The internet runs on schadenfreude as much as it does on electricity, but it's easy to forget that a dumb kid who made a mistake is not the same as an adult going on a racist rant in a Starbucks. That adult has a fully formed prefrontal cortex and no excuse, but public humiliation can permanently rewire a child's brain. The consequences can range from lifelong psychological problems to leaving them open to predators on the internet looking for vulnerable kids.
And the knowledge that such humiliation was at the hands of a parent, the person they should be able to trust most in the world, makes it exponentially worse. There are around 35,000 kids now dealing with this kind of trauma, but hey, at least we got to laugh at their funny haircuts.
Influencers Are Faking Sponsored Content
"Influencer" is a weird job that exists now, but it's not like you can go to Instagram school and get a master's in being cute. Becoming an influencer is often the result of a combination of dumb luck, good taste, and being rich and/or famous to begin with. Aspiring influencers have little to go on, so many of them take a "Fake it 'til you make it" approach. That is, posting fake sponsored content in the hopes that it will convince companies that you have enough clout for them to pay you to hawk their stuff for real. Yes, "selling out" and "street cred" are synonymous now. Welcome to 2019, it's terrible here.
This puts brands in a weird position. They're not exactly in the business of turning down free publicity, but when someone is presenting themselves as a spokesperson, they do like to have a modicum of control over what they say. The last thing they need is some up-and-coming YouTuber announcing that his rant about white genocide was sponsored by their company. At the same time, they worry that if they ask someone to please stop recommending them, there's a whole internet out there eager for stories of people wronged by corporations. "All I did was tell people to buy their product and they sent their lawyers after me! Can you believe it?"
There is a silver lining here, in that the number of people willing to promote brands for free has significantly driven down the price of sponsored content, consequently reducing influencers' ability to make a living off it. Hopefully this whole dumbass ouroboros will finish eating itself and we can all quietly forget about that weird half-decade when using things was a job.