For most celebrities, social media is a necessary tool that helps them to connect with their fans, confirm or deny rumors, promote their work, and stay relevant. Though some stars manage to make it work without an IG account, they’re few and far between. An impressive majority of celebrities rely on at least one (and often more) social media platform to help them maintain their professional lives.
While social media is a powerful tool, it also brings about negativity and criticism—especially if the follower count is somewhere in the millions and the celeb in question is not on private. It’s not uncommon for celebrities with millions of followers watching their every move to completely shut down their accounts, either permanently or temporarily, for a variety of reasons.
Some stars do it because the hostile comments they see have a serious effect on their mental health and happiness, while others do it in defense of people they love, or even as a marketing strategy. In some cases, celebrities even get rid of their social media because they can’t control themselves and what they say online.
So what made these famous faces quit social media, and how long did they stay gone? Keep reading to find out!
20 Demi Lovato Left After Receiving Backlash For Her Comments
In June of 2016, Demi Lovato received backlash from Mariah Carey fans after calling out the singer for her negative treatment of Jennifer Lopez.
She was referring to Carey continuously claiming that she doesn’t know who Lopez is—behavior which has sparked debate among fans on both sides.
After a few days of negative comments flooding her social media, the singer announced she was leaving both Twitter and IG because she didn’t want to see “what some of y’all say.” The hiatus wasn’t a long one, though, and Lovato was back on Twitter just a day later.
19 Lena Dunham Left Social Media Because She No Longer Felt Safe
While Lena Dunham’s social media accounts never actually shut down, she did personally stop using them, at least for a while. In September of 2015, the writer and actress announced that she was going to have someone else tweet on her account because she wanted to avoid negativity online.
“I really appreciate that anybody follows me at all, and so I didn’t want to cut off my relationship to it completely, but it really, truly wasn’t a safe place for me,” she said. Although someone was supposedly posting on her behalf, a lot of the tweets sounded very Lena-like!
18 Prying Into His Private Life Led Pete Davidson To Call It Quits
When his relationship with Ariana Grande went public, Pete Davidson reached a whole new level of fame. Fans were perhaps a little too interested in his private life and would constantly leave negative comments on his pages.
This prompted him to retreat from public life, at least online, by totally ditching his IG.
“No there’s nothing wrong,” he explained on his IG page, just before deleting it. “No nothing happened. No there’s nothing cryptic about anything. I just don’t wanna be on [IG] anymore. Or on any social media platform. The internet is [a negative] place and it doesn’t make me feel good.”
17 Amber Rose Took A Break From Social Media To Simply Recharge
While social media has a lot of benefits, it also comes with tons of pressure and can seem like a job in itself. It makes sense that people with huge accounts and millions of followers need to take a break every now and then to recharge, which is what Amber Rose did in December of 2016. “Hey guys, I just want to let everyone know that I’m taking the rest of the year off of social media,” she revealed.
Though she was going offline for a break, she kept her account running by having someone else post for her. “So I’ll have joe, my assistant, post some cool stuff for me, and I’ll see you in the new year.”
16 Cardi B Deleted Her IG After A Feud With A Fellow Rapper
Cardi B isn’t one to shy away from speaking her mind or standing up for herself.
But she did temporarily get rid of IG after she became entangled in a very public feud with fellow rapper Azealia Banks on the social media platform.
Banks labeled Cardi a “caricature” in May 2018, leading Cardi to defend her authenticity. After they went back and forth for a while, in front of millions of fans, Cardi decided to close down her IG altogether. But luckily for fans of the rapper, she was back a week later.
15 After Being Bothered Online, Chrissy Teigen Stayed Offline
Chrissy Teigen’s tweets give us life, so it was a dark few days when she abandoned her account in October of 2014. Teigen angered some Twitter users after commenting on a highly publicized attack there had been in Ottawa, and started to receive vengeful comments and even threats on her page.
“I can’t see anything through the sea of [negativity] and anger that is now my Twitter,” she revealed. “Seriously I can’t sift through it all.” Thankfully, Teigen’s hiatus lasted only one week. She announced her return to Twitter by tweeting, “I’m bored. I missed you guys. Question time!”
14 Too Much Judgment Made Ariel Winter Leave Twitter Behind
Ariel Winter’s IG account may never have been officially shut down, but the Modern Family star did choose deactivate her Twitter following an incident in 2018.
IG deleted a picture of Winter taken by a paparazzo, because it violated copyright, which provoked users, including other members of the paparazzi, to send her criticism for months.
One of Winter’s representatives confirmed that she was on an “indefinite” break from social media in July of 2018: “Ariel has taken a break from Twitter and engaging with commenters on her other platforms because of the constant negativity she experiences.”
13 Rob Kardashian Got Rid Of Social Media Following Beef With Blac Chyna
Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna started off like any other happy couple (even if things were a tad more complicated), but the duo soon found that the relationship was never going to work. In the process of their break up, things got messy—we’re talking leaked-pictures-and-restraining-orders messy.
After Kardashian posted compromising photos of his ex on his IG and leaked intimate messages they had shared (not okay, Rob), his account was suspended. He then tweeted about Chyna before taking a long break from the site. While he has returned to Twitter, he still hasn’t created a new IG after he was banned.
12 Online Trolls Made Leslie Jones Abandon Twitter
The 2016 release of the new all-female Ghostbusters was something to celebrate, but online trolls and naysayers used it as an excuse to spread racism and misogyny. Leslie Jones, who starred in the movie, received endless tweets harassing her for the color of her skin.
Understandably, she decided to get rid of the social media account altogether.
“I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart,” she posted. “All this ‘cause I did a movie. You can [dislike] the movie, but the [negativity] I got today … wrong.” She returned two days later, but we can totally see why she needed a break!
11 Miley Cyrus Had A Break From IG In 2018
In 2018, Miley Cyrus decided to take a break from IG and clear out her page. Of course, since there was no explanation from the singer, fans freaked out a little bit. Some assumed that she and Liam Hemsworth had split up, while others guessed there might be something catastrophic happening in her personal life. But as it turns out, a source close to the singer later told ET that she was just taking a breather.
“When Miley removed all the photos from her [IG], she knew everyone would wonder why. But her decision to do it wasn’t earth-shattering. Miley says she simply likes to change things up! She is taking a long needed break and she feels it’s healthy.”
10 Justin Bieber Deactivated To Defend His (Then) Girlfriend
Deactivating your social media to take a stand against those who are attacking someone you love is a pretty noble thing to do, in our opinion.
Justin Bieber decided to close down his IG account over the summer of 2016 because his girlfriend at the time, Sofia Richie, was receiving lots of negativity from his fans.
“If you guys are really fans you wouldn’t be so mean to people that I like,” he warned before shutting down. He didn’t return to IG until February of the following year. Hopefully, that taught fans to be more respectful of everyone in the singer’s life, especially the people he cares about.
9 Ed Sheeran Swapped Social Media For Travel
Ed Sheeran had a big 2015. And a big 2014. And a big 2013. From the moment he rose to global fame, he was riding an exhilarating but no doubt exhausting wave of success. By the end of 2015, he understandably needed to rest! So he took a break from his social media accounts and his work schedule. “… I find myself seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes so I’m taking this opportunity of me not having to be anywhere or do anything to travel the world and see everything I missed,” he explained.
8 Taylor Swift Disappeared Online As A Marketing Tool
In the summer of 2017, fans became nervous as Taylor Swift wiped clean all of her social media channels. But her disappearance wasn’t due to drama in her personal life or a campaign against social media itself—it was just a very clever marketing tool.
Swift cleared her pages in an effort to promote her widely anticipated Reputation album.
She famously kept her handles, even though she deleted all her posts. When the time was right, she filled her account with snake iconography resembling a new era in her fame and returned to social media more dignified than ever.
7 Camila Cabello Fans Came For Normani Online
Singer Normani landed herself in trouble with fans of her ex-bandmate Camila Cabello after her comments were creatively interpreted. Normani revealed that Cabello was “very quirky” and “cute” after pausing for a moment when asked to say something nice about everyone in Fifth Harmony, leading fans to think that shade was being thrown. They responded with rude photos and insults until Normani revealed that she was leaving Twitter.
“I have shown nothing but commitment for the success of Fifth Harmony even promoting on my days off but yet I always find myself as the target of unjust [criticism] and slander.”
6 Trolls Ran Iggy Azalea Off Twitter
Rapper Iggy Azalea shut down her Twitter in early 2015 after users flooded her mentions with uninvited comments about her body. This came after pictures of Azalea wearing a bikini on vacation were released online.
Radar Online even published the photos with the headline referencing the singer's apparent "cellulite."
“Just got back from a great vacation, came online and saw apparently it’s [surprising] and unheard of to be a woman and have cellulite,” she tweeted, just before abandoning the social media platform. She returned a few months later, but needed to take the time to find distance from decidedly negative body imaging.
5 Selena Gomez Abandoned Social Media After She Was Hacked
In 2017, the hacking of her IG led Selena Gomez to abandon it for a while. Hackers got into her account and shared compromising photos of her ex Justin Bieber. When her account was restored, Gomez reactivated, but even today, she uses social media differently. “You can avoid [reading negative comments] sometimes," she explained. "You fixate on [them] … Imagine all the insecurities that you already feel about yourself and having someone write a paragraph pointing out every little thing—even if it’s just physical.”
At least once a week, she deletes the IG app from her phone.
4 Blake Lively Deleted Her IG To Promote A Film
It’s obvious that disappearing from social media can be an effective marketing tool, and more celebrities are following suit. In 2018, Blake Lively deleted all her photos from IG and unfollowed everyone, even her husband Ryan Reynolds.
It wasn’t long before rumors started to circulate about the cause of her actions until fans realized it was just a promotional strategy.
Lively returned to the app with a message about a woman named Emily as a way to tease for her new movie A Simple Favor. Of course, the film is about the disappearance of a woman named Emily.
3 Negativity Made Ariana Grande Leave IG
When her then-fiancé Pete Davidson deactivated his IG account, Ariana Grande followed in his footsteps (in a way) by turning off the comments on her own IG posts.
She followed this up with tweeting, “The energy u put out is exactly what u get back, please create a beautiful life for yourselves.” Not long after, a fan tweeted about Grande’s triumphant return to Snapchat, and the singer’s response confirmed that she was going to take a break from most social media for a while: “i’m prolyl gonna post on der for a little while & take a breather from twitter & ig for a little."
2 Kendall Jenner Took A Much-Needed Break
In November of 2016, Kendall Jenner went on an IG detox that lasted one week. While she shut down her IG, her other social media accounts, like Twitter, were still up and running.
Later in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Jenner explained her actions.
“I just wanted a little bit of a break. I would wake up in the morning and look at it first thing, I would go to bed and it would be the last thing I looked at. I felt a little too dependent on it so I wanted to take a minute.”
1 Kanye West Deleted His Twitter To Stop Himself From Ranting
Kanye West is almost as famous for his random rants as he is for his music. In 2017, he deleted his IG and Twitter for nearly a year (it wouldn’t be the first time he deactivated) after coming under fire for tweeting about his political beliefs. He reactivated his IG for Valentine’s Day, posting several photos of iconic celebrity couples. In 2018, West quit both IG and Twitter again, with a source telling People, “Kanye got to the point where he realized his rants were becoming unhealthy. This is why he deleted his account.” As of January 2019, his Twitter is back up and running.
Sources: This is Insider, People, StyleCaster