The curious case of Gemma Sullivan has niggled at me for weeks now.
Have you heard of her? Gem Gem. Yeah, that one – the Gemma of ‘Don’t f*ck with Gem Gem’ fame.
Gemma is ‘Facebook famous’, which unsurprisingly is where I first found her. She dropped into my peripheral vision in a viral video that was doing the rounds among my friends.
“What the hell is wrong with her?” read one share.
“OMG,” said another, “SO FUNNY. Literally crying.”
Of course, I clicked. That’s the horror of the modern world of the internet – we click, and don’t know why. I’m sorry I did: the video of Gemma Sullivan and her boyfriend Justin Ryan (also ‘Facebook famous’) was awful. They seemed a little strange. They were responding to online bullies who were harassing them. It all felt really wrong.
And yet, here were people I knew and respected in my social media web sharing the video as entertainment. They were laughing. Laughing? I was lost.
And to be perfectly honest, I still am. The situation is exactly as it initially seemed: people are making fun of a young woman who could be struggling.
I cringe even to write this piece because I don't know what Gemma's situation is. I do know from her videos that something is up with this young girl, and yet she's still fair game to the internet's trolls.
In those videos, Gemma swears like a trooper, is aggressive, often has heavy makeup smudged on her face, smokes pot, and talks a lot about her sex life. She's the perfect target for bullies, and yet this is what it is to be an online celebrity in 2016: she loves it. Or appears to.
Welcome to the modern world of Facebook Famous youth, the young people we can't protect - and who cannot protect themselves.
I have trawled the internet for almost two days trying to find out everything I can about Gemma Sullivan and Justin Ryan, but the deeper down the wormhole I go, the less I seem to find out.
I spoke to several people on Facebook to try and get to the bottom of the story. Gemma and Justin both didn't reply, so I tried a few of their friends. The only people who responded had never actually met the couple, and had only interacted online. One guy was so keen to also be 'Facebook Famous' he asked if I could write an interview on him instead. He then tried calling me twice.
Another guy admitted to only following Gemma and Justin "...to take the piss with my friends." Did he feel guilty?
"Not really," he said, "as I never publicly shame them."
It's a weird, weird world where they have thousands of online 'friends' - yet no one seems to know anything about them.