Celebrity Culture: a Lack of Privacy Thanks to the Participatory Journalism in Fanpages

With the prevailing dominance of celebrity culture across multiple mediums, the main facet of celebrity news may no longer come from Entertainment Tonight or tabloids, but through social media like Instagram and Twitter pages. The privacy of celebrities has become increasingly non-existent as their entire lives are posted to social media for their millions of followers. Either by them or by people running pages that are designed specifically as an outlet to update fans on their favourite celebrities, their every move is published online for users to see. In this way, we may observe this ever growing trend of celebrity reporting on social media being connected with the concept of participatory journalism, where the consumer becomes a collaborator in the production of content.

Only nine results of the hundreds of Justin Bieber fanpages available on Twitter. Run by fans for fans: the audience becomes the producer.

As discussed in the article :

we can see the ever growing community of people who report on the private lives of celebrities and in turn communicate this information to followers through social media.

“Audiences are typically only “engaged” once a story has been published” This is not the case however with the new trend of reporting celebrity movements almost as immediately as they occur. Though the reports on the part of the operators of these fan pages are not necessarily full stories, they still contain relevant information that the page’s audience is interested in. These events are reported immediately because the page operators are usually striving to bring the latest in news and content concerning the celebrity. This is done in a fashion that replicates living the life of the celebrity with them, or vicariously through them.

For example the post below features a screenshot from a Snapchat story that tells fans that singer Selena Gomez will be going on tour with song group DNCE!. For all those who do not have access to the Snapchat posted by Selena, the page reports this in a timely manner, to fans and viewers, thus informing them and bringing current news.

“With public-powered journalism, professionals continue to do the good work they’ve always done…but audiences are regarded not only as recipients but as resources to inspire and inform the work they do.” The concept of participatory journalism has become so popular that it extends beyond simply non-professionals collaborating to bring news to an audience, but to regular social media users who choose to use the reporting of a celebrity life as a way to bring compelling content to their followers. In this way, the audience can be regarded as beginning to blend as the receivers of news and the ones who communicate it.

Below is a post from another fan page updating followers about the life of yet another celebrity, Kendall Jenner. Here they post paparazzi shots of the young model with a description of when and where this photo was taken.

The specificity with which these fans manage their pages really showcases the absence of privacy in the lives of these celebrities as their every move is reported, from their most casual day-to-day activities like a trip to the gym to glowing moments at awards shows. No longer must we rely on Hollywood magazines in order to take a peek at our favourite stars latest outfits, outings and more. Simply follow the abundance of fan pages available for celebrities across platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.

With the ever growing phenomenon of celebrity culture, the existence of social media pages to report on the private lives of these individuals is to be expected and will in all likelihood only continue to grow. As members of these celebrities fan bases discover that it is as easy as a click of a mouse to take initiative and report on any celebrity of their choice, the blending of the consumer or audience with the collaborator will be ever present.

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