Media personality Kobi Kihara has quit all the major social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, in the wake of photo-lifting controversy.
Last week, Ms Kihara was attacked by thousands of Twitter users over what they termed as the TV queen’s “fake lifestyle”.
And now, the trolls have, seemingly, gotten the better of the bubbly media personality, who has since suspended, or even deleted, her social media pages.
Kobi Kihara had over 326, 000 followers on Instagram. The account no longer exists on the photo-sharing platform, implying it has been deleted by the media star.
Her Twitter page, @KobiKihara, which had over 90, 000 followers, is also suspended, with an online search of the handle on the micro-blogging site showing a ‘user not found’ alert.
A source close to Kobi Kihara told EDAILY that the media personality, who is currently in the U.S. on a study programme, was “completely devastated” by the trolls, which were thrown her way, when allegations of photo-plagiarism were leveled against her.
“I have called Kobi on phone, and I would tell you, she is completely devastated. I don’t think she is strong enough to handle the cyber-bullying. The trolls, honestly, have gotten the better of her. How I wish people could stop circulating the content, which is affecting her psychologically and emotionally,” said the source.
Last Friday, Kobi Kihara said she was “sorry” to those who misunderstood the concept behind her “borrowed” photos and, as a result, were offended by her perceived plagiarism.
Her apology came in the wake of a Twitter wave, which saw thousands of online users attack her for “portraying a fake lifestyle”.
“I’m sorry to everyone who I misled, forgive me. I should have thought twice, perhaps, and I guess it got away from me. And to my friends in the DM and on WhatsApp thanks for the lovely messages, I’m ok…really. To the trolls and bullies…it’s ok! I can handle being an online punching bag, go for it #KobiKiharaChallenge #KobiWithAnEye,” she posted on Instagram Friday, August 24.
Attaching a screenshot of her October, 2017 Instagram post, Kobi Kihara said she always posted “borrowed” pictures to her timeline, only that she hadn’t thought it would “backfire” on her.
“I am a photographer and a creative. So, it is easy to pull off, plus most photos are borrowed. I see it as my online gallery. Most of us have been met with an obsession for approval and validation, while lacking transparency and authenticity… Don’t believe the hype, don’t get sucked in. Most of my real life doesn’t make it onto social media, and those who really know me, know that…,” she said in the October, 2017 post.
Kobi Kihara, thereafter, pulled down a significant number of lifted pictures from her Instagram page.
Ms Kihara, who has always awed her followers with classy and sophisticated fashion statements, was a laughing stock on Twitter and Instagram after it emerged that she had been lifting pictures from the online portals of high-end firms and prominent people, and posting them as her own.
She went ahead to caption the products in the pictures as hers.
Cheeky and curious online users went ahead to verify originality of those photos using technology, and they found out that she had been lifting those breathtaking pictures from the internet.
Recently, the former television presenter was caught in a lie when she posted an enticing photo of a rosemary chicken, bacon and avocado salad, with the caption: “I make a bad ass salad”.
When a fan asked how she managed to make the sweet-looking meal, Kobi Kihara went ahead to give out the full recipe.
However, Twitter users discovered that the same photo had been posted to a food website.
Because of that one photo, online users discovered many more that Kobi had been lifting, consequently christening her the moniker ‘Copy Kihara’, a clever play on her name Kobi Kihara.
A certain statement by Ms Kihara got Kenyans on social media breaking their bones with laughter. She said, of an attire picture: “The dressing is pear vinaigrette, it’s so good! I found it in my mom’s fridge.”
A Twitter user, whose handle is @SirAlexas, had taken it upon himself to uncover more of Kobi Kihara’s ‘fake photos’.
As a result of the massive ridicule on Kobi, Kenyans online said they had learnt a hard lesson on why it is important to be “real”.
Joseph Malcom, whose Twitter handle is @JosephMalcom8, said: “Instagram is not for the Kenyan Youth. That is a depression factory. People are showcasing things they don’t have and you’re there envying them. Just do Twitter. Nobody cares about the flashy life just the voice you have to share to the World. Kobi Kihara is a lesson.”