North Texas Daily

We need to stop giving irresponsible influencers a heightened platform

We need to stop giving irresponsible influencers a heightened platform

We need to stop giving irresponsible influencers a heightened platform
June 24
15:30 2021

Social media helps a lot of us get through our day. Whether you are checking Twitter for current events or watching TikTok for entertainment, there is no better time to create a following on social media than right now. It is incredible how quickly people can make content and accumulate a following in such a short amount of time. This is also one of the most terrifying parts of social media. If we are not careful, we can give the wrong people a heightened level of influence, and then we start to run into some major problems.

There are two main groups to look at when talking about people with too much power on the internet. There are people who use social media to amplify the following they already have — personalities like Joe Rogan and former President Donald Trump fit perfectly in this category. Then there are those who we give platforms who do not deserve them at all.

Rogan and Trump were known well before their popularity took off, so it was easy for followers to get behind the messages they had to send. Rogan spent the majority of the pandemic spreading false information on his podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience. At its peak, JRE was pulling in around 200 million monthly listeners, according to Forbes. Just the thought of 200 million people receiving false information about a pandemic should make you question how he still has a platform. 

As for Trump, we have seen the last four years go by like something out of an apocalyptic film. Using his social media as a weapon of hatred earned him a piece of duct tape over his digital mouth. It is nice to see Twitter punish those using their accounts for misinformation and hate speech. There are so many people out there who use their First Amendment rights to spread hate on every platform imaginable. Social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook should put even more effort into making their rules more strict because if we remain lackadaisical, people like Rogan and Trump gain influence on the internet.

The next group of influencers does not deserve the platforms they have. People like Addison Rae and Charli D’Amelio have taken over the pop culture world. Whether it be sponsorships from Dunkin’ Donuts or starring in movies, they have been all over social media. Both are famous for performing viral dances on TikTok, but performing is as creative as it gets for them. A lot of these dances are created by Black content creators, yet Rae and D’Amelio are getting all the praise for them. Rae even went on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and did a whole segment where she teaches Fallon dances that are viral on the platform. You would think that credit would be given to those who created the dances, but it has been a trend for these popular creators to not credit anyone.

Certain influencers are extremely lucky with the platforms they have, but we cannot forget they would not have those platforms if it weren’t for us. We hold an insane amount of power as we scroll on our phones, but we must continue to be careful about who we give that power to.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

About Author

Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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