TV personality, cookbook author and former model posted final tweets to 13.7m followers before shutting down account
Reprinted from the Guardian, by Ankita Rao – 2021-03-25
“My desire to be liked and fear of pissing people off has made me somebody you didn’t sign up for, and a different human than I started out here as! Live well, tweeters.”
Like most women with a large platform on the site, Teigen – whose funny posts about her family, food and cultural commentary sent her popularity soaring – had received a barrage of threats and harassment in recent years. But starting in late 2017, things got even uglier when Teigan and her husband, singer John Legend, were targeted by conspiracy group, QAnon, which claimed the couple was part of a secret pedophile ring.
Last year, Teigen started to block and unfollow more than a million Twitter accounts in hopes of fending off the threats to her family and unfounded claims by the group. While it’s not clear if this week’s farewell to the platform was because of QAnon, the conspiracy group has attempted to claim it as their victory.
Teigen also faced online harassment after she publicly shared that she had a miscarriage last year – with trolls saying she was using her grief to gain popularity.
While a celebrity leaving Twitter may not seem cause for national outrage, Teigen’s decision further highlights the proliferation of unchecked abuse and hate on Twitter. While the platform has rolled out measures to combat this, such as changing its algorithms and hiding potentially abusive replies, its methods are hardly foolproof and many have been speaking out against what they face on a daily basis.
In one of her last tweets, Teigen asked her followers to recognize the power of their words.
“I encourage you to know and never forget that your words matter. No matter what you see, what that person portrays, or your intention. For years I have taken so many small, 2-follower count punches that at this point, I am honestly deeply bruised.”
Shortly after, the account was deactivated.
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