Robin Armstrong admits he has just months to regain his Facebook following – or faces finding a “normal job”.
The Geordie comic‘s world collapsed after his account – and almost one million followers – vanished overnight.
Facebook claimed it was removed for promoting ‘bullying’.
However, Robin blames a troll which he claims he has caught.
Now, the 28-year-old is trying to bounce back after the saga left him on “the bones of my a***”.
“Through my Facebook work, I’d saved up three grand over a few months and bought a second-hand BMW – when this happened, I had to return it a week later,” said Robin.
“Mentally, this has had a huge strain on me. This was my sole income. It is heartbreaking.”
Robin cashed in his massive Facebook following – which dwarfed celebs like Tyson Fury and Scarlett Moffatt – by producing DIY adverts for local firms using apps like Snapchat.
It allowed him to quit his minimum wage job, and helped land him TV and film roles.
But in September, the following he spent five years amassing disappeared amid the Facebook data breach.
He’s now re-emerged online. This time with three different accounts – and with less focus on the ‘funny’ clips which made him a social media star.
“I’ve got the Team Armstrong awareness page, which is raising money for charity while exposing animal cruelty, and we have the Baldy Geordie’ page to do more comedy stuff,” said Robin.
“I’m trying to bounce back but it is a sheer stressful and scary situation.”
The situation, he admits, has at times put a strain on his personal life.
A backer, who he thanked, has been “keeping him going” through the rough period by paying him a wage to keep making content.
“The thing is though, they started supporting this financially when I had almost a million followers,” said Robin.
“He said when it happened he would keep it going, but I was given six months to get the followers back.”
He’s regained thousands of followers but his figure still pales to what he had just weeks ago.
As he fights to claw back his online profile, Robin admits: “It would be hard to go back to a normal job.
“I’m a public figure now, and I’ve got a talent but that has been taken from me right in front of my eyes.
“People have a go and say ‘get a normal job’ but what isn’t what I do a normal job?
“And I don’t have the qualifications to be a trademsan, but I am good at what I do, so why shouldn’t have the chance to pursue that?”
But his hopes were almost completely dashed by a Twitter troll he claims sabotaged his account out of dislike for Robin’s work.
Tens of thousands of complaints were suddenly flooding in for Robin’s clips, something he attributes to a “virus” from the troll who was taunting him on Twitter.
The trolling was so bad, Robin said he even contacted the police.
In the end, he turned cyber detective and confronted him over a 45 minute phone call.
He had four of my pages taken down, and he was basically attaching viruses to them which were getting thousands of warnings every day,” claimed the Geordie comic.
“When I confronted him, I said ‘do this again and I’m coming to your house to expose you#.
“He just apparently doesn’t like people standing up to bullies.”
He’s previously been criticised for making a name on the back of bullying.
Despite that, Robin still claims he receives hundreds of videos from people desperate to expose bullying.
There was even a Facebook campaign backed by his fans for the site to reactivate his account, to no avail.
And while he will continue to try and name and shame the culprits, he’s branching out as he starts again.
One clip from a new account, one of his traditional rants over the David Beckham kissing saga, reached four million people.
He adds: “If you look at how many people have a job they hate – depressed, sitting in an office – I don’t want that.
“With what I can do, what I’m good at, I feel I can go somewhere.
“Why shouldn’t I be allowed to try?”