How Does Social Media Exploit Celebrities?
Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, are just some of the most popular social networking sites – and also some of those preferred platforms for voicing your opinions on celebrities…
The King and legend of using YouTube to voice his opinions is Michael Buckley, host and creator of popular channel “What The Buck”. Created on 1st May 2007, the channel’s reputation is built on the exploitation of celebrities in the media, Buckley airing his opinion in short clips. Other networks such as Twitter have given us ‘common people’ a place to vent, rant and use pop culture affairs to exploit celebrity privacy. Anyone can be a blogger and anyone can review a Beyoncé performance – but when another celebrity uses this voice then we all pay attention.
As a “celebrity” himself, Perez Hilton uses his blog as a ‘meta’ tool to post undignified articles about other celebrities – who are on the other side of a clean cut icon – such as Lady GaGa, Amanda Bynes and most recently on Jennifer Lawrence and the private images that were stolen from her iCloud.
This exploitation of privacy would only make minor splashes if it was someone you knew but because Jennifer Lawrence is willingly in the public eye, she has been objectified by millions with the theft of her private images.
Celeb on Celeb attacks
Celeb on celeb attacks are nothing new in social media land. Other acts of “shots being fired”, by passive aggressive celebrities, have come from Azealia Banks vs. Lily Allen and Rihanna vs. the late and great Joan Rivers. And when two queens go against each other someone is bound to get burned.
These online fights would be fine if either party didn’t have over 39 million followers between them and a tiny percentage of that is celebrity peers. Sometimes exploitation of celebrities on social media can be self-executed.
Social media is one the 21st century’s greatest tool and recently this has been used as a secret weapon for the recent Teen Choice Awards aired on the FOX network.
This is the first year that the Teen Choice Awards have dedicated votes and nominations for YouTube and social figures/icons such as Tyler Oakley and Bethany Mota. It wasn’t all as kind-hearted as we first thought. Yes, this is a great step for team internet, but the Teen Choice Awards have always been in control of the votes and nominations. This is just how TV works, but with the new guests at the live event teenagers were told the, not so, hidden truth behind all the award show glamour.
This sparked a fire on social media and with the Youtubers themselves as they were used and exploited as trendy tools to help bring in viewer traffic by taking advantage of their millions of followers and subscribers to vote and create the buzz for the show. This birthed the worldwide trending hashtag #TeensDontHaveTheChoiceAward. Not such a scratch to Nickelodeon and Fox but the internet feelings were hurt by this infamous act.
As impersonal and transparent as Twitter etc. is I do feel that online society is in the apocalypse and the rules for being kind and thoughtful and our human rights of privacy have all been long forgotten just because we have a QWERTY keyboard.
Social media has a power socially and publicly and also a cultural impact upon society. Used as a healing tool this can clean the wounds of people in the spotlight but used as a weapon, And with only 140 characters, you can bring people down with the ability to reach a wide audience with a strong and influential message. Celebrities are not just people we see day to day they are victims of having their privacy stolen. Social media is the tank of the war but we do not have to be in the front line and exploit these artists and creators further with our, clueless and sometimes, reckless online actions.
By Content Assistant, Todd Lamming @toddlamming