked stressed and was trying to send hints to them with her eyes.

Marina Joyce
Fans were convinced Marina was sending them hints with her eyes. Image: YouTube/Marina Joyce.

Twelve days later Joyce uploaded another video called "Date Outfit Ideas," and keen eyed fans once again raised suspicions.

They noticed a pointing hand on the left side of the screen and heard Joyce whisper the words "help me".

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Within days, that video had more than 4 million views.

Marina Joyce
Fans were quick to pick up on the pointing finger on the screen. Image: Marina Joyce.

And so the conspiracy theories were born and the fear spread, with the hashtag catapulting to the top trending term on Twitter worldwide.

The fear gathered momentum forcing the police to intervene.

On July 27, they tweeted out, "Officers have visited YouTube user Marina Joyce. She is safe and well."

Then Marina put the rumours to bed herself.

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But her devoted fan group weren't convinced, flooding Twitter with offers to help.

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A few days later, Joyce posted a long and confusing post on her Facebook page calling on her more than 938,000 fans (at that point) to start referring to her as “Marina, the Goddess of Love”, and help her build a temple in Peru.

“I found a couple secrets about the After Life and I know that I can still contact humans during the afterlife and I want to become this because I want to one day Create a Temple and a Shrine where I am known as God of the Shrine,” Joyce wrote.

As the story rolled on, the media attention followed Joyce until she eventually took some time out of the spotlight and off YouTube.

A year after the saga, Joyce returned to YouTube to explain what really happened. She told her two million followers she'd been struggling with depression at the time which was causing her strange behaviour.

"It came to the point where I could barely hold a conversation anymore. My mind had been so messed around with," she explained. "None of the conspiracy theories are true," she added.

"The reason why I didn't give you an answer before was because I wasn't in the right mindset, I needed to get better to be able to give you an answer."

Joyce explained that the hashtag was actually what prompted her to get better and reach out for help.

Marina Joyce
A year after sending the hashtag viral, Marina Joyce hopped on YouTube to explain. Image: Marina Joyce.
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But in the last few weeks the YouTuber is making headlines again.

On August 7, Marina Joyce was reported missing.

London’s Haringey Police took to Twitter (in a now deleted post) to ask for help, "Can you help to find Marina Joyce, 22, missing from #Haringey? Last seen on 31 July and reported missing to police on August 7."

"Marina we are here for you whenever you are ready; we can listen, talk you through what help you need, pass a message for you and help you to be safe," wrote UK charity Missing People online.

Once again, the young Brit was trending online with more than 350,000 tweets regarding her disappearance.

On the same day as the police tweeted their plea, Joyce's boyfriend Brandon Mehmed hopped on Twitter to debunk the claims.

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"Please don't worry about her as she is safe and well (you have my word for that). Also everyone who thinks I'm acting "suspicious" are only misinformed and don't know me at all," he wrote in a second Tweet.

The appeal has been officially closed, and Mehmed says his girlfriend will make a video soon explaining everything.

To be continued....

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