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The Ghost of Old Tweets Past

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The Ghost of Old Tweets Past

YouTuber Laura Lee sobbing in her apology video.

YouTuber Laura Lee sobbing in her apology video.

YouTuber Laura Lee sobbing in her apology video.

YouTuber Laura Lee sobbing in her apology video.

Jana Marquez, Sports Editor

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Kelvin Pena, aka “Brother Nature,” rose to social media stardom after filming himself befriending dear.

Halloween may have just ended, but for social media influencers, skeletons in the closet seem to be appearing all year round.

A social media influencer does exactly that: influences. No matter what their specialty is, big names online have the power to influence a large group of people. Followers, supporters, and fans look up to these personalities and keep track of their actions on a regular basis. Being in the spotlight in the social media world comes with being under the scrutiny of the public eye. With a large following presence, thousands, if not millions, of people can access what you do on a daily basis, as well as the mistakes of your past.

After all, once something is on the internet it’s hard to escape. Many Youtubers have experienced that firsthand. Makeup guru Laura Lee was bashed when racist tweets of hers from 2012 were brought into light. The backlash was tremendous, hurting her career and reputation as many of brands she had collaborated with backed out of deals, not wanting to do business with someone they thought had racist views. Viewers and subscribers also cut ties with Lee after her apology video, which wasn’t received well at all. People thought it was over-rehearsed and forced, lacking genuinity and an acceptable explanation. She blames her past and apologizes for “ignorant tweets that I made back in 2012,” saying that she grew up as a “small town girl from Alabama” and lacks the “cultural education” that she has now. Sure enough, this excuse wasn’t accepted, as Lee ended up losing over 200,000 subscribers.

It’s up for debate whether YouTubers should be held responsible for things they’ve said or done prior to becoming well-known in the media. A common excuse used is that the person at fault was younger, less educated, and less informed at the time the action was done.

A similar situation happened with Twitter personality Kelvin Pena, also known as Brother Nature as his old tweets resurfaced, painting him to be bigoted and misogynistic. Pena is best known for his activism and unique interaction with animals, so this revelation came as a huge shock for his fanbase. Pena, now 20, says he was in middle school when he wrote those tweets, saying he doesn’t even remember tweeting them. Nevertheless, he released a written apology, saying he “apologizes for 12 year old Kevin,” and that he has evolved as a person and will try to do good with the platform he currently has.

The reaction to Pena’s controversy is drastically different than Lee’s. People seem quicker to forgive Pena, as if the good deeds he does in society today make up for the mistakes of his pre-teen self. Lee, however, was 24 at the time of her tweets, deeming her excuse of being less informed as unacceptable.

Nevertheless, both scenarios raise important questions. The internet seems to never forget. Can we truly be held responsible for the mistakes of our past, and if so, how long do we continue to pay the price? Some will argue that social media personalities are human too, and all humans make mistakes. Should famous influencers then be forgiven for their mistakes? Or should they be held to a higher standard, as they know that the platform they stand on has the ability to reach and affect so many people?

These are just some things to keep in mind the next time you retweet, like, or click the subscribe button.

Would you still support your favorite social media influencers despite a controversial past?

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About the Writer
Jana Marquez, Staff Reporter

My name is Jana Marquez. I'm a senior, and this is my second year writing for the Oasis Review. I love to sing, shop, discover new music, find cute places...

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