A young Russian girl who hosts her own YouTube channel has elicited a wave of sympathy with a post in which she tearfully recounts how no one showed up at a meet-and-greet she had organized for her followers.
The video by Alina, a 10-year-old girl from the city of Nizhnekamsk in the Russian republic of Tatarstan, has garnered more than 2.3 million views since it was posted on November 2 and triggered an outpouring of support from across the country.
In the clip, she says more than 20 followers of her YouTube channel -- titled Like TV Show -- had said they would come to the "fan meeting" she had planned earlier that day, but that no one came.
"I waited there for half an hour and no one showed up," she says with tears running down her cheeks. "I looked everywhere in the park, but there was no one. Please don't deceive me like that anymore. I'm very, very upset right now."
She adds that she had bought "lots of candy" and wanted to "ask riddles and hand out prizes."
"I thought we would have fun and take pictures, and I would finally get to see my friends and subscribers," Alina says.
Words Of Encouragement
Viewers weighed in with words of encouragement for Alina, telling her to hang in there and that they would love to attend one of her fan meetings. Her well-wishers included popular Russian video bloggers such as Yan Gordiyenko and Eldar Dzharakhov, each of whom has millions of followers on YouTube and Twitter.
Predictably, arguments erupted in the comments section of the video about whether it was merely an attempt to "hype" Alina's YouTube channel, which jumped from 6,000 subscribers before the video was posted to nearly 190,000 by November 9.
Others noted that YouTube does not allow children under the age of 13 to create an account, while some wondered whether Alina was accompanied by her parents to the fan meeting she had arranged.
Alina has posted more than 90 videos on her channel since launching it in January. She has discussed arts and crafts, making microwave cheeseburgers, and brought on her younger sister for her show as well. She begins each episode by showing two thumbs up, a signature move she even delivered before she broke down in her viral video.
In a video she posted prior to the November 2 fan meeting, Alina excitedly spoke about her plans for the event and showed off the candy and prizes she was going to give away.
On November 7, Alina got an invitation from Russian volleyball star Yekaterina Gamova -- a two-time world champion -- to come to a joint fan meeting before a November 18 volleyball match in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan.
"I watched your video, and I want to tell you not to worry or get too upset," Gamova said, adding that the two would organize "a little party" for their fans, including candy and autographs.
Alina has posted two more episodes since the tearful video. In a November 8 clip, she said she wanted viewers to know that she is not planning to close her channel.
"I'm here. All is good with me. I'm alive and well," she said.