We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


There's already a backlash against the Instagram star who 'quit social media'

Fellow YouTubers have taken issue with O’Neill’s stance against social media.

download (4) Essena O'Neill / Instagram Essena O'Neill / Instagram / Instagram

YESTERDAY, AUSTRALIAN INSTAGRAM star Essena O’Neill took the internet by storm with her decision to quit social media altogether.

O’Neill quit Instagram and Tumblr and apparently deleted more than 2,000 images of herself. She edited the captions of some remaining “false photos” in an effort to expose the reality behind the photos.

The 18-year-old garnered praise from social media for her decision to come clean about the realities of being an Instagram star.

Just one day later, however, and a backlash is beginning to brew.

In a video, O’Neill revealed that she cannot pay rent and implored viewers to donate to her website Let’s Be Game Changers.

It’s like I am embarrassed to admit that I need help… if this [website] is of value to you then please support me because I can’t afford my own real life.

On her website, she asks people to “pay what it’s worth to you” and makes clear that she will not do “paid posts or advertisement for ANY brands” on her website.

Needless to say, it hasn’t gone down well with everyone.


Other internet stars haven’t taken kindly to O’Neill’s message either with many of them accusing her of painting an unfair image of the social media industry.

YouTube star Acacia Brinley shared a strongly worded message to her 706,000 followers on Twitter.

I really dislike how she spoke for everyone on social media and made it seem like this life is so miserable. I have been in the social media industry for over 6 years. I am a happy person. The things I post are real. They are me.
Yes I get paid to post advertisements and something it sucks. But it’s a JOB. Working at a restaurant probably sucks too. But do things like that to LIVE and get money to LIVE.

“She chose to edit her life and pretend it was perfect for love and appreciation,” she wrote. “I chose to be myself and get love from myself and family and friends.”

YouTuber Meghan McCarthy also crafted a response to the whole debacle.

meghan Meghan McCarthy / YouTube Meghan McCarthy / YouTube / YouTube

Meanwhile, YouTube stars Nina and Randa have posted a video entitled “ESSENA O’NEILL Quitting Social Media is A HOAX” in which they accuse O’Neill of misrepresenting herself and her circumstances.

NinaAndRanda / YouTube

O’Neill took to her website to condemn people “spreading rumours” and encouraged people to use their voices for “good and positive change”.

In response, Nina and Randa posted the following comment.

You didn’t just “quit” social media. You attacked other people by saying that they’re fake and deceiving others. No YOU were fake and deceiving other people. It’s not fair to say other people are doing that, and to use your trip to LA as evidence. You owe some apologies.

For O’Neill’s part, she seems to be going full steam ahead with Let’s Be Game Changers, sharing videos about ethical clothing and veganism.

And she continues to receive support for her stance against social media.

Watch this space, we guess.

Written by Amy O’Connor and posted on

[image alt="" src="" width="600" height="115" credit-url="" credit-source="" credit-via="" credit-via-url="" wp-id="wp-image-2425576" class="alignnone" /end]

Previously: A teen Instagram star has quit the site to expose her ‘fake and forced’ beauty pics >

9 ways Verified by Visa is ruining lives every day >

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.