INSTAGRAM influencers are being propositioned with huge sums of money for sex on a daily basis, according to a recent BBC investigation.
Top social media celebrities have spoken to the Victoria Derbyshire programme about how their online profiles are being viewed as “a catalogue” by randy men.
Love Island stars Tyne-Lexy Clarson and Rosie Williams both spoke to the BBC.
Clarson claimed: “It’s high-end prostitution – it’s just scary to think if they’ve messaged me, they’ve probably sent it to thousands of pretty girls on Instagram.”
She said that she was first propositioned at 19-years-old with an offer of £20,000 ($26,000) for dinner and drinks.
After starring in Love Island series two the value of the offers increased and she claims she was offered £50,000 for five nights in Dubai, on the condition that she signed a non-disclosure agreement and what she would be required to do would remain confidential.
Clarson refused these offers but voiced her concerns that more vulnerable influencers who are struggling may feel the pressure to accept these transactions.
Rosie Williams, another Love Island star, said she was offered £100,000 ($130,000) a year in addition to all the clothes and bags she wanted, if she would become a companion to a man in Dubai.
These offers are often described by the men or special agencies as “important transactions”.
She said: “You’re warned about trolling, you’re warned that your life with change dramatically, but you’re never warned that you could get bought by men.”
Williams also told the programme that these propositions are not spoken about amongst influencers.
“We either aren’t in a position where we need to do it so we don’t speak about it, or we’ve done it and we’re too ashamed,” she added.
The BBC also spoke to a struggling British reality star who wanted to remain anonymous but said she ended up having sex in exchange for a man helping with her financial situation.
However, the anonymous influencer insisted this was not a form of prostitution because she had been speaking to the man for 18 months.
She reportedly said: “It is a targeted relationship that progresses over time… Whereas I think prostitution is when you agree a fee with a stranger.”
A spokesperson for the feminist group Object, which campaigns against the sexual objectification of women, told the BBC: “The women who are involved with this will not want to hear the word prostitution.
“The reality is that they are selling their bodies for money.
“The groomers are offering the woman everything she needs to be a success at her job as an influencer, but ultimately it’s exploitation, and that woman will have to do things for that money that she doesn’t want to associate herself with, that make her feel shamed.”
A Facebook spokesperson told us: “Sexual solicitation is not tolerated on Instagram and those who repeatedly break our guidelines will be banned.
“We want Instagram to be a safe space for people to express themselves. We invest heavily in tools and technologies to prevent harassment on the platform.”
Instagram – the key facts
Here’s what you need to know…
- Instagram is a social network for sharing photos and videos
- It was created back in October 2010 as an iPhone-exclusive app
- A separate version for Android devices was released 18 months later
- The app rose to popularity thanks to its filters system, which lets you quickly edit your photos with cool effects
- When it first launched, users could only post square 1:1 ratio images, but that rule was changed in 2015
- In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for $1billion in cash and stock
- In 2018, some analysts believe the app is worth closer to $100billion
- In October 2015, Instagram confirmed that more than 40billion photos had been uploaded to the app
- And in 2018, Instagram revealed that more than a billion people were using the app every month
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