It’s an interesting dilemma for people who become internet famous, whether it’s a celebrity who joins Twitter or Instagram or a previously unknown person who develops a huge following. Social media platforms give them unprecedented access to their fans and supporters and give them new ways to promote themselves — but on the other hand, hordes of mostly anonymous people on the internet now have a way to criticize, hassle or even harass those celebrities. If things go too far, sometimes the best option is to step away from social media or even delete their accounts altogether.
We’ve rounded up our top five examples of a celebrity quitting social media, sometimes temporarily and sometimes for good. Rihanna famously disappeared from Instagram for six months after the platform removed her topless cover photo from Lui Magazine, while YouTuber KevJumba abruptly deleted all his videos and used his earnings to build a high school in Kenya.
“Girls” creator Lena Dunham and “Avengers” director Joss Whedon both quit twitter after clashes with fans, often involving intense criticism from feminists who disagreed with their portrayal of women. Lena’s account is now run by a nameless PR person, while Joss’ account is gone altogether.
Finally, we have Instagram model Essena O’Neill who drew a lot of attention to herself by publicly quitting social media, saying that it made her feel miserable and empty and claiming that most people on Instagram were fake and unhappy. This caused a lot of pushback from other social media creators, who accused Essena of being hypocritical by using the attention to promote her website and ask her supporters for money. That website has since disappeared, and last we heard Essena had a book deal lined up. It’ll be interesting to see where her career takes her next.