Influencers have completely taken over the social media scene. Youtubers, vloggers, stylists, comedians, you name it. Social media has given people a platform to express their ideas and share their opinion to the world.
While this change allowed people to get exposure and show their skillset and range, others create content that may not be as:
These types of content do raise attention but not for their quality but rather because of their lack of, hence other creators are allowed to put their two cents in and criticize (constructively, of course) and then give their opinion on the matter.
It’s part of becoming an influencer, one of the costs of becoming a public figure is that you’re put under a microscope. Everything you say and do is scrutinized. While no one likes to have their content criticized or feel like they are the laughing stock, unfortunately, one of the prices and costs of fame is that your actions and content are not immune to scrutiny and criticism.
So let’s say that an influencer or celebrity makes a critique of another person, the other person has to take it all in and decide whether it is a valid critique or an attack. From here, it’s up to the person being criticized to respond and either defend themselves or not.
However, some people may not understand the difference between a valid take and a direct attack. Instead, these influencers use their fanbase to send hateful messages toward the creator.
From here, we have two questions that need to be answered:
1) What are the rules that must be followed when talking about another public figure?
2) How can this public figure respond to the criticism?
Let’s take it one by one.
Ethical Rules that Influencers or Public Figures Must Follow When it Comes to Giving Criticism
As a public figure, it’s your job to make sure that the content you create is based on valid information. Your critique shouldn’t be biased or made to ridicule a person’s character, appearance, or lifestyle. Instead, it must be focused on content and content only. Not to direct hate and bullying against that other creator. The pendulum swings both ways. One day you can be the person who launches the criticism, and the next day you might be the next target.
How to Respond to the Criticism as an Influencer?
It’s within the responsibility of the criticized to respond wisely or choose not to respond at all. (Depending on the accusations or criticisms) If they are valid and true then they should be addressed, if they are baseless and filled with unnecessary attacks, it's best to ignore them. What you shouldn’t do is direct all your fanbase to send hate, and death threats and launch a smear campaign just because you're not happy with the criticism you’ve received.
The line between a valid criticism and an attack is very thin. And often gets very blurred.
What is often missed by influencers is that sometimes a critique is a critique. It’s not a personal attack. It is not a hate campaign. So when you receive a critique, think about the overall message that’s being said. Is the criticism that valid? Were there points made? Were you in the wrong?
As for the critics, be careful of what you say. Words hurt and have a deep effect on someone’s psyche. Be objective, unbiased, stay truthful and don't makeup facts.