Tuesday, June 25

The dangers of toxic social media content

By MARK JOSEPH B. FERNANDEZ

THE EXISTENCE of social media is revolutionary for the communication process. Consumers of the said medium (netizens) can easily connect with prominent people because of its boundless reach.

These prominent people, who are called social media influencers, can also gain a multitude of followers in the speed of light depending on the creativity and originality of their content because of the unlimited scope social media offers.

With its wide range, social media can easily connect influencers with netizens. That is why a single content from a social media influencerwhether it is of good influence or notcan greatly produce various reactions from netizens in an instant.

A specific example of this is the notorious content of beauty blogger Michelle Dy. On her Instagram story (content viewable within a limited timeframe) last Aug. 18, she attacked her vicious critics said to be complaining about a certain photo of hers by stating they should focus on their own faces rather than hers.

Pati filter, lighting, camera, editing, whatever chuchu ng picture ko pino-problema [niyo]! Problemahin [niyo ‘yung] mga blackhead at pimple [niyo] mga besh, ‘wag [‘yung] picture ko. Lahat na lang! Kalerks!” she said in the post.

“But anyway, manood na lang kayo mamaya ng video ko para makita ninyo [papaano] maging ganon ka-fresh. Okay?” she added.

This content, obviously, backlashed on her.

Netizens who saw her story expressed their dismay at the beauty blogger for composing the content with the intention to “skin shame,” or to publicly shame a person based on his or her skin condition.

Even fellow beauty bloggers expressed their outrage at Dy’s irresponsible attitude in addressing her critics, as such content can negatively affect netizens with certain skin conditions such as acne.

British beauty blogger Em Ford, who is open about sharing her skin condition despite being a social media influencer, was greatly affected by Dy’s insulting content.

“This is everything that’s wrong with social media. […] I am disappointed and saddened that someone would use their social platforms to skin shame their own audience. [Michelle Dy], you’re in a position of privilege, with an impressionable audience… this is not okay,” Ford said in a tweet.

Netizens also pointed out that even if Dy only recently recovered from another controversy regarding her content before the release of the skin shaming post, it is no excuse for being irresponsible with her words.

They added that her content will always be a reflection of her upbringing. If she will continue on posting insulting content, intentional or not, it will be always be attached to her public image.

In general, netizens and social media influencers indirectly educated Dy on how she should be a good influence to her audience instead of spewing hatred which can spread toxic influence to netizens.

Dy is back to producing beauty-related content on her Youtube channel. After she learned her lesson the hard way, her fellow social media influencers should also learn from the controversy. F

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