Something must be real
I have written at great length about how I hate influencers and resent the idea that we are supposed to be excited by their fake lifestyles.
There are lots of stories about the public falling out of love with influencers and I'm loving it.
Now I'm worried it has gone too far.
That story about Tiffany Mitchell, the one with the motorcycle crash and the bottle of water. Both she and the brand of water insist it wasn't a promotion and was just a coincidence. And I believe them.
Problem is, seeing as BuzzFeed ran an article suggesting that the photo was staged to promote the water - and it is a suspicious arrangement - she has been inundated with the classic Instagram death threats.
I have no sympathy for her. Instagram has always been famous for its culture of cyber-bullying. She knew that and still chose to build her life around it. It was inevitable that one day she'd be on the receiving end, and I'm sure she is rational enough to realise that.
What I am really worried about is a future where people are so desperate to prove that they aren't stupid, that they say things that are stupid. "You can't fool me", they say, while pointing out something that isn't true.
This confusion is inevitable when we live in a society that is continually taking fake things and pretending they are real. The simulacra, as Jean Baudrillard made clear, means people are so used to seeing fake TV, fake models, fake videos and fake news that they don't believe it when they see something real.
Now, if you suck up to big corporations - whether you're paid to or not - you deserve a harsh warning for being nauseating. I'll never deny that I love a bit of corporate attention, but I at least post it in a brutally honest style that has turned off every brand in history.
What we definitely don't need is a future where, before taking a photo, people are having to check the scene for anything that might lead to incorrect accusations of dishonesty. Because that would be the very definition of a staged photo.