Twitter: The missing link between stars and their fans?

By Mike Renton

“If you want a Big Brother, you get all that comes with it” – Eric Fromm.

I remember it all started with crappy chat rooms, where you could have a cartoon person speaking for you, you could only add the very few people using the chat at that time, and you couldn’t tell who you were talking to.

Through the ages of internet interaction we have developed from being able to speak to the friends we know the exact addresses of, to being able to talk to everyone in the world.

And with the mass popularisation of Twitter, we can all now talk to almost any celebrity we like.

People from Cheryl Cole to Ed Miliband have decided it appropriate to keep us up-to-date with their day to day lives – though no one is interested in the latter.

No need to go searching for celebs now, check their twitter and they will tell you they’re in Starbucks, they will even recommend the best beverage.

But is it a good idea for celebrities to allow fans access to their lives?

Laura Fitton, a social media consultant and co-author of Twitter for @Dummies, believes this kind of sharing may seem like self-inflicted privacy invasion, but it is no mistake, In some cases, it’s just media control.

“When Britney shares her details on Twitter, it’s not going to stop paparazzi from stalking her. But it devalues the stuff they’re able to steal from her. She’s actually reaching in and taking back a piece of the paparazzi economy.

“It’s more about controlling your privacy than giving it up.”

But it has given obsessed fans the opportunity to mob their favourite celebrity with how much they idolise them.

Justin Bieber’s fans, Bielibers, are obsessed by him and constantly fill his page with I LOVE YOU!!

When the story of Mariah Yeater mothering Justin’s baby came out, her Twitter page was immediately filled with Bielibers spreading messages of hate:


Harsh words for someone who will probably never meet Justin, or ever know the truth. I personally think the tweet would have been better saying ‘NO ONE BIELIBES YOU’.

Bieber set panic in the hearts of Biebermaniacs when he tweeted a photo with Kim Kardashian at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, announcing, “Look, it’s my girlfriend @kimkardashian.”

In reply Kim quickly tweeted back, “I officially have Bieber Fever!!!”

But after receiving “death threats” from Bieber fans, Kim quickly withdrew the playful statement, letting the world know they were just friends.

So what is the world coming too? Do these people actually think that if Kim Kardashian is Biebers new girlfriend, it will ruin their chances with the boy?

We all know fans can get a bit crazy, the Beetles started all that, but there is a new type of fan, a super fan, who will do anything to be a part of these people’s lives.

And it seems that Twitter gives this type of person false hope of friendship with their idols, and this unreal assumption could become dangerous.

Facebook had pages for celebrities but they were only fan pages, and all you could do is like them or comment on the wall, and the person concerned would probably never see them.

But twitter is usually run by the celebrities themselves, and so everything said to them will be seen.

Also everything said by them can be held against them, for example Ashton Kutcher, who has handed control of his Twitter account to his management after his tweets about a sex abuse case.

Kutcher, who was the first person to get a million followers, defended sacked American football coach Joe Paterno.

Paterno had failed to tell police that his assistant was alleged to have sexually assaulted a young boy in 2002.

Kutcher said: “How do you fire Jo Pa? As a Hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste”.

He removed the tweet after finding out why Paterno was fired.

One of Kutcher’s followers tweeted: “With eight million followers, you may want to reserve your opinions until you know the whole story.”

To which Kutcher replied: “Agreed.”

Kutcher then said that he would stop tweeting immediately until he found a way to properly manage his feed because he felt awful about his error.

Now some people are thought great tweeters, Stephen Fry is regarded as the best twittorer with constant wit and intellect going into each word, this I am sure is due to careful consideration going into every word.

Images on Twitter have been place for celebrity controversy also:

Dean McDermott posted a picture of hіѕ son, four-year-οƖԁ Liam, wearing a sticker οn hіѕ forehead, hοwеνеr, іn thе background уου саn see a pair οf breasts, belonging to wife Tori Spelling.

At first, McDermott ԁіԁn’t notice that detail, bυt аftеr thе media made a big deal out of it, hе had it removed but not before it had been shared with his 74,000 followers.

The site is used by celebrities to contact each other, or to tweet really personal details:

Last month singer Erykah Badu and her boyfriend Twittered the birth of their daughter, complete with details. ‘Water broke’ the baby’s father, Jay Electronica, twittered on his own feed via BlackBerry.

“I can see the head, it’s covered in hair,” he continued.

Maybe this is too much, but more and more people are opening up the gates to their lives even if they still hold the key, they have broken down the fourth wall, and are now interacting with the audience.

As long as celebrities think about what they are tweeting, and take no notice of the vast amounts of abuse people like Frankie Cocozza get, Twitter can be a very useful tool for them to give something back to their fans.

For as long as there have been celebrities and public figures, they have been seen as the untouchables, but now, they have become slightly touchable, even if it is only with the enter key.

Thomas Jefferson once said: “When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.”

Twitter has now given us better access to our property.

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