Love Island stars criticise ITV's social media ban during the show

Two stars of the recent series of Love Island have criticised ITV's social media ban for contestants.

Ahead of the winter series – which wrapped up over the weekend – the broadcaster requested that the contestants pause activity on their accounts while in the villa.

Usually, Islanders' accounts are controlled by friends, family or PR during their time on the show, though as part of its duty of care and to combat trolling, ITV put a stop to activity on social media for this series.

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However, Zara Lackenby-Brown suggested in a new interview with BBC Newsbeat that those that perpetuate abuse on social media "are going to find another way".

"They're going to make a TikTok video, they're going to make a YouTube video, they're going to make another account to talk about reactions," she said.

"My family definitely experienced the trolling towards me, regardless of whether my account was paused or not.

"And it's actually a shame. Because islanders' channels have previously been open, that's been a way for the friends and family to be able to have a voice.

zara, love island 2023

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"If there's a rumour going around, they could squish it immediately. But I think this year, it's almost like that voice was taken away from the friends and family."

Zara suggested that the ban could hinder building a social media profile, saying "the social media ban has just stunted our social media growth".

She also predicted it could put people off going on the show in the future, adding: "I actually know one friend that got scouted, but she doesn't want to do it if it's going to continue because she just thinks that it's such a risk to go on.

"Basically, your social channels have made no noise. So now you're a public figure, but you haven't really got a means of making any sort of income."

tanyel, love island 2023

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Tanyel Revan admitted she "understands [ITV's] approach", though also criticised the ban, suggesting it should be optional for contestants.

"I would have said no, I don't need it, personally, and I would have said lift the ban," she said. "But I do think health is so important. And if it's going to help people, then obviously keep it there."

The latest series of Love Island announced its winners over the weekend, with Kai Fagan and Sanam Harrinanan walking away as the victors.

Love Island airs nightly on ITV2, and is available via catch up on ITVX and BritBox.

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