On February 5, popular female Twitch streamer BJ Jammi‘s alleged uncle shared an unexpected update on Jammi’s TGD page (an online community site for Twitch users).
According to the uncle’s update, Jammi—whose full name is Jo Jang Mi—had died by suicide sometime in late January 2022. Also in the update, the uncle identified Jammi’s severe depression, caused by the years of hateful comments and malicious rumors, as the cause of her death.
Hello, this is Jang Mi’s uncle. I have been too preoccupied to bring this update but Jang Mi has taken her own life. I regret to inform the fans who have been sending her a lot of love and support. The cause of death is Jang Mi’s severe depression caused by malicious comments and rumors. There are still ongoing rumors about Jang Mi’s involvement with a rapper and even drug use, none of which are true. As Jang Mi’s family, I can attest to this and I will seek legal action to those who continue to circulate rumors about her. Please stop disrespecting the late Jang Mi. It hurts the bereaved and her friends left behind.
Jang Mi left a will which has made me aware of how difficult things had been for her. She had been extremely bullied. I beg, please stop making up nonsense rumors about her. It breaks my heart to confirm this, but Jang Mi did die by suicide after battling depression. That is all.
I send gratitude and apology to those who loved Jang Mi, Jammi, dearly. Please help Jang Mi rest in peace. Again, malicious rumors will be taken to court. Let us all find happiness.
— Jammi’s Uncle
Jammi started streaming on Twitch and YouTube in March 2019, after live broadcasting on FullTV (now PandaTV) for the first time as a part-time gig. Her broadcast included gaming, singing/dancing, eating/drinking, and cosplaying content.
Shortly after her debut, in June 2019, Jammi received an apology from her fellow streamers GAMST, OzilHye, and Namsoon (teamed as “The Naraks” at the time) who faced criticism for having made inappropriate comments and sexually harassing her during their stream. AfreecaTV, as the platform that streamed the problematic broadcast, recognized the issue and banned the three streamers from going live for three days.
Unfortunately, some of GAMST, OzilHye, and Namsoon’s followers became agitated by the ban and lashed out at Jammi (the victim) for the punitive measure. To this day, Jammi’s followers believe this incident marked the beginning of Jammi’s long battle against hateful comments and malicious rumors.
Jammi also became a full-blown target for anti-feminist male extremists when, in July 2019, she tried to re-create a meme that had previously gone viral within some of Korea’s largest male-driven online communities (e.g. FM Korea and DC Inside). These online communities did not find Jammi’s comic attempt at the meme to be humorous and attacked her for “mocking the Korean male population.”
The said online communities also attacked Jammi over a screenshot from her May 2019 live broadcast—of the streamer holding up her fingers in a pinching motion (which, by 2021, became a trigger in Korean gender wars). While Jammi had been mentioning how small the chatroom font seemed on her mobile device, the online communities circulated the screenshot as the streamer hinting at her radical feminist ideals. Subsequently, Jammi received backlash for the allegedly intentional use of some verbiage associated with radical feminism in her broadcasts as well.
One of the more significant figures behind the attacks launched on Jammi is PPKKa, a far-right YouTuber whose channel thrives on gossipy propaganda-like “tea” content. Following Jammi’s controversies between June through July, PPKKa uploaded a series of now-deleted videos calling Jammi out as a radical feminist. PPKKa also highlighted Jammi’s “hypocrisy” in one of his videos, comparing her allegedly male-mocking meme to the Naraks’ sexual harassment. PPKKa commented both are equally inappropriate and gaslit Jammi for “playing the victim.”
These videos, in combination with the meme and the malicious screenshot—made accessible to PPKKa’s 1.21M subscribers and others—fueled the rage of male extremists who then pinned Jammi as being a full-fledged “Megalian” (someone from Korea’s now-shut-down radical feminist website) with an anti-male agenda. Jammi saw some aggressive comments directed at not only her but also her family.
In response to the growing hate and criticism, Jammi issued two apologies—one in a short video, another in a 15-minute long video—both in which she clarified she is not a radical feminist. In addition, she begged the internet to stop attacking her parents in light of her controversies.
Not entirely unrelated to the series of controversies, Jammi became less active on both platforms from August 2019 to November 2019—explaining the hiatus to be health-related. By the end of 2019, Jammi had lost over 90K+ subscribers over the “radical feminist” rumors.
Hello, this is Twitch streamer and YouTuber Jammi. I wanted to clarify some of the malicious rumors that have been going around about me. For the past three months, I have been unknowingly using some verbiage which has since associated me with a specific group. I am not and have never been a part of this group. I decided to share this video to make that clear.
Also, I acknowledge that my recent Twitch stream has made some of you uncomfortable. This may sound like an excuse, but I wanted to explain my behavior as well. I meant to parody an internet meme, with no ill intention to mock. Regardless, I do apologize to everyone I may have offended. Please forgive me.
Finally, I understand the backlash I have received over what has happened. But please stop attacking my parents for it. I will do my best to make sure this issue is fully resolved before I return to streaming.
— Jammi’s First Apology
Despite Jammi’s apologies and requests to stop the attacks, the hateful comments and malicious rumors continued well into 2020. Eventually, on May 10, 2020 around 5:40AM KST, Jammi announced in a 48-minute stream her decision to pause all activity to focus on treating her severe depression.
During this stream, Jammi also shocked her followers by revealing that she had lost her mother to death by suicide back in September 2019. She claimed the hateful comments and malicious rumors she had been battling “triggered [her] mother’s depression” and ultimately “caused the loss.”
You know I’ve been taking medication for my depression, right? I started seeking treatment since I got accused of being a [radical feminist] and I could not get over the shock from all the hateful comments and malicious rumors that I received… I started taking medication because I felt exhausted.
And then I lost my mother. I know I haven’t really talked about my mother’s death until now, but she took her own life… She, too, had been battling depression, caused by menopause. But after seeing me struggle, I think it [got worse]. I think she may have died because of me. I killed her. Had I not been a streamer, she would be alive…
…I love streaming. It’s fun, I have such passion for it. It’s what I want to do, playing games and talking to my followers. But at the same time, streaming drains me. I’m in pain whenever I’m in front of the camera… So while I tried to keep going, I don’t think I can. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. But I’m going to quit streaming for a while. I don’t know if this is going to be a hiatus or a retirement. And I honestly don’t know when I would be able to return.
My depression isn’t getting any better… You all know I’m not some radical feminist by now. But you keep calling me a ‘Megalian’ because you want to bully me. Why? Is it that entertaining to watch me struggle? Those of you who leave me hateful comments, is it fun to watch my heart break? Now that I’m leaving the platform, you must be thrilled. Right?
— Excerpt from the script of Jammi’s deleted May 10 stream
Since then, Jammi remained barely active. In January 2021, Jammi updated her followers on the minimal recovery she had been making and became more idle. From April 2021, Jammi became largely unavailable on Twitch and her YouTube channel served as her main form of interaction with her followers.
Jammi’s last stream took place on January 21, 2022. Jammi connected with her followers with an audio broadcast. After the final stream, when Jammi did not post any updates, her followers became worried. Then on February 4, 2022, one of the followers posted on Jammi’s TGD page that “Jammi’s funeral had been held on January 26 to which some of her streamer friends had attended.” The post caused an uproar among Jammi’s followers and was removed about two hours later—though the uncle’s post, another three hours later, verified it to be true.
The news of Jammi’s death sparked a deep discussion among users on Twitch, YouTube, and both male-driven and female-driven online communities. The internet has come to agree that cyberbullying is a serious crime and to recognize the lethal amount of harm that thoughtless comments can cause.
Meanwhile, as the tragic deaths of Jammi and her mother continue to raise awareness for Koreans, some have kicked off an online petition with the South Korean Blue House to bring the commenters and rumor spreaders to “face their wrongdoings in the court of law.” The petition, titled “The Deaths of A YouTuber And Her Mother: Please Punish The Malicious YouTuber, FM Korea, And DC Inside For Murder,” has garnered over 106K signatures (as of February 6).
YouTuber PPKKa has since shared an apologetic video in which he claimed, “[He feels] somewhat responsible for Jammi’s death.” He promised to “watch what he says” going forward, “learning from what has happened.”
I was shocked to find out about Jammi. Even as I record this video, I’m not sure how to feel. But because I feel somewhat responsible for Jammi’s death, I decided to upload this video and apologize, though too late now.
I had been so focused on getting views and growing my channel that I let myself get lost in the storm of controversies that swept the internet back then. I made videos about the issues, which does make me one to blame for what has happened. I sincerely apologize to Jammi who suffered from all the malicious rumors that my videos may have caused.