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Calabasas Courier Online

-22855 Mulholland Hwy. Calabasas, CA 91302-

Calabasas Courier Online

-22855 Mulholland Hwy. Calabasas, CA 91302-

Calabasas Courier Online

Opinion: Are influencers really acting selflessly?

Opinion%3A+Are+influencers+really+acting+selflessly%3F
Caitlin Brockenbrow

The most important factor in the success of an influencer’s career is views. That number dictates their relevance, the worthiness of the post and a good chunk of their income. Without views, there would be no such thing as influencers, which is why they will go to great lengths to rack them up. This becomes a moral dilemma when thinking about the unethical practices and motivations these influencers might have for obtaining as many views as possible. 

A popular way for influencers to get views is to do some kind of charity work, like giving money to someone on the streets. Nonetheless, even if they are only doing charity work for views, they are still creating positive change that sets the precedent for others, camera or no camera. 

It is not a new phenomenon for influencers to post themselves doing good deeds on the internet. One of the most extreme examples of this is Mr. Beast, a very popular creator on YouTube who posts videos that usually revolve around helping disadvantaged people in some way. Numerous videos of his have titles like “I Gave A Homeless Man A Home” “I Donated $300,000 To People In Need,” etc. 

On a smaller level, creators on TikTok make this kind of content nearly every day. There is an endless supply of “wholesome” videos of people filming themselves giving a hot lunch to a homeless person, helping an old lady cross the street or even something as simple as paying for the person behind them in line. 

A more specific example of this was seen this past holiday season when it was a trend for influencers to film themselves going Angel Tree Shopping and splurging on presents for multiple children whose parents could not afford to give them any. A lot of these videos had comments attacking the poster, saying that it was clear that their true motives were not to do a truly good deed.

Additionally, many other commenters on the internet have called this, and acts like this, out as exploitative behavior, which is not completely wrong. Generally, most people agree it is immoral to help someone for the sole purpose of creating a pure image for themselves, basking in praise from the people who do watch these videos, not to mention the financial benefits of making such content. 

However, something to consider is the fact that these good deeds are still just that: good deeds. Their help does not immediately become reversed once it is posted online. There are people in unfortunate situations benefiting from the misguided intentions of this kind of content. Not only are these people still benefiting from this behavior, but the behavior of helping people out becomes a trend, further benefiting others. There is an additional benefit for anyone without a mass following who becomes inspired by these acts and feels encouraged to do them as well, without feeling the need to post about them online. 

At the end of the day, most self-proclaimed “selfless” acts have some outside motivation aside from empathy for the less fortunate. Whether it be subconsciously or glaringly obvious, people want to feel good about themselves. So, instead of invalidating others’ acts of goodwill, no matter the motivation, people should get out there and be part of the good change—the kind that happens offline.

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About the Contributors
Phoebe Hartford, Staff Writer
Hi! I'm Phoebe Hartford and this is my first year with the Courier. I'm going to be a staff writer this year, and I'm looking forward to it! Writing is one of my biggest passions, so I'm excited that I get to be a part of this and learn from everyone else on the Courier. I also love listening to music, going to concerts, experiencing new things, and meeting new people.
Caitlin Brockenbrow, Perspectives Editor
Hi! My name is Caitlin Brockenbrow, and I'm the Perspectives editor this year. Last year I was a staff writer and before that, I was head editor of my middle school newspaper and magazine for two years. Apart from articles, in my free time, I write creatively—mainly murder mysteries. English has always been my favorite subject, but besides reading and writing, I love theater, typewriters and drinking root beer floats.
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