Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Kylie Jenner, Katy Perry, Rihanna or Kim Kardashian: all these names have something in common. It is no coincidence that 7 of the 10 most influential people on social networks are women, or that they are linked to the world of music or entertainment in general.
They are often singled out and stereotyped because of their images, or simply because they are celebrities, which seems reason enough for his most staunch followers and detractors to turn these feelings into anger, obsession or even violent behavior.
What influencersThese women receive numerous criticisms, persecutions and attacks on social networks, something that can also be considered a form of gender violence. Thus, many of the prejudices and stereotypes that affect women come through the screens of the devices we use in our daily lives.
Fan phenomenon: the enemy is at home
In recent decades there have been many changes in the relationship that famous people establish with their followers. In the case of women, they have seen their privacy violated to a greater degree and, often, silently due to new technologies.
The anonymity of the virtual world allows anyone to harass, insult and persecute any famous or close person. These facts are stronger when we talk about the harassment suffered by many women simply for the fact of making a publication on social networks, more visible and faster to spread.
And here there is no distinction: be influencers or not, 70% of the victims of ciberbullying or cyberbullying are girls, according to data from the Study on Cyberbullying carried out by the ANAR Foundation with surveys among 12,000 students from more than 300 educational centers.
One of the last cases that illustrates the consequences of actions on the internet to the real world has been that of the influence Paula Gonu, who has denounced the blackmail suffered on social networks for making private videos public.
Gender violence in the virtual world
Gender violence in the digital sphere also violates the right to privacy and individual freedoms. Organizations such as the Ministry of Equality recognize that these types of attacks especially affect the youngest and that cyberbullying can become a form of gender violence.
In November of last year, the Ministry of the Interior warned of the significant increase in complaints of digital violence against young girls. This is how the #CuentaConNosotrxs campaign was presented, which is being disseminated on social networks and with which it aims to address the phenomenon of digital sexist abuse.
Other organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children or Plan International offer data, help and information on how to detect these abuses, in addition to advising the victims so that they are aware of their situation, can alert the authorities and share their experiences with other women to prevent other cases.
In that sense, influencers They play a key role as references that they are for many young people, especially women, both when making their own decisions and in the way they receive messages and comments from other users on social networks.
To end this type of aggression and banish inappropriate behavior, education must be oriented towards respecting freedoms and tolerance. As the Uruguayan writer and journalist Eduardo Galeano said: “Women’s fear of men’s violence is the mirror of men’s fear of women without fear.” For women to be, you have to let them be; also in the virtual world.
Article prepared in collaboration with the UOC’s Master in Journalism and Digital Communication. Junior Report publishes the best content produced by journalism students.