Celebrities are vanishing from social media to make a statement

Platforms like Instagram and Twitter have taken the relationship between celebrities and fans to new heights. Those who follow famous people on social media feel closer to them than ever before, since these networks act as a window into the lavish personal lives of individuals they admire. Celebs can share anything from selfies and family pictures to random thoughts about topics they feel strongly about. But, as we’ve seen with Kanye West, Solange Knowles and Taylor Swift recently, that online presence doesn’t last forever. Some vanish for unknown reasons (West) while others do it because of the current political climate (Solange) or as a marketing scheme to promote a fresh music album (Swift). And if you’re Rob Kardashian, well, you just get banned for revenge porn.

Whatever the reason, when celebrities wipe or delete their social media accounts it causes a ripple effect across the internet that leads to plenty of gossip. Fans rush to find out why he or she did it, hoping to be the first to uncover any cryptic clues that may have been left behind. In the case of Solange, a former member of Destiny’s Child and sister to Beyonce, she made it quite clear that she was shutting down her Twitter page because she was outraged following a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month. Solange deleted her Twitter account on August 15th, three days after the event, saying, “deleting my twitter soon, but before I dip when are we gonna pull up ? & what we got to do to get my new hero Takiyah Thompson free?”

Takiyah Thompson, a 22-year-old student activist, became an internet sensation after a video of her climbing up and subsequently toppling a Confederate statue went viral. Thompson was arrested for her actions, leading people like Solange to speak out on the matter. The issue many people had with Thompson’s arrest is that while she was behind bars, the Neo-Nazis who were caught on video gruesomely beating a young black man during the rally were still roaming the streets free. Solange is still not back on Twitter, though she’s still sharing pictures on Instagram, where she has 3 million followers. One could argue this is likely because there’s less political content to see there.

Kanye West, meanwhile, vanished from Twitter and Instagram last May. Unlike Solange, however, West gave no warning before closing his accounts. At the time, it was rumored that the radio silence was a marketing plot around a kid’s clothing line he and his wife were about to launch, but that wasn’t the case since he’s still not back on either site. Instead, his decision could be tied to personal issues the rapper-turned-designer has been dealing with since last year, when he was hospitalized for what doctors referred to as “temporary psychosis.” And let’s be honest, tweeting and posting pictures on Instagram are probably the last things you want to be doing during a health recovery.

Read more at EnGadget.