Youll miss me when Im gone: the murder of social media star Qandeel Baloch

The long read: Her risque videos blazed a trail for viral fame in Pakistan. But the price she paid for popularity was death Pakistans first celebrity-by-social media, Qandeel Baloch, was known for the videos and photographs she posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Her videos were a mixed bag she had a headache; she was bored; she had a song stuck in her head and for a few seconds every day, thousands watched her coo or feign annoyance or try on a new dress. The videos were mostly made at night, when Qandeel said she couldnt sleep. And then, they became more risque by Pakistans standards, at least. Qandeel was killed in July 2016. Her brother confessed to the murder, …

Trying to keep up with the Kardashians is returning women to the Victorian era | Marie Le Conte

Todays socialites promote an ideal of beauty that belongs to another time, says French journalist Marie Le Conte Kim Kardashian West is perched on a chair. Shes not quite sitting; instead, shes pushing her hands into the armrests then leaning against the cushion. Her figure is grotesque: above her generous hips rests an already small waist, tightened beyond belief thanks to a The video the quote is from was posted on 7 May, and has been watched more than 21m times since then. Perhaps she was right not to sit; a few weeks later, actor Elle Fanning attended a dinner at Cannes posted a picture of her nails on Instagram. They were tie-dye, presumably acrylics, and absurdly long. How long …

Pay-to-hey: app lets users receive messages from celebrities for a price

Snoop Dogg, Meredith from The Office and Ken Bone can wish you a happy bamitzvah for as little as $20 with the Cameo app The Cameo app is based on a simple idea: let ordinary people pay celebrities to record personalized messages for fans upon request. Instead of tweeting incessantly at a star asking for them to shout you out, you can just pay them $50 and theyll do whatever you want. Users can scroll through the hundreds of personalities on the platform, from athletes to actors and social media influencers, to pay for a little bit of their time. Casual Friday just turned formal. Book @therealkateflannery for your promposal and, remember to dance harder than Meredith did at Jim …

Its genuine, you know?: why the online influencer industry is going authentic

The long read: Calamities such as Fyre Festival have tarnished the booming business of YouTube and Instagram stars. Now the industrys top tastemakers have a new plan: keeping it real In a central London hair salon last December, the fashion influencer Victoria Magrath (@inthefrow) mingled among a few of her 849,000 Instagram followers. Magrath tall, with signature silver hair was celebrating the launch of her book, The New Fashion Rules, at an event organised by her talent agency, Gleam Futures. She chatted easily, her high, delighted voice ringing out over the roar of the hairdryers and her manner so convincingly intimate that it was possible to think she knew her followers as well as they knew her. In a group …

The furore over the fish-eating vegan influencer is a warning to us all | Arwa Mahdawi

Its easy to see why the story about the YouTuber Yovana Mendoza went viral. But Fishgate highlights the dangers of looking to online personalities for dietary advice Nobody was supposed to see Yovana Mendoza eating the fish. The 28-year-old influencer, also known as Rawvana, has amassed more than 3 million followers across YouTube and Instagram by extolling the life-changing properties of a raw vegan diet. She has built a lucrative brand around veganism. But a couple of weeks ago, Mendoza was recorded eating seafood in a video posted by another vlogger. Realising she was being filmed, she tried to hide the fish, but the jig was up. It was one of the worst days of my life, Mendoza the South …

‘When Im 16, my baby brother will take over’: the rise of the kidfluencer

Tekkerz kid, 10, gets stopped in the street by fans; The McClure twins, five, have 1.7 million Instagram followers. Whats life like as a tiny influencer? Ryan is seven years old and makes a reported $22m (16.8m) a year. His YouTube channel, Tiana, a bubbly 11-year-old toy reviewer from Nottingham (4.4 million subscribers) who has queues of children snaking through shopping centres for meet-and-greets during school holidays. There are hundreds getting more than 100,000 clicks a time, or with six-figure follower counts, such as Super Awesome. But every generation has that same obsessional, cult-like draw towards what is popular, just like the one that wanted to marry Backstreet Boys. Launching children on to platforms that were built for adults is …

Parents: don’t panic about Momo worry about YouTube Kids instead | Keza MacDonald

One is a viral hoax. The other is rife with distressing and disturbing content, says Keza MacDonald, the Guardians video games editor I first heard about Momo in my local parents WhatsApp group. Someone had screenshotted a Facebook post about a creepy puppet that supposedly appeared in unsuspecting childrens phone messages and spliced into YouTube videos, dispensing advice on self-harm and violent acts. I reacted with suspicion: this would hardly be the first time that something on Facebook was indeed a hoax, a viral shock-story driven by a frightening image and well-intentioned worry about childrens safety online. There have been videos on YouTube Kids with suicide advice spliced into otherwise innocuous cartoons as a malicious joke they just dont involve …

Viral ‘Momo challenge’ is a malicious hoax, say charities

Groups say no evidence yet of self-harm from craze, but resulting hysteria poses a risk It is the most talked about viral scare story of the year so far, blamed for child suicides and violent attacks but experts and charities have warned that the Momo challenge is nothing but a moral panic spread by adults. Warnings about the supposed Momo challenge suggest that children are being encouraged to kill themselves or commit violent acts after receiving messages on messaging service WhatsApp from users with a profile picture of a distorted image of woman with bulging eyes. News stories about the Momo challenge have also attracted hundreds of thousands of shares on Facebook in a 24-hour period, dominating the list of …