Those business ventures proved controversial too, and Paul has been accused of trying to scam young followers more than once.
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Paul has been accused of scamming young followers more than once. His ventures tend to revolve around a central theme: Paul tells his kid subscribers that education isn’t important, since he didn’t do well in school but became rich and famous, and other kids should follow his lead. This might be best exemplified with Paul’s widely-mocked diss track about teachers.
But Paul doesn’t just diss education. He’s attempted to start two of his own educational programs that theoretically instruct followers on how to be influential and make money through online pursuits like his own. Paul has enacted two very similar schemes themed around that idea. The first was “Edfluence.”
“Edfluence” was launched in 2018, and it was supposed to be a series of videos fan could unlock for just $7 that would give them a “roadmap” to success as an influencer. Except, as many YouTubers and publications pointed out, the $7 didn’t unlock the program in its entirety. It just unlocked a few videos with basic tips like “have a phone,” and “if you like makeup, create makeup videos.”
If you wanted all the videos, you had to pay an additional $57. As YouTuber Drew Gooden pointed out, the website hosting Edfluence was intentionally misleading, prompting parents of young fans to input credit card information on the first screen to pay $7, only for that information to be saved to the user’s profile, so that a kid could later click to pay $57 without needing to input it again.
Even worse, part of Edfluence’s appeal was that Paul promised fans would have an opportunity to join “Team 1000,” a seemingly expanded version of “Team 10,” his YouTube-famous clique. As Gooden noted in his 2020 update on Edfluence, “Team 1000” never happened, and those who paid $57 just got access to a few disappointing videos about YouTube tips and tricks.
Furthermore, the website for Edfluence no longer exists, so people who paid $64 back in 2018 can no longer access any of the videos. But in February 2020, Paul launched a new educational subscription-based platform called the Financial Freedom Movement. It has essentially the same premise as Edfluence, but initially, you paid a $19.99 fee to create an account.
“Basically i’m [sic] sick of our education system and how it’s teaching kids 0 real life skills for them to secure there [sic] own future,” Paul wrote in his Financial Freedom Movement announcement post on Twitter. “I’m creating a movement for everyone who wants to take life into their own hands and learn real life skills from actual professionals.”
Paul hasn’t issued any updates on the Financial Freedom Movement in months, but the website is still up, you can still create an account (now, for free), and you can still purchase business “Masterclass” videos that start at under $20 and cost as much as over $2,5000. Those videos aren’t hosted by Paul, and he appears to be sourcing material from other entrepreneurship education platforms.
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