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Dark side of social media: How TikTok star Ava Majury was almost killed earning money online

Earning money online has become easy with the rise of social influencers. But TikTok star Ava Majury saw the dark side of social media when she was almost killed by a stalker

By: AKASH DUTTA
Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 10:08 IST
Becoming a social influencer and earning money online has become easy. But TikTok star Ava Majury witnessed the dark side of social media after crossing the path of a stalker (Ava Majury Instagram)

How to earn money online from social media is a common refrain from all those people looking to be influencers. However, for 15-year old TikTok star Ava Majury, the dark side of social media fame was revealed and she almost got killed by a stalker at her door after he bought her photos for $300 each. The incident took place in July 2021 in Naples, Florida, where the girl lives with her parents. Majury joined TikTok first during the lockdown of 2020, aged 13. She found success selling her own photos, videos and other things online. Just like many of her peers, she would post videos of her lip syncing to popular songs, dancing, playing pranks and funny moments with her family. Nothing different from what hundreds of thousands of teenagers across the world and in India do. Some of them are very ambitious and want to be social media influencers and this can lead to earning money online.

But just like Majury, no one would ever think that the social media entrepreneurship would end up in a near-death situation. While social media influencing is an extremely attractive work with wide-scale fame and sponsorship money, many of these social media celebrities are very young in age. And many lack the sensibility of drawing a line between their personal and professional life. This can not only lead to stress and depression due to online trolling and constant pressure of getting content viral but can sometimes lead to real-life violence. Majury is not the first to go through such an experience, and she won’t be the last. But her story is a rude awakening of the need to be more self conscious while using social media and never sharing any personal information online.

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TikTok star Ava Majury almost gets killed by a stalker

After joining the platform, Majury soon rose to fame. Between her three TikTok accounts, she had more than 1.2 million followers and reportedly attracted sponsorship deals worth $150,000. While her social media celebrity status gave her fame and riches, she probably did not anticipate that it would one day lead to her suffering a nightmarish fate at the hands of a stalker.

The assailant, Eric Rohan Justin, who went by the online username of EricJustin11, approached Majury in the early months of her TikTok fame and would try to gain her attention through comments on her videos. Soon, he started following her everywhere from her Instagram and Snapchat accounts to her Twitch video gaming sessions with her brothers. The stalker did not stop at that, but even contacted her school friends to extract personal information about Majury.

After receiving her phone number, Justin began calling and texting Majury and asked to send her selfies for which he was willing to pay. Majury’s parents were aware about the situation and they allowed her to send the pictures.

In an interview with The New York Times, Majury said, “I wasn’t sending anything of my body. it was just pictures of my face, which is what I assume that he was paying for. My whole thing is my pretty smile — that’s my content,”. Justin reportedly sent $300 to the TikTok star for the photos. But soon, he began asking for lewd pictures and that is when she blocked him from all social media platforms. Rob Majury, Ava’s father and an ex-policeman, told him that his daughter was a minor and that he should leave her alone.

But in a horrific turn of events, at 4.30am on July, 10, 2021, Justin arrived at the Majury residence with a shotgun, He blew open the front door and entered the home. Ava, her mother and two brothers rushed to safety while Rob picked up a gun to confront Justin. While Justin ran away, Rob stood at the door, guarding, while police showed up. But Justin returned back at the front door and Rob shot him dead.

The incident highlights how far some deranged people will go to hurt others. But it also highlights the need to safeguard yourself against such entities even as you try to earn money online. So, never share any personal information online with anyone. And always draw a line between online and offline to ensure that the screen on your smartphone does not cause chaos in your life outside of it.

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First Published Date: 20 Feb, 20:14 IST
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