A popular joke on Twitter is proclaiming you no longer want to be on the platform because the discourse it fosters can feel so toxic — while remaining on it anyway.
Chrissy Teigen went a step further and has deleted her account.
“Hey. For over 10 years, you guys have been my world. I honestly owe so much to this world we have created here. I truly consider so many of you my actual friends,” Teigen posted on Wednesday night in a series of tweets. “But it’s time for me to say goodbye. This no longer serves me as positively as it serves me negatively, and I think that’s the right time she call something.”
“My life goal is to make people happy. The pain I feel when I don’t is too much for me. I’ve always been portrayed as the strong clap back girl but I’m just not,” Teigen added. “My desire to be liked and fear of pissing people off has made me somebody you didn’t sign up for, and a different human than I started out here as! Live well, tweeters. Please know all I ever cared about was you!!!”
By Thursday morning, her account was gone.
The model and cookbook author earned than 13.7 million followers — and another 34.4 million on Instagram, where she remains — by sharing a mixture of cooking projects, humorous jabs at her critics and behind-the-scenes looks at her marriage with singer John Legend. She was particularly lauded for publicly discussing issues like her miscarriage and breastfeeding on social media.
Her prominence only grew as she traded insults with President Trump on the platform. Trump blocked Teigen during his first year in office but still tweeted about her, calling her “boring” John Legend’s “filthy mouthed wife.” In a pointed response, she tweeted a characterization of Trump that included three expletives.
She was also one of the celebrities that adherents of QAnon, a sprawling set of conspiracy theories, falsely believed to be part of an underground child sex trafficking and cannibalism ring.
Her departure from Twitter came on the heels of her announcing her partnership with Kris Jenner to create a line of plant-based cleaning products, which drew fervent backlash. This “seems pretty tone deaf. Two wealthy women with housekeeping staff, marketing cleaning products to the middle class in the midst of a pandemic,” one critic said in a now-deleted tweet.
“I really don’t wake up every day trying to make you mad but somehow I manage. and u say I have no talent. that’s something I guess,” Teigen tweeted in response to the wave of criticism, pointedly calling the backlash “mean” at one point and adding, “I’ll never get over it.”
Teigen has long spoken out about the harrying she receives on the platform. “The comments affect me,” she told the “Today” show in February. “Not only do we have our own personal judgment and vendetta against ourselves, but we also have to read and hear these voices online all the time. It’s hard to weed out.”
Teigen did serve as something akin to a spokesperson for the platform in Feb. 2019, when she recorded a “Behind the Tweets” video for the platform, in which she called herself the “unofficial mayor of Twitter.”
The Twitter brass have long been criticized for failing to adequacy combat harassment, and Teigen’s departure has reignited conversation.
“Chrissy Teigen quitting Twitter is a really, really bad reflection on the company’s ability to fight abuse. She wasn’t just some famous person. She was a power user, and a fan favorite internally (she spoke at Twitter’s companywide retreat in early 2020). This one will sting,” tweeted Bloomberg reporter Kurt Wagner.
Tech Crunch’s Drew Olanoff agreed, tweeting, “it’s also a very real sign that using the internet like this (twitter, facebook, etc) a) has a shelf life and b) has real consequences c) takes a toll d) is in essence, a drug.”