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Is Oprah the Most Influential Person Ever?



Operah-Winfrey Photo

By Ellis Cashmore

When Oprah Winfrey tells people, “I am here to ask you to think seriously,” apparently they do. She really did say this, in 2007, and her audience duly thought about who was the best person for the US presidency. It was Barack Obama, America’s first black president. Oprah was, and remains, one of the most influential people in the world, and the source of her influence is the unique status she has acquired since September 8, 1986, when her history-making show first appeared on national television in the US.


The epoch-defining “The Oprah Winfrey Show” ran for 25 years, during which the host used her growing reputation not so much to change people’s lives but to instruct them to change their own lives. Like a preacher using a parable to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, Oprah drew on her own experiences and opened herself up to inspection, encouraging her followers to accept responsibility for themselves and to self-actualize — fulfill their own talent and potential.

It was a very different message to that preached by civil rights leaders earlier in the 20th century. Oprah relied less on the solidarity and potency of collective effort, and more on individual determination and enterprise.

Philosophy of Individualism

Oprah’s philosophy of individualism chimed well with the changing times. Her show arrived at the start of the third decade after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and the less portentous 1965 Voting Rights Act, which prohibited discrimination in voting. The first post-civil rights decade had been tumultuous, with riots in many major cities serving notice that the technical abolition of racism had done little to extirpate it from American society. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968 catalyzed further unrest.

Well into the 1970s, the dust seemed to settle, and conspicuously successful black figures emerged as if living evidence that it was possible to overcome what once seemed insurmountable obstacles. Bill Cosby featured in the country’s most popular sitcom, “The Cosby Show.” Eddie Murphy’s 1984 “Beverly Hills Cop” established him as one of the world’s most bankable film stars. Michael Jackson was arguably the leading entertainer in the world. Two months after Oprah’s show launched, Mike Tyson won boxing’s heavyweight world championship to become probably the most heralded athlete since Muhammad Ali. Michael Jordan was on his way toward his cultural apogee.

Black celebrities of the 1980s were perfect emblems of the Reagan era, a period associated with low taxes, laissez-faire markets, entrepreneurial initiative and individualism. Oprah and the other glittering African Americans were conspicuous reminders of the success of black Americans, who had persevered and refused to allow the country’s enduring racism to derail their destinies. Oprah was, as one writer sarcastically called her, “an Horatio Alger for our times,” referring to the 19th-century novelist whose tales imparted the message that hard work can triumph over poverty.

This didn’t mean Oprah avoided the problem of racism. Within months of going national, Oprah ventured into dangerous territory by featuring residents of Forsyth County, Georgia. There had been no black residents in Forsyth since 1912, when three black men — all of whom were subsequently hanged — allegedly raped a white teenager, prompting whites to burn down black churches and schools. Oprah asked questions of white people who openly refused to welcome black people into the. “We have a right to have a white community,” said one woman. Unwaveringly, Oprah persisted with her questioning.

Mischief and Provocation

Oprah had few equals when it came to mischief and provocation. No social or personal issue was off-limits: as well as racism, she tackled homophobia, addiction, infidelity and child abuse — sometimes drawing on her own experience as a victim. It was a new type of show. She took aim at figures from entertainment, but from politics too and from big business. No one was spared.

Yet her partisanship never clashed with her fundamental idea that people should help themselves. If they grumbled and complained about the world, they would get nowhere. If they relied on others, they would end up where they started. In this sense, she aligned herself with the conservative writer Shelby Steele who believed that, by the end of the 1980s, racism in America was not so much a raging lion that needed to be slain but more an annoying bee that could be swatted.

It made sense to Steele — and perhaps Oprah — not to waste energy on the collective effort fighting a beast that had already been tamed. Instead, African Americans should focus on their own progress as individuals. For many, Oprah was and is a guru, her mantra being “Live Your Best Life.” Somehow, 35 years ago, she scented that this type of individualist ethos was filtering into the zeitgeist.

Oprah leveraged her influence to publish “O, The Oprah Magazine,” initiate a book club, play in film adaptations of Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple,” and Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” and not so much endorse Obama’s bid for the presidency as authenticate it. In fact, research indicated that 30% of voters in the 2008 election said they would be influenced by Winfrey, with half of those more likely to cast votes for the candidate she endorsed; Pew Research Center coined it as the “Oprah factor.”

In 2008, Oprah announced plans to launch an eponymous television channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN. Twenty years ago, the first university course based on her was launched at the University of Illinois: “Oprah Winfrey, the Tycoon” was the first of several programs to use Oprah “as a prism to get at the intersection of race, class and gender in the post-civil rights era,” as one tutor put it.

No one ever queried her sincerity. When she conducted interviews, there was emotional immediacy, but with open and honest mischief. Many of her interviews disclosed hitherto unknown aspects of her subject’s character. The Tom Cruise interview in 2005 revealed the actor as a frenzied, perhaps hysterical figure. Michael Jackson in 1993 divulged experiences in his childhood that made audiences wonder how much effect they were having on his bizarre behavior later in life. More recently, in her interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Oprah, perhaps inadvertently, dragged into the light allegations of racism at the heart of the British monarchy.

Help Thyself

History will be kinder to Oprah than it has been to several other African Americans who were once admired but later reviled. The groundbreaking Bill Cosby was disgraced after sexual assault charges were brought against him (his conviction was overturned earlier this year.) Mike Tyson was imprisoned for rape in 1992 and served three of his 10-year sentence. Michael Jackson died in 1999 but was posthumously denounced after two men claimed to have been sexually abused by him as children. At 67, Oprah has taken criticism but emerged basically intact. She was even seriously discussed as a presidential candidate for a while after dropping hints in 2018 that she might run for office.

Oprah was once an entertainer. But she became a mogul, so her story is one of spectacular success. While she is emblematic, Oprah is hardly typical: Black women remain underrepresented in positions of power in both private and public sectors on either side of the Atlantic. While Oprah herself might explain this as the result of a lack of confidence, ambition, self-esteem and support from peers, others might identify experiences of discrimination, stereotyping and more structural factors, such as disparities in the education system and the job market that have persisted over the decades. Oprah’s approach tends to downplay the impact of institutional barriers.

Oprah hasn’t tried to change society. She hasn’t even tried to change human beings. She’s tried and succeeded in making people change themselves. Her gift was and is that she is neither a firebrand nor a demagogue. There is nothing other-worldly about her. She just insinuates herself into people’s lives by speaking plainly and truthfully without bombast or sham virtuousness. It has enabled her to change countless lives in ways even she probably doesn’t realize.

It’s doubtful if there has been anyone quite like her, recognized the world over just by her first name. Her power is all-pervasive; its effects are felt everywhere. If you think I exaggerate, think of someone, good or bad — a politician, a religious leader, an entertainer — who has influenced so many people and whose sway will surely extend beyond her lifetime.


This article was originally published on Fair Observer.

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Dark side of Social Media Influencing




Dark side of Social Media Influencing

Samira Farivar, Carleton University; Fang Wang, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Ofir Turel, The University of Melbourne

Do you follow influencers on social media? Do you always check their posts? Do you find you’re spending too much time or becoming obsessed with checking influencers’ accounts? And when you can’t check in, do you feel disconnected or lost?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, you may have whats known as “problematic engagement” with social media influencers.

But don’t blame yourself too much. You are among the many who have been swept away by dazzling social media influencing. And this can be attributed to many features and tactics social media influencers employ that help keep them influential — like livestreams and polls on Instagram.

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As experts in social media and user behaviour, we recently published a paper that looks at followers’ problematic engagement with influencers on social media. Our paper is among the first to study which aspects of social media influencing may lead to followers’ problematic engagement. It is important to examine this context considering the significant volume and revenues of social media influencing — it’s a US$13.8 billion industry.

The issue of problematic engagement

In the age of social media, most people know of or follow some social media influencers. Social media influencers are users who have a significant number of followers with established credibility.

Whether you are a fashion fan or want information on health and fitness — there’s an influencer to follow. And followers often gravitate towards them for their authenticity and content creation.

Inside the big business of being a social media influencer by ABC News.

But less focus is put on the dark side of social media influencing. Influencers are motivated and often incentivized (through product and brand endorsement) to increase their power on social media and many are becoming more proficient in attracting and engaging followers.

Followers, on the other hand, can easily become attached and obsessed with influencers and their engagement can often become excessive and unhealthy. Problematic engagement with social media influencers is common among followers, but not well known or understood.

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Our research

We recently examined the factors and mechanisms that lead to problematic engagement. We focused on three influencer characteristics (physical attractiveness, social attractiveness and self-presence) and two follower participation attributes (participation comprehensiveness and following length) to explore their effects on the development of problematic engagement through the formation of follower attachments.

Based on attachment theory, we studied two types of attachments — parasocial relationship and sense of belonging, both of which are key in social media influencing. Parasocial relationship is followers’ perception of their one-sided relationship with an influencer and sense of belonging refers to the feeling of being an integral member of the influencer’s community.

We conducted an online survey of 500 Instagram users. The results showed that when followers develop attachments both to influencers (parasocial relationship) and their community (sense of belonging), this can lead to problematic engagement.

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We found that influencers’ social attractiveness has a stronger effect than other factors in building followers’ attachments. Following more influencers could reduce the impact of attachment to the community (sense of belonging) when it comes to problematic engagement, but not the effect of attachment to the influencer (parasocial relationship).



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Implications for influencers and followers

Our study warns of and explains problematic engagement to social media users.

We argue that social media users who are attracted to influencers can become easily attached and engage excessively. Users need to be aware of, watch out for and exert self-regulations to manage their interactions with influencers.

For example, participation comprehensiveness — which refers to the reasons for following and extent of followers’ participation (like watching, liking, commenting, sharing) — can lead to attachment development. This, however, can be consciously managed by followers themselves. One way of doing this is by making use of the phone’s functions and tools like setting daily time limits on Instagram or turning off notifications for the app.

Social media influencers should also be aware of followers’ problematic engagement. Although it may be in contrast with their goal of increasing follower engagement, they can focus on creating a healthy relationship with their followers.

For instance, influencers can openly talk about the issue of problematic engagement and show care for their followers’ well-being. This will help with sustainability of the relationship because studies have shown that social media users with problematic behaviour are more likely to stop using platforms after a while.

More research on the dark side of social media influencers is needed and we call for future research to focus on additional negative consequences such as followers’ anxiety, depression and the impact of following influencers on followers’ well-being.The Conversation

Samira Farivar, Assistant Professor, Information Systems, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University; Fang Wang, Professor, Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Ofir Turel, Professor, School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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The Rise of the TikTok Tabloid




West Elm Caleb and The Rise of the TikTok Tabloid

Jenna Drenten, Loyola University Chicago

Can you believe Makayla was dropped from Bama Rush? Do you think Couch Guy was cheating? Did you see Gabby Petito’s last post before she went missing?

If you don’t spend much time online, you may not recognize these names.
But on TikTok, their stories became sensationalized, memeified, hashtagged and rehashed.

The most recent is “#WestElmCaleb.” Women took to TikTok to share their experiences of being peppered with affection, strung along and ultimately ghosted by a New York City-based designer named Caleb, who became the exemplar for the worst aspects of online dating culture.

Also Read: Esme Creed-Miles | Facts You Must Know

Together, these stories represent the emergence of what I call the “TikTok Tabloid,” in which users collectively manufacture and dramatize stories like an investigative gossip reel. Traditional tabloids place the lurid limelight on celebrities and public figures. But the TikTok tabloid targets everyday people.

How did we get to the age of the TikTok tabloid? As someone who studies digital consumer culture, I see it as an outgrowth of the dynamics of social surveillance: using digital technologies to keep a close watch on one another, while producing online content in anticipation of being watched.

Shocking! Exclusive! Scoop!

Tabloid journalism isn’t new. Common tabloid genres of stars, sex, scandals and slayings have been cultural guilty pleasures since the early 1900s.

In the U.S., early tabloid newspapers like The Daily Mirror and New York Daily News ushered in an era of sensationalist reporting. These papers were particularly popular among working class readers who reveled in the speculative shenanigans of high society.

In the 1970s, glossy tabloid magazines like People and Us Weekly picked up the helm with behind-the-scenes celebrity exclusives and human-interest stories. Tabloid journalism migrated to the small screen in the 1990s with television shows like “Hard Copy” and “Inside Edition.”

And in the 2000s, the internet churned out round-the-clock celebrity gossip with clickbait headlines on websites like and

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Previous eras of tabloid journalism were marked by highly curated content with a focus on lifestyles of the rich and famous. The brokers of attention were editors, publishers, paparazzi, journalists and publicists. Tabloids filtered information to the masses, and in turn the masses influenced celebrity behaviors.

But now we are witnessing a new iteration of tabloidization playing out in real time on TikTok, where digital technologies enable everyday consumers to play the roles of armchair experts, investigative reporters, digital paparazzi, talking heads and celebrities themselves.

Watching and being watched

Traditional tabloid journalism is predicated on surveillance dynamics of “the many watching the few”: an obsession with a relative handful of selected stars and scandals. The emergent TikTok tabloid relies on dynamics of social surveillance, or “the many watching the many” – a network of everyday people watching and being watched.

According to media scholar Alice E. Marwick, social surveillance is defined as “the ongoing eavesdropping, investigation, gossip, and inquiry that constitutes information gathering by people about their peers, made salient by the social digitization normalized by social media.”

Classic views of surveillance envision a prison state – a Big Brother-esque panopticon where a guard in a tower can watch prisoners in cells but the prisoners in the cells cannot see into the tower.

In social surveillance, everyone online is both a guard and a prisoner, constantly consuming online content and producing content for others to see.

This always-on dynamic works to control behavior. Everyday people have the power to orchestrate what other users see, read and believe – not only about traditional celebrities, but also about regular everyday people.

In the case of Gabby Petito, who went missing in September 2021, TikTokers developed theories about her disappearance based on her final Instagram post and her Spotify playlists, claimed to psychically track her and scrambled to be the first to report #GabbyPetito breaking news.

Such deep-diving into people’s private lives for public entertainment is a function of social surveillance only further accelerated by the interactive features of TikTok.

‘Like for part two’

TikTok’s unique features and storytelling culture make it the perfect social media platform for making everyday people fodder for tabloid-like coverage.

First, interactive features of the platform allow TikTokers to collectively contribute to the TikTok tabloid in real time. TikTokers can directly respond to comments with new videos, curate and follow content via hashtags and sounds, stitch videos together with other content, caption them for context, and use a green screen effect – just like a real news studio.

Second, TikTok’s algorithm serves users content based on a combination of their interests and what seems to be generally trending. Watching a few videos about West Elm Caleb easily triggers a stream of West Elm Caleb content on the “for you page,” or #FYP: the TikTok version of front page news.

Third, storytelling practices on the TikTok platform mimic exclusive reports, hot takes and cliffhanger media. TikTokers dangle tantalizing bits of stories in front of viewers with caveats of “like for part 2” or by serializing their content. These stories then take on lives of their own, becoming culturally embedded memes.

Social media can be a useful mechanism for accountability. On Twitter, for example, users voiced outrage over racist actions of the Central Park Karen and found solidarity in sharing experiences of sexual harassment through the #MeToo Movement.

But where platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook enable users to tell stories, TikTok enables users to create full-fledged narrative rabbit holes. A nugget of content can be collectively transformed into an epic drama.

The promise and peril of publicity

The TikTok tabloid democratizes access to fame while fueling America’s cultural penchant for gossip.

The TikTok tabloid may seem fun and frivolous – an entertaining live action, participatory role-play version of TMZ playing out in real time. But there can a dark side to this form of public shaming and internet sleuthing.

The constant churn of sensational news can take a toll on well-being, particularly for those most directly involved. In November 2021, Sabrina Prater became unwitting front-page news of the TikTok tabloid when her mundane dancing video spiraled into conspiracy theories of being a serial killer. She later posted a tearful video pleading for the emotional attacks to stop.

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In contrast to traditional celebrities, few everyday people have publicists, spin doctors and social media managers who can help them handle the stresses of scrutiny.

Who manages the public images of people who didn’t choose to become public figures?

It would be easy to say they should just stay off TikTok. But it’s not that simple. Social surveillance ensures we all have the potential to become headline news – beholden to the TikTok tabloid taste-makers.The Conversation

Jenna Drenten, Associate Professor of Marketing, Loyola University Chicago

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Esme Creed-Miles | Facts You Must Know




This article will cover everything you must know about “Esme Creed-Miles Height, Age, Net Worth” including about height, weight, where she was born and her net worth and much more.

It’s no secret that being a famous actress isn’t always as glamorous as it looks from the outside looking in. From early call times to running out of gas on the freeway, there are many reasons why actors have earned their fair share of bad reputations over the years. 

However, once you’ve seen the light behind the camera and witnessed the love and dedication to the craft that comes with being an actor, it’s hard not to fall in love with them all over again. Take young actress Esme Creed-Miles, who absolutely shines on screen.

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Who is Esme Creed-Miles?

She is an English Actress, born on 5 February 2000 in London England. She is best known for her lead role in Amazon Drama Series “Hannah”.

Creed-Miles is the daughter of Charlie Creed Miles, an English actor and musician and Samantha Morton an English actress and director

After appearing in several television shows including Casualty and Shameless, she landed her first major movie role as young Shirley Temple in Harmony Korine’s a film Mr. Lonely.

Quick Facts about Esme Creed-Miles

  • Full name: Esme Creed-Miles 
  • Date of birth: 5th February 2000 
  • Place of birth: Barnet, London, England, United Kingdom 
  • Zodiac sign: Aquarius 
  • Languages: English, French 
  • Nationality: British  
  • Height: 165 cm 
  • Weight in kg: 55 kg 
  • Father: Charlie Creed-Miles 
  • Mother: Samantha Morton (Actress/ Director; Samantha Jane Morton) 
  • Hanna Esme Creed-Miles’ Instagram:
  • IMBD Page:

Acting Career

After being discovered by Harmony Korine at age of 9 she was cast as Little Girl in Mister Lonely (2007). She played as Phoebe Cates’ daughter in Fast Times at Ridgemont High remake, and Molly Parker’s daughter in Red Riding Hood. Esme also starred in Turistas (2006) and The Black Balloon (2008), where she shared screen with Academy Award nominee Toni Collette.

Also Read: The Rise of the TikTok Tabloid

Hannah Amazon Series

Amazon Prime show “Hanna ” is her recent film in which she is playing the role of Hanna.The Hanna Season 1 was aired in February 2019, then Hanna Season 2 July 2020 and Hanna Season 3 in November 2021. The series is created by David Farr and is based on Joe Wright’s 2011 feature film of same name and stars Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, and Esme Creed-Miles

Esme Creed-Miles trained in martial arts six hours a day for months as preparation for her fight scenes in the series. Hanna is a co-production between Amazon Studios and BBC Two. The story takes place in Sweden, as it did in Wright’s film, but several changes were made for its transition from cinema to television.  She trained in martial arts six hours a day for months as preparation for her fight scenes in the series.

Esme Creed Miles Age

According to the Wikipedia and various other sources Esme Creed Miles age is as of today is 22 years old. She was born on 5 of February and Pisces zodiac. Other Pisces celebrities includes; Camila Cabello, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Millie Bobby Brown and Emily Blunt.

Esme Creed-Miles Height

Esme Creed-Miles height is 165cm which is equivalent to 5 feet and 41 inches. Other celebrities of 165cm heights includes; Jennifer Aniston, Selena Gomez, Emma Watson, Jennifer Lopez, Daniel Radcliffe.

Esme Creed-Miles Net Worth

She started as child actress, she has played roles in numerous films and TV series since she was 7 years old. As of 2019, “Esme Creed-Miles estimated net worth is $1.5 millions”. But after her role as little Shirley Temple in Mr. Lonely (2007), Esme became popular around world. Nowadays, she plays Sarah Hill in BBC’s The Moonstone, and Elly Patterson in The Last Post.

Esme Creed-Miles Instagram

Esme Creed-Miles Official Instagram Page. She has around 102 posts, and 115000 Followers. You will see she post random posts from her life and sometimes work.  On 15 February Posted a short video clip singing and playing guitar which her fans loved a lot. 

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