Doja Cat says she feels ‘free’ since losing Instagram followers over fan controversy

Doja Cat is not losing sleep over her Instagram following, which has plummeted since she began criticising her own fans last month.

The singer and rapper initially took aim at her fans, who use the nickname “Kittenz” to describe their fan community. “If you call yourself a ‘Kitten’ or f***ing ‘Kittenz’ that means you need to get off your phone and get a job and help your parents with the house,” she wrote on the social media app Threads.

She also told a fan who used her real name – Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini – in their username: “You making my government name ur sn [screen name] is creepy as f***.”

According to the statistics website Social Blade, the “Say So” singer has been unfollowed by more than 550,000 Instagram users over the past 30 days, 300,000 of which were lost in the immediate days after her posts against her fans. At the time of writing, Doja now has 25.1 million Instagram followers.

On her Instagram Story on Wednesday (16 July), Doja responded to her loss of followers.

“Seeing all these people unfollow makes me feel like I've defeated a large beast that's been holding me down for so long and it feels like I can reconnect with the people who really matter and love me for who i am and not for who i was,” she wrote.

“I feel free.”


In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar published this week, Doja explained that she feels fans are over-invested in her life without really knowing her.

“My theory is that if someone has never met me in real life, then, subconsciously, I’m not real to them.

“So when people become engaged with someone they don’t even know on the internet, they kind of take ownership over that person. They think that person belongs to them in some sense.”

She continued: “When that person changes drastically, there is a shock response that is almost uncontrollable…  I’ve accepted that that’s what happens… I have all the freedom in the world.”

However, Doja wasn’t entirely disparaging of her fans, saying: “Some of the most moving moments for me have been when my fans have stood up for me or for other people. That’s fighting for something real.”

Doja also upset fans by refusing to say that she loved them. “I don’t though cuz I don’t even know y’all [sic],” she responded to one. As a result, a number of her most-followed fan pages deleted their accounts on X (formerly Twitter).