Doja Cat Deactivates Instagram Account, Says It’s Causing “F—ed Up Thoughts”

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Doja Cat has quit Instagram, telling her tens of millions of followers in a now-deleted post over the weekend that she’s beginning to have “f—ed up thoughts” after receiving criticism on the platform.

The Grammy winning pop star, whose real name is Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini, then deleted her account, which had a whopping 28 million followers. She explained the decision further in the post but kept her reasons cryptic.

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“Hey I’m gonna deactivate because I’m not really feeling this anymore,” she wrote in a post shown to her 28 million fans on Saturday. “You guys take care of yourselves. I like coming here to find inspo and see people being creative but I just feel ike [sic] this is getting ot [sic] be too much. The way I’m spoken to on here and treated makes me have f—ed up thoughts. Please watch how you talk to and about people on the internet. Bye.”

The 28-year-old singer-rapper-songwriter, whose string of massive hit singles includes “Say So,” “Paint the Town Red” and “Kiss Me More” (featuring SZA), has had a contentious relationship with social media throughout the early part of her career. In 2018, she referred to former ODD FUTURE rappers Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt as “faggots” on Twitter and later apologized after at first defending the slur; in 2020, she said on Instagram Live that COVID-19 was “only a flu” that she didn’t fear; and in 2022, upset fans in Paraguay were greeted by a series of tweets in which she threatened to quit music after fielding criticism for not meeting with fans after a canceled performance.

Yet part of Doja Cat’s eclectic brand is her wild and irreverent streaks, which largely plays out on social media platforms. Moments of opening up to followers about her sexuality, nicotine addiction and other pieces of her personal life have won her a massive fanbase. But that has buckled at times, like when a snap in July at fans who had dubbed themselves “Kittenz,” much to her distaste, led her follower count to drop by around 250,000 overnight.

As her career has played out on social media, Doja Cat has been wide open to the nasty path users on these unmoderated platforms can go down. In 2022, the pop star shaved her eyebrows on Instagram Live after her new bald look took a lashing from fans. One fan watching that moment on Instagram openly questioned Doja’s mental health in that moment, and she didn’t hesitate to reply.

“I’m doing dandy,” Doja said at the time. “I’ve never felt so f—king happy, like…it’s very funny how much of an effect taking my hair off my head has positively influenced me.”

Instagram, which traffics in the desire for social acceptance, has been linked in studies to depression, body image concerns, self-esteem issues, social anxiety, and other detrimental effects, according to the American Psychological Association. In 2021, a former engineer with Meta, Instagram’s parent company, testified before Congress on how executives there were aware of the harms Instagram was causing but chose not to make any sort of meaningful changes.

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