Prior to the deletion, Miley’s Twitter feed had more than two million followers, and thanks to them the #mileycomeback hashtag is already well-established as a trending topic. Even dad Billy Ray is jumping on the bandwagon, openly asking Miley to come back on Twitter. (Obviously, actually talking to his daughter would be far too surreal.)
Other sources are suggesting that Cyrus closed her account because she was receiving too much attention, and it will be interesting to see if this sets a precedent for other celebrities on the network. It’s a two-way deal, of course, and if you’re going to use social media to publicise yourself, you’ve got to be more than a little naÃ¯ve not to expect some fanatics fans to attempt to exploit that. A little under three months ago, Trent Reznor also deleted his Twitter account, and I speculated at the time that we might start to see celebrities doing this with a greater frequency.
When it comes to the internet, a lot of celebrities are pretty naive. In the offline world, they’ve learned the hard way how to keep their distance from the wackjobs and lunatics who make up the small but persistent part of their fanbase. And when they didn’t know what to do, their bodyguards did. And their PR team cleaned up the mess. And their manager stopped them making the same mistake twice.
The internet is different. Assuming the celebrity account is genuine, there is no bodyguard. There is no PR team, and there is no manager. It’s just the celebrity and a million other people, a percentage of which will be abusive and/or insane.
It hasn’t expedited quite as I would have imagined, but we have to remember that celebrities being this accessible is still something that is very, very new, and the impact of this many-to-one contact remains something of an unknown quantity.
The last thing we want to see on Twitter is more managed accounts, but you have to wonder how somebody as young as the 16-year old Cyrus would ever cope with so many replies and mentions, especially when a lot of it, certainly before the events of the past 24 hours, was far from positive. While there’s always a chance Miley will decide to give Twitter another go, I certainlyÂ wouldn’tÂ be surprised to see one or two other big names throw in their cards – or hand control over to their PR team – before the year is over.