Recently Joss Whedon, director of the Avengers films, left Twitter among speculation of the reasons why. Whedon is not the first though as many celebrities have left twitter in recent years for a variety of reasons. We name but a few of the people who have left twitter in the past.
Whedon told Buzzfeed News that the reason for him leaving twitter was not, as many had speculated, criticism of the portrayal of female characters, most notably Black Window (as portrayed by Scarlett Johansson). Instead, he stated that the reason for him leaving twitter was, in fact, his need to be in a “quiet place” to focus on his writing, remarking that “[twitter is] the least quiet place I’ve ever been in my life”.
Twitter allows celebrities to reach out and interact with their fans, sending quick messages as they go about their days while also allowing people to contact celebrities. Not all of these tweets are nice and pleasant, instead some can be rather malicious and cruel, often resulting in distress and upset.
This summer Zelda Williams, daughter of the late Robin Williams, left both Twitter and Instagram after receiving several tweets ranging from calling her names to photoshopped images, said to leave her shaking after reading the comments made. Star of the BBC’s TV show Downton Abbey, Lily James, left after receiving what was described as a wave of abuse she had received online. Speaking to the Radio Times she stated, “I was surprised people had an opinion about me, but now I don’t want to engage in stuff like that”.
Most recently Jaden Smith, known for both his rapping and acting careers, has Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Known on twitter for philosophical tweets, including “How Can Mirrors Be Real If Our Eyes Aren’t Real”. The reason for his departure at the moment is unknown, but we will no doubt become aware of it in the near future.
Some stars have even gone one step ahead and beaten the rush to it. Jennifer Lawrence, known for her roles in Hunger Games and X-Men, has vowed that she would never join Twitter, Facebook or Instagram thanks to the internet scorning her in the past. This follows a breach of privacy that resulted in several celebrities private photos being posted online following breaches into their personal accounts, resulting in a call to change the laws governing internet data and privacy following a variety of breaches in recent years.
Social media has helped bring stars and their fans together in an age where celebrity can almost mean royalty to some. In this day and age though, with both kind and cruel words both spoken and typed, can people be blamed for wanting to avoid social media and even the chance of harsh words?