A once-popular vlogger banned from YouTube after revelations of predatory behaviour toward minors has unexpectedly resurfaced on TikTok, and promptly gone viral. This raises serious questions about how safe TikTok really is, at a time when the social media platform is already under intense scrutiny.

Bryant Moreland is known by online handle edp445theog (we won’t discuss what the ‘edp’ means here, although rest assured it doesn’t make him seem any less of an unsavoury character). He achieved YouTube fame largely off the back of videos of him cooking, gaming and reacting to NFL games. His larger-than-life persona won him a substantial following, making him the subject of countless memes and attracting YouTube subscribers reportedly numbering two million at his peak.

As Moreland’s fame rose, so too did allegations that he was using his social media presence to approach and proposition underage girls. Screenshots emerged of direct message exchanges with minors featuring explicit imagery and language. In 2020 this resulted in another YouTuber releasing a video detailing Moreland’s misdeeds: in direct response, Moreland released a video (deleted not long thereafter) in which he brandished a firearm in a threatening manner.

Things came to a head in April 2021, when YouTube channel Predator Poachers released a video of a successful sting operation in which they lured Moreland under the pretence of a meeting with a 13-year-old girl. The video indicated that he was reported to the police, although it’s not known if criminal charges ensued. Nonetheless, YouTube promptly deleted Moreland’s channel, so the incident would seem to have ended his career in online content.

Exactly what became of Moreland afterwards is something of a mystery. There have been no shortage of claims that he was jailed for his actions, yet there seems to be no concrete proof of this. Another rumour suggested he had since died, although this was debunked as a hoax.

Whatever the case may be, a great many TikTok users were taken aback when an account under Moreland’s old username edp445theog appeared during the 2022 Superbowl on February 13th. At first the videos posted from this account were clips of the game without commentary, but a later video which went viral showed what appeared to be Moreland himself reacting to the game in his old, overly enthusiastic manner.

Credit: TikTok