Where Does Influencer Responsibility Begin and End?
What we can and can’t blame our idols for
If we rewind a few years, the social landscape was wildly different. Today, almost anyone can grow a large following online by simply sharing their opinions and other parts of their lives. The ability for anyone to influence raises the question of what the role of an influencer is in society. What are influencers responsible for when it comes to the content they post and the image they create?
With the rise of influencer marketing and the knowledge of how much social media can affect mental health, I can’t help but wonder who carries the responsibility. Consumers? Influencers? Brands?
Are Influencers Responsible for the Effect of What They Post?
Here’s the thing: whether you have 1,000 or 100,000 followers, you have the power to influence those who follow you. Influencers can connect with their audience as consumers on a deeper level and influence them more than if they were to see an ad on TV. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have, because the content you put out impacts everyone who consumes it.
To What Degree Are Influencers Responsible for What They Post?
In my opinion, influencers can’t ensure that their content will not be perceived in a negative or harmful way by their consumers. But this doesn’t rid them of all responsibility.
The thing with influencers is that they’re people like you and me. The only difference is that the content they share has given them a large following. That doesn’t mean they’re obligated to use their platform for good or to discuss important issues.
Influencer or not — if someone wants to post a photo of themselves in a bikini, they should.
That person is not to blame for any feelings of jealousy or negativity I might feel when I see their post. That’s on me. My reaction has to do with my feelings and insecurities, and they aren’t the influencer’s responsibility.
However, when you know that a large number of people are looking to you on social media for advice or inspiration, you have to take responsibility and understand how much your content can influence.
If you’ve decided you’re going to sell to people on social media, you’re responsible for that. This means that you have to consider what you promote seriously. An influencer should never promote something that they don’t support or lie about a product to generate sales for the brand.
In the same way, you as an influencer should think twice about what habits/things you’re promoting to your followers. Promoting detox products and lying about results you’ve had because of them is not only a scam, but it’s also extremely damaging to those who purchase it expecting such results.
At the end of the day, people shouldn’t be censored. You’re not responsible for how others feel about you. However, you are responsible for the content you put out and what kind of image you’re promoting.