Hugely popular YouTuber posts 'horrifying' video eating live squid and octopus

Hugely popular YouTuber posts 'horrifying' video eating live squid and octopus

A YouTuber with 3.4 million followers has been widely condemned for a video which shows her eating live squid and octopus.

Ssoyoung, who is based in South Korea, is known for her "mukbang" videos – a genre in which influencers eat large quantities of food. Her videos also tap into the ASMR trend thanks to the highly stimulating sounds of chewing and slurping.

While these are common in the YouTube space, Ssoyoung has proved particularly controversial for consuming life seafood on her channel, which many have denounced as cruel.

Her most popular video is entitled "Dancing Live Squid" and has been viewed more than 24 million times. It was posted six moths ago, but has recently made waves after a number of influencers have called her out.

In a video entitled "ASMR has gone way too far" uploaded on Wednesday, YouTuber Ethan Klein condemned the practice, saying: "She clearly loves torturing animals".

Discussing a video in which she coats a live octopus in soy sauce before placing in on a grill, he said:

Is cruelty a central theme of her content? This video, I believe, proves yes.

Others have also called for the videos to be removed. YouTuber Tyler Rugge posted a video called "Mukbang Youtuber who Hurts & Kills Animals on Camera". He said:

She tortures and kills animals before she eats them. On camera. Not sure how YouTube let that one slide.

In the comments of both response videos, viewers expressed their disgust at the disturbing footage. One person said:

The saddest scene is when the octopus legs attach to her face as it fights while its head is eaten.

Another added:

The fact she makes a show out of this is the most repulsive part of it all, everything dies but don't rip them apart alive and make a video of it.


This is extremely sad, horrifying and disgusting all at the same time.

Viewers largely agreed that this type of content should not be allowed on the platform.

However Rugge also received comments which suggested that criticism of the video was culturally insensitive, implying that eating live seafood was a common practice in parts of Asia. Rugge, who is of part-Japanese heritage, explained:

Just because something is someone's culture, it doesn't justify it. Another thing – it's really not a big part of Asian culture to do the things that she was doing. Sure, some people in Asia do do that stuff, but it's not like it's a widely accepted practice.

One commenter echoed this sentiment, saying:

I'm Vietnamese and Chinese, and I feel like it's necessary to clear up how the "culture" excuse is just that... and excuse. In Asian cultures, when preparing seafood, even in poorer parts of the country, we respect what we eat and make sure to end the animals life in the most comfortable way possible. There should be no question on whether this woman is doing the right thing or not. The animals she uses in her videos are already going to eaten in the end, but making it suffer for views isn't OK.

YouTube's terms of service explicitly state that videos featuring animal cruelty are banned. However, these videos appear to have been reviewed and not found to violate the terms.

In a statement to Business Insider, YouTube said:

Our trust and safety team is located around the globe and we draw upon this regional expertise when drafting our policies. We have strict policies regarding animal abuse, and have determined the videos highlighted do not violate them.

indy100 has reached out to Ssoyoung for comment.

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