Why this Instagram post led to death threats for blogger Scarlett London

  • 04/09/2018

A lifestyle blogger's seemingly innocuous Instagram post has turned into a nightmare after attracting a barrage of "malicious death threats" over the last few days.

The post, which was sponsored by dental hygiene brand Listerine, shows social media influencer Scarlett Dixon perched on a bed next to a perfect stack of pancakes garnished with strawberries.

The photo also features a swathe of heart-shaped balloons, and the not-too-subtle placement of a bottle of Listerine mouth wash on her bedside table.

While it's certainly not the first Instagram post used to advertise a product, it has triggered huge outrage on social media over the photo's caption, which claimed the lavish set-up was an example of Ms Dixon's "morning routine".

"F**k off this is anybody's normal morning," one user wrote, which The Independent reports sparked widespread condemnation of the post. "Instagram is a ridiculous lie factory made to make us all feel inadequate."

Why this Instagram post led to death threats for blogger Scarlett London

Ms Dixon - who is better known on social media as Scarlett London - took to Twitter to defend herself against the criticism, but later followed it up with a lengthy Instagram post detailing the "hundreds of new nasty messages" she had been receiving after the post went viral.

In the follow-up post, she explained that some of them had contained "malicious death threats", and hundreds more had been "circling the internet, shaming me".

"Yes, I do adverts on here, but only with brands I genuinely use and would spend money on myself. My feed isn't a place of reality," she wrote.

"Sometimes my photos are whimsical and OTT and a little too pink, but I'm not presenting this as an 'idealistic' version of life that young girls should aspire to."

"I personally don't think my content is harmful to young girls but I do agree Instagram can present a false expectation for people to live up to. And I am wholeheartedly sorry if I've ever made anyone feel inadequate through my content. My life mission is quite the opposite.

"I am and will be okay after this hideous experience. But another young girl or guy as the subject of a targeted hate campaign might not be okay."

Ms Dixon finished the post with a reminder: "Please remember at the centre of every viral storm is a human being."