Threats to Hailey Bieber: A Problem of Violent Fans?
This Friday, Selena Gomez made a post on her Instagram in solidarity with Hailey Bieber, current wife of her ex-partner, Justin Bieber; today threatened with death, is this a symptom of the violence of fan groups?.
LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Rodríguez Pabón
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Leer en español: Amenazas a Hailey Bieber: ¿una fanaticada violenta?
Selena Gomez is one of the most followed people on Instagram in the world. This week that ends, in fact, she celebrated in her account having reached 403 million followers, with which she became the first woman to pass the figure of 400 million. So your posts, of course, have a huge reach. A few days after this news, Selena Gomez uploaded a story that said:
"Hailey Bieber reached out to me and let me know that she has been receiving death threats and such hateful negativity. This isn't what I stand for. No one should have to experience hate or bullying. I've always advocated for kindness and really want this all to stop."
The statement of the singer and actress probably has to do with her loving past. Hailey Bieber is the current wife of her ex-partner, singer Justin Bieber. Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber had a youthful relationship when they were both teen stars making their way among the young celebrity scene. This relationship lasted for several years, in a way that some would describe as stormy, since they broke up and returned several times.
After a few years, Justin Bieber finally married model Hailey Baldwin, daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin. Despite the fact that many years have passed since Justin Bieber's romance with Selena Gomez and, despite Gomez and Baldwin's efforts to not appear as enemies or rivals, today Hailey Bieber still receives death threats that probably have to do with the love life of both.
Is this a fan thing?
While it could not be known for certain that Selena's fans are the ones threatening Hailey, Selena's influence on social media cannot be underestimated. Although it may seem trivial, Selena Gomez is one of the most followed people on Instagram. And while this doesn't prove a necessary celebrity influence on her fans, it does show that her posts have a far-reaching reach and that there are at least 400 million people interested in learning about her life. This certainly has implications in real life.
Even before the existence of social networks, the passion of fans for celebrities has already led them to take violent or supportive actions. This has happened in a bad and in a good way. Perhaps the most famous case is that of John Lennon, murdered by a fan of his music. Other times fans have carried out violent or harassing actions that have not been fatal: in 1981, John Warnock Hinckley Jr. shot President Ronald Reagan in an attempt to seek fame to impress the actress with whom he was obsessed, Jodie Foster.
On the other hand, we have also recently seen how Britney Spears fans have organized for decades to support the release of her father's guardianship. It was partly due to the support of her fans that the singer's case had so much media weight that, we know, it even influences judicial decisions.
Read also: "The Eras Tour": the Powerful Return of Taylor Swift to the Stage
What do social media and the media have to do with it?
Violent fans have been around almost as long as celebrities have been around. However, with the development of media technology and the invention of the internet, stars have a much greater reach. In short, it would not be the same to be a movie star in the fifties as it is now; Well, today the media is massive (thanks to television) and interaction with fans is easier (thanks to social networks).
So today's celebrities are much more popular than those of past decades. In addition, the massiveness of the media entails a responsibility that in show business issues is not taken very seriously. Let's go back to the case of Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber. Selena and Justin's breakup and his subsequent marriage to Hailey was always covered as a love triangle. The same thing happened when Selena dated singer The Weeknd, ex-boyfriend of model Bella Hadid. Because celebrity news is light, this type of coverage of the private lives of celebrities misses the fact that it is people that are being talked about.
Callous coverage of a person's love life is met with a callous response from fans. To this formula, of course, we can add social networks, which often give the illusion of being violent without consequences. Hailey Bieber is not the first to denounce this type of behavior and several celebrities, including her husband Justin Bieber, have wanted to give visibility to how these issues influence their physical and mental health. So it is that not only users of social networks must be more responsible in their use, but the media must also assume our responsibility and promote a more sensitive coverage of the lives of celebrities.