Kardashian heist: Police say social media made her a target
(CNN) With 84 million followers on Instagram and another 49 million on Twitter, Kim Kardashian West is one of social media’s biggest stars.
But police say that visibility also led to her recent robbery in Paris. The reality star was held at gunpoint after a group of men posed as police and robbed her early Monday at a private apartment.
Johanna Primevert, chief spokeswoman for the Paris police department, told CNN that Kardashian’s celeb status — as well as her millions of social media followers — made her easy pickings for thieves.
“It was really the celebrity who was targeted, with possessions that had been seen and noticed via social media, and it was these goods that the attackers targeted,” Primevert said.
Kardashian West was robbed of a phone and US$10 million worth of jewelry. Only days beforehand she had shared a photo of herself wearing a massive diamond ring believed to be gift from her husband, rapper Kanye West.
Social media has been vitally important to Kardashian West’s brand. She is a prodigious poster on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat and was posting much of what she was doing leading up to the robbery — including her whereabouts at Paris fashion shows.
The topic of social media and safety has come up on her family’s popular E! reality series, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” This summer family members cautioned Kardashian West’s younger sister Kylie Jenner about being more circumspect with her postings after she became the target of a stalker.
Shawn Tuma, a Texas cybersecurity attorney, told Vanity Fair it can be risky for celebs who are prolific on social media.
“They use their social media, they use their public presence as a huge part of their business model,” Tuma said this week. “So what this (robbery) shows is the importance of evaluating your risk profile, whether you’re a company, whether you’re an individual, and saying, ‘How much risk am I exposing myself to?'”
Primevert said tourists should not think that what happened to Kardashian West is common in Paris. The spokeswoman cautioned visitors to not be fearful.