Instant Gratification, Insta-lebrities, Instigation: Why Nash Grier Shouldn’t Have a Platform

Not everybody deserves — or should have — a platform.

Eight years ago,  internet-based celebrities were non-existent; the thought of achieving fame solely through the internet was a concept that I don’t think anyone anticipated, let alone expected to ever come to fruition. At the start of the 2000s, social networking was a relatively “new” concept, with Facebook launching exclusively for colleges and universities in  2004, and previously, its only competitors were MySpace and all the various “diary” sites, like Xanga and LiveJournal.

Enter 2006: The Birth of YouTube* and Twitter. 

(*Ok, so technically YouTube launched in 2005, but “The Second Year of YouTube and First Year of Twitter” just sounded too wordy.)

Fast-Forward to 2014 and not only have we created monsters celebrities from YouTube (Justin Bieber arguably the biggest) …


… but there is such a thing as “Twitterlebrities” and “Insta-lebrities”; these are normal, every-day people who have somehow amassed a crazy amount of followers, and as such also have built there very own soapboxes and platforms out of nothing more than tweets and a set of semi-decent video equipment and a subscription to movie editing software.

Anyone with a pulse and a barebones knowledge of the internet can sign up for Twitter, giving anyone the “right” to say whatever they want, however they want, whenever they want. Unlike Facebook, which is still largely based off of an indefinable version of the word “friendship,” Twitter users can largely follow whomever they choose. Major celebrities often tweet personal messages and it’s a wonderful way for these [legitimate] stars to connect with their fans in a way that, prior to Twitter, was never possible. But that also means that, in 2014, just about anyone with a little wherewithal (and blood, sweat, and tweets time) can make themselves a “celebrity” with a viable platform.

But is this a good thing?

On July 6th, 2014, famous YouTube personality Tyler Oakley posted a Vine on his Twitter of 16-year-old insta-lebrity Nash Grier (who currently has 8.7 million followers on Vine and an extremely large internet reach that spans Twitter, Vine, YouTube, and Instagram, and has somehow parlayed his internet fame into a movie career with fellow Vine “star” Cameron Dallas) not only displaying Grier’s flagrant homophobia, but also widely misinforming his millions of young, impressionable fans about HIV at the same time:

Sickening, isn’t it, to know that millions of teens are seeing this, retweeting, LOL-ing, #Preach-ing and #AMEN-ing to this and generally applauding his actions. Not only that, but Hollywood is rewarding him by granting him the ability to widen his audience and thereby strengthen his platform. Also, here are some now-deleted tweets that someone was smart enough to snap screenshots of:

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But this isn’t just Nash Grier, the blue-eyed, misinformed, God-fearing love child of Twitter and Stupidity; it’s anyone with a hefty internet platform who abuses their “power.” We live in a world of instant gratification, where we can say whatever we want behind a computer or phone screen. But here’s the (very obvious, yet oft-ignored) thing: once it’s out there, it’s OUT THERE for the entire world to see.

Is this kind of media instigation forgivable?

Is this kind of media acceptable at all?

We seem to be raising this new teen generation under the impression that they can ultimately get away with it, because why not? Who says they won’t? Who says that they won’t be rewarded for their backwards thoughts and 6-second sermons? Nash Grier certainly was.

And what good is Grier’s platform, exactly? Why do millions of teens look up to him? Why is he gaining notoriety for being a speak-before-you-think, ignorant teenage boy? Forget about his age, though, and focus on the message that he’s sending to kids who follow him on all major networks:

  1. It’s OK to call gay men “fags”
  2. HIV is a gay man’s disease
  3. Homophobia is, like, totes #adorbs because #CuteCountryBlueEyesSaysSo!


In 2014, Grier is not only on the wrong side of history, but he’s also someone who seems to be completely unaware of the effect his actions and videos and tweets have. And if that’s the case, then why isn’t someone teaching him how to properly handle himself? Is this the new wave of celebrity? In that respect, can he truly be considered a “celebrity”? What exactly is he famous for? If all that fame amounts to these days are puppy dog baby blues and the ability to press the “record” button, then I truly fear for the future of Hollywood, a town that used to rest its laurels on truly talented craftsmen; celebrities used to be people who were exceptionally great a specific trade, whether that was singing, dancing, acting, some combination of all of the above and more. Now, anyone with a solid twitter follower count has a voice, and that voice can be magnified x1,000,000 if everyone retweets it enough. In the end, fame isn’t anything if ultimately you have nothing note-worthy to contribute to culture and society.


We’re doing it to ourselves. We have to be more conscious of what we say. We have to be more aware of what these social platforms are allowing; they’re leading to the spread of rampant misinformation and, what’s worse, they’re launching the careers of people who never should have had a soapbox to stand on in the first place.

When Andy Warhol said that everyone would be world-famous for 15 minutes, I highly doubt that a Nash Grier was what he had in mind. We can only hope Grier’s 15 minutes are almost up.

25 thoughts on “Instant Gratification, Insta-lebrities, Instigation: Why Nash Grier Shouldn’t Have a Platform

  1. A hundred percent agree, but someone like you should write longer and bitchier articles on this and similar issues. As you yourself say here, once it is out there it is out there,… but let’s get it out there loud and clear and reasonably. The fight is worth it so keep fighting, please.

  2. I honestly had no idea that Nash Grier was (is?) homophobic. I just unfollowed him on Vine because of this blog. Now I’m ashamed that I ever found his vines funny… That fucking bigot. You totally have a point though. With an audience as large as his people are seriously going to think that it’s OK to bread homophobia. It’s amazing how fast stupidity can spread.

    • Stupidity travels at the speed of light these days. Or at least as fast as it takes for a new video to upload to YouTube/Vine.

      I just don’t get why he’s so popular. It’s not like he has any discernible talent…

      • My pleasure. I added a longer commentary because even though I strongly believe no everyone should have a platform, I also believe in freedom of speech. Problem is, like I wrote in my commentary, that it leads to deplorable comments and messages across the internet and the world. Otherwise, I really like your blog. I think you have a very perceptive way of writing. 🙂

        • Thanks 🙂

          I am ALL for Freedom of Speech, and I would never say otherwise, but does that mean that the masses should be hearing everything someone too uneducated to really know anything about the world and issues larger than a view count and a # of retweets says? Just because people are allowed platforms, it doesn’t mean they necessarily deserve them.

          • I agree. But the problem is bigger than an issue of platforms. It has to do with a collective “speak before you think” issue as well as the instantaneity of media communication. It’s hard to convince anyone nowadays that in spite of individuals having 15 minutes of fame, their message can have far longer effects than their own celebrity.

            • ABSOLUTELY! Amen! Once it’s out there, it’s OUT THERE. You can’t take it back.

              Unfortunately, we’ve becoming so willing to forgive, even if the internet doesn’t let anyone forget.

          • I guess what I’m trying to point out to is today’s media communication as well as our society’s treatment of messages like these (how scandals bubble up and vanish just as quickly as they rose) says one thing: no one is actually made accountable for anything. That to me is the bigger issue. It’s not that people have access to platforms it’s that whatever they say has no consequence for them- it definitely has consequences in the greater scheme of things- but for these individuals spreading defamatory and prejudiced messages, there is scarcely any consequence, despite their presence on the public scene. In the “olden days”, public figures who hadn’t risen through insta-celebrity were held accountable for what they said. Not anymore.

            • That’s a whole part of the conversation that NEEDS to happen. Parents need to start adding online accountability to their list of “life lessons.” The problem is that it’s SO new that nobody really thinks it’s that big of a deal. You would think with the huge wave of cyberbully-related suicides from 2011-today that there would be a bigger conversation happening. But it’s a murmur, at best! Why? Why isn’t anyone taking this more seriously? Sure, Nash Grier has been on all major news outlets over the last few days, but now that it’s almost exhausted, it’ll fizzle out and go away until the next instalebrity makes a misstep. Then they’ll be scrutinized for a few days and everyone will move on. The cycle will repeat and it’ll keep sending the message that nobody is held accountable for their actions anymore. What good does that do our society?

              • Precisely my thoughts, but I don’t think it’s only the job of parents, I think there has to be a more collective approach to this given these messages are part of the public sphere. I think it should be tackled by the education system as well. I used to go to a school where there were civic education classes, where we were taught starting in elementary school that any right is accompanied by a duty. Not to start another entire new debate, but if some schools have religion classes in their program, then it’s only fair there should also be some equivalent offered for civic education and ethics of the media.

                • Agreed. Media literacy courses should be part of a core liberal arts studies education as well as a course offered in high school (don’t get me started on religion in high school — it just has no place, what with separation of church and state … not that we adhere to that AT ALL.)

                  That’s my goal, to teach media literacy courses. I already teach it in my English/writing courses, but I want to eventually make the full transition.

  3. I agree 100% but more importantly…why are we allowing these “insta-lebrities” (awesome word btw) like Nash to have so much influence? ….it’s sad and pathetic really. I feel old saying this…but when I was a kid we thought Justin Timberlake was hot but we certainly didn’t pay attention to what he said because he was just some boy band member to be worshiped for his body. Ahhh the simpler days…:)

    • I think that’s because when we were younger and Justin Timberlake (and *NSYNC) were hot, the internet was too young and inefficient to really allow for anything like this. I’m sure Justin at 16 said stupid shit, but he wasn’t dumb enough to allow a camcorder to record him. At least not that we know of.

      Plus, at least Justin SANG. What does Nash Grier do, exactly?

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