Should Kanye West be Deplatformed?


Graphic by Megan Ingram

Rebecca Lim, News Editor

      You roll out of bed and check your phone, quickly scrolling through new posts and headlines on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. The entire internet is talking about one man: Kanye West.

      Although he has been publicly battling mental health issues for years, the famous rapper, designer, and businessman has recently been making headlines due to his questionable behavior on social media. The question of whether or not West should be deplatformed due to this behavior has reignited ethical debates surrounding fame, mental health, and social media. 

   So… should Kanye really be deplatformed? To be completely honest, I don’t think there’s a clear answer. As someone who likes one or two of his songs, but does not agree with many of the beliefs he has expressed, I don’t pay a lot of attention to him–or other celebrities for that matter.

   However, it’s hard to ignore that one of the most famous people on our planet is going through something so intense on public platforms when both my daily news feed and my group chats are riddled with talk of him. I personally don’t think he should be banished from social media per say, but I do think West could benefit from taking a step back. When someone is struggling with mental health issues, the last thing they need is for the entire world to see and comment on the matter. What they really need–and deserve– is help and support from those who love them. 

  Many of West’s now-deleted Instagram posts concerned his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her relationship with SNL comedian Pete Davidson. In those posts, Kanye referred to Davidson as “Skete” and even revealed screenshots of private text messages between himself and Kardashian and between himself and Davidson. As an onlooker, it’s uncomfortable to see private family matters be revealed to the public, especially since West and his ex-wife have four children together.

  Kanye West clearly made some regretful decisions when it came to his social media habits. As of February 23, 2022, all of the Instagram posts he made regarding this situation have already been deleted; it’s unclear if they were deleted by West himself, or his team. Even though Kanye is no stranger to controversy, this continuous cycle of unhinged comments and subsequent attempts to erase them from public memory is hard to watch. 

   In situations like these, it’s also important to evaluate the influence of a public figure’s actions. Fans of West range from race, gender, and especially age. Many times, easily-influenced teens glorify artists and any of the issues they may have, including issues related to mental health and/or substance abuse. 

   While Kanye West has been praised for breaking barriers when it comes to the destigmatization of mental health issues, praising even his most outlandish behavior and his decision to not take meds doesn’t benefit anyone. West has stated, “I cannot be on meds and make watch the throne level or dark fantasy level music”, referring to two of his most popular albums. Of course, the choice is entirely up to him, but for someone as famous as West, it’s inevitable that some fans will interpret his words in a faulty manner.

   Whether you agree or disagree with his political beliefs, like or dislike his music, are a fan or a hater, I think it’s clear that West could use a break–but maybe not a permanent ban–from social media: in order to reduce unnecessary noise and to prevent further damage to his reputation. No matter the motivation behind his seemingly bizarre posts, West is sure to face the various consequences of recklessly posting on platforms with millions of followers.