In the early hours of June 24, 2021, singer and songwriter Billie Eilish appeared to be livestreaming on TikTok as @billielivehere.
Then on July 5, it happened again under the name @billibillieeilishlive. Was she live?
Was Eilish ‘Live’?
TikTok commenters, some of whom were fans of Eilish, begged the musician in the comments to be chosen to go live with her. It appeared that she was indeed randomly selecting several fans and talking to them during the stream. One comment was posted constantly: “Pick me!”
While the live video did indeed show a 19-year-old Eilish doing a livestream, she was not live on June 24 or July 5. An unknown TikTok user simply replayed an old livestream video during a new live broadcast from a TikTok account posing as Eilish.
At the end of the old Eilish livestream, she says goodbye to her fans. After the old stream replayed on TikTok once and Eilish bid farewell, the video immediately restarted. This was the moment that the TikTok viewers who stuck around realized that they had been fooled.
We were able to locate the same archived livestream on YouTube, which matched content seen during the fake Eilish livestream on TikTok. It may have originally occurred on Jan. 27.
TikTok users might be familiar with people replaying old content during livestreams. For example, police chase videos are often replayed during livestreams as if they were happening at that moment. Commenters are often fooled by the trick, just as they were with the fake Eilish livestream on TikTok.
@billielivehere and @billibillieeilishlive
The TikTok accounts that played the old Eilish livestream were named @billielivehere and @billibillieeilishlive. The TikTok accounts went live and appeared in the feeds of at least hundreds of thousands of people. In fact, the total number of people who saw the old livestreams replayed on TikTok likely went well into the millions.
At one point on June 24, more than 43,300 people were watching @billielivehere at the same time at around 3 a.m. EDT, a massive audience for the dead of the night in the United States. It’s not known for how long the account was streaming, but it appeared to be for at least one hour.
The account also had more than 60,000 followers after being created hours before. After the fake stream began, it was receiving new followers at a rate of more than 1,000 per minute.
TikTok users need to have at least 1,000 followers to receive livestreaming privileges. The way that the fake Eilish account was able to quickly receive 1,000 followers was to repost and promote a past video from Eilish’s official account. Once the fake account had 1,000 followers, the fake livestream began.
Eilish’s Real TikTok Account
Eilish’s real TikTok account is @billieeilish. One easy way to tell if a big celebrity is actually livestreaming is to look for the verified badge of a white checkmark in a blue circle.
For more coverage of TikTok rumors, hit up our TikTok Rumors tag.