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Influencers Should Talk Personal Politics. Here's Why.

With the general election looming, I'm noticing a lot more bloggers actively vocalizing their political views online. This is fab, right? Young people! With platforms! Being vocal! Debating! Engaging with politics! This could only be a good thing, surely?

Aaaaand apparently not. Because apparently, if you are deemed an 'influencer' (a loosely defined term for people with a few thousand followers and a cleanly-curated Instagram) then you must be void of political opinion. This is because, as someone in a position of social and influential power, people will go along with anything you say. Obviously. Because they have zero brain power of their own. So instead you must only tell them to vote, research their own opinion and try that new lipstick range from Urban Decay. Total neutrality so as not to offend.

It's a load of bollocks.

Personally, I do not understand this "influencers must remain politically neutral" nonsense. Why do they have to censor themselves and not campaign for their party because someone might base their vote on their opinion? If someone is so uninformed and blasé about their general election vote that they would base it on what an influencer said on twitter, well, they're an idiot. An idiot whom I highly doubt would have spent the time researching and making their own informed decision even if Becky from Instagram hadn't told him to vote Green. It's not the influencers fault that someone has blindly followed their vote instead of learning how that vote will impact their own personal lives. The onus is on the follower for not thinking for themselves about such an important issue.

We can't deny bloggers, YouTuber's and influencers the right to campaign and be vocal in their politics at this important time. It is their right to scream "Vote Labour" all over the internet and publically campaign for their party. Just like it's anyone else's right to say, "no, you're wrong, I'm voting Tory because I'm middle-class twat." (Bias, what bias?) We cannot, silence people on the off chance that one of their followers might blindly copy them. Again, that's on the follower for not being self-autonomous, not the influencers.

Let's be realistic though, it's mainly a load of fuss over nothing. Literally, no one is standing in the polling station going "hm, I must vote Labour because Boella123 said so in her most recent vlog." It's just not a thing. All the people being offended or 'disappointed' (that's a goody I've seen thrown around) in an influencer for 'forcing their opinions down people's throats' are attempting to silence political debate and discussion with faux-concern. If anything, it's patronizing. They think online followers are so dense, so incapable of forming their own decisions, that if a YouTuber who's hair tutorials they admire tells them to vote a certain way they will. No one with an ounce of logic in their brain is basing their political decision on someone else's. Nobody.

On that note, I'm off to join the Lib Dems because Jim on Facebook told me too. Ta-ra.

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