Influencers

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Provocative

A message from shownieuws.nl quotes the following from Instagram:

A post shared by Famke Louise on Sep 21, 2020 at 10:04am PDT:

NO, I DON’T SHUT UP! #I’mOUT This is no longer acceptable. I say “NO” to all measures until the government can verifiably justify its policies. Do you agree with me? Then share this video and make another one for your own environment. Only together can we get control over the government. #I’mOUT. Power to the people!

All this, in the midst of a revival of the pandemic, as a result of the regulations about one and a half meters, the bars that have to close at midnight and a maximum group size that drops from 100 to 50. Famke Louise is an influencer. She makes a living through the number of followers who view her posts on Instagram. She is 21 years old. Her education level reaches to an aborted beautician training. She has a million followers on Instagram and 347 thousand subscribers on YouTube. She addresses all these people on September 21 with the quoted message and informs them that she is no longer participating in the COVID-19 measures.

Anyone who takes the trouble can view a 6-minute video on YouTube that Famke Louise posted on July 3 of this year. It is actually a heartbreaking message from an insecure and well-meaning young lady about that she is doing better and that from now on she will not make the videos as an interview but as a solo because then she feels safer and can be more authentic herself. Mr. Sum suspects that she has been encouraged to put the #ImOUT movement on the map by outsiders. And that she succeeded nicely. And that she now regrets the success because she could have found a better (less risky) way to effectively highlight the much-needed attention for treating the corona frustrations (which of course are felt super wide). It is dangerous to encourage a million younger followers to ignore the COVID measures, especially when the number of infections has started to grow exponentially again.

Propaganda in the Age of Social Media

The motives for persuasion are the motives for making propaganda. They can show remarkable differences. Mr. Sum has three in mind: (i) wanting (by the stakeholder) to be heard by those who are in control but hardly listen, (ii) the benefits (for the creator) associated with increasing his/her customer and follower bases and (iii) the benefits (for the intriguer, the social engineer) associated with the social unrest caused by whipping up opposing convictions. The latter (social upheaval) generates attention. And attention is what stakeholders, creators and schemers are all pursuing. Propaganda is therefore of all times and has the potential to promote social upheaval.

How that potential will play out in times when information provision gets under the control of who plays the social media (all of us) is important, but as yet unclear. Maybe something to pay more attention to in education?

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