Topic 4 – Big Blue Tick for our Online Celebrities?


Social media platforms have a great many uses – one of the more recent of these is the ability for the common person to follow their heroes on idols on sites such as twitter and Facebook, in order to keep up to date as best as possible with the lives of the rich and famous. Naturally, the places the latter group under a great deal of scrutiny – far more than any run of the mill social media user. This, to me, raises two important ethical questions:

  • Is this fair?
  • What are the ethical responsibilities for well known, influential individuals as far as their online presence is concerned?

Role Models

Celebrities are well aware of their position as role models to society. Whilst this is rarely a conscious choice, it nonetheless widely agreed upon that any individual with social influence should always strive to create as positive an influence as possible with their rhetoric in the hope that others, ‘further down the food chain’ might do the same. With more and more people joining social media platforms everyday, many would feel that this role is becoming increasingly vital.

However, many celebrities often fall short of these standards – Earlier this year, Burnley striker Andre Gray famously posted the tweet below;

Role Model or Rolling Over?

It goes without saying that this sort of behaviour cannot be condoned and strikes a very poor tone with the public – BUT isn’t this the sort of thing that can be found regularly in the deepest darkest depths of the Internet? AND isn’t the ordinary public where 99% of celebrities, particularly sportsmen and women, such as Andre Gray, originally hail from? Leading back to my first question, can our high ethical standards for those in the upper echelons of society be considered fair?

Jimmy Kimmel’s video below, whilst very humorous in its content, inadvertently provides us with a very interesting talking point.

Think for a moment – How would the public have reacted had a celebrity tweeted any of the ‘mean’ tweets mentioned in the video?

Drawing the line

Ultimately, a line has to be drawn between what can be considered acceptable and what cant. Personally, I am of the opinion that anything that would be considered offensive by the majority of a society shouldn’t be publicised by any publicly celebrated figure. Some, however, are able to flirt with this imaginary line in the sand due with guile. A certain Mr Tump could be perhaps be considered an expert…



Bennetts, Julian, “Andre Gray Apologises After Offensive Twitter Posts Surface On Day Burnley Striker Scores First Premier League Goal”, The Telegraph, 2016 <; [accessed 27 November 2016]

“Corrie Actor Sacked Over ‘Offensive’ Tweets”, Sky News, 2016 <; [accessed 27 November 2016]

“Here’s Who Should Be De-Verified On Twitter”, The Daily Dot, 2016 <; [accessed 27 November 2016]





6 thoughts on “Topic 4 – Big Blue Tick for our Online Celebrities?

  1. Great Blog!

    I absolutely agree that celebrities have a fine line to tread on social media when they want to appear genuine and let people into their lives but also watch what they say!

    I think another interesting ethical issue, when looking at celebrities and social media, is the advertising of products.

    All celebrities get paid to endorse products, but do they actually use the product…? We normal folk will never be able to know and so it is misleading and unethical. Should we allow celebrities to use social media to falsely endorse products? Would be interesting to hear what you think can be done to hold celebrities accountable on social media, or if we can at all…


  2. Thanks! I totally agree, in many ways I feel that celebrities are used as advertising weapons and whilst this is fantastic for for advertiser and advertisee, it is in many ways totally unfair on the consumer, as you rightly point out.

    When it comes to holding celebrities accountable, I don’t feel that this could ever be practical or indeed obtainable. Proof would be needed for any concrete conclusion to be drawn and one has to feel that this would be incredibly hard to find, especially if you consider the massive balance of power and influence between Joe Public and almost any celebrity!


  3. Hi Nik,

    I totally agree with your view on celebrities and to what extent the line should be drawn.
    However, you don’t mention whether you feel that this applies to the average person as they too can be affected by the reprocussions of a controversial tweet such as in the case of Justine Sacco and many others examples such as the tweets mentioned in this article from EMGN
    I personally focussed on social media vetting in my blog post and a key ethical issue which arose was whether employers have the right to view the profiles of candidates. This can be applied to the celebrity case as it is probing the lives of celebrities and there is a concern as to whether we have a right to this sometimes personal information that the media uncovers.


    1. Thanks for your comment. Whilst I do feel that my arguments can apply to the average person, I felt that given my 400 word word limit, it would be wiser to concentrate solely on one demographic – I chose celebrities and those with social Influence.

      What is more, whilst it is true that SOME everyday individuals fall foul of controversial tweeting, many still get away with it. Celebrities on the other hand, are far more ‘under the microscope’, and therefore I felt that the points in my argument are more applicable to them.

      I would be interested to know your thoughts!


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