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Hotel bans bloggers following feud with YouTuber over free stay

By midian182 · 56 replies
Jan 22, 2018
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  1. It’s fairly common for so-called ‘social media influencers’ to receive free goods and services in exchange for reviews and promotions, but one café/hotel in Ireland has banned all bloggers after a YouTuber asked for a free five-night stay.

    The White Moose Café in Dublin shared an email from a then-unidentified vlogger on the company’s Facebook page last week. Owner Paul Stenson blacked out the name of the sender, but online users soon figured out it was 22-year-old UK-based influencer Elle Darby, who has 85,000 Instagram followers and a YouTube channel with close to 100,000 subscribers.

    Darby received a number of abusive comments from online users over her request, including "freeloader," "disgusting" and "skanky b**ch," which led to the release of a response video that has now been viewed over 1.5 million times.

    "As a 22-year-old girl who's running her own business from her home, I don't feel like I did anything wrong in that," said Darby, who emailed several hotels ahead of the Valentines Day trip she is planning with her partner.

    "All because I had gone to this certain hotel and emailed them politely, offering them a business idea, a business proposal, a collaboration idea, with nothing but the purest intentions," she says.

    "They then decided to take that email, which I'd written to them in confidentiality, and blast it over their social media pages with nothing but malicious intent."

    Being the internet, the situation escalated rapidly. The White Moose café's social media sites were hit with negative comments from those that support Darby. One person wrote "I hope you get closed down and rinsed into the ground you piece of s**t," in a private message shared by the café.

    Stenson responded by posting a sarcastic apology to all bloggers. The next day, he thanked them for the priceless publicity they had brought the hotel, and on Wednesday announced that they were now banned from his business.

    “The sense of entitlement is just too strong in the blogging community and the nastiness, hissy fits and general hate displayed after one of your members was not granted her request for a freebie is giving your whole industry a bad name. I never thought we would be inundated with negative reviews for the simple reason that somebody was required to pay for goods received or services rendered.”

    "P.S. Perhaps if you went out and got real jobs you'd be able to pay for goods and services like everybody else. Just a thought!"

    Stenson still wasn’t finished; he later sent Darby a joking invoice asking for just over 5,000,000 Euros (around $6.1 million) as payment for the exposure they gave her.

    Permalink to story.

  2. I thought this was TechSpot, not TMZ...
  3. It is scary that this is considered a profession these days.........

    Edit: This has to be one of the dumbest things I have seen in a while, she is pissed that she was told no and looks like it might have been the first time for her....... 17 min tantrum later...... Maybe I am getting old
  4. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,159   +1,175

    She wasn't pissed that she was told "no"... she mailed a bunch of hotels the same thing. She was pissed that instead of simply emailing her back a polite "no thanks" (as I'm sure a bunch of other hotels did), this hotel owner decided to publicly blast her and her profession.

    Yes, PROFESSION.... I know lots of people don't want to admit that blogging should be a profession... but alas, agree or not... it IS a profession.... just a new one... plenty of professions out there that are far older and less reputable (looking at prostitution, for instance, that no one would argue is a profession, even if they disagree with it).

    There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with what this young woman did. Yes, she attempted to get a "free" stay at a hotel in exchange for giving it free publicity.

    Is this any different than a restaurant reviewer who gets a free meal when writing about it for his/her newspaper? Or the movie critic who sees a movie for free? Or the sportscaster / analyst who sees a game for free?

    Again, all the hotel owner had to do was email back "no".... or, at worst... simply ignore the request completely.
    cliffordcooley, Tanstar and Agnomen like this.
  5. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,406   +1,570

    And she could have simply said "ok" at the response, rather than chimp out and create a 17 minute temper tantrum youtube video because she doesnt get free stuff for her blogging. She was asking for 5 free nights from a business, that actually makes money, because she makes worthless youtube videos by screeching into a camera about stuff few people care about.

    The hotel's response shows how entitled and immature these types of people are, and the salt generated by her response, as well as the blog community in general for being called out, is hilarious.
  6. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TS Evangelist Posts: 526   +515

    While this is certainly funny, I do actually think the hotel's initial response was a bit OTT. This kind of tit-for-tat agreement goes on all the time. To answer his questions about "who'll pay for X?", well, under the intentions of this arrangement, all the extra customers the hotel would potentially receive would pay. It's a publicity exercise.

    Her line about "nothing but the purest of intentions" is bullcrap too, but really this is a non-story overall...
  7. I didn't deny that people make a profession out of stuff like this but she just wanted a free ride for valentines day..... two very different things

    She cannot play the game and then get angry when she looses, she is trying to get free stuff for uploading a video for just mentioning the hotel and she made a few of mistakes/assumptions along the way. He got so much publicity out of this for his company and it cost him nothing

    Ireland is cracking down on stuff like this and the place she emailed has been against it for a long time. 2 seconds of google told me that.

    She didn't even bother finding out the owners name or the managers, she googled nice places to stay and then tried to leverage her position to get a free holiday, the old blanket email.

    Restaurant reviewing has gotten to a stupid point as well and people started to threaten bad publicity if they didn't get the meal for free.

    There are two sides to this story absolutely no but no one should expect stuff for free.
  8. frostyshield

    frostyshield TS Booster Posts: 87   +89

    "We earn a living from adverts on our website but we want free stay & food & products" really... why not just pay instead of begging for free stuff...

    Not to mention she looks like plastic surgery gone wrong.. From looks of it she can afford everything she gets free...
  9. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,159   +1,175

    She could have... but remember, HER profession is to blog.... so obviously, she tried to gain as much publicity from this as possible... honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if we learn, months from now, that this was all a publicity stunt on BOTH sides, and that we find out that they're actually distant relatives or some such...
    Tanstar likes this.
  10. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,666   +1,029

    I'm puzzled by the thought that I would be influenced by a review done in exchange for a freebie. If the review does not declare the exchange, it is dishonest. If it does declare the exchange, it is suspect.
    Charles Olson and Lionvibez like this.
  11. Daithi

    Daithi TS Booster Posts: 85   +97

    The white moose has made a name for themselves for ripping the piss out of people. They have an ongoing feud with vegans, mothers and gluten free people who are all barred as well (not really)
    Capaill, Godel, Lionvibez and 3 others like this.
  12. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Maniac Posts: 222   +197

    Nothing wrong with her original email. it's just an offer to trade services. The fact that a professional takes a private email and posts it is pretty darn creepy. And then doubles down afterwards on being an ahole....yikes.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  13. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,521   +411

    I tried to watch her video but just couldn't stand her after about a minute. This was about 52 seconds longer than someone else who I tried to show the video to. Maybe it's her mannerisms, maybe it's her botox lips gone wrong (sexist I know but seriously, she looks like she's got some kind of swelling/allergic reaction going on). Stenson could have just said no, Darby could have just let it be (White Moose post of her email DOES remove practically all identifiable information, so who outed who here?), people could have not acted like children... but of course this is the internet and that's usually too much to ask.

    I'll agree with this part of Stenson's second post, as I've seen it before plenty of times: "The girl in question was never identified in my original post, but she herself went on to create a video explaining how she was “exposed” with “malicious intent” for asking for a freebie. This kind of victimization is very prevalent in the blogging industry, and is in keeping with their general modus operandi of wanting everything for nothing."

    Somewhat related; if Darby had waited for a slow period (any time between holidays and not summer basically), they might have been more receptive, though still unlikely given the Business here. But on the days before and following Valentines? Get out of here lol...
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
    Capaill, Kenrick and Charles Olson like this.
  14. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 656   +200

    All else ignored, I'll eventually travel to Ireland on vacation and will remember this as a place to avoid because the owner appears to be a douche and to be proud of that fact. That's not someone who should be is a hospitality profession.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  15. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,169   +2,609

    She looks like she just removed her monobrow with pliers.
    dirtyferret and Charles Olson like this.
  16. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 898   +622

    My paraphrase of her video, well at least the first several minutes, as far as I could stand it.
    I did this because I loved it, one day I was exposed to the real social media industry. That brought so many opportunities I didn't realize (when I did social media because it was my dream) like tons of free stuff and to travel to places I could only dream of. so, my partner and I are determined to milk this for what it's worth, pick places to holiday and see how free we can make it. And someone had the nerve to call me out on it. He won't let me and my partner holiday there free during a Valentine's day weekend, what a dirtbag!
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  17. alexnode

    alexnode TS Enthusiast Posts: 46   +16

    At least now I know a place where I can avoid vloggers taking selfies ...
    Charles Olson and Cycloid Torus like this.
  18. Charles Olson

    Charles Olson TS Enthusiast Posts: 41   +10

    Maybe she got her plastic surgery and Botox the same way sending out a blanket email like " Hi I'm a blogger and if you give me free services I will post a positive review LMAO
    Lionvibez likes this.
  19. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 898   +622

    personally I love businesses run by owners that don't take any crap. I used to know someone who owned a bicycle shop. I was in the shop getting my bike worked on. Some ignorant guy with a big and bad attitude comes in. Culminated in an argument where the owner told him (literally) to f**k off and that he never wanted to see him again. Deserved and priceless to see.
  20. dirtyferret

    dirtyferret TS Evangelist Posts: 478   +501

    ....I would like to declare that I am a "tech media influencer" and would like to receive free goods and services for my reviews as well. Also my posting on this forum clearly benefits techspot and I would like to be paid for my services...in real money not cyber-currency
    Johnnyblaze1957 likes this.
  21. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,159   +1,175

    Nothing wrong with asking - and when you get a polite "no thanks", that's where it should end.... but if I were to publish your email and call you out for being a free-loading douche, I suspect you'd be a bit peeved...
  22. dirtyferret

    dirtyferret TS Evangelist Posts: 478   +501

    I agree with your former but not your latter. Nothing wrong with asking but if I was just sending a generic email to several OEMs stating "hey send me a free graphics card and I will talk you up on my blog" well then I I really have little reason to be mad if that generic email goes public. If on the other hand I had made several discussions with a specific graphics card manufacturer and they went public with the issue then that is a different story as their would be mutual talk of creating a business arrangement. I'm not privy to all their emails and frankly I don't care but my guess is she is more mad at the backlash then the fact the hotel owner went public with the email. If there was no back lash she would not care if he made the email public or not.
  23. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 747   +270

    The hotel response was a bit of a **** move because the payment for the meals/cleaning/bla bla stupid examples they put in there would be from increased traffic, its kinda very basic business concepts and clearly that manager is a tool.

    However; This whole "social media influencer" thing is also huge BS, she goes on and on in her video about how this is the only job that makes her happy and poor her etc.. meanwhile tons of people have to do jobs that don't make them happy or starve and become homeless. Entitled little girl..

    All in all its kinda sensationalist media , no different than watching a monkey and donald trump fling poo at each other.
  24. roberthi

    roberthi TS Addict Posts: 327   +83

    There's a big difference in offering something for free publicity and it being warranted. She approached them, not the other way around. It's possible they like to cater to a smaller, more local community. Just because she was told no is no reason to have a fit over it. There are many people who have professional jobs that want to solicit at my house, despite a sign saying "No Solicitation." This still doesn't make their actions right. Her fans are another story, but her reaction is over the top.

    Now, having said that, if this hotel didn't want the publicity, they shouldn't have put her letter out there for all to see. Both parties should have handled it without the public involvement.

    EDIT: Come to think of it, the hotel owner kind of turned the tables on her. Why is it any less appropriate for her to get negative press and exposure than a hotel would. He's basically calling her out on biased reviews...asking for free stays doesn't illicit an unbiased review in most cases. If she can stand the heat....
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
    Charles Olson likes this.
  25. LenovoX

    LenovoX TS Booster Posts: 66   +29

    She's just a homeless using a house...
    Charles Olson likes this.

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