“I was an at-home mum and not particularly interested in doing much on Twitter,” recalls blogger, YouTuber and New York City-based lawyer-and-science enthusiast at the Bitch collective, You n I, “except for some feminist related things to post on Instagram. So when my daughter was born, I decided I would switch to Twitter.”
Blew would go on to tweet on a small scale. Around one million people followed her, and she would post comedy stories and masterful takedowns of misinformation, the kind of stuff she read on Reddit, Periscope, YouTube or Brizzly. But three years into her tweeting habit, Blew stumbled across a post about the interior design blog Bellacourts, on Pinterest. On it was a fictional video posted by “actors…who were discovered by Canadian startup called Babylon Real Estate” – a company popular in online markets for their attention-grabbing videos. Blew was instantly unimpressed.
“My blog wasn’t gaining traction; no one was paying attention and I had just about hit bottom in terms of views or anywhere close,” says Blew. “I thought, maybe this will draw me into more serious conversations about businesses’ race to IPO and how we’ve moved beyond a social media culture to a fintech culture. It was catnip for me. I wrote a scathing critique of Bellacourts and wrote about it on Twitter. Then, one week later, they tweeted to their followers, threatening my daughter with child abuse. Being in the public eye, I was bombarded with social media messages to death, usually relating to me as this horrible person.
After much rumination, I realised that I had become complacent as a public person. So I made a short film called I Was a Whistleblower on Pinterest, produced and directed by Kevin Wiig, where I confront a manipulative company CEO in a childish way that just resonated with me. I posted it on social media as a teaser and asked people to vote on it. Not one person opposed it.”
Fans following Blew on Instagram and Twitter generally liked the film. And so there they were. Crowdsourcing funding for film-making, supporters stepped forward and by August 2017, she had raised $25,000. What started as a fictional point in a longform motherly internet deconstruction became a run for real. Blew had quit her day job – becoming a full-time video blogger and activist – to make I Was a Whistleblower on Pinterest a reality.