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  • Will COVID-19 affect who we worship and stan?
  • Will COVID-19 affect who we worship and stan?
    Carolina S├ínchez (2020) ©

How will COVID-19 change the cult of celebrity?

From poetry readings to live music tutorials, COVID-19 is transforming the ways celebrities interact with fans. But how are influencers and celebs using or misusing their platforms to broadcast how relatable and accessible they are? And how will the cult of celebrity evolve post-pandemic?

Location Global

“Even if everybody gets it, like yeah, people are going to die, which is terrible … but inevitable?” says Vanessa Hudgens, American actress, singer, and Instagram influencer during an Instagram Live selfie video session discussing COVID-19. [1] The actress issued an apology after facing backlash online. “What a horrible and heartless message for you to share,” reads one Twitter comment. “To laugh at this unthinkable tragedy, with an almost unimaginable scale of suffering. Unconscionable,” says another. The pandemic has ushered in a zero-tolerance approach to celebrity missteps.



  • Scientist 'influencers' gain fame as people seek truth

    Scientist 'influencers' gain fame as people seek truth

    As the global community looks to leaders to guide them through the coronavirus crisis, it’s the epidemiologists and virologists who are becoming trusted household names. With the focus shifting from contemporary figureheads to scientists, it’s changing the nature of trust and influence.

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    What does it mean to be a fan in the digital era?

    With digital channels offering them increased access to their heroes, casual supporters and ‘stans’ alike are embracing novel ways of showing their devotion to celebs and sports teams. How are these passionate individuals forging new cultural tribes and changing expectations of fan interactions?

  • Doctors use TikTok to reach authority-wary Gen Zers

    Doctors use TikTok to reach authority-wary Gen Zers

    US healthcare professionals are using TikTok to share medical advice with teens, as their trust in traditional sources of authority dwindles. By communicating via a more relaxed, less commercialized platform that prioritizes authenticity, doctors and other experts may be able to regain their authority. 

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    What in the world is a Stan?

    In an era of super-fandom, the question is not whether to stan or not to stan, but whom to stan, and for how long. The intensity of fan devotion in the digital age is creating new opportunities for brands to activate hyper engaged communities – just don’t get on their bad side.