Dayjia Blackwell, a 21-year-old social media influencer known as “Meatball,” has been released on bail after being arrested for her alleged involvement in the looting that occurred in Philadelphia on Tuesday night. Blackwell, who had been live-streaming the events to her 180,000 followers, gained attention for capturing the crime spree on camera. Authorities state that she was actively encouraging others to participate in the looting and engage in criminal activity. In her Instagram stories, she could be seen cheering on the crowd as they robbed the Apple store and moved to other locations. Blackwell has been charged with burglary, conspiracy, rioting, and other felony charges.
After being bailed out of jail by her mother, Blackwell expressed her desire to stay out of trouble and never return to jail. She admitted that the experience had left her scared and traumatized. During the live-stream, she had documented much of the chaos in the city until her arrest. While her mother did not want her to speak with reporters, Blackwell took to social media to thank her supporters. She is scheduled to appear in court on October 17th.
Blackwell’s case highlights the growing influence of social media on criminal activities and the role influencers play in exacerbating such incidents. By live-streaming and encouraging others, she became a central figure in the looting events. The incident also raises questions about the responsibility of social media platforms in monitoring and tackling the exploitation of their platforms for criminal purposes. Blackwell’s involvement serves as a reminder of the potential consequences of engaging in illegal activities for not only celebrities but also for individuals who follow and emulate them.