Can we trust influencer activism?

Written by Fashion, Latest

A Twitter video has gone viral after exposing a woman in America attempting to self-promote her brand for “clout”. The video shows the woman asking to borrow a workman’s drill, proceeding to pose with the equipment as though she is helping to restore a property, before exiting with her pseudo photographer in a black high-end Mercedes. The video has garnered 29.1 million views and has sparked the question: are social media influencers manipulating their followers?

Instagram influencers have been spotted everywhere during the recent #BlackLivesMatter protests as they aim to achieve the perfect snap “for the gram”. While the movement is trying to represent injustices caused by systemic racism as a whole these influencers are active in the scene representing their personal, and very different, goals. Their objective being to profit off of the ethnic and minority oppression for the sake of Instagram likes.

@emrata on Instagram

As pathetic as it may be on reflection, this is why it’s difficult to gauge the truthfulness of social media representation of a movement. These viral videos suggest some people’s intentions are not exactly from the heart or pure.

A lot of people on social media only post about oppression because it’s trendy and everyone else is doing it. When even the meme pages are in on it you know there’s something going on. But our struggles should not be a trendy topic rather than a reality. It shouldn’t be a marketing strategy but rather an opportunity to educate and raise awareness. I believe these Instagram fashion influencers can use their platforms for a better purpose rather than generate revenue from the death of so many individuals in the hands of police just for a publicity stunt.

According to creative director of influencer marketing agency WaR, Kat Richardson, users need around 10,000 followers before they can “start making anything” and adding that, “Once you get to 30,000 followers, for a fashion or beauty post, you could be looking at around £750,” she says.

According to hopper Kylie Jenner, with over 139 million followers, made $1,266,000 per post. Now with a following of 182 million, the price is much likely to increase in 2020.  Comparatively, model Bella Hadid earns $86,300 per post, similar to those like Huda Katan, founder of ultra-famous beauty brand Huda Beauty, earning $91,300. These numbers showcase the value of an influencers reach and the power they wield, solidifying the importance of using their platforms the right way.

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It’s become very clear to me that some of you need to see what I’ve seen. Please swipe through this. These pictures and videos don’t even scratch the surface. It’s easy from the comfort of your home to watch looting and rioting on television and condone the violent measures being taken by forces. But what you don’t see is innocent peaceful protestors being shot at and tear gassed and physically assaulted relentlessly. You think it’s not happening, it’s only the “thugs” and the “riots”, right? The police are keeping you safe right? You’re wrong. This is happening everywhere. And innocent people exercising their rights to speech and assembly are facing violence and abuse of power. With all of our medical professionals being CONSUMED and EXHAUSTED with Covid, there is little to no medical attention available. I have first hand treated men women and children who have been shot in the chest, the face, the back. Some will lose vision some have lost fingers. I have been covered in innocent blood. My father is a black man. My mother is an EMT. This week I had to put those two associations together in ways that have horrified me. This is NOT a virtue signaling post. But I HAVE to show you what I am witnessing with my own eyes. With Trump’s decision today to enforce the mobilization of armed forces on our own citizens, this has escalated beyond your privilege and comfort to not care. Please care. We are begging you to care. This is war on Americans. This is everyone’s problem. Everyone’s. #BLACKLIVESMATTER

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Credit: BBC

Last modified: 24th June 2020

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