A TikTok influencer and former Cisco employee went viral after showing his 900,000 followers “how to protect 1,099 workers who receive pre-taxed money from audits”.
The company has since announced that he no longer works for Cisco.
The original clip by Ethan Keizer (@itsethankeiser), which received 3.1 million views, featured a dancer who reportedly made $ 33,700 in three days. Some have perceived the video as showing people how to make money by reporting strippers to the IRS
“It looks like she’s keeping it in a sock drawer,” he said.
“According to the IRS, if you report them and they don’t pay taxes, you can fill out a form and get 30 percent of the money.
“It’s business, baby,” he concluded.
However, he gave the clip a headline: “I’m trying to explain to you all why this is bad” and specifically wrote in the clip: “Don’t do that !!”
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Ethan told Insider, “Essentially, Cisco was doing an internal review and I already knew I was gone.
“I had a pretty good understanding that they would definitely take action against me. I mean, it’s in the nature of this company and how they stand and all the messages that they have had in the past.
“Anything that seems to attack a vulnerable group they will attack, and it makes more business sense how they want to put it.”
The next day, Ethan was put on a three-week administrative vacation from Cisco, a company known for selling routers and moving to business. “They sounded like they were madder because I didn’t tell them this was happening,” Ethan said. “However, I do a lot of content on TikTok that is sometimes considered controversial, but I don’t think it’s controversial.”
When his three-week vacation ended on October 7, he was fired from the company. “I disagree with your conclusion,” said Ethan. “I just feel like I made a pretty good point and I was making fun of it and I get punished for that, but whatever.”
Ethan stated that his intent was not to target any particular person or group. “I would say I totally regret doing it just because I don’t want anyone to ever feel offended,” he said. “The message was still clear and correct, but I hate how certain people took the message and turned it into something much worse.”
Latest Page News approached Cisco and Ethan for comment.