Hayley Cocker and Kate Daunt do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Tattle Life, an anonymous gossip forum, has been described as “the most toxic place on the internet”. “Fake boobs, fake teeth, fake nose, fake life”, “Career is down the drain; she’s still so vain!” and “Always the wedding guest but never the bride” are just a selection of the thread titles on the site.
People are increasingly turning to gossip forums like Tattle Life, Guru Gossip, GOMI (“Get Off My Internets”) and the Blogsnark subreddit to critique the influencers they follow. On these forums, users pick apart everything from the influencer’s social media content to their appearance. Even their relationships with their friends, partners and children come under scrutiny. Yet a surprising phrase is repeated across the forums – “I used to love her”.
Many forum users are former fans of the influencers they now publicly and enthusiastically criticise. So why might you start to hate the influencers you once loved?