Toronto is being hit hard by the sudden death of local Instagram celebrity Debby.
It seems the city has had a change of heart about the teenager, who was once viewed as a source of comedy (and often mockery) all over local social media channels.
You know I feel bad for Debby. Everyone is human. They really did make a mockery of her, I’m guilty for finding some of her videos funny but I will always empathize with her. Mental health and addiction is a real real issue.
— m&m’s mom (@gincraig) November 2, 2021
Debby, who’s real name is Alexis Matos, died by drug overdose on Tuesday, while staying in a shelter.
Just 24 hours before her death, a video was posted online which shows Debby talking about how people on social media tell her to end her life every single day.
“I’m a kind-hearted person, I hate people who judge people just because of what they see off of social media,” she said in the video.
Debby passed away within 24hrs after this was released, tragic. pic.twitter.com/XC82SfNP8N
— torchys (@notmygovyname) November 2, 2021
Now that the teen has died, many Torontonians are blaming local social media-based news and entertainment outlets for posting videos of her and exploiting her situation to get more views on their pages.
6ixbuzz, RealTorontoNewz and all them other pages ain’t shit cause they damn well knew Debby had a drug problem yet they took her for poppy show on their platform for likes/followers and now that she’s dead it’s R.I.P. to an icon. Worst Toronto brand ever!
— TRAPEZOID MOUF (@_politeASSHOLE) November 2, 2021
so angry finding out that Debby passed away because she clearly needed help for a long time and pathetic “news” sources in Toronto like @6ixbuzztv make a laughing stock out of human beings for entertainment 🤡👎🏻 is it funny now?
— 𝐣𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐞 (@josieeblakee) November 3, 2021
With all this fame came online bullying. Many comments from followers of 6ixbuzz over the years made fun of Debby’s appearance, and the way she spoke and acted was constantly criticized.
What happened to Debby was truly unfortunate. I’m not condoning 6ixBuzz exploiting her, but a lot of you followers enabled this type of behaviour from them by liking/commenting/sharing their content. Understand you had a part to play in this tragedy too.
— Ethan Pekka (@EthanPekka) November 3, 2021
People who had interactions with Debby in person, however, claim that she was far different from the type of character she was portrayed as over social media.
I met Debby when I was working security in downtown Toronto. She was incredibly respectful and kind, far from the type of person that social media pages made her seem. She needed help, not this internet “clout” shit that sent her down this path. This is so sad. RIP.
— MAR (@mario_bartolo) November 3, 2021
Although 6ixbuzz posted about Debby’s death, many were outraged to see that shortly after, another post was made by the page, promoting a personal account.
not 6ixbuzz using Debby’s death as promotion “since were trending today” wtf.. pic.twitter.com/8uvMCOlWAY
— the og (@ogjjoseph) November 2, 2021
“Follow my personal account since we’re trending today,” read the tweet, which has since been deleted.
On Tuesday, 6ixbuzz responded to those who were blaming the page for Debby’s downfall.
We stopped posting her over a year ago because of this… Her “manager” would make her say and do things attempting to gain clout and grow more at her expense. We’ve actually warned her time and time again about the people around her but it was far too late by then.
— 6ixBuzzTV (@6ixbuzztv) November 2, 2021
Despite 6ixbuzz’s response, the anger of young Torontonians hasn’t settled. A petition with over 600 signatures was created in an effort to take down the 6ixbuzz’s Instagram page in order to get justice for Debby.
“Whenever they posted her it was in a way that was a mockery to her, and enabled thousands of grown men and woman to bully her, assault her, and exploit her,” the petition says.
Gabriella Scarlett, the creator of the petition, shared a story about how she witnessed Debby being assaulted by four grown men at 4 a.m. in Dundas Square.
“She has been homeless for 2 years, and if 6ixbuzz says they really tried to help her, with all the money they make off their page why didn’t they get her off the streets?” Scarlett writes in the petition.
All these Toronto insta pages went from “y’all rate Debby or nah? 🤣😭” to “rip a Toronto icon you will be missed 🕊” real quick.
— Mack (@mackmac_) November 2, 2021
6ixbuzz tweeted on Wednesday addressing some of the hate they were receiving on their page.
if unfollowing us makes your life easier then bless your soul🙏🏾🖤
— 6ixBuzzTV (@6ixbuzztv) November 2, 2021
Even though she was treated poorly over social media, Debby’s legacy is still being honoured, as the City of Toronto plans to pay for her funeral costs.