Khloé, Is That You? Celebrity Social Media Blunder

The image on the left is Khloé’s controversial Instagram post. The image on right is of Khloé from that same day on the set of her television show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”

Khloé Kardashian is no stranger to the photo-altering app FaceTune (Froelich, 2020). On May 22nd, 2020, Khloé’s FaceTune use gained public attention as she posted an unrecognizable selfie on her Instagram (Froelich, 2020). Social media users were quick to criticize Khloé for catfishing, calling her out in the comment section of her post and further on Twitter. If Khloé’s FaceTune fail wasn’t evident enough from her photo, a clip from her television show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” was later released from the same day. When contrasting the television clip to her Instagram post, Khloé appears as two different people. After “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” exposed Khloé, side-by-side comparisons of the photo and the clip quickly went viral, resulting in yet another social media blunder for the Kardashian family.

In relation to this week’s case study, I will be viewing Khloé Kardashian’s FaceTune fail through the lens of Bowen’s (2013) “Ethical Guidelines for Social Media:”

  1. Be fair and prudent (Bowen, 2013): Khloé Kardashian’s extreme FaceTuning disallows for a fair judgement from her social media users.
  2. Avoid deception (Bowen, 2013): Khloé Kardashian’s social media blunder is a form of identity deception. This image relates to this ethical guideline because her Instagram photo is deceiving her true identity.
  3. Maintain dignity and respect (Bowen, 2013): It is disrespectful to Khloé’s admirers to present such a false image. It may have a significant effect on her fans by creating unrealistic beauty expectations.
  4. Eschew Secrecy (Bowen, 2013): This guideline does not relate to this specific social media blunder.
  5. Is it reversible? (Bowen, 2013): I think that it is unethical to portray such an altered image online, especially when it is someone who has millions of fans.
  6. Be transparent (Bowen, 2013): The excessive amount of filters in this image does not portray transparency.
  7. Clearly identify (Bowen, 2013): This guideline does not relate to this specific social media blunder.
  8. Rational Analysis (Bowen, 2013): Viewing this situations from all sides, for the people who know what she looks like, her portrayal is fake. For those who only know her from social media, her images create an unrealistic interpretation of her appearance.

Guidelines 9. Emphasize Clarity, 10. Disclose, and 11. Verify sources and data from Bowne’s (2013) “Ethical Guidelines for Using Social Media” do not relate to this specific social media blunder.

12. Establish responsibility (Bowen, 2013): The message that Khloé Kardashian is sending to society does not establish ethical responsibility. She has not taken responsibility for her actions and is allowing negative ideologies to arise from her actions.

13. Examine Intention (Bowen, 2013): Khloé’s intention may derive from insecurity, though, it does not make it right.

14. Encourage the good (Bowen, 2013): The message she is sending to her millions of followers does not encourage any good. If anything, it creates insecurities and unrealistic appearance ideologies that may motivate other social media users to do the same thing as she.

15. Consistency Builds Trust (Bowen, 2013): This guideline does not relate to this specific social media blunder.

The truth of the matter is, everyone knows Khloé Kardashian. Besides having a reality television series, she is photographed by paparazzi daily. Being as publicized as she is, it will always be evident when she uses apps like FaceTune on her social media photos. Who is she trying to fool?


Bowen, S. (2013). Using Classic Social Media Cases to Distill Ethical Guidelines for Digital Engagement. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 28(2), 119–133.

Froelich, P. (2020). Khloe Kardashian’s FaceTune fail exposed on Twitter. Page Six. Retrieved from

Communications & Digital Media Studies Student.