Internet personality Chris Crocker, most widely recognized for his 2008 “Leave Britney Alone” plea that became one of the most-watched videos in YouTube history, has deleted his YouTube account.
Crocker made the announcement on his personal Facebook page yesterday, claiming the toxicity of Internet trolls sending him hate mail became too much to handle:
In a separate video explaining his decision further, Crocker notes YouTube is one of the remaining social networks where people can comment anonymously.
“You ask yourself, what did I do to affect this person’s life?” he says. “They want me to die.”
Crocker has wandered in and out of the spotlight since his video defending Spears’ infamous 2007 VMA performance went viral. “Leave Britney alone!” he screamed in the video whilst crying, lashing out at people who criticized the performance, including blogger Perez Hilton and producer Simon Cowell.
Crocker released two EPs, one in 2008 and another in 2013. He was the subject of the 2012 HBO documentary Me at the Zoo and famously launched his gay porn career in a 2012 video with DIY porn enthusiasts The Maverick Men.
Responding to commenters who applauded his decision to step away from making videos for the sake of his happiness and mental health, Crocker wrote, “It’s very toxic and can break even the strongest of the strong down. But ultimately you gotta have joy out of doing it. As long as you enjoy sharing them on that platform, more power to you! I just lost the joy out of sharing there.. But I am so happy to in any way inspire you!”
You won’t be able to relive the “Leave Britney alone” rant on his channel any longer, but this is the Internet, so it will always live on in infamy. And don’t fret. It appears Chris has taken his signature wit to Instagram: