Hate-Following Might Be the Next Career Boost for Celebs
If Done in the Swifty Way
Don’t lie about it—there have or had been some people on your social media feed whose posts really get on your nerve, but instead of unfollowing them, you would share that post with your friends (who find that person’s content equally irksome) and then proceed to have a long elaborated discussion together on how cringeworthy that person is.
Then you wait for the next post to come to hate on again.
This is the cycle of hate-following and it is growing more prevalent in the internet world as people begin to realize that hate is just another emotion that can be as strong as love; and it seems that making someone hate you is always way much easier to make them love you instead. No matter it is out of love or hate, as long as there is attention on you, you can turn that into money for yourself on social media (at least in the short run).
To make someone loves you, you have to fit into certain molds of their ideals—you are cheerful, positive, politically correct at all times, only have good words for people, genuinely kind-hearted to everyone, always talking about giving love etc. While it is indeed possible to keep up with that image despite the great effort needed for consistency, as time passes people either get bored of your one dimensional character and start picking bones in your demeanor or you become careless and let your “non-ideals” slip through. Either way you lose your original followers who follow you out of love, and the new followers are just jumping on the bandwagon for more drama and to hate on you.
The above case sounds much similar to the evolution of Taylor Swift’s image. She started off as the perfect sweet country girl singing about unrequited love, but people soon began to portray her as this serial-dater who seemed to intentionally collect boyfriends as her next album muse. The biggest turnaround in Taylor’s narrative was the Kanye/Kim-Taylor beef, which provided all the “receipts” necessary to prove the “snake” that people had suspected Taylor had been all along. Lucky for Taylor, she is able to seize the chance to “reinvent” herself each time the public changed their opinion on her. From “No Teardrops On My Guitar” to “Blank Space” and ultimately, “Look What You Made Me Do,” Taylor knows just how to use followers who love(d) her as much as her hate-followers.
On the other spectrum, there are personalities out there who started with no other intention than to get as many people to hate on them as possible. These people go out of their way to be rude to people, dishing out crude remarks mix with vulgarities in every other sentences, stirring up controversial acts or views, and throwing shades at other personalities. Their content which first gained mass attention usually contains certain ridiculous remarks or actions that is just way beyond the usual person’s tolerance of absurdity – that triggers the sharing and talk about them. The subsequent follow-ups are then a string of attempts to outdo their earlier ridiculous acts. As long as people continue to be appalled at them, they use those eyeballs as their bargaining chips to monetize their products or brands.
Probably the person who had most successfully utilize the public’s hate-following psychology is the “Cash Me Outside Girl,” aka “Danielle Bregoli,” aka “Bhad Bhabie.” Or more accurately, her management company. They knew fairly well how to quickly bank on the initial public outcry over the “Cash Me Outside” remark—where Danielle having shown people the kind of “bad behaviors” she is capable of at a young age, it piqued the public’s interest as to how much “worse” she can actually be. Other copycats with very similar strategy soon emerged following Danielle’s “rise to fame,” Woahvicky, and Lil Tay are just a few other examples to name.
Hate-following is a common denominator between both mainstream and social media stars. It can be inevitable as one's public career unfolds or intentionally sparked to gain eyeballs in the short run. Either way, the industry is waking up to the huge potential monetary gains from hate-following if managed properly.