A couple weeks ago we posted about the Panic! At the Disco split, and how posts made by friends of the band on social networking sites around that time contributed to a considerable amount of fanwank.
Well, now it seems that Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails has gotten completely fed up with the social networking “scene” and deleted his Twitter account. This follows a bit of kerfluffling on his part last month lambasting people who had been following him on the service, claiming they had been harassing him over details of his personal life he’d been posting there. He slammed his apparent attackers a month ago at nin.com and changed his Twitter into just a one-way news feed, but it seems even that wasn’t satisfactory and he’s off the service completely now.
It’s an interesting move at a time when more and more artists are jumping on the Twitter bandwagon full-steam ahead, not running away from it. But, as this incident shows, artists and celebrities do need to consider carefully just how–and how publicly–they get involved in social networking services. Particularly when using it to share personal and not just professional information. While for some it can be a great way to help build their fanbase by increasing the feeling of “access”, it can also become a dangerous tool for stalking and harassment. And, also, for those artists without a thick skin, it can lead them to lash out and “bite the hand that feeds”, to quote one of Trent’s own songs. Many fans at least think they want to know more about what their idols and heroes are like in “real life”, doing day-to-day things. But they don’t necessarily, however, want to find out their idols are kind of obnoxious jerks…which is the way Trent has come across to many through all of this situation.