Published May 17, 2013
It’s not always easy being Taylor Swift.
On Wednesday, police officers arrested a 22-year-old man attempting to trespass at the country super star’s Rhode Island home. Swift was not home at the time, and when he was questioned by the police the man allegedly said he was there to visit the songstress.
But Swift isn’t alone. Many other stars, including Rihanna, Whitney Houston and Paris Hilton, have had similar close calls with fans who’ve crossed the line.
So how can celebs anticipate when a fan may go too far?
“The warning signs from being a super fan to an obsessed fan are nonstop tweeting, constantly tweeting or showing up at events, saving up all their money from their part-time job and showing up at every concert...” TV host Brian Mcfayden told FOX411. “You’ve got to understand that the world that we’re living in now, [stars are] easily accessible because of social media, and we’ve never ever seen celebrities being so accessible especially mega-celebrities like Taylor Swift. As a fan you [may] start developing a relationship with them. You believe in your heart they know you… ”
SiriusXM radio personality Cristina Palumbo said celebs should become most worried when a fan constantly contacts them.
“I think you notice the most when they become really persistent and when you stop responding then they start to ask why and they go to others means to get in contact with you and they start sending little gifts and they start sending little notes,” she said.
And it’s important to pay close attention to the language a fan uses to communicate, noted Ken Shadford, director of Maxim TV. Things can get tricky when a star fails to respond to a persistent fan, he explained.
“The language and the rhetoric gets more and more violent and more and more angry.”
Although social media is a very helpful tool for celebs and their fans to connect, the lines of perceived familiarity can be blurred, Mcfayden said.
“When you see a super fan… having those intimate moments with you over Twitter, I would notify your security detail,” he warned. “Not every celebrity has security detail but someone like Taylor Swift has that and do something about that before it gets worse.”
Shadford added once a fan starts making threats, celebs need to go to the police.
“When they start to cross the lines into physical violence that’s when you need to alert the police and there needs to be some sort of list of who these people are so that attacks can be prevented.”
Blocking an overzealous fan online is one way to handle the problem however it may only be a band aid on a very real potential danger.
“Blocking somebody doesn’t take away the problem on social media because they can just turn around and be somebody else with a blink of an eye so you just have to be careful…” said Palumbo.
So what can stars do to protect themselves from fanatical fans?
Macfayden said while quitting social media is likely a star’s safest option, it’s may cause the celeb’s fan base to dwindle.
“I’m not really sure a celebrity can do anything because [social media is] kind of part of the job now,” said Palumbo. “Unfortunately, they’re so much more reachable that they become a target for obsessive fans… but it’s all a part of the business and if they’re not in the tabloids they’re not as successful as they would like to be,” said Palumbo.