Ryland Staples| Staff Writer
In the middle of the afternoon Oct. 11, I was in the library working on a project for my marketing class. Admittedly, I was procrastinating on Twitter when I came across an article from PAPER Magazine on my timeline with the caption, “GOOD MORNING TO OUR KING @emoblackthot.”
I blinked in confusion. I thought to myself, “Our king? That’s strange.” I followed @emoblackthot (EBT) for a while, and I knew that according to the tweets that the account made, that she was a queer black woman from Texas that prided herself on uplifting black women and black creatives. She reminds her followers to do his/her skin care routine before he/she goes to sleep and to make sure to eat regular meals throughout the day.
EBT had almost 200,000 followers and was on a first name basis with many celebrities. She even had “she/her” in her bio at one point.
But I reserved judgment. Maybe he was a trans-man, and he was coming out through the article. But no, the person behind the famous Twitter account was actually a cis man named Isaiah Hickland.
According to PAPER Magazine, the account was made in 2015 as @MadBlackThot to vent while Hickland attended Texas State University. As the account grew more and more by gaining followers by the day, he dealt with the questions surrounding his true identity by revealing himself to be a woman named “Nicole.”
Now I understand wanting to stay anonymous on the internet, especially when it comes to Twitter. With the ever-expanding influence of social media on everyday life, it’s easy to see why someone would want to make a separate anonymous account, so they can be able to say what they want to say without any serious repercussions.
It’s always someone’s nightmare to be called into his/her boss’s office and confronted about a tweet or post they made online and losing his/her job over it.
However, this isn’t a case of a simple burner account of a person that just wanted to blow off some steam through the Internet. Hickland had amassed a great following through masquerading as black woman.
Now some may think that is harmless and that it isn’t that big of a deal. I disagree. I think it is crazy how he wholeheartedly thought doing something like that was OK. He knew what he was doing as well. He knew that many of his followers were black women. So, he used that fact to be able to amass even more followers by being “Nicole.”
Hickland even went as far as to claim that he [Nicole] suffered from endometriosis (EMT). I understand the impact that EMT has had on black artists, such as Normani and Lil Nas X. However, EBT would sometimes tweet out that she needed some extra money to make ends meet and would put her Cash App in her profile. People actually sent him money because they thought that they were supporting a struggling black woman.
It seems like Hickland wanted to jumpstart a career with this identity reveal. However, when his followers discovered the truth, his follower count cascaded throughout the day until the account was deactivated that evening.
It’s always nice to have an online voice to spread positivity.
But you still need to be mindful of the fact that not everything is as it seems to be.