In the realm of niche internet drama, this one might top the list.
Over the past week, popular TikTok creator Taylor Blake has come under fire after she posted a series of concerning tweets claiming that her farm had been subjected to an outbreak of avian flu.
Taylor, a hobbyist farmer in Florida, rose to fame on her TikTok account @knucklebumpfarms for posting cute videos of her emu, Emmanuel, pecking at the screen. The wholesome content resnoated with users amid the pandemic, and as a result, Taylor built a following of over 2.4 million on TikTok and over 879K on Twitter.
On October 15th, Taylor announced on Twitter that her birds had fallen prey to avian flu. Knuckle Bump Farms apparently lost 50+ birds in three days, leaving only Emmanuel and Rico. Emmanuel, she claimed, was in very poor condition.
Taylor proceeded to share several photos of herself hugging, holding, and even kissing the sick emu while asking for prayers and support.
This led to serious warnings from experts about the dangers of being in close contact with a bird that has contracted avian flu. The disease can be lethal if it spreads to humans and can even run the risk of turning into another pandemic.
According to experts, farmers typically cull entire flocks of birds when infected with avian flu to avoid these risks.
Humans should also apparently wear masks when dealing with a sick bird, however, Taylor said that Emmanuel gets scared when she wears a mask.
According to Taylor, the state did eventually come to Knuckle Bump Farm and euthanize the flock.
This attention led to Twitter users uncovering Taylor’s problematic past which included a previous attempt to become internet famous, as well as several racist tweets.
In at least two tweets, Taylor allegedly used the N-word. She also allegedly challenged Black people to “cross the street” to see if white people run them over, and mocked Asian names in at least one other tweet.
In 2019, Taylor made a failed attempt at apparent allyship when she tweeted asking people to show oppressors love.
While Taylor has yet to address her past behaviour or any of the backlash, she is keeping fans updated with Emmanuel’s road to recovery.
The emu apparently tested negative for avian flu earlier this week and those treating Emmanuel believe his illness was due to stress after the depopulation of birds from the farm rather than the disease.