How Should Influencers Use Their Platforms?

An open letter to social media users everywhere.

Rainier Harris
The Startup


Photo: filo/Getty Images.

Over the recent months, especially as it pertains to racial justice, many users on platforms like TikTok have called on major influencers like the D’Amelio sisters, James Charles, and Loren Gray to speak on instances of injustice, circulate petitions, and spread resources that could solve the problem. Many users, however, have decided to harass, bully, threaten, and try to shame influencers into posting about social justice. Users need to stop pressuring influencers who are strictly performative activists into posting about an issue they never took an interest in.

Stop expecting influencers who never cared about BLM to post about it. The onus is on the user to actively seek out and follow influencers that make the content they want to see. Following users whose content is largely tailored to talking about these issues is the only solution. Charli’s content is dance videos. James’ content is makeup stylings. It’s naive to think they would switch up their content to talk about issues they never cared about in the first place.

How can you expect teenagers, who only spoke about Black Lives Matter in the first place in order to not be “cancelled,” to speak up on these issues? It’s obvious that they don’t want to make Black Lives Matter a…