Sadfishing: a New Phenomenon Affecting Young People Online PDF Print

9 December 2019

Country: Global

By: Eline Jeanné

GirlIt is no secret that many young people today face a whole new world of influence and pressures through online platforms. Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok: these and many more platforms have been added to young people’s media diet, along with the benefits and consequences that come with them. New online phenomenon’s seem to crop up on a weekly basis, but one in particular has recently received a significant, and worthy, amount of attention: Sadfishing.

Sadfishing is when someone is accused of ‘fishing’ for likes and online sympathy through sharing their distress and unhappiness on social media platforms. The trend, which is believed to have been started by Kendal Jenner, was originally seen to be used to hook an audience for publicity and monetary reasons, like driving traffic to a site. Earlier this year, Jenner teased that she was ready to reveal her “most raw story yet.” Social media erupted with speculation around Jenner’s emotional secret, which turned out to be her struggles with acne. The problem: Jenner had just signed a deal with skin care brand Proactiv and used her emotionally charged social media posts to advertise their products.

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