On January 20th, 2019, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were spotted together at a restaurant in London, England. The ‘Twilight’ stars were reportedly celebrating the New Year with a romantic meal, which has caused a major scandal. According to reports, they were seen kissing and holding hands throughout the evening. The next day, multiple other celebrity accusers came forward to allege that they too had been kissed by Pattinson, including Sienna Miller and Olivia Olson. Additionally, Stewart was accused of sexual misconduct by several women, including Mika McFarland and Elle MacLeman.

The Candid Camera Effect

The revelation that the ‘Twilight’ stars were behaving scandalously has caused a massive backlash from their devoted fan bases. The hashtag #boycotttherachelotticeland was created on Twitter in light of the allegations, and several publications have stopped covering the pair. In response, some journalists have cited the ‘Candid Camera’ effect, named after the famous 1950s TV show, as a possible cause of the extreme negative coverage of the ‘Twilight’ couple. Hosted by Al Jarvis, the ‘Candid Camera’ effect occurs when celebrities’ private lives are exposed to the general public through the media. According to social psychologist Dr. Pamela Rutledge, the effect is a result of today’s ubiquitous digital media, which allows people to hold celebrities (and public figures in general) to a much higher standard.

As social media users, we’ve seen this effect in action. Since the start of this year, we’ve been bombarded with stories about the ‘Twilight’ couple, causing Twitter to become a virtual minefield. Before the year was over, there were almost 150 articles and videos accusing them of cheating and misconduct. If you go back and search for their names on social media, you’ll find dozens of similar accounts.

The Damage To Their Reputations

Because of the large amount of negative press that they’ve received this year, it’s no wonder that the ‘Twilight’ stars want to keep the details of their romantic night a secret. However, this isn’t going to be easy. The digital era has made it possible for people to expose even the most covert details of a celebrity’s life. In many cases, this has resulted in irreparable damage to their careers. As social media users and fans, we see this every day. Just last week, the ‘Walking Dead’ star Andrew Lincoln was accused of sexual harassment and assault. Before that, the ‘Silicon Valley’ star Josh Breneman had a domestic violence scandal published about him.

From an outsider’s perspective, it feels like the internet has gone mad. One of the ‘Twilight’ stars even complained about how difficult it is to keep a private life in a time when your every move is documented. “I feel like I have to be constantly mindful of what I’m doing, what I’m saying, how I’m acting,” Pattinson said. “It becomes this bizarre habit. It’s exhausting.”

Keep in mind that as celebrities, even the most minor missteps can result in serious damage to their reputations. In the worst case scenario, a celebrity can find themselves completely cut off from society, as was the case with Roman Polanski. One of the ‘Twilight’ stars’ biggest mistakes this year was filming a sequel without the consent of the other cast members. Although they’re trying to keep this scandal under wraps, it’s bound to come out in the end.

The Importance Of Privacy

The backlash that the ‘Twilight’ stars have received this year is a good example of how sensitive we’ve become to issues of privacy. This isn’t just limited to celebrities, either. Anyone who has a public profile on social media is acutely aware of the power of digital media to expose their secrets and lies. For decades, the mainstream media has always kept its distance from celebrities, presenting them only as a face on the television or a voice on the radio. However, with today’s technology, this is no longer possible. Once the cameras are rolling, celebrities (and the rest of us) are fair game.

The ‘Twilight’ stars are trying to keep this scandal under wraps, but it will only be a matter of time before the truth comes out. Even after all these years, the damage that Polanski caused will never be fully repaired. In the end, it’s not whether or not you cheated on your spouse, it’s why you cheated. Why did you feel the need to break the rules? Even if you’re not a celebrity, you have intimate details about your life that you’d prefer keep private. What if this information were to be hacked? What if someone found a way to expose you?