A cafe and lodge in Dublin, Ireland has and still is the talk of the town recently… or more appropriately put, the world. Netizens everywhere have been split between a recent viral post on Faceboook, where he banned all bloggers and social media influencers from his hotel. He did so after he received mixed comments from netizens for ‘shaming’ a 22-year-old influencer. So what actually happened, you ask?
A 22-year-old YouTuber had emailed him, asking for a five-night free stay and was harshly declined. The issue started when Elle Darby, a UK-based social media influencer, with 87,000 YouTube subscribers and 76,000 Instagram followers, reached out to the owner of The White Moose Café, Paul Stenson, asking if he was interested in a “possible collaboration.”
In an email to Stenson, Darby wrote:
“I work as a social media influencer, mainly lifestyle, beauty & travel based. Darby then included her social media reach before continuing: “My partner and I are planning to come to Dublin for an early Valentine’s Day weekend from Feb 8th to 12th to explore the area. As I was searching for places to stay, I came across your stunning hotel and would love to feature you in my YouTube videos/dedicated Instagram stories/posts to bring traffic to your hotel and recommend others to book up in return for free accommodation.”
Darby ended her email mentioning that she had organised a similar collaboration with Universal Orlando in Florida last year and “it’s been amazing for them!”
However, Stenson responded to Darby’s request, publicly, on The White Moose Cafe Facebook page – in a message that read:
Stenson attempted to black-out Darby’s contact information in the message he posted to Facebook. However, social media users were quick to identify the YouTuber as Darby – and began to attack her with negative comments about her request.
The negative backlash that Darby received eventually led her to upload a YouTube video responding to the controversy, in which she breaks down from the embarrassment, anger, and humiliation she felt.
In the 17-minute video, titled “I was exposed (SO embarrassing), the influencer emotionally insists she got in contact with Stenson with “nothing but the purest intentions” before explaining:
“As a 22-year-old girl, who’s running her own business from her home, I don’t feel like I did anything wrong.”
Darby also explains she does not know why the hotel owner decided to post her email, stating: “I don’t really know what their intent was – it was just malicious” and that since his post, she has received countless comments calling her a “disgusting freeloader.”
In lieu of the 22-year-old’s heartfelt response uploaded to YouTube, it appears that the Dublin cafe and lodge has suffered their own backlash following the controversy. Many questioned the need to post it publicly instead of a direct ‘no’ to her.
In a recent post to the Facebook page in response to the video, Stenson declared in all capital letters: “All bloggers banned from our business.”
“Following the backlash received after asking an unidentified blogger to pay for a hotel room, I have taken the decision to ban all bloggers from our hotel and cafe,” he wrote – before denying that he had ever exposed Darby, and “the sense of entitlement is just too strong in the blogging community.”
The café actually has a considerable following of its own. Interestingly, this is not the first time they’ve banned someone. They’ve apparently already banned vegans at their cafe and lodge, and now bloggers are no longer welcome on the premises.
What do you guys think? Did the influencer got what she asked for, or was it a little too much?
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