Influencers are not responsible for speaking on behalf of social injustices

By Yukari E. Zapata

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed the rates of “cancelled” influencers spike dramatically. While some of the reasons for cancellation are understandable, some other reasons are just ridiculous and uncalled for.
Similar to the spike in controversies such as bans, elections, protests such as the Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate movements and many more, there has also been a huge spike in cancelled influencers. From what I’ve seen in all these controversies, average onlookers tend to pick sides, depending on who they believe is right or wrong.

While I do think beliefs and opinions come into play when it comes to being an influencer, there’s an expectation to speak up. A whole bunch of influencers such as Billie Elish, Doja Cat, Nikki Minaj have been temporarily kicked off the radar for the simple act of not commenting on an issue.

Infographic by Yukari E. Zapata

Now there are many things in the internet world that I don’t understand, but this has to be top tier. Since when is not speaking on a matter such a big deal. I have never posted on my story about any debate. I’ve never shared my opinion. Now this isn’t because I don’t believe in basic human decency, it’s more on how it’s literally no one’s business and I just don’t want to.
Unlike influencers, I have the ability to not post anything and still go about my day without getting in trouble or without having an internet troll army on my back being mad at me for not posting about a public issue.
While you might be thinking, that’s my case because I have no following on social media, you’re completely right. But whatever happened to “influencers are humans”? That’s never changed. Influencers aren’t obligated to post about something they don’t want to.
There are many sides to this debate, opposite to my opinion. People say it’s an influencer’s duty to post on social media about certain topics, such as racism, sexism, immigration, getting vaccinated and so much more. People believe they have to post about those issues because they have to promote the organizations which help said issues, as well as influence people and younger generations to do the right thing when it comes to settling debates around those controversies.
While I do see each side with open eyes, it’s not an influencer’s duty to post about every single issue. People have to understand that influencers might not feel comfortable addressing certain issues or just don’t have the right words to say.
People simply don’t understand that one wrong word or phrase used to address an issue is a career thrown out the window. And for most celebrities after one bad wrongdoing there is no apology in the world that will make it better. They’re essentially done.
One of the most notable times when influencers were getting backlash over not speaking about a social issue was just last year during the Black Lives Matter protests. Influencers like Doja Cat and Bad Bunny received a tremendous amount of backlash for not posting anything in regards to the movements. Although they didn’t post right when it happened, it doesn’t mean they don’t support the movements.
Similar to those singers who both later posted about the social injustices, there has been a wide spread of influencers who have spoken about social injustices or movements and still receive backlash. Most recently Billie Elish who received a lot of backlash for speaking out against the recent abortion ban in Texas. In her case she did speak on the matter, but people didn’t like what she said.
When it comes to people on the internet they can never be truly satisfied. There will always be something wrong. Influencers shouldn’t receive backlash or get “cancelled” for the simple act of not speaking on social injustices or movements. Everyone should have the freedom to say what they want as well as to not say anything at all.

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