A picture is worth a thousand words – and sometimes much more when angry fans get involved. While Hollywood stars are notorious for tweeting offensive or inappropriate things that get their foes and followers in a frenzy, it seems more and more stars are learning their lessons on photo sharing social networking applications.
Last week, Miranda Kerr posted a behind-the-scenes picture of herself, via Instagram, on a photo shoot with New York-based fashion photographer Mariano Vivanco, his muscular arms tightly wrapped around the cleavage-bearing supermodel. She then tweeted the picture. But with rampant rumors of her troubled marriage to Orlando Bloom already a tabloid hot topic, the seemingly innocent snap didn’t sit well with her fans.
“I don’t think she respects her husband at all,” commented one, as another questioned: “You’re husband [wasn’t] jealous when he saw this pic?”
Others did, however, leap to her defense.
“Chill out guys, it’s just a hug,” one responded, with another weighing in: “maybe she doesn’t like to post photos of her with Orlando as she likes to keep that part of her life private.”
A rep for Kerr declined to comment on the controversy.
However, the former Victoria’s Secret Angel is far from being the first high-profile person to drum up debate via Instagram.
“Celebrities sometimes forget that a posting on Instagram is no different than making a comment to a camera. Though celebrities often think twice before running their mouths, they don’t take a second to think before posting [online]. There’s no filter. And that could be a problem for many of them,” Glenn Selig of Selig Multimedia told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “It used to be publicists could control the message and their clients, but these social media sites make it possible for celebrities to have direct contact with the public and they get themselves into trouble.”
Chris Brown was forced to shut down his Instagram this year in the wake of intense backlash which stemmed after an alleged brawl with fellow entertainer Frank Ocean, which prompted him to upload a depiction of Jesus being crucified, along with the caption: "Painting the way I feel today. Focus on what matters!"
His on again/off again girlfriend Rihanna too came under fire for posting a picture of herself with a young boy on her lap along with the caption: "My little n---a."
“The word is derogatory,” fumed a follower. “If some cultures aren’t allowed to say it, no one should.”
Soulja Boy recently enkindled a firestorm with his self-taken Instagram snaps of apparent weed and bottles of the addictive codeine based liquid promethazine, known as “sizzrup,” just days after fellow rapper Lil Wayne.
“So you think you’re ‘cool’ because you’re addicted to drugs? Work on your rapping skills before you have a seizure,” fumed one fan.
Furthermore, Justin Bieber was slammed for his underage beer drinking pics during his world tour in South Africa, and Fantasia Barrino was widely condemned for a fan perceived "anti-gay" Instagram posting.
“It’s a lot going on that the Bible speaks about we should not be doing. Weed legal in some places. Gay Marriage Legal BUT YET IM JUDGED!!! Im not doing Nothing for you… My Life!!!” she wrote. A rep for the season three “American Idol” winner later insisted that the comments were “taken far out of context.”
“We have worked with many celebrities where we have literally had to change their passwords to not allow them access to their social media accounts for fear of what they would say and do,” admitted New York-based publicity guru Ronn Torossian of 5WPR. “For corporations and celebrities, social media can be a big upside – or a complete disaster.”
Then there's the nudity factor. Instagram’s “community guidelines” state that users should not “share photos that show nudity or mature content.”
Actresses Annalynne McCord and Alison Pill generated attention when they – accidentally – published topless pictures of themselves. Yet others dare to bare, well aware (and perhaps) amused by the social networking rules.
Earlier this year, Sports Illustrated model Chrissy Teigen celebrated a 200,000 Instagram followers milestone with a naked photo of herself amid a spray tan.
“If this doesn’t get me suspended I dunno what will,” she wrote gleefully. The NSFW pic later disappeared.
Actress and entrepreneur Yvonne Gold hit back at the hoopla over the hoopla surrounding her nipple-revealing promotional shot for her “House of Gold” movie, Ke$ha came under the wrath for uploading a nude snap of her own donning nothing but a bracelet to plug her new jewelry line, and notoriously racy Madonna posted her warning letter from Instagram officials regarding her bottom-baring, cleavage-close ups photographs.
“Social networking gone bad can damage careers and alienate fans because it can shatter the image fans have of that celebrity, ones that are often carefully orchestrated by hours of media training and skilled publicists, ” cautioned entertainment reporter and publicist, Jennifer Birn.
But until our favorite celebs start hiring experts we can likely expect—and even hope for—more of these constant social media blunders.