Following a claim that a RWBY fan was driven to suicide by members of the RWBY Fandom for her preferences in fictional character shipping, further investigations by fans have discovered that the fan, ‘Cleo,’ and her alleged suicide appear to be fabricated by TJ, the friend who initially broke news of Cleo’s suicide on social media.
The main sources revealing the alleged hoax are two posts, by Tumblr users ficklefandom and captmrambeau, respectively.
Ficklefandom discovered that though TJ claimed Cleo was their “closest online friend,” there was only one blog post which referenced Cleo, and that blog post had been edited post-publication to include the reference to Cleo:
“Cleo has never been shown to be a consistent part of the blog, with the only reference to her at all, aside from the recent post, being here
but looking at the reblogs, this is actually an edited post, with the original never referring to Cleo nor someone corunning the blog.
this reblog is from a month after it was posted, and assuming Natti/TJ didn’t make the post, edit it to exclude Cleo, then edit it after a month to reinclude Cleo, she was never a part of the blog. (also if you search “natti” on theblackcatandthecrow’s blog it pulls up the edited version of the post, we all love tumblr’s broken search function)”
Making reference to the blog’s posting style, ficklefandom also drew attention to the fact that posts on the blog were referenced in the first-person singular and that Cleo does not have a presence amongst Blake and Qrow shippers:
“in their blog posts, until now, they’ve never seemed to refer to the blog as being ran by more than one person, always talking in references of “I”, just as they did in their introductory post
aside from that, the only other people running blake x qrow blogs refer to themselves with different names, not Cleo. and yet Cleo was supposedly running a blog regularly posting content”
ficklefandom, like Bounding into Comics in previous coverage, also noted that no specific examples of Cleo’s alleged harassment were provided:
“if Cleo was repeatedly getting anon hate, on what blog was this?”
captmrambeau echoed ficklefandom’s discoveries “that “cleo” literally never existed,” they also found evidence that suggests that “”tj” isn’t a real person either.”
Referencing the post edited to reference Cleo, captmrambeau notes that while the edited post claimed to be from TJ, the original post claims to be from someone named “Natti”:
“spicily enough “tj” nor “cleo” are mentioned in the original version of this post. uuuh nani? who is natti?”
Investigating connecting information between various social media accounts, captmrambeau states that ‘TJ’ is actually the identity of the Red Dead Redemption 2 avatar of whomever runs the connected accounts:
“TJ from red dead. natti. thotonmain. What’s the truth? who is she? [insert x files theme]
“tj” on twitter also posts regularly about red dead, far cry, and the same interests as the jacobseedsmusicbox. they all have the exact same style of typing. also both blogs (jacobseedsmusicbox and thotonmain) and twitter mention being a bisexual woman 18/almost 18 with a ton of the same trauma/incidents/etc”
It was soon discovered that the theblackcatandthecrow tumblr account and @SparrowsAlbion Twitter accounts had been deleted in light of this information being spread:
To give an update, the Cleo accounts have been deleted.
Thank you @ShayuKitsune pic.twitter.com/KeYRgmN7gM
— owo (@ThotOwO) November 7, 2019
After the deletion of the original theblackcatandthecrow blog, the URL was taken by another, separate user who has used the blog to spread awareness of the controversy and retitling the blog to remind users to “don’t be a liar, and don’t attack other people over ships.”
YouTuber Hero Hei, who brought the alleged suicide to widespread attention through his video coverage, also provided an update to the situation, referencing the aforementioned blogs and revealing e-mails received from the alleged TJ asking Hero Hei for his help in spreading awareness of Cleo’s situation.
He also shared an email from another individual named Natasha, who claims they own the original Tumblr account, and that their accounts had been compromised, but they were in the process of locking them down.
Some fans have claimed that this alleged hoax was perpetuated in an effort to “hurt,” “spite,” or “get back at” Blake Belladonna’s voice actor, Arryn Zech, though this claim is currently unconfirmed.
What do you make of this new information?