Meet Ethan, the 27-year-old TikTok dynamo from Tampa, Florida. Known on TikTok as @modern_day_angel, he’s become something of a digital folklore hero – or menace, depending on whom you ask. If you ask him, he’s a professional troll slayer.
Ethan’s brand of retaliation is not for the faint-hearted. He has made a name for himself with his fiery, no-holds-barred responses to naysayers. Ethan’s approach is nothing short of theatrical: tattooing his skin with images of his online haters or their family members and leveraging his Sherlock-Holmes-like research skills to unearth their most private misfortunes. His creativity in comeback craft has seen him tattoo everything from restraining orders to grim representations of his haters’ deceased relatives, sparking a mix of awe, controversy and legal threats.
In the ever-shifting sands of TikTok’s community guidelines, Ethan’s account has faced the axe over 20 times since this summer, forcing him to constantly reinvent his presence. Undeterred, he continues to share his unfiltered content from alternate accounts like @anti_social.butterfly_. Everyone is wondering the same thing: why?!
From contemplating the future of his troll tattoos as he runs out of skin real estate to musing about potential ventures, Ethan’s vision extends beyond the realm of TikTok and tattoos. He’s a man with a plan, a vision and an unshakable sense of humor.
Please introduce yourself to those who aren’t on TikTok.
My name is Ethan, that’s my real name. On the Internet, I’m known as a few different things. First, it was FaceTap Baby, and then Internet Sweetheart, and now Modern Day Angel. So I have had a few different names. I’m 27, I’m from Tampa, Florida. I work at a call center for an AC company. And then in my free time I do TikTok, which I don’t make any money from, but I’m basically a professional troll slayer. I bully people who are bullies. That’s what I do.
Okay, so we’re going to get more into that for sure. But I want to know, what was the very first tattoo that you ever got? What started your tattoo journey?
I think I was 18 when I got my first tattoo. I got two. I got one on each arm – one said “youth” and the other one said “freedom.” It wasn’t until I got sober last year that I started getting tattoos every day all over. Even though my first tattoo was at 18, my tattoo journey didn’t really start until I was 26. I was on opiates for 10 years, I got off of them and I got clean and then I just got addicted to tattoos. I’ve just embraced it and if people don’t like it that’s whatever, I’ve learned to be happy with the way that I look now.
When did you first begin to make content?
When I first started making TikTok content, I didn’t even know what TikTok was. I got sober and everyone was always talking about it and I was like, “Let me just download this app and see why everyone is so addicted to it,” so I started just watching other people’s TikToks and I was like, “Okay, there’s a lot of funny shit on here I see why people like this app,” and then I started making videos myself but it was nothing like what I do now. It was basically just me talking about recovery, showing new tattoos that I was getting, stuff like that. I was met with so much trolling and animosity. I was just making normal videos, nothing was really controversial about them. But it was just like all the comments were, “Good luck ever getting a job,” “You look terrible,” “There’s nothing wrong with tattoos, but get a good artist at least,” you know just stuff like that, and I was just like “People are so mean for no reason.” I just was ignoring people and I would delete the comments and then one day I just responded to one of them and it blew up. Then I just started this thing of trolling people who troll me.
Do you remember the first troll video that you made?
One of the first ones, some guy had commented something about me not being able to ever get a girlfriend, which I’m gay. So the comment really made no sense anyway. But I looked up his name and I went on his Facebook and I found a picture of his son. And I was like, “I’m in a relationship and it’s with your son.” And I threw up a picture of his son on the screen that I got off of Facebook. And he deleted his comment and people were laughing their asses off about it. It was really innocent little stuff like that.
But it wasn’t tattooed on you yet?
Right, it hadn’t got to that point yet, it was still very very light.
So what was the first troll tattoo that you got?
It was kind of a similar situation. It was this lady. I remember all their names for some reason. I’m like I’m like the Zodiac Killer where I’m just collecting these people’s names. [Laughing]. But her name was Rita. And I don’t remember exactly what she was saying in the comments. She was just making rude comments about my tattoo, saying she didn’t agree with them, stuff like that. And I ended up finding her son on Instagram, which he was very cute, by the way, his name was Gregory. And I just got his name tattooed on me and I made a video response to her and I showed her the tattoo and I was like, “I have your son’s name on me now” and of course she was upset by that. I think that was the very first one that I got.
@modern_day_angel Replying to @Christina 🌹 ♬ Paint the town red clean – Clean sounds
Do you know how many of these troll tattoos you have on your body now? Do you keep track?
Oh my god. Well, I started getting them on my back and I would call it the wall of shame. All of them were on my back. Because it’s not even like I’m gonna really see these tattoos, they’re on my back and most of the time I have a shirt on so it seemed like it wasn’t really a big deal to me. I thought the tattoos were funny but then people loved it so much and it blew up out of control to the point where I have so many on my back now that I don’t even have any more room. I’ve expanded and now I have a couple on my legs. I want to say there’s probably like 20 now. They’re all really big so that’s one thing that I kind of regret. I wish I would have got them a little bit smaller because there are so many people who need to be trolled and I’m running out of room rapidly.
What happens when you run out of room?
I’ve been thinking about that because that’s one of the most common comments that I get, people saying “I’m nervous that you’re gonna run out of room soon.” So I’ve kind of been thinking about it and I think I might do something like making posters, like movie posters, you know, or maybe t-shirts I think could work too. I think t-shirts would be pretty funny, especially if people could buy the t-shirt. I’ve been throwing around some ideas, but I still have a little bit of space left. I still have a decent amount of space.
Do you know how much money you spent on these troll tattoos?
I’m gonna say somewhere around like $10,000. It’s a lot, but it’s worth it to me.
Do you go to the same artist?
I’ve gone to a lot of different artists. I’ve been tattooed at every tattoo shop in my area basically.
Do you tell them the story of what you’re getting? What do they think about doing these tattoos?
Oh yeah of course I explain it to them, I show them the initial comment that the person made and then I tell them what my idea is. I get two reactions, either they look at me like I’m a serial killer or they think it’s the best thing ever and there’s really no in-between. I have been turned away for a few troll tattoos that were a little bit too wild I guess, but then I just go to a different artist who’s down to do it.
Do you ever feel like it goes too far? Like, after you get the tattoo, do you ever feel kind of weird about it?
Yeah, I’ve had ones that I deleted and I never put back up. Kristen Marie is a content creator on TikTok and she is a different kind of case because usually all the people that I troll are people who comment on my page. She never commented on my page but she is a very conservative woman and she makes videos saying harmful things [about the LGBT community] so I got a funny tattoo depicting her. At first, when I posted the video I think she even said that she found it funny but then she said that because of that video and how it blew up people were harassing her and threatening her that they’re gonna show up at her job and she was kind of putting all the blame on me which from my perspective I was like, “I don’t think that my tattoo is causing you to be harassed I think it’s the stuff that you’re saying on the Internet.” But I did feel bad because she’s an elementary school teacher, and she had people saying they’re gonna show up at her job and stuff. I’m not a monster. I like to troll people, but I don’t like the idea of a woman feeling threatened or feeling like something’s gonna happen to her because of a video that I posted. So I took that one down and I never put it back up so there’s stuff like that. With the Grim Reaper one, I felt like his comment was so nasty that I didn’t really feel bad. I guess sometimes people just have to be taught a lesson.
Do you have a favorite troll tattoo that you’ve gotten?
That’s hard, there’s so many of them that I like, but I would have to say the Grim Reaper is pretty up there. I think that one was just like chef’s kiss, you know, but there’s there’s a few of them that I really like. It’s hard to choose, though.
@tobequeen_nikk This has got to be the pettiest thing I’ve ever seen. My jaw is on the floor!! 😭😭😂😂 #kingofpetty👑 #moderndayangel #trendingtattoos #watchyourmouth @internet sweetheart 💘 ♬ original sound – Queen Nikk
What makes a troll comment tattoo-worthy?
I’ve run into an issue now that like, everybody knows who I am on TikTok, everybody knows what I do. So people are just coming at me on purpose and planting stuff for me to get tattooed. Somebody made a comment talking shit and then I go to their page and the very first post is about someone in their family who’s passed away and I’m just like, “I see what you’re trying to do.” I try to go for the comments that I feel like are actually being serious, like they’re not trying to bait me into getting a tattoo. But just any negative comment I feel like qualifies for getting trolled, how bad the comment is depends on what kind of tattoo I’m gonna get. To me, if you comment something negative at all, you’re eligible because I don’t think I could even think of one time when I’ve just randomly gone onto a person’s page and been like, “I’m just gonna comment something totally out-of-pocket and insult them.” It’s usually about my tattoos but I know that my tattoos look like shit, you don’t have to use it to insult me. Whether I like my tattoos or whether you like them, they’re a part of my appearance now so insulting them is insulting my appearance which I think is just very out of pocket and inappropriate.
Do you want to say anything to your haters or your supporters or both?
For the haters, comment at your own risk. Find something safe to play with because it’s not me. And the supporters and the people who are standing behind me, everybody in my Discord, I love you guys so much, I appreciate you guys.
Where do you want to go from here?
Ideally, I would like to get to a point where I don’t have to work a normal job like I am now. I think it would be really cool to have my own show or my own podcast or something like that. So, definitely just expanding the platform and kind of trying to put myself out there and build something bigger for myself that’s more than just silly tattoos, there’s a bigger vision behind it.
Ethan’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/internet_sweetheart_/
Ethan’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcyN0hk-rOztl0852FCreEg