Isn't it ironic...
Whether you comment on a news article, share your views on Twitter, create jazzy Instagram posts or whizzy YouTube videos, you are nestled within the participatory culture of the 21st century.
For some, this is just a fun way to pass the time with no intentions of generating a career from it. Who even knew that was a thing ten years ago?! When I left school, Facebook and YouTube were barely even on my radar. Actually, I think the first iPhone had only just been released!
Fast forward to 2017 and a plethora of middle-class millennials are finding themselves heading towards fame this way and make the most of every moment along the way; who knows how long this new era of fame will last?
Social media ‘stars’ are jumping at the chance to partner with big name brands for collaborations and sponsored content, amongst many other spring board opportunities. Some may even go on to be one of the most popular singers in the world; ol’ Bieber started on YouTube, remember?
Jack Maynard is one such individual who has risen to fame via his self-titled YouTube channel where he vlogs his daily life and posts the occasional comedy skit. Over 1 million viewers subscribe to his channel.
You may have only first heard about Jack if you tuned in to this year’s ‘I’m a Celebrity’ or perhaps you’re aware of his singer-songwriter older brother, Conor Maynard. This week however, Jack has been forced to leave the jungle to defend himself after offensive and racist Tweets he shared in his previous ‘not-famous’ life were brought into the public eye.
He has since been forced to leave the jungle to comment on the situation, missing out on the juicy £25k fee. The 72-hour rule for the popular ITV show means an early exit forfeits the appearance fee.
When social media stars reach the heady heights of popularity, it’s often the case that a talent management agency will take them under their wing to cash in on their fame and ultimately guide the young star towards success.
As the talent manager, it would be a smart idea to do the leg work of your new client to make sure you’re fully aware of any potential media mishaps or things they’ve done in the past that may come back to bite them.
And Jack isn’t the only one to come under fire recently. Last week, girl-next door and sister from another mister, Zoella, had her halo tilted when Tweets from 2010, 2011 and 2012 were brought to our attention where she appeared to be mocking “fat chavs” and gay men. Zoella was quick to apologise, although that was slated too.
How ironic it is that the free and creative platforms on the Internet, which could rake in the thousands (reportedly millions), could so easily become the monster that tears it all away?
Even just today, Stormzy found himself in the press for all the wrong reasons after homophobic tweets were unearthed from three years ago, before he became the award-winning MC that he is today.
Now, nobody’s perfect and I’m sure everyone has voiced some form of unwelcome opinion online, which forever remains in a digital footprint. You can of course delete the offending posts, as these celebs have done. However, the offending posts have been screenshot, shared, saved down and will probably be used against them for many years, possibly for the rest of their careers.
Be careful what you post and don’t say anything you wouldn’t want to hear read back to you in a room full of people. Or perhaps just don't be mean about people in the first place!