UFC fighter Paige VanZant and model Charlotte McKinney told us how they deal with stalkers and harassers on Instagram
- People ought to think twice about harassing Paige VanZant online. She punches people for a living. But they do it anyway.
- UFC fighter VanZant and model Charlotte McKinney told us how they deal with creepy or dangerous online fans.
- McKinney has a time-delay tactic to avoid stalkers, who have harassed her family members.
Sometimes, being "Instagram famous" isn't much fun. Sure, you might have millions of adoring fans. And yes, brands might give you sponsorship money for exposure on your account. But the dark side of social media stardom is the harassment and stalking you get from obsessive fans. Many users say Instagram has a harassment problem that the company has failed to deal with.On the 20,000-seat centre stage at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon this year, I participated in a panel about social media with UFC fighter Paige VanZandt and model/actress Charlotte McKinney, who have 1.9 million and 1.4 million Instagram fans, respectively.Advertisement
While most fans only want the best for the celebrities they follow, some of them can be creepy and dangerous, McKinney told me.
"Thank god I wasn't there," she said.McKinney has developed an interesting strategy that makes life more difficult for her stalkers: She posts pictures on a time delay, so people can't rush to where she is whenever a new photo appears.Advertisement
"It's really important to geotag where you're at once you leave," she said. "Sometimes whether it's a hotel stay, or a vacation, or an event you're working at, you're still giving your location. So for me, if I need to shout-out a hotel or a place I make sure [to do it] when I'm gone."
"It's hard because they're fans, these are the people who adore you, so you don't want to be mean to them. But there's definitely a barrier," she said.Her tactic is wildly different to that used by Alfie Deyes, the Brighton, UK-based YouTube star whose social media life often occurs in real time. He told Business Insider that he cannot go to the supermarket or Starbucks without building in a three-hour block of time because his fans will figure out where he is, based on his Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram, and show up for selfies, which he indulges.Advertisement
People ought to think twice about harassing VanZant online. She punches people for a living. Her UFC record is 7 wins, 4 losses and zero draws. But people still make insulting comments about her on her Instagram page. "I definitely found it hard at first to have that thick skin and know that there will be those negative comments. I don't need to change myself to fit this image to make everybody happy as long as you're being true to yourself and being true to your brand and your image then you're going to have posiitve feedback. But anytime you have a significant following there are going to be those people."
- Read more:` The creator of Twitter, Blogger, and Medium has a plan to fix the mess he made of the internet
VanZant also has an interesting personal motto for those days when the insults and barbs get to be too much" "They're still paying attention, and you still matter."
Watch the whole video of our conversation here:Advertisement
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