What Risks Do Social Media Influencers Face In Pursuit Of Visibility?

May 28, 2024

Too much is given, much will be required. Luke 1:24:8. It seems everyone wants to be insta-famous, but not willing to deal with the heat when it’s brought to the kitchen. I speak from personal experience that the trolls on the Internet are absolutely ruthless.

During the height of all the January 6th madness, these bots, many of which I believe are paid for to silence us, were sliding into my DMs and wishing harm and even death at times to both my family and me. And I also know how awful the Reddit trolls can be to me and other social selling influencers.

Challenges of Being a Social Media Influencer

Do yourself a favor and never read about yourself or feed into that madness by going on there and going down the rabbit hole. I’ve also had friends in my industry.

Get ready for this one. I hope you’re sitting down, but they’ve been sent awful things in the mail. A friend of mine who used to be part of my marketing team once even had human feces sent to her house. She believed it was someone in her downline who felt, like, scorned by her or something like that.

But regardless, people are psycho. And you wonder why I don’t share everything on social media, specifically my children? Come on now. Our world is very divided, and the media feeds into it. I will make note before I continue that I am not going to go into my own personal feelings over what is going on between Israel and Gaza, Hamas.

If you’ve been here long enough, you already know where I stand on this issue. And what we’re gonna do today is focus on the impact that influencers on social media have had on these social issues and how cancel culture, yet again, is rearing its ugly head.

Let me say this. I have zero, and I do mean zero tolerance for cancel culture.

But I can understand how this particular topic is extremely triggering for people. It involves violence, war, deep rooted history, and children. Like I said, I’m coming from this and and giving my viewpoints from an unbiased direction. And I’m gonna give you multiple examples on each side of the coin.

Influence of Social Media on Shifting Social Justice Movements

Just to update you, the Israel Hamas war began by a surprise Hamas attack that left 1400 people dead in Israel in October of 2023. As of May 21, 2024, over 37,000 people, 35,562 Palestinians, and 1,478 Israelis have been reported as killed in the Israel Hamas war.

This includes a 105 journalists, a 100 of which are Palestinian, 2 Israeli, and 3 Lebanese, and over 224 humanitarian aid workers, including a 179 employees of UNRWA, which is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East.

Like I said, this is a very heavy subject to say the least, so I’m going to stick to what I know best, which is marketing, business, and social media.

So most recently added to the cancel culture list is miss Rachel. Do you know who she is? If you don’t, I think you live under a rock. I don’t have my toddler watching her content, but trust me when I say I can recognize that pink shirt and overalls lady with the ponytail and the headband anywhere.

But for those of you that are still in the dark about who she is, miss Rachel is a viral YouTuber who creates kids content to help them with speech development.

And it was kick started by her own son’s speech delays. And over the last, gosh, few years, it’s crazy, but she has accrued 2 million followers on Instagram and 9.7 million YouTube subscribers. So I’d say she has some influence, wouldn’t you?

And then the last week, she made an announcement on her social media where she said every penny of the donation she was asking for… so there’s an app where you can pay celebrities to wish you a happy birthday, send you a message. So all of those donations, typically, they go to the celebrity.

It’s usually like these, like, c or d list celebrities that are just trying to make a buck, and they’ll say whatever you want them to say, you know, whatever it may be.

But she was taking the money, and rather than pocketing it herself, she was asking for these donations to go toward the child focused humanitarian nonprofit, Save the Children. Sounds wonderful.

Controversy surrounding a viral YouTuber fundraising for children in Gaza

But she added that this effort was to help children living in the Gaza Strip, but made no mention of those Israeli children who have been attacked, killed, and kidnapped still to this day. Now to say that this hit a nerve within the Jewish community would be an understatement.

And the comments saying things like she didn’t care about all children. And I wish that I could read some of them to you, but she turned off all comments from the original post, which was actually like a 3 part series on Instagram. And this was brought to my attention by one of my Jewish friends.

And I just started doing a deep dive on this whole topic, like I said, on both sides. So after all the heat she took in the comments and the DMs, yada yada yada, then she went back and posted a live reel.

So the 3 part series, it’s her typical miss Rachel fashion.

She’s in her little, like I said, pink shirt, overalls outfit. She has her ring light on it you know, it’s staged is what I’m saying. Like, that’s just how she does her content.

Nothing wrong with that. But then she goes on, and it’s like the complete opposite. The lights are off. She’s in her bed or her couch.

You can’t really see. And she’s crying in the dark, and she’s talking all about how she’s been bullied. And she’s quoted in this reel as saying, I care deeply for all children, Palestinian children, Israeli children, children in the US, Muslim, Jewish, Christian children, all children in every country. No one is excluded.

Now I just wanna make note how the Christians are always last in the mentions. Despite the fact that, as of this recording on May 26, 2024, Christianity is the world’s largest religion with roughly 2,400,000,000 followers, which is about 31.2 percent of the global population. Muslims are second with 1,900,000,000, which is about 24.1% of the global population.

But I digress. You know, she was just spitting that out there, and she’s part of the DEI crowd, so let’s keep them happy. K? Now, miss Rachel can Monday quarterback this situation all she wants.

But the fact remains, miss Rachel did not make any mention of the Jews and then implied that they were bullying her and canceling her.

My opinion, if she truly cared deeply for all children, like she said in her apology video where she is, like, basically begging not to be canceled. Then, sister, why didn’t you just say that from the start?

Like, how how difficult would it have been for you to include these Jewish children who are also in conflict in Israel?

By singling out a specific region, population, etcetera. Like, she chose a side, and it was purposeful. It was very obvious.

She literally planted the flag in the ground. And once you do something like that, you can’t be upset when people come after you. And I promise you they will. And it is dang well near impossible to ever make everyone happy.

So if she felt, like I said, clearly so strong about this, then you can’t be upset when the people that you left out come after you.

Let’s just that’s just how it is. And and you can’t make up this Fugazi apology saying that you care about all kids. Well, you didn’t mention that.

And you should have in the first time if that was really where you stood. But anyway, now on the other side, we find the watermelon gang.

So, yes, the watermelon has popped up again as the symbol of solidarity for the Palestine people. But this symbol is not new news. K?

The Palestinians began using the watermelon when they were banned from waving their own country’s flag during the 6 day war back in 1967. Why is like, why watermelon? You know what I mean? Like, that’s random.

Well, they chose that because they felt like, well, it’s just a watermelon. Like, you can’t you can’t ban watermelons.

You can’t ban photos or flags of watermelons. Right? But what the watermelon truly symbolizes for them is the is their nation’s colors of their Palestinian flag. It bears the same resemblance.

Red, black, white, green. You know, once you cut it open, those are your four colors.

And there have been several times even recently, you know, like I said, that they haven’t been able to fly the flag. So they use this as their symbol instead.

Now why did I refer to it as the watermelon gang? Well, that’s because they’re on the attack just like those who went after miss Rachel.

So there’s this famous TikToker. Her name is Elise Myers, and she is the latest victim of… now here’s what I will say… The miss Rachel thing, people had a direct response to something that she posted. And I’m gonna let you make your own judgment.

Like I said, it’s not so much about what, quote, unquote, side you’re on or anything like that. I just want you to think about the way that these people were attacked and, like, the response.

So like I said, the with miss Rachel, it was a cause and effect.

No one had an issue with her. No one took issue with her at all until she put herself out there, until she created this campaign asking for donations, and until miss Rachel excluded the Jewish community from what she was promoting and was just Gaza, Gaza, Gaza. Okay? It was a response.

Whereas this other side that I’m about to tell you about, it’s a campaign. It was an attack. It was created with intentionality to just annihilate influencers with, you know, hashtags were created and yada yada yada.

Targeting of Influencer Elise Myers and Operation Watermelon Campaign

So that’s the big difference? Elise Myers, she’s an American social media influencer, comedian, and a musician. She lives in Nebraska, and she has, like, 7 million followers. I personally love her content.

I think she’s hysterical. She’s also a wife and a mom of 2 children. And at the end of February this year, her 5 month old son, he was born with heart complications.

And at the end of February, he went in for what was a successful heart surgery to treat his ventricular septal defect.

So he was born with a heart defect and they’ve, you know, she and she’s been sharing this journey the whole time.

And I wanna make mention of that because Elise stayed active throughout her pregnancy, obviously, as well as her son like, through her son’s health trials and tribulations and and his surgery.

But as of the beginning of April, Elise went rogue on TikTok. And she not only, like, stopped posting content, she deleted all of her posts. Then she changed her bio to say, quote, taking a break from this app, TikTok, and I’ll see you when I see you.

And this was due to being targeted, like I said, with intentionality. This was planned by Operation Watermelon. Like, full stop. There’s no denying it. This this is what happened now.

Has Elise come out and said that? No. But, like, if you go down the rabbit hole and you connect all the dots trust me when I say this is why. Now operation watermelon, what the heck is that? So it was a campaign started by another TikTok user. TikTok is just another realm y’all.

And I tell you, I tell you all the time, like you gotta have some thick, you know what skin to be on TikTok because they are freaking ruthless over there.

And this TikToker who created the operation watermelon campaign, okay, she has since left the platform herself.

Her handle was angie_marie with 2 i’s. Initially, she and her Operation Watermelon supporters were claiming that the hashtags and this movement that they were created to educate influencers on the topic.

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Angie told users who are, you know, a part of this, okay. You gotta target 1 or 2 of Meyers’ videos… she wanted them to go, like, on her 2 latest ones. But instead, this gang, they went for the jugular and they targeted all all of Elise’s videos since October, which is when the war started.

So they, like, backtracked all months months, and I’m assuming they chose October. Why? Because that’s when the war began. Right?

So Elise ended up deleting all of her videos, and trust me, there were a lot because she was a massive content creator, because they were inundated with comments about Gaza on them.

Now, first of all, who is Angie, This Angie to claim that these people aren’t educated? These said influencers.

You literally don’t know these people. Like, I don’t know how many times I have to say this. You don’t know the people on the Internet. You think you do, but you don’t.

I just posted this on my Instagram the other day where I saw some content creator, no joke, teaching people how to make a fake background of their home to create content.

So like, oh, you’re embarrassed by the fact that your kitchen is not updated and doesn’t have a perfect aesthetic? No problem. Let me show you how to green screen it and that can be how you create your content. Like, what?

There’s unfortunately, there’s little to no authenticity left on the internet and like, it’s, it’s so unfortunate.

So the fact that Angie is thinking that she knows these people and what they’re educated on is just silly.

And just because someone is not speaking out about something doesn’t mean that they don’t have the knowledge on the issue or even have a stance on it. K?

But the fact is, many social media influencers just know that this isn’t their lane. So they keep their mouth shut. It is not their responsibility to speak on these issues, and not for anything that’s pretty dang smart on their part. A lot of them, this is how they generate income. So they are so afraid of this cancel culture.

I mean, listen… If miss Rachel can get canceled… And this homegirl’s been on Good Morning America, all of these things, like, anyone is up for grabs. And we as a people need to be looking at world leaders, not some random mom who’s wicked funny from Nebraska for change.

Like, am I wrong on this? I just I just don’t understand. And I love this one comment from an Instagram user who was writing in response to another person saying that, you know, if Elise has enough time to post about, you know, her regular life and content, then she has enough time to put up an infographic or make mention of Gaza.

And this IG user says in response, has it ever occurred to you that not everyone has to post all their thoughts and feelings online about everything? Getting bent out of shape over a complete stranger, not saying what you want them to say is a bit odd.

Examples of other influential accounts targeted by the campaign

No matter what Elise does, it won’t please everyone, so keeping quiet is a smart move.

Instead of harassing a mom, go to your government and voice your opinions there.

Personally, I think this lady and I would get along. I have the same thoughts and feelings.

And I ask you, like, how on earth are you helping the people of Palestine in this particular situation? Right? When you’re asking other users to troll accounts in order to raise awareness, you’re literally forcing the issue.

And some of these people, they add quite a bit amount of rage, okay, into their comments to people. So it is literally doing everyone involved a disservice. Plus, can we also talk about the timing of targeting Lisa Myers?

It is very poignant too because here’s a woman who is helping her son fight for his life, and you want her taking away all of those precious moments. Now mind you, she’s mother of 2 as well. Right?

So you want her to take away all those precious moments to hop on social media to talk about other dying children. Like, you can still have remorse and compassion for others, but let’s be real.

You water where you’re planted first. And for her, that’s her own child and her family. This campaign, this Operation Watermelon, went on to target not just Elyse Myers, but other larger influential accounts like doctor, who is a cardiologist on TikTok.

He has over 651,000 followers, and good for him. He stood up for himself and he called it out for what it was. And Angie found out the hard way that these social media quote unquote movements, they can spiral out of control.

Like I said, she has now since removed her account from TikTok. And it’s mind blowing to me that people don’t understand that harassing random people online can get you in trouble.

Hello? And when you think about it, this is also another thing that is so wild to me. Like think back to the summer of 2020, that was wild. That was something that I don’t think many of us have ever experienced because we’ve had movements in our country and protests and all of that, but not to the level that we had in 2020 where you had media so heavily involved and you had social media, right?

Like, you know, my father went to Kent. My parents grew up in the sixties seventies. Like, they they’ve seen protests. They’ve seen all of this, but it’s just a different level now with media.

And if you think back to 2020 that summer and the BLM movement and how people got harassed and canceled and all the things because they didn’t put up a black square.

And then a few years later, we we moved on from that, and then it was Ukraine enforcing people to add little flags to their profiles.

But now, the BLM and the Ukrainian flags, they’ve all taken a back seat, and the spotlight is now on Palestine.

Hey, dear, black community in Ukraine. Like, you good? Because apparently, you’re not on brand right now. Like, un-freaking believable. How fast people move on and how it just is like I said, it’s a trend.

Advocacy is important, but there are different ways to go about it. And let us all remember that education is a gift. I want you to ask yourself, would you wanna be educated by someone who’s not informed on said issue, or if they were being forced to educate you in the first place. And it wasn’t really truly coming from the heart.

I don’t care that you’re forcing people into activism. Like, oh, yes. You’re still forcing them to do something, which at the end of the day, that’s called harassment.

So to wrap this all up for my fellow content creators first, if you’re gonna dish it, and by it, I mean anything, okay, on the Internet, then you have to be willing to deal with the clap back from people.

We live in a digital world full of keyboard warriors who are going to come after you, and they are ruthless. I speak from this firsthand. Okay? Secondly, if you’re going to speak out, please be educated on said topic, whatever it is.

Our world is full of misinformation, and it can spread like wildfire.

Not only that, but people will call you out on your misinformation, and then you’ll lose all credibility with your audience. I know for me personally, trust is something I value immensely.

And once I lose it with a person, it’s very difficult to come back from, like, if not dang near impossible.

So I’d rather be personally like, I would rather be told a hurtful truth than a comforting lie. I just value that so much in my relationships with people.

And, obviously, if you aren’t willing to deal with the consequences of speaking out or aren’t willing to take a deep dive on all the information, because you have a lot going on, whatever to each their own, then like you’re better off remaining quiet.

But I want you to know that even if you do have strong opinions on things, please know that it is more than okay to not speak out.

You’re not obligated to hop on any bandwagon, nor should you be bullied into thinking that you should.

Remember, even if people are telling you how to use your platform or you should be sharing about this, At the end of the day, it is your platform, and you can use your own discretion on what you do and do not want to share.

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If someone is so passionate about an issue, then they have the freedom to discuss it on their page. Isn’t that beautiful? That’s what’s so wonderful about freedom of choice, is that if a celebrity or an influencer is not speaking out on an injustice that you personally are passionate about, then guess what?

You have the ability to unfollow them or unsubscribe from their page. I believe in freedoms. And this is huge.

If you wanna learn more about content creation, how to build your social media, monetizing your online presence, and gaining the confidence to speak out on issues that you truly are passionate about and and want others to be more aware of, or how to handle any types of conflict that I just mentioned to you.

I created a 90 day live group coaching program, and it encompasses all of this. And it’s to help you stop wasting your time and start making income.

It’s not some boring modules you’ll never watch, nor am I asking you to drop money and then leave you and have you never hear from me again.

It’s actual help that is unique to your income goals and your industry from someone who’s been building multiple streams of income over a decade and has personally dealt with these situations that I’ve talked about. I may not have 7,000,000 followers or whatever, you know, that some of these content creators have, but I’ve definitely ruffled a lot of feathers.

And I know how to handle it with grace and confidence, and I wanna teach you how to do the same. So if you want this actual help that’s gonna be unique to you, join my 90-day program.

If you wanna get more of this type of content, make sure you follow me on Instagram at @macrowley. And if you love this episode, let me know by tagging me on IG or even leaving a podcast review. See you next week.

If you wanna get more of this type of content, make sure you follow me on Instagram at @macrowley. And if you love this episode, let me know by tagging me on IG or even leaving a podcast review. See you next week.

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