Did oversharing on social media lead to the Kardashian robbery?
Four days ago, Kim Kardashian tweeted a close-up selfie of her $3.5m wedding ring captioned with three diamond emojis. Yesterday armed thieves broke into her Paris apartment at 2.30am and stole it (along with a box of jewellery worth another purported $5m). And according to many pundits, the two incidents are inextricably connected...
For starters, the Chief spokesperson for the Paris police Johanna Primevert, made her feelings very clear in the official statement on the matter:
"Clearly when you have a star like Kim Kardashian who has, I think, more than 48 million followers on Twitter ... I think this could have happened abroad just as easily as in Paris. It was really the celebrity who was targeted, with possessions that had been seen and noticed via social media, and it was these goods that the attackers targeted"
There does appear to be some substance to Primevert's argument given that when the assailants spoke to Kardashian during the robbery they repeatedly only asked for the ring. Or is that just a coincidence? After all, KK has displayed the ring on her various social feeds on several previous occasions. Well according to a slew of journalists and security experts (and equally in the social space) there is no doubt that KK could have, at least, telegraphed the opportunity to the would be thieves. By posting her whereabouts (albeit somewhat cryptically) on the likes of Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and her own paid app did she inadvertently provide a detailed map of how, where and when to rob her?
Beyond the well documented picture of the 'ring bling' during Paris Fashion Week she has also revealed details of fittings with designers, locations of showbiz parties, dining with all manner of famous folk and even what she ordered from the room service menu at her ultra exclusive (yet it seems not so secretive) 'no name' hotel.
Security expert, Christopher Hagon, who is a managing partner at Incident Management Group, was unequivocal in his criticism of Kim's relationship with social media. He claims that she made herself a target because she always documents too many personal aspects of her life:
"If you're constantly putting information out there, keeping your name in the public eye... keeping details of your wealth in the public eye then you are... increasing the chances of a possible attack"
Hagon goes on to say:
"It wasn't something, like, they were just walking down the street and said, 'Oh, I heard that Kardashian was here. Let's just go in and rob her.' This was an organised attack based on known information"
Providing security to rich and famous is a fairly difficult job in itself without the added complication of social media. LA based protection firm 'Sunset Protective Services & Investigations' specialise in this kind of discreet resource but even they recognise the potential safety breach that oversharing poses:
“Our view on this is that we want everything as low-key and as quiet as possible, obviously. When you have someone like the Kardashian family, they even have programs documenting their every move, it makes it that much more difficult”
Unsurprisingly there have been the inevitable deluge of mean tweets, scathing memes and unsympathetic mock-ups surrounding the event although the celebrity community have largely rallied round her. James Corden, for example, poignantly posted:
Kim has now returned to the U.S after boarding a private jet in Paris shortly after the incident. The question now is, will the social media behaviours that she and her siblings have developed so slavishly over the past decade be curtailed in the pursuit of improved security? I guess we will have to wait and see but for the moment, interestingly, she hasn't tweeted or posted on any social media since the incident.
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