Influence dangers

In an age where celebrities and social media influencers are gaining more attention than ever, opinions that famous people voice have a big impact. This has resulted in more and more stars sharing their beliefs online, yet this does not mean that one should blindly believe the ideas that celebrities put out just because they are well known.

While I am in no way shaming celebrities for wanting to share their beliefs on the internet, I do believe that many of these stars do not realize the extent of their influence on their viewers. As an audience, we should also stay true to our own thoughts on any matter, political or not, and not support a celebrity’s ideas just because we like their work.

The spread of misinformation is one of the worst case scenarios that could happen when a celebrity posts their opinion. In June 2018, beauty guru Kat Von D posted a picture of her pregnant body and stated she would not vaccinate her child. There were also links to articles that supported the unfounded assumption that vaccines caused autism in her husband’s Instagram bio.

This sparked a fierce debate in the comments over whether or not her decision for her child was correct. Although studies have never shown a conclusive link between autism and vaccination, many followers were influenced by her single post and were inclined to believe in this misinformation.

More recently, Jackson Wang, a Chinese celebrity and member of the K-pop group Got7, cancelled his anticipated performance at the Head in the Clouds festival last month. After voicing his support for the police in the Hong Kong riots, fans, especially Hong Kongers, were outraged at his “betrayal.”

Since Jackson is a celebrity who was born and raised in Hong Kong, everyone assumed that he would be supporting the Hong Kongers in their protest against the extradition act.

Jackson and his management decided to pull him out of the performance lineup for last month’s festival with 88Rising, claiming it was too controversial of a time period for him to be performing. Despite this, many fans who did not have a specific stance on the Hong Kong riots before Jackson’s post took his lead and also began to support the Chinese police. This is because many fans feel the need to side with their celebrity icon in any situation, even if they have not researched or are not aware of the scenario and circumstances. This should be prevented in the future.

This makes it all the more important for idols to be aware of the influence they hold, and for fans to be aware of any fake news or controversial beliefs being spread.

Although an influencer spreading awareness and voicing their opinion online can be a great thing, there are times when we as an audience cannot blindly believe everything that a celebrity posts on the internet.