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Kingdom under siege

As one of the most famous video bloggers and once the “King of Runet” Ilya Maddison was a step away from the criminal case for a joke about the Koran.

Ilya Davydov
Ilya Davydov

In the middle of January, the video blogger and stander Ilya Davydov, more often referred to as Ilya Maddison, was attacked for jokingly about the Koran – the holy book of Muslims. Adherents of Islamic values ​​considered that Maddison with his joke insulted the traditions of the Muslim people. On February 4, 2017, the Chechnya prosecutor supported this view by initiating a criminal case against the stand-up, thereby jeopardizing Maddison’s longstanding career as one of the most famous video bloggers in Runet.


In December 2008, the first video game review by Ilya Davydov appeared on video Rutube, where he analyzed the domestic game “Dom-3” based on the TV show “House 2”, taking the nickname Maddison. It, according to one version of the fans, sent to the American porn actress Kelly Maddison. Pierced with taunts, irony and curses, the video quickly gained popularity and gave the author to understand that humorous reviews of video games are of interest to people in Russia.

The idea of ​​such reviews belongs to the American video game critic James Rolf, better known as AVGN (Angry Video Game Nerd). Often resorting to aggressive and spiteful form, Rolf began with reviews of bad video games on game consoles, and so quickly gained popularity in a few years, which inspired Maddison to create a similar theme show.

Defining the thematic boundaries, Davydov decided to review mostly video games of Russian production – “trash”, as he himself called such projects. Maddison concentrated not on giving the video game an objective assessment, but as much as possible to ridicule it like his American mastermind.

This approach has taken root in Russia. A different audience of about 10 to 25 years old began to view the videos of an ordinary Moscow student, later expelled from the faculty of journalism. This unique phenomenon, even then for the Russian Internet segment, aroused the interest of TNT channel management. After contacting the video blogger, he was offered to play his own video game show.

Shortly thereafter, the program of the “Take-out” program began to appear on the television channel , where Maddison analyzed his video games without leaving his image of a harsh critic-humorist. The show was about six o’clock in the morning, but such early time did not prevent the program from gaining high ratings and glorify Maddison. This confirms the decision of the TV channel to extend the show for the second season after the 14 released series.

However, the second season was the last – the quality of the transfer and ratings began to fall, which later recognized himself Davidov. After that, he returned to Rutube, where by 2009 he became the editor of the game section, and at the end of the year he won the nomination “The Hero of Runet-2009” according to the version of the portal of the same name.

And although the importance of this award was often skeptical, Maddison’s victory in it marked his success in 2009. After all, it was for him that the largest number of people voted during the election of the winner. In many ways, this contributed to the publication of the award in the official group Maddison in “VKontakte”, which was founded in 2009.

Approximately after his victory, Davydov jokingly called himself “King”, and on the Internet began to appear images of Maddison on the throne.

Initially, I just wanted to fuck the girls. With my appalling appearance, such life bonuses can only be accessed on condition of popularity. After seeing how my friend became the leader of the punk band, I realized: it’s time to become king. So I took the first step to popularity – I decided to do something besides self-satisfaction with live fish from the deli.

Ilya Davydov, video blogger

Cultural Recognition

By early 2010, Maddison increasingly began to call for television. He appeared in the program “More” on TNT, in the “Danger Zone” on TVC, on the TV channel “Stolitsa” , “The First Game” and MTV, where he took part in the video game Virtuality” for a long time . In the same year, Maddison visited the Echo of Moscow broadcast and published a new show on YouTube under the pseudonym Stepan Arveladze.

In this program, Maddison made reviews on virus videos, copying the American videobloger Ray Johnson. After a while, Davydov dropped the show and returned to the video game reviews. Later, in August 2010, Maxim Golopolosov launched the show +100500 , where he commented on the video clips. In October, YouTube appeared similar on the theme of the show. This is Good for the authorship of Stas Davydov. Both shows gained tremendous popularity and soon surpassed the audience of Maddison in quantity.

Later, Golopolosov and Davydov noted the influence of Maddison on the desire to create a show about virus videos. In 2012, in an interview with the TV show “Brainfakers” Maddison girl Ksenia Sevastyanova, known under the pseudonym “Zanuda”, claimed that Golopolosov stole the idea of ​​+100500 from Davydov. Davydov did not comment on this information.

By the beginning of 2011 Maddison began to cooperate with one of the largest Russian gaming sites “Kanobu”, launching the show “Aristocratic cinema” with reviews on the cinema. This experiment Davydova did not end, and he launched the show “Advertising Point” with reviews on Russian advertising. The producers of the project were the grouping of video bloggers “Thanks, Eva”. Later, Davydov participated in the launch of the show “Internet-News” , where in the role of presenter told about the events on the Internet. However, after two editions of the show closed.

In 2012, Maddison starred in the humorous series “Police Weekdays” with the support of “Thank You, Eve.” After three episodes, the project was frozen, and Maddison, along with the release of new video game reviews, began to engage in stand-ups in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Later, he made a duet with the comedian and stand-up artist Yuri Khovansky.

In 2013-2014, Maddison several times announced his departure from the field of reviews, but each time returned after a short break. In those same years he practically did not participate in new projects, focusing on video game reviews.

Gradually, Maddison changed the format, starting to release commercials much more often than ever before. This happened against the backdrop of the rapid popularity of the Internet phenomenon “deathplay”, when one or more people play a video game and comment on what is happening with a microphone or webcam. The availability of “flotches” has generated a large number of competitors Maddison, leading to the fact that his audience has decreased.

In the period from 2015 to 2016 in Davydov’s career, there comes a lull: his video reviews came out with a variable frequency, and at some point the blogger decided to leave YouTube for the streaming site Twitch.

There Davydov began to conduct live broadcasts of various video games and soon gained a solid audience. By the end of 2016, the number of Davydov’s subscribers on Twitch reached approximately 290,000, when on the abandoned YouTube channel there were more than 600,000.

Davydov parodies Yuri Khovansky
Davydov parodies Yuri Khovansky

Scandal with the Koran

On January 19, 2017, Maddison was attacked by a wave of criticism from people who considered it a joke about the Koran during a stand-up speech inappropriate and offensive. Videoblogeru began to threaten with physical violence.

On the record , dated 2012, Maddison performs on stage in an unknown club, holding a book in her hands. He told how he bought the Koran and decided to read it in the toilet. Finding that there is no toilet paper in the toilet, the comedian took advantage of the toe. Then he showed a dirty sock to the audience, added “thank God that nothing happened to the Koran” and put a sock in the book, after which he finished the speech with the words “do not shoot me, this is the Bible.”

The first publication with a call to “punish” videobloger can be seen on YouTube on the channel “ Shamilimam Kilyatlinsky “, where on January 18, 2017,  recording of Maddison’s stand was made. In the title of the record it is said that the videobloger committed a mortal sin by his deed. Also in the description was a reference to the Telegram channel of the user who posted the video.

On January 18, the first Maddison-related entry appeared on this channel: in it someone called for the blogger to be left alone, as he was tormented in Hell after his death. Then came about 10 more audio recordings from different users on the theme of Maddison. In most of them, the authors asked the interlocutors to “control themselves” and insisted that the promises to harm the video blogger were given in anger. One of the users stated that Davydov deserved to die, but did not specify in what way.

A new wave of talk about Maddison began on January 19. The group began to enter people with Russian names and ask if Davidov was in danger of being punished. Abu Huraira channel participant often entered into a dialogue with these people. In his opinion, Davydov insulted many Muslims with his video, and should bring a public apology. The user was denied physical reprisals against the video blog, provided that he apologized.

Approximately half an hour after that in the group “Fighters of Dagestan” in “VKontakte” there was an entry about Davydov. Later the record was deleted, but there was a screenshot. Later, a similar entry appeared in the public “Demand Knowledge” with an appeal to find Maddison and “you know what to do with it.”

Along the way to the profile of Maddison in Insagram began to come insults, in connection with which Davydov removed the profile. The last published photo shows the Bible, and in the signature the author asks to forgive him for “that he was young and stupid”. The profile of the video blog on Twitter was also deleted.

Later, a friend of the video blogger, who wished to remain anonymous, reported that Maddison left Russia after the unknown “broke into the apartment” to his parents. On the video blog, the next time came only on February 8, 2017, saying that in the near future he could not conduct live broadcasts and asked fans not to renew the paid subscription on the Twitch website.

Dear friends! To date, there is such a situation that I do not have the opportunity to broadcast. When she appears, I do not know. There is a possibility that this may never happen. So the most logical solution for those of you who have a paid subscription, there will be an answer from the channel.

If you do not do this and will wait – I can only say “thank you”, this money will help me a lot. Before all the rest I can only apologize for everything that’s happening. I really want to stream, but at the moment it’s impossible.

Ilya Davydov, video blogger

Public response

January 19 in VKontakte “appeared closed community” Army of Ilya Mad “, in which supporters of Davydov follow the scandal and the fate of the idol. Also, members of the community collect in the albums screenshots of Facebook users’ messages, which threatened Davydov with reprisals. The group consists of the well-known Russian video blogger and Stint , which has signed over a million people to the YouTube channel.

In a conversation with , the group’s founder Pavel Limonov said that he had personally met Davydov about five years ago and has since maintained friendly relations. According to Limonov, Maddison “does not lose a sense of humor, even being in an extraordinary situation.” The activist noted that he wrote a letter to the LDPR asking him to help deal with the “aggressive-minded deputies of the Caucasus,” but received no response.

On the wall of the community Limonov published a screenshot of the correspondence with the user “VKontakte”, who promised that Limonov would be killed.

Limonov also talked about how he communicated with Sultan Togonidze, chairman of the executive committee of the Russian Congress of the Peoples of the Caucasus, who said that the article for insulting the feelings of believers was criminalized after the scandalous appearance of Maddison, so for this there will be only administrative proceedings. However, Togonidze said that the second video, where Davydov talksabout Islam and Muslim culture, will be considered “through the prism of the current criminal legislation.”

The second video posted on YouTube on January 22, 2017, titled “Maddyson about Islam, the Koran and Muslims,” ​​appears to be a fragment of the recording of David Davydov’s video. The date of publication of the original video is unknown, there are no other copies of the video on YouTube.

The scandal with a joke about the Koran drew the attention of a large public 4ch in “VKontakte”, the audience of which exceeds two million people. Representatives of the group approved the persecution of Maddison. The humorous public MDK, on ​​the contrary, condemned the persecution of Davydov, adding that even members of the terrorist organization “Islamic State” had promised to “punish” him.

In conversation with videobloger Stas Davydov did not comment on the scandal with the Koran, but he expressed respect for the work of Maddison and his ability to “improvise”. Therefore, Davydov believes, “it’s a bit strange to talk with him – you do not always understand if he’s serious.”

The founder of My Duck’s Vision studio and the creator of the site “Thank you, Eva” Yuri Degtyarev in a conversation with said that he met with Maddison in 2009, when he became the producer of the show “Take-away Games”, but in recent years he rarely spoke to a video blogger.

Degtyarev called the scandalous situation unpleasant, noting that the joke of Maddison is really not funny. The founder of several projects added that he had to communicate with “the sufferers to get rid of the video blogger,” because they wanted to find Maddison through a former producer. Degtyarev added that he often listened to Davydov’s advice and respected his opinion, so it would be a great pleasure to help him in this situation if the video blogger turned to him.

Comedian stand-up Yuri Khovansky, after the start of the baiting in his Twitter, promised to cover Maddison for the time of “Muslim hunting”.

In connection with the scandal, the pranker Evgeny Volnov wrote down a series of telephone rallies where he allegedly spoke on behalf of Maddison with his offenders. The most popular of the clips about the scandal was typed by the one where Volnov called the imam, the spiritual minister who runs the mosque.

In conversation with him, the pranker on behalf of a Muslim asked the minister if he could read the Qur’an in the toilet and wipe it off with a sock, if at the same time the book remains untouched. To this the Imam stated that the Qur’an was not worth reading in the toilet, but generally calmed the interlocutor, saying that he did not do anything wrong.

Co-founder of the site “Disgusting Men” Viktor Zuev, closely acquainted with Maddison, in a conversation with “Kanobu” called the situation a nightmare. At first he counted the situation for a foul, but, according to him, everything was serious: Maddison was threatened with reprisal, and the video blogger himself was OK, but he did not want to give out the location.

In an interview on February 7, rapper Basta spoke about the situation with Maddison. The performer called Davydov’s joke “shit”, and the scandal – a show-off, noting that he would be sorry if Davydov was caught and beaten.

The well-known video blogger Dmitry Ivanov, known as Kamikadze_d, on the contrary, condemned people who threatened Maddison or enjoyed his problems. Ivanov also noted that Davydov made a great contribution to the development of Runet. Indirectly agreed with this statement and videobloger BadComedian, calling the situation with a joke about the Koran “sad” and wondering why and why they suddenly remembered about the video published in 2012.

The reaction of government officials

On January 19, Maddison’s joke was condemned by the deputy of the People’s Assembly of Dagestan Magomed Shabanov in Facebook. The record was deleted, but there was a screenshot. Davydov also denounced the public figure Bulach Chankalayev, calling the video blogger a “scum” and demanding that he apologize.

On February 4, the Chechnya prosecutor’s office initiated a criminal case against Maddison for a joke about the Koran. According to a report by the Chechen prosecutor’s office, a psycholinguistic study was conducted on a scandalous clip . It showed that in the video “there are actions and statements aimed at humiliating a person and a group of people on the basis of the attitude towards religion Islam and Christianity.”

The prosecutor’s office handed over materials to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation to initiate criminal proceedings under part 1 of Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and prepared an application to the court to recognize the video as extremist. After that, on February 13, the prosecutor’s office of Chechnya published and for unknown reasons soon removed the message about the initiation of a criminal case against the videobloger.

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