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The Power of Influencer Opinions on The Viral List


TL;DR

  • Influencer Andrew Tate has been banned from social media platforms for violating community guidelines on hate speech
  • Gen-Z for Change is using content creators to stage a boycott against Amazon
  • TikTok is still a comedy space, and this emoji trend shows how easy it is to get in on their humor
  • New Amazon music advert in Manchester has been faced with backlash for painting over a mural of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis

Influencer Andrew Tate is Banned From TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook After Campaigns from Other Influencer Activists

People go viral on social media for both being loved and hated, and 35-year-old influencer Andrew Tate has gone viral in both ways, especially in the past month. He’s praised on TikTok by a passionate following of young men, but receives equal criticism for being “The king of toxic masculinity.” Several rape and domestic abuse charities called for Tate to be banned from TikTok, in light of comments surrounding the #MeToo movement, and the fact that he was under investigation for human trafficking in April. Their goal was achieved today, as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok all banned Tate from their platforms. 

According to Insider, Meta has permanently banned Tate from both of their sites “for violating policies around dangerous organizations and individuals and for violating policies on hate speech.” A TikTok spokesperson shared that not only is Tate banned, but “it’s using technology to remove duplicated clips of the prohibited Tate content, and marking some content so it can’t appear on users’ For You pages.” Young people have been asking for this kind of action, as YPulse survey data shows 78% say social media platforms should do more to police and prevent cyberbullying.

Popular influencers like Drew Afualo, known for her direct responses to sexism on TikTok, had made videos detailing the repercussions of an influencer with this messaging having a huge platform on social media, hoping for this action. Afualo posted a TikTok, which has currently garnered 1.2 million likes, saying “I refuse to platform that literal sex offender ever again,” despite her followers’ calls to talk about the controversies. 

Other influencers, like Matt Bernstein (known as @MattXIV on Instagram, where he has 1.2 million followers) posted informational posts in support of calls for Tate to be banned from social media platforms, citing it is the platforms’ responsibility to protect young viewers from the potential harms of his content. Bernstein’s post, with 1.4 million likes, detailed the various offensive statements Tate is viral for, and ended with a slide reading, “hold social media platforms accountable for giving the loudest microphones to the most dangerous people.”  

Gen-Z for Change Formed a Creator Boycott Against Amazon

YPulse recently told you about Gen-Z for Change, a powerful activist group founded by Gen Z teenagers to educate their peers politically. This week, they took their huge following and created a coalition of over 70 content creators, totaling over 51 million followers collectively, to boycott Amazon. Their #PeopleOverPrime campaign is meant to pressure Amazon into meeting union demands from their workers, by refusing to shop with them or work with them until they do. The movement has already gained traction on TikTok and Twitter, showing the group’s leverage on social media. 

“We have always known how essential creators are to the Amazon marketing model,” deputy executive director of Gen-Z for Change, Elise Joshi, said. “Creators, especially TikTok creators, are Amazon’s gateway to young people. Amazon knows how much power creators have, and People Over Prime is meant to take that power back and insist they listen to the demands of the Amazon Labor Union.”

Joshi is right —YPulse data has showed young consumers trust influencers, especially to recommend purchases to them, and social media is their domain. Just a few weeks ago, Gen-Z for Change political strategist Olivia Julianna made headlines for raising $2 million for abortion funds through social media. If TikTokers continue to promote #PeopleOverPrime, Amazon could risk seeing the dip in sales these young activists are promising. 

This Week on TikTok: Users Are Showing Off Their Acting Skills by Imitating Emojis 

The new trend, known as the “Say Something TikTok Emoji Acting Challenge,” is rapidly spreading among Gen Z and Millennial users. After displaying a random set of reaction emojis above their head, users are saying a word of their choosing that elicits the same energy each emoji calls for (hence the #ActingChallenge tag in most of the videos). Set to an instrumental version of A Great Big World’s “Say Something, TikTokers are carrying on the trend using a variety of cheeky words and phrases like “slay,” “you’re gay,” and “you stink!” Even famed Italian dad Joe Mele jumped on the trend saying “coffee” six different ways. Some are even taking the acting to new levels by incorporating zombie, devil, and animal emojis and changing their voices and facial expressions dramatically in order to fit the role. 

Our Social Media Deep Dive trend report found that the majority of Gen Z and Millennials who use social media enjoy engaging with viral online videos. For brands, unexpected viral trends can be used as inspiration for campaigns, sources of user generated content, and signs of what’s appealing to young consumers right now; and they’re showing that this is exactly the kind of content they want to see from brands. In fact, marketing to Gen Z on TikTok is way easier than it seems—just don’t get too serious. Young people flock to their favorite app to be entertained and they even love when brands participate in trends, no matter how silly they may appear. 

British Rapper Aitch Apologizes Over An Amazon Music Advertisement

Manchester is known for street artist @Akse_P19, who has done murals of George Floyd and Marcus Rashford—but their mural of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis is going viral for being destroyed. The mural on Port Street was created in dedication to Ian Curtis who committed suicide in 1980, to raise awareness for mental health in collaboration with @GiveUsAShout. But this week it’s been making headlines for being painted over by Amazon Music with an advertisement on Aitch’s upcoming album, causing local outrage.

Aitch, from North Manchester himself, has since released a statement on Twitter expressing their displeasure with the advertisement—and their intention to  fix the blunder. The statement has been well-received by Mancunians and Twitter alike. People have kept a keen eye on the mural, noting that the advert had already been painted over within 24 hours. While some are questioning where Amazon got permission, the majority are relieved the rapper is getting involved and seems to be genuine about his displeasure at the ad. 

Young Europeans were tell YPulse that advertisements such as billboards usually bore them, and while this one is getting attention, it’s a good note lesson for brands to be respectful of existing art when considering their own outdoor ads.

Links We’re Passing: 

Beauty: K-beauty inspired TikTokers to cover their face and hair in vaseline at night, now they’re “slugging” their cuticles too

A TikTok user claims she’s been poisoned by a SHEIN nail product

Music: K-pop group BTS is back with their fan favorite series after hiatus announcement 

Singer Demi Lovato bears the truth about the age-gap in their past relationship with new single “29”  

Celebrities: EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis unveils the first Barbie with hearing aids

Tom Holland announces he’s taking a social media break for his mental health 

TV: Jenna Ortega is the new Wednesday Addams in Netflix’s upcoming series Wednesday

Twitter: Users are not excited about Papa John’s new attempt to “get people excited about pizza again”