Social media has become the quickest, easiest and most intimate way to follow our favourite stars. This Glossip Girl won’t plan a lunch until I’ve checked what the likes of @karliekloss and @heidiklum are eating on Instagram and definitely won’t go anywhere near a gym before checking to see how @karolinakurkova and @cocorocha are keeping lean.
The social media landscape, though, can be a treacherous one for the stars - as Vogue’s Creative Director Grace Coddington discovered this week when her Instagram account was shut down. One false move and those insta-narks are on your case and closing you down before you can say ‘I didn’t mean it, your honour’.
Grace’s first ever Instagram was a nude doodle of herself, but it was deemed that the image breached the social network’s strict no-nudity policy and led to a ban, albeit temporarily. Instagram publicly apologised confessing: ‘When our team processes reports from other members of the Instagram community, we occasionally make a mistake. In this case we wrongly removed content and worked to rectify the error as soon as we were notified.’
Grace isn’t the only famous social networker to fall foul of strict guidelines. Instagram took matters into their own hands by removing naked images posted by Rihanna, which she had uploaded to her Instagram account. The pictures were featured in French magazine Lui, but despite their editorial look and feel Instagram maintained there was a breach of their rules and stayed firm. Rihanna’s response was to repost the images on Twitter, which doesn’t conform to such strict regulations.
50 Cent managed to upset the Twitter community and earn a ban after posting saucy pictures. His response was to tweet, ‘Twitpic just suspended my account damn. They got 30mns to get it back or ima go haywire.’ [sic] Admittedly, no one wanted to see that.
Even Madonna was warned about her content and how her images were violating community guidelines – a warning she immediately posted to her account, of course.
What all this regulation has encouraged are spells of ‘social media blackout’ from our favourite stars. Equivalent to screaming ‘I’m never talking to you again’ while turning on one’s heel, the stars tend to leave Instagram and Twitter, but only temporarily before coming back and acting as though nothing ever happened.
Miley Cyrus is a case in point. She rallied against her critics, tried to reason with them in 140 characters or less and then gave up the ghost and left – but she did return. Alec Baldwin has ‘left’ the Twitter-sphere twice, first in 2010 and then again in 2013 – he is yet to return. Ashton Kutcher, who was the first tweeter to garner over a million followers, handed control of his Twitter account to a management agency after a controversial tweet. Then there’s Megan Fox who admitted that Twitter was too much for her and that she was happier in the safer confines of Facebook.
Thankfully, Grace’s Instagram account has been reactivated and our access to the doyenne of fashion is unfettered once more.