"Creepy" social media the downside of F1 fame, says Norris


McLaren star, Lando Norris says that the downside of his F1 fame is the "creepy" attitude of some 'fans' on social media.

The youngster, according to a recent survey the second most popular driver on the F1 grid, has over 4 million followers on Instagram, 1.5 million on Twitter and 1.1 million on Twitch.

His Twitch following is of particular interest because during the early months of the pandemic and the lockdowns, Norris regularly took part in online racing setting various streaming records in the process.

However, as we are all too well aware, the world of social media is a strange place and increasingly a small but vocal minority is making it uncomfortable for the rest of us.

Norris reveals that as his popularity has gained pace, he has discovered that online abuse of friends and fellow fans has increased.

"The one bad thing is just personal life with friends, people who through no fault of their own get put into the spotlight, sometimes because of being seen with me or me following them on social media or something," he tells ESPN.

"I think that's been the worst side of it, someone who is just quiet on their own and they're seen with me at dinner or on a post on Instagram," he adds. "There's still a lot of nasty fans, a lot of fans which are just not nice and just use a lot of people and things like that.

"I'd say that's been the worst thing about the popularity, is those kind of people. The people who don't respect your personal life at all and the people you hang with and so on. That's definitely the worst bit of it."

Indeed, some go out of their way to find information on their targets in order to subject them to abuse.

"It's very, very weird," he says. "Honestly, it's very creepy what some people do. The time they spend trying to investigate things or people or whatever.

"I just laugh and find it very funny, but it's very weird. It's just odd."

While he accepts that his job puts him in the public eye and fans have certain rights, he draws the line at abuse of himself or his friends.

"It's disrespectful, I feel, to someone who through no fault of their own, I guess because they're my friend or something, gets abuse on social media because someone doesn't like the top they wear and it's because they're friends with me, crap like that. That's the only thing I really hate about being in the position I'm in now."

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Published: 29/11/2021
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