Jack Maynard: When stars' social media posts come back to haunt them

From BBC - November 22, 2017

YouTube star Jack Maynard and rapper Stormzy are the latest celebrities to discover that ill-judged and offensive things they said years ago on social media can come back to damage their reputations and possibly their careers.

Virtually every celebrity breaking through today - certainly all those who are as big on YouTube as Jack Maynard is - will owe at least part of their success to social media.

But, as Maynard has discovered, living your life online means opinions you expressed years ago can resurface when you least expect it.

Like when you are in the Australian jungle.

The 22-year-old, whose funny videos have attracted 1.2 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, was kicked off I am A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here on Tuesday. That was after a series of tweets, most of which date from 2011-13, came to light.

Maynard was between 16 and 19 at the time. In the offending messages, he used homophobic language and referred to friends using the n-word.

His representative has said he is "ashamed" of the posts and realises the language was "completely unacceptable".

Many fans and members of the vlogging community have leapt to his defence.

Meanwhile, some viewers have wondered why Maynard was singled out when questionable tweets from fellow I am A Celeb contestant Amir Khan have emerged - and the show let the outspoken Katie Hopkins stay a decade ago.

She has voiced her support, writing: "Dear @Jack_Maynard23 - they kept me in, my love. You are an angel by comparison. It's all just noise. Breathe quiet air."

Maynard is one of a number of celebrities whose unsavoury comments have recently been dredged up.

Stormzy apologised on Wednesday for using homophobic tweets between 2011 and 2014.

He says they were views "that I have unlearned as I have grown up and become a man". He's 24 now.

And last week, vlogging queen Zoella apologised for a number of old tweets about gay people and "chavs".

The posts were from 2009-12, when she was around 19-22. She said she "would never say those things now".

But can such comments be explained away by youthful ignorance and the passage of time?

In a highly personal column, The Sun newspaper's showbiz editor Dan Wootton recounted how he was bullied at school by people using the same language as Maynard had tweeted.

Wootton said "I feel deeply sorry for the millennial generation whose every utterance from their earliest years is archived on the internet.

"But that's not what this situation is all about."

Growing up in public


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