Food combat: Atlanta-based influencer posts private data of critics

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Good meals is meant to nourish the soul in addition to the physique.

But the FOX 5 I-Team says an Atlanta social media influencer who touts his cooking expertise on-line has left behind a large number of client complaints and harm emotions. And worse.

“This has been a living nightmare,” complained Atlanta resident Melenese Ford.

Darius Williams, 39, as soon as owned two Atlanta eating places that he closed in January 2020. He’s since constructed a powerful on-line presence below the pseudonym Darius Cooks.

Atlanta-based on-line chef Darius Williams refused to clarify why he doxes his critics. 

A self-taught chef, Williams operates an internet site referred to as DariusCooksTV the place he sells cookbooks and cookware blended in along with his cooking movies.

He additionally often posts on social media — his Facebook web page alone claims 1.5 million followers.

You may even see Williams in individual for his seven-course meals referred to as Dining with Darius — marketed now at $289 an individual — held in varied cities throughout the nation.

Darius Williams depends on short-term rental homes like this one in Collier Hills to stage his Dining with Darius occasions. He upped the value to $289 per individual subsequent 12 months.

But not everybody likes the general style of what Williams has been serving.

His company scored an F Rating with the native Better Business Bureau over complaints he by no means delivered merchandise or canceled eating occasions with out offering refunds.

Unable to succeed in Williams straight, upset clients voiced their frustration within the feedback part of Williams’ social media posts or reside movies.

That’s the place one other time period was added to the menu. Doxing.

“I’ll be honest,” mentioned Don Holland of Detroit. “I didn’t even know what the term doxing meant.”

The official time period is sharing non-public or figuring out data on-line about somebody in a malicious manner. 

When Danielle Holland anonymously reposted feedback from upset clients, she later found Darius Williams responded by posting photos of her two younger youngsters.

Holland’s spouse Danielle mentioned she seen client complaints about Williams and began reposting them anonymously.

Then in the future she checked out Darius’ Twitter web page.

“I’m scrolling and the next thing I see a picture of me. I see a picture of my children. And my husband,” she recounted. “And it was kind of literally like an out-of-body experience.”

The Hollands shut down all their social media accounts and filed a police report, sending authorities clips of Williams’ movies the place he bragged about exposing Danielle and her youngsters.

“We got her kids on there as well,” he tells his supporters. “Her kids’ information. I put it on my Instagram.”

Williams nonetheless has their youngsters’s photos on his Twitter web page.

When the FOX 5 I-Team requested Williams about his doxing practices, he declined remark and closed the door of a short-term rental residence he was utilizing in Atlanta for a Dining with Darius occasion.

Doxing has occurred to extra than simply the Hollands.

In different reside feeds Williams boasted how he can get private details about his critics.

“I can tell you who moved to from what state to what state,” he instructed his followers.

When one other upset buyer disputed a cost — her pal mentioned she arrived late for a Dining with Darius occasion as a result of he was sluggish to share the placement — Williams posted her contact data to his followers, then made enjoyable of her. He additionally posted the cellphone variety of her brother who had privately reached out to intervene.

“He doesn’t like criticism,” mentioned Danielle Holland. “He doesn’t like to be questioned.”

The Hollands shortly discovered others who say they’re additionally victims of doxing. Like Melenese Ford of Atlanta. She says after she raised questions on Darius’ techniques, his followers bombarded her, too.

“I was reached out to,” she mentioned. “Called all sorts of names. It was absolutely horrible. He does this for clicks, likes and engagement.”

The meals combat has even reached different TV cooks. Sunny Anderson and Angela Davis — often known as the Kitchenista — have issued public condemnations of Williams and his doxing.

Anderson gave Williams his begin years in the past as a visitor on her Food Network present.

“I feel so bad,” Anderson instructed the FOX 5 I-Team. “I really do. I want people to know I have nothing to do with him.”

In 2019, the state of Georgia shut down Williams’ unlawful credit score restore enterprise referred to as Above 701. He agreed to pay $145,750 in penalties and restitution.

A number of months later, Williams closed his eating places Greens and Gravy in Atlanta and Soul Crab in College Park.

“This thing about doxing and cyberbullying… it’s real,” mentioned Ford. “And it’s hurtful and it’s hurting people.”

Don and Danielle Holland promote shirts that designate the hazard of doxing. They say they match all proceeds and donate them to charity.

To combat again, the Hollands created shirts with the hashtag #AForeverProblem on the entrance and the definition of doxing on the again.

They promote them on-line with proceeds promised to cyberbullying charities like Cyber Smiles and Movement 4 Black Lives. The proprietor of a trucking firm, Holland says he matches each donation.

Melenese Ford took an image of a kind of shirts left on Williams’ automotive when he was in Atlanta final month.

He took out a restraining order. She filed a police report. And when he went reside to speak about it, she says the assaults from his followers cranked up yet again.
 

One doxing sufferer took this photograph of a t-shirt one other critic left on Darius Williams’ automotive when he was in Atlanta final month. She filed a police report after he blocked her automotive from leaving. He later filed a restraining order. They’re due in courtroom la

“It’s like some sort of really intense cult following that will harass a total stranger based on what he said,” she defined. “It’s pretty scary.”

Bon appétit everybody.

WATCH: FOX 5 NEWS LIVE COVERAGE


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