YouTube celebrity Felix Kjellberg, better known throughout social media as PewDiePie, has apparently landed in hot water after he promoted a new app called Nimses which offers to almost literally convert its users’ time into digital currency, The Verge reports.
According to the media outlet, Nimses’ privacy settings and location features led many of PewDiePie’s fans to complain that he was promoting an invasive app, with some even suspecting a pyramid scheme at work “because of a referral program that offered more in-app currency”.
And as one YouTuber, VangelinaSkov, insisted, the biggest problem wasn’t the app’s privacy issues per se, as similar issues also exist in other social media apps, but rather the fact that PewDiePie was promoting the app in the first place.
"This was obviously something that was going to spark a bit of a debate and a controversy, which is something PewDiePie needs to be avoiding considering his history. And I feel like he probably should have known that was not the best idea", she remarked.
The media outlet also points out that Germany’s Pirate Party issued a warning about Nimses, with the party’s political director Daniel Monch stating that Pewds "was promoting a potentially harmful app to his large subscriber base".
Meanwhile, Andrey Boborykin, head of marketing and communications at Nimses, told The Verge that the company did not expect the controversy, arguing that the viewers' reaction to PewDiePie's video "could be the result of general conversation about social media, big tech, and privacy, and it doesn’t have to deal with PewDiePie and his sponsors or YouTubers in general and their sponsors".
In addition, Boborykin addressed the ensuing concerns via a blog post in which he stated that “Nimses does not sell user data, does not provide exact location data of players to other people in-game, and will provide detailed data reports for anyone who asks”, The Verge notes.
Earlier this week, PewDiePie himself stepped forward to address the criticism directed at him, describing claims about a new app allegedly tracking its users’ activity even after being uninstalled are pure misinformation.
"This is just demonstrably false. Apps can’t do that, if you uninstall it," he said. "Literally every single social media tracks what Nimses does. It’s a social media app".