|“||Well that was fucking stupid, wasn't it?||”|
—Joel after getting his YouTube account back
On November 4th, a hacker claimed responsibility for breaching and hijacking the YouTube and Twitch channels of Joel, replacing his YouTube avatar and channel name with images bearing the signature “Towel.” In addition to vandalizing Johansson’s social media channels, Towel also uploaded three videos in which he taunts the subscribers by stating that he now owns the channel, while banning nearly everyone who commented on the Vinesauce streamer’s Twitch channel.
Shortly after the hack, Johansson’s subscribers began discussing the events on Vinesauce’s official forum, the /r/vinesauce subreddit and 4chan’s /v/ board, with some reportedly attempting to identify and mobilize a raid against the hacker. On the following day, a brief article about the anonymous hacker “Towel” was created on Vinesauce’s Wikia site. On November 8th, Towel uploaded a video titled “Goodbye” to Johansson’s YouTube channel, seemingly suggesting that he would release his control over the channel; However, by the next day, all of Johansson’s videos had been deleted from the channel. As of November 10th, all of the videos that had been removed were restored and a short video of Johansson announcing the recovery of his channel was uploaded.