Rey Rahimi is a small YouTuber who says she has been under attack from a bigger YouTuber during the past few days, receiving copyright strikes that could potentially get her channel terminated.
Rey Rahimi – also known as Hot Tea on YouTube – runs a channel with little over 66,000 subscribers and, in the past few days, her channel has gotten three copyright strikes in a row on her videos on Trisha Paytas, an influencer who has over 1.36 million subscribers on YouTube and 2.4 million followers on Instagram.
Trisha Paytas is a controversial figure within the YouTube community. Many viewers might know her from the video “100 Layers of Lube challenge”, but she has also been involved in several other scandals on social media, including a YouTube beef with Ethan from H3H3 Productions and ghosting fellow creator Nikocado Avocado.
Trisha Paytas is accused of abusing the broken YouTube Copystrike system
At this point, you might be wondering, what has Rey Rahimi to deserve a copyright strike from Trisha Paytas? And the answer appears to be nothing.
Everything started on Monday when Hot Tea uploaded a video titled “I paid Trisha Paytas $500 for an Instagram shoutout”, where Rahimi (who says she is a fan of Trisha, by the way) explains to her audience that she pledged $500 in Patreon to Trisha Paytas.
As Trisha herself puts it, the $500 tier “will get you 1 shoutout on MY ig [Instagram] story per every month you're a member of this tier. you can pick the day or time …or I can post at peak/optimal posting times.”
However, Rahimi says she never got her shoutout on Instagram and her attempts to contact Paytas turned out unsuccessful. At this point, Hot Tea was more worried about getting a refund than anything else – the reason why she uploaded a video on the situation.
On December 18th, Hot Tea made a follow-up video to the situation, explaining that there was both good news and awful news, but mostly awful. As it turns out, Hot Tea was able to finally get a refund for the shoutout that she never got. Trisha's sister got in contact with her and apologized for the inconvenience, stating that it was an oversight on her part since she manages the Patreon account on behalf of her sister.
This story could've ended here and no one would've noticed, but this is not the case, as Hot Tea got a copyright strike on one her videos about Trisha Paytas. But being a channel centered on YouTube drama and having Paytas featured in several of her videos, she then got a second “copy strike”.
After the takedown of her second video was issued, Hot Tea decided to remove all her videos on Trisha, fearing that a third copyright strike could result in the termination of her channel.
On December 19th, Hot Tea made and update to report that she got a third and final copyright strike, meaning that if she is unable to appeal the claim, her channel will be deleted in a week.
Trisha Paytas is accused of abusing the copyright strike system on YouTube, a system that is easily exploitable and that works under the premise of “Guilty until proven innocent” instead of the other way around.
Many creators have expressed their disappointment and frustration on how YouTube handles itself in this regard, with their only option being appealing the claim and hoping that the claimer reconsiders it.
Technically speaking, all of Hot Tea's videos are protected by the clause of fair use, but it sometimes seems that YouTube has long forgotten its meaning and doesn't have the time or manpower to look into each case specifically.