Why I'm Quitting "Live News"
I QUIT, and it is one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. In August 2020 I began “live streaming” the civil unrest in Kenosha Wisconsin after the shooting incident of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police Officer. Every day, I would go out to film protests, riots, rally’s, prayer services, food drives and more. I found it to be insane the amount of misinformation that has ran rampant throughout the country of the actual events that have gone on even with hours’ worth of live streams that are publicly available. I guess I still find it insane which is probably why I have continued to “live stream” demonstrations and other events for months after the unrest in Kenosha.
Early on “live streaming” I learned that law enforcement would find our streams in order to get more eyes in locations that they were not present in or didn’t have to be because of our streams. To me at the time it didn’t matter because I filmed mostly peaceful events, especially after the three days of riots in Kenosha. With protestors and law enforcement still taking to the streets in confrontation it was always a balancing act that I had to play and it was always awkward and uncomfortable for me personally. Law enforcement was not only watching our streams, but also using them to attempt to identify protestors which after months of investigating police departments, I’ve come to realize it wasn’t about seeing what protestors were doing, but in fact to identify in order to keep files on them, work towards federal indictments and ultimately illicit arrests and false rhetoric towards innocent protestors who were taking to the streets in order to enact change and reform.
On the flip side of that coin, filming police during random streams leads to an officer safety issue when identifying locations of where these officers were stationed and even military personnel that were typically called to cities to handle unrest. It’s difficult trying to show the whole scene or story if you have to leave things out due to safety issues for both sides. But here I was continuing to “live stream” and working diligently to use “caution”.
I spent months getting very little sleep because I was always in the streets filming something, whether it was a demonstration, a shooting or even a farmer’s market. Today, I get very little sleep due to being terrorized. “Live streaming" seemed to be the direction of where news/media was headed and in reality was already here. Being able to view something live while it’s happening, giving more coverage than “institutional media” typically shows, seemed to capture the public’s attention. Even more, the participation from viewers is what captivates the public even more. They can comment and interact with thousands of people as well as the “live streamer” during an event. With months of watching not only the comments that come through on other streamers “lives” but also mine it was never something I wanted to let run wild. Very early on I made the decision to not allow certain types of comments and behaviors to come through and even established “rules” for my platform for the viewers to follow in order to attempt to have some semblance of order and rationale during discourse between each other. Nobody followed them and it resulted in thousands of people being banned which accomplished nothing because it just prevented comments, not prevented them from accessing our platform. On YouTube, all you had to do is change your name and they would be right back seconds later attacking again.
Let me tell you what a nightmare it is not only for me but also the various “moderators” that volunteered to help during “live streams” to control comments that come through. Finding out that "mods" were also on the back end intentionally trying to destroy me and the company made things even more difficult and stressful. Anyone that has watched not only my streams but really any “live streamers” lives throughout the country has been subject to every comment possible from pure hatred, blatant racism, threats of physical harm and even graphic ways of killing someone to support and love for whatever was being filmed. Trying to remove hundreds of comments fast enough, screen shots of threats and attempting to control what was happening in a comment section while also trying to pay attention to my surroundings during sometimes tense demonstrations proved to be very difficult and stressful.
Being new to “live streaming” and taking some direction from other “live streamers” that I respected, I continued to stream and even went live, giving the viewers an inside look into my personal life. Early on, I made a conscious decision to be totally transparent with my viewers, leaving very few details to myself. In the beginning it wasn’t so bad, but as time would pass and my own opinions and beliefs would change through my own personal journey, “live streaming” would prove to no longer be a good idea.
With the thousands of comments that would come through on streams and the disruption of discourse between sides would be virtually impossible it did nothing more than stress me out consistently. No matter what I tried to do in order to have everyone with varied opinions engage in discourse it always failed. Witnessing how society engages in communication with each other it’s no wonder why our society has so many issues, disagreements, and violence and why so many personal relationships fail. During 6 hour long “live streams” the first 5 hours would be filled with trolls and disruptive behavior until they were tired and finally the last hour would be left for discourse. By this time, I’m irritated and not in the mood and I’ve already lost a lot of viewers who also didn’t want to watch or listen to the negative engagement.
Randomly, in comments coming through I would see attention being brought to my past that I have worked diligently over the last 5 years to move past from and work to be a better person, so I started to talk about my past without giving too many details, trying to keep some of that to myself. This would not be enough though. People became so fixated on my past and like a wildfire it spread across social media and was now used to discredit factual information that I was trying to get to the public that everyone needed to know. I ended up having to go “live” and make a video about my entire background from childhood to present day describing in detail the amount of abuse I’ve suffered in every horrific form, and all of the anger and violence I was exposed to my entire life, address my criminal history because of the world I was exposed to and who I am today. For a while this seemed to quiet down most people but some just couldn’t let it go. Out of nowhere there would be an article written about me that is very misleading when it comes to my background but it wouldn’t matter, the damage would not be reversed. Today it shows up in every "live stream" by multiple people, and talked about on other streamers and re-streamer platforms across the country.
Despite very early on in this public yet personal journey I made it very clear that I wasn’t always pro-movement. Watching a city burn down, none of it made sense to me. I fostered a belief system stemming from my upbringing that virtually made me an enemy or at the very least another white person who is part of the problem when it comes to a society where racism and oppression fills the air. It wasn’t until I witnessed people of color having their rights being violated on a daily basis all covered in my “live streams” that I really started to question what was actually going on in the world. Meeting a young, powerful, beautiful black woman would lead to such a massive change in my belief system. It was her and her boyfriend that would teach me some of the most important things I needed to understand and someone who also helped vouch for me to openly film demonstrations where others weren’t welcomed. Throughout this journey of “live streaming” I would meet some incredible people that I have learned so much from. But when this article came out it highlighted things I kept within my own little four walls like most racism has been. Hiding in the shadows, behind closed doors, secret, yet still very damaging. I think the only thing that has helped is the amount of work I’ve done not only with my own belief system, but being very open about what those beliefs used to be, along with the amount of work I’ve done as an Investigative Journalist exposing how our systems really work and the injustice to those I now call my brothers and sisters.
While I understand the judgment towards my background and it’s something I need to live with, it just shows as a clear example of how no matter what anyone tries to do to correct their life, society will never let them forget it and will make every path extremely difficult for the individual to move forward with any type of positive progress. There are several things people don’t understand when they do this, so I’ll give a little insight from my personal experience. Years ago I engaged in a violent act while being heavily intoxicated. That incident would change my life and those around me forever. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that day. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see the look on the persons face that I hurt. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of how my son would be forever affected by the decisions I made. There isn’t any amount of judgment from an outsider that will ever outweigh the judgment I place on myself. When it’s consistently brought up on a daily basis during “live streams” there is never any escaping my own negative and destructive thoughts. What makes this even worse is the more attention my background gets, the more attention it brings to the other individuals that were involved. At this point it’s no longer just affecting me; it’s affecting those who were already affected by my own actions. The attention brought has led thousands of people across the country to research my background and sharing links, which has led to people knowing where my son lives and has even further gotten dangerous where an individual has openly spoken about visiting my son while he’s sleeping to “give him kisses”. I’ve had people mock and make fun of the fact that I haven’t seen my son in a year now, not because of anything I’ve done, but they assume it's the reason. What’s worse is that because of the amount of attacks that have come in as well as other things that I’ll cover in this article, I may not be able to ever see my son because the courts will now view me as a danger to him due to daily threats, again not because of any of my actions but because of the actions of others. I’ve done everything possible to get people to understand by attacking my background it just draws attention to the innocent and it isn’t fair to them, but these people don’t care. Despite constant pleas to stop, they don’t.
Now enter the vast amount of trolls that plague a “live streamers” platform. These people have no legitimate reason to engage other than to disrupt, spread false rhetoric, and make ridiculous comments. The maturity level of these people is frightening and again no wonder why society is the way it is. It really shows the true nature of how people act and who they really are behind a computer and keyboard or their phones. Over the course of the last 7 months I’ve spent thousands of hours dealing with trolls that come in during “live streams” with the intent of disrupting what I’m doing and provoking a response from me all for their amusement. Then you have the re-streamers who do nothing but sit behind a computer grabbing other people’s work and blatantly talk shit about the person who filmed it, all the while making money off of someone else’s work. While a “streamer” is live they attempt to put out their links for people to donate money in order for them to keep working on their craft. Disruption to that affects the “streamers” ability to make money. My streams have been so disrupted that I spend hours not generating any funds. I have spoken with multiple re-streamers where I have gathered enough evidence to bring criminal charges because behind the camera some have messaged people encouraging doxxing and physical attacks. I’ve gathered my own screen recordings or screen shots of comments from re-streamers who have publicly encouraged others to engage in disruptive and violent behavior. It becomes dangerous because while one individual may just be disruptive for a laugh, another individual will actively act on violent words. The other day, I was trying to address a group about a legitimate safety issue they needed to be made aware of, and someone was filming me. While I normally would not have cared, due to the “re-streamers” I have no desire to be on camera and when I attempted to politely ask to not film me, the tone behind my voice was extremely rude. I felt horrible because one there was no reason for it, and two this is someone I truly respect. On a daily basis I do nothing but engage in arguments with people and here I am with a tone behind my request that was never meant.
Over the course of the last several months, I have hundreds of individuals that have done everything possible to affect any income that I once had come in. Their intention is to shut down any and all possibility of me earning income and force me into the streets. I’ve been banned on platforms so many times that I am permanently restricted from monetization of any content I put out. I’ve been restricted from even putting out news worthy content that affects everyone regardless of what side they are on. During bans I’ve lost complete control over my platforms where I can’t even run it from the back end to delete posts or comments that come through. Every attempt to further legitimize the Never Stop Media brand has been taken away and every attempt to make the company financially stable has also been taken away due to the amount of hatred and attacks that have come at the company and me. At this point I am lucky if I’m able to make $10 for the week filming events or doing “live streams” talking to viewers or Q&A’s. People see the vast amount of comments that come through from trolls attacking but they never see the amount of messages that come through personally or emails that get sent to me on a daily basis. What’s been worse is due to legal requirements of having to have visual press credentials, the amount of people of who have taken pictures or filmed my press credentials and shared those images out. Because personal contact information has to be displayed on these credentials my phone number has been widely spread throughout social media. I get hundreds of harassing phone calls on a weekly basis and sometimes in a single day. On average my phone will ring from people harassing me 30 times in a single hour. One evening I received over 150 phone calls in a 4hour period and that continues with 20 calls one day, 40 calls another day and 60 calls another day. It doesn’t stop. I’ve had people pretend to be law enforcement attempting to arrest me, probation officers attempting violate parole that I’m not even on, or people calling me a meth head or a tweaker, despite the fact I don't drink or do drugs. Then there are the dangerous voicemails that come through describing how I’m going to be sexually assaulted or describing how I’m going to be murdered. I’m at the point that I don’t answer the phone anymore which results in missing important phone calls. These calls generally come through at night at all hours but have come through during the day. There is never any time for me to take to myself and its constant harassment but hundreds if not thousands of people passing my phone number around. Law enforcement has done nothing to stop the harassment or stalking despite having a legitimate claim to a criminal charge. Sending Cease & Desist Letters or filing Defamation Suits is costly and without funding to get into court rooms, the attacks continue with no way of stopping it.
The months of trolling and harassing phone calls has advanced to intimidation and stalking. I’ve been doxxed so many times that I’ve moved 11 times in the last 7 months and about to move for the 12th time. I live 24hrs at a time now and never know where I’ll be going the following day if I can’t raise enough money to have a roof over my head for the night. I’m currently 4 days away from not having a roof over my head again and you have no idea how stressful that feeling is especially in the middle of winter. Again, this is all intentional to produce this outcome. People intentionally causing harm to another human being and then publicly watch their struggle only to mock them and continue to terrorize them. I’ve released emails and public comments that have been sent in describing how people think this is amusing and will continue to do everything to ensure that I lose everything and continue to suffer. I’ve released video footage of individuals showing up not just at events I’m “live streaming” but outside of places I’m staying at. I’ve gotten so much video evidence of people showing up at homes and hotels I’ve been at (not all of it has been publicly released) yet there are people who continue to harass me with claims that I’m making all of this up, again despite the footage being readily available on various platforms. With 7 months’ worth of locations being publicly released, people showing up armed, threats of physical violence, being physically attacked at events, people verbally assaulting me inside of stores or at traffic lights there is a massive level of being terrified. There isn’t a day that I don’t travel without wearing a bullet proof vest. I used to think people didn’t realize what they were doing by their actions but I’ve come to the realization they know full well they are doing and it’s intentional. Viewers have seen emotional breakdowns and angry outbursts during “live streams” and while some try to defend the vast majority finds it hilarious. What people don’t see after I shut that camera off is the complete breakdowns that I’ve had, full PTSD Triggers and flashback that I have to diligently work through and the deep depression that I have bounced in and out of for the past 7 months. They don’t see the complete mental destruction or the amount of fear I actually go through. They don’t see the nights that I have walked through the door and fell to my knees crying hysterically. They don’t see the violent night terrors that have come back. They don’t see the times that I have been awake for days at a time. Recently with certain individuals that showed up at a hotel and continued to show up at other hotels, I was awake for 3 days straight. The 4th day I was only able to get two hours of sleep before a night terror woke me up in a full panic attack. There isn’t enough I can put in writing in an article that would fully display what I deal with and how it affects me to make anyone fully understand the level in which my mental health has declined. And yet I still continue to “live stream” for everyone’s amusement and to watch my mental breakdowns live, my safety be put at risk, those around me safety to be put at risk only to wonder if while I’m completely falling apart during this stream if I’m going to generate any funding which most times I don’t.
The other danger of “live streaming” for me specifically is the amount of clips of me that are running around social media. There are YouTube Channels specifically made with nothing but clips of me taken out of context or what everyone calls the “Kevin Rants”. The clips themselves are dangerous because I could have been talking during a “live stream” describing a conversation I had with someone who said “Fuck black people and fuck BLM”, but the clip will only show me saying that and not the conversation. This is done intentionally to try to discredit me with the movement forcing situations where I can’t film or hoping someone will attack me for the comments. What people don’t understand about the famous “Kevin Rants” which I’ve mentioned numerous times is that I’m usually in a PTSD trigger if I’m ranting angrily and can’t recognize I need to shut the camera off and work through the trigger. People show up for the car wreck and want to see the severed head. There’s no interest in whether the people involved in the car wreck are ok, it’s only about them seeing the carnage, which leads me to my next point. What irritates me the most is the people who try to quote things I’ve said in the past yet completely butcher anything I’ve said, or try to tell me I’ve said something I never have. People hear only what they want to hear instead of hearing what is actually being said.
My “live streams” become about the viewers and only the viewer. People think they are allowed to come to my platform and say whatever they want. They think they are allowed to dictate what you’re allowed to say and what you aren’t, or how you are allowed to act. When you don’t fit into their perception of how you’re supposed to be it leads to more attacks and people being offended. Now it becomes about them, their perceptions, and their feelings. I’ve watched people ignore what they just said, engage in victim blaming tactics, gas lighting and much more and then attack the streamer for a response they didn’t think was appropriate. These dialog exchanges usually lead to how I am supposed to be more like some other “streamer” and do what they do. I don’t need to be like anyone else nor do I have any desire to be. I’ve stated from the beginning that my platform is unedited, raw and in your face. It’s very abrasive and not for everyone. I cuss, I say controversial things, I call out someone’s bullshit, I don’t tolerate ignorance and yet people think they are allowed to tell me how I’m supposed to conduct my “live streams”. I’m not here to cater to people. I’m here to tell the truth about whatever topic is being discussed. If you don’t like the way in which that is done, you click that little tiny “x” and stop watching, but they can’t, they have to be there to make sure their opinion is heard.
For months, I’ve questioned why I continue to keep doing this. I’ve never considered myself a “live streamer” even though I do live stream events. Like I said in the beginning, I would “live stream” so people could see the full video to see the actual truth of what was going on. I’m at a point where I don’t think people are interested in knowing the truth. God forbid their belief system is corrected; it would destroy their entire existence. Let me tell you, my entire belief system has been shattered and yet I’m still here questioning more lies that I’ve bought into over the years. I've given a lot of thought to what I want this company to be and Never Stop Media's mission is to bring the uncensored and raw truth to the people, to tell the stories that main stream media glosses over or completely ignores, to bring to light and expose corruption in real stories through investigative journalism. The mission never stated conducting "live streams" as an open forum for abuse.
I’m not here for people’s entertainment or amusement. It’s no longer about listening to news and truth. It’s about watching someone to hear what they will say next so we can get a video clip and cause intentional harm to that person. It’s become about when will this person go live so we can show up and terrorize this person more and then watch the reaction live. I don’t smile or laugh anymore. I’m stressed out constantly and angry all the time. I sit inside of whatever place I’m lucky to stay at for the night and don’t venture outside. I used to walk late at night and enjoy the peace and quiet. I used to be outdoors every day as it helps with my mental health and I have no desire to go outside because of fear of being approached by someone. I question everyone who comes up to say hi, meet me, shake my hand, and message me. I’m terrified every time I have to go to a store because I don’t know who I will run into. I’m terrified trying to get a day job because I don’t know who I will be standing next to or who knows me that will call someone and now I have lunatics showing up at my workplace, which has happened in the past when I first started. I was prepared for a level of sacrifice, but not to this extent. I remember one of the first questions I asked someone when I released some very damaging news content was how do I do this without getting killed. The response was "very carefully". I always knew there was some level of danger especially with the type of content I was releasing but I guess I ignored the danger or pretended it didn't affect me.
From a business perspective “live streaming” is not the direction I want the company to go or be known as. When I’m actively trying to develop Never Stop Media into a major news source and being looked at as nothing more than a “live streamer", its creating issues. Law enforcement doesn’t view us as a legitimate news outlet and that causes a problem when trying to get information to the general public via open records requests, and press release information. The point of what I’m trying to do is get information to the general public that I believe the public has a right to know and when that is disrupted because of a misguided view point of “live streaming” it becomes problematic. I’m currently still dealing with my unlawful curfew arrest and I sat and listened to a judge refer to me as a 1st Amendment Auditor which I am not nor have I ever engaged in. This is extremely dangerous when the perception of what I do is misconstrued.
None of the advantages of “live streaming” are enjoyable anymore. What should have been a great way for the general public to get a valuable news source to see in full detail of any given situation has become increasingly dangerous for those behind the camera, not just during an event but also in their personal lives. When these attacks are meant to cause not just a physical harm but an emotional and financial harm one would seriously need to question what value is “live streaming” actually bringing. It’s always the actions of another that ruin something that could be valuable. I shake my head at the distain for “institutional media” and thank all the independents for what we do, but that position is only there if the “live streamer” fits within your narrative, not the value of seeing something “live” from another perspective. For me, when I film for anywhere between 2-5 hours during an event and then after the event and go “live” again for another 6 hours and wonder if I’m going to get my IP Address ripped, my location publicly doxxed, what group is going to show up outside my hotel, what lunatic is going to talk about my children, threaten me, tell me how I’m supposed to run my company, or wonder who’s feelings are going to get hurt today, is my exterior landscape minimized, is my background in the room covered up, all the while hoping enough donations come in where I can purchase Ramen for the week and maybe add a can of chili to that for a bit of protein, it’s just not worth the amount of time I spend in front of the camera nor is it worth the serious safety issues that have now plagued the Never Stop Media platforms. I made a private group for people to come and openly have discourse from all sides with no threat of attack but even that proved to fail as people would come to just sit and lurk in the shadows or come to be disruptive. When I made it a paid group for financial supporters only it outraged several people that they could no longer watch “live streams” talking to viewers. It really had nothing to do with they were missing out on, it had to do with them not having as much access to me personally for their nefarious intent. For months I’ve said I was going to get to this point if this didn’t stop and here we are, it hasn’t stopped. I’ve warned everyone there will be no more lives and engagement and the platforms would be nothing but news posts and lack of audience participation. My safety and mental health is not worth your entertainment. I started this as a ghost that no one knew, I walk through events quiet floating in and out of people like a ghost and I’m now going back into ghost mode. I’ll be the ghost that everyone knows but doesn’t get to see or engage with. You’re left with watching edited news videos, clips and reading articles. Hopefully this direction of the company will please everyone, but in reality I already know it won’t. But again, I’m not here for your entertainment, I’m here to make sure you have the facts whether you like them or not.
With that said, I quit. I’m a ghost again!!!!
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