You know, I wasn’t sure what to make this edition of Bullsh*t of the Week about. There’s just so much stuff going on across the internet right now, and most of it is, well, bullshit, but then today I stumbled across this article, titled Hotel owner hits out at YouTube vloggers who flooded his business with bad reviews after he refused to grant free stays. And I just had to talk about this bullshit.
Basically, a blogger named Elle Darby, who currently has about 90K subscribers (that’s my dream, guys, because at this rate I’ll have to get a proper job) emailed a hotel owner asking if she and her boyfriend could have a free room in exchange for posting about it on social media to her, you know, 90K-ish audience.
As the hotel owner, one Mr. Stenson, shared it, here it is:
In return, the owner shot back this letter:
Dear Social Influencer (I know your name but apparently it’s not important to use names),
Thank you for your email looking for free accommodation in return for exposure. It takes a lot of balls to send an email like that, if not much self-respect and dignity.
If I let you stay here in return for a feature in a video, who is going to pay the staff who look after you? Who is going to pay the housekeepers who clean your room?
The waiters who serve you breakfast? The receptionist who checks you in? Who is going to pay for the light and heat you use during your stay?
He asked: “Maybe I should tell my staff they will be featured in your video in lieu of receiving payment for work carried out while you’re in residence?
So, basically, a flat no.
Darby shot back with a video—which was seventeen minutes long, continuing this trend I hate of videos being way longer than they need to be to make their point. In this video, she basically said that he was malicious and a bully. This led to a slew of hate against the manager who rejected her, bloggers and vloggers rallying against him. As a result, Mr. Stenson has banned bloggers from his establishment. (How do you fucking know if someone’s a blogger dude? Are you gonna ask everyone who checks in? Do I, who would never review your establishment, and would pay even if I did, qualify?)
There are, uh, four layers in this stack of bullshit pancakes that I want to cover for this one. I’ll try to keep it as brief as I can.
1. Personally, I’m all for people paying for things they review. If people are generous enough to send or give you things then that is awesome. I’ve been sent books, which I choose whether or not to cover at my own discretion, and it’s awesome. But nobody has to give you anything. I just want to get that out of the way now. You’re much better off paying for your fucking room, then seeing about coverage afterwards, because that man is indeed running a business, and doesn’t have to give you anything, so I hope Darby doesn’t feel like she was entitled to what she offered. But I’m not certain that she does, and this isn’t actually my main point, so:
2. She was actually pretty polite in her email in my opinion. While he was well within his rights to turn down what she asked for (and it wasn’t an offer, she askedfor a free room) he didn’t have to be snide and rude in a public post. I get that she’s younger, and that people often have this snide, condescending attitude about us folks of the internet, but that doesn’t justify being rude. Because that’s what he was. He was rude. If he wanted to turn her down, he could have done it privately. She probably would still have publicised it herself, he didn’t need to be rude by doing so. For someone who’s being a dick about “social media influencers,” he sure was able to use social media to his advantage, huh? Darby was right in her assessment that he was “malicious.” What an ass.
3. I love being part of the blogging community. I love interaction with other bloggers and vloggers. I love what we’re able to achieve when we rally. But honestly it’s never okay to just gang up on someone like this. You can, and should, criticise wrongdoings (and call our bullshit) but we should remember to be careful how we do it. If you’re someone justifiably calling out this guy’s bullshit, awesome. I love you. Be my bud. If you’re being an ass … don’t do that. (Although, if he’s going to ban us from his establishment because of criticism, then he needs to man up. Because everyone has a fucking blog these days, bro.)
4. The article itself was a fucking travesty. The snide way that the author, Helena Horton, treats internet folks is awful. Not to mention that the word vlogger was in quotation marks like, “vlogger.” And I just hate that shit. Blog isn’t a new word. Blog isn’t a new word. Old media likes to bitch about the big bad internet taking its audience away, but then it does shit like this. If you don’t want old media to die out, then maybe don’t alienate everyone who was born after the release of the PlayStation. The internet isn’t fucking going anywhere, and like it or not people who make their living from it do have influence.
Anyway, uh … since we’re on about the old Tube of You, I have a new channel, and I’m working on a video for it that I’m super excited about. So you should uh … go and uh subscribe to it maybe please. I wanna be one of those vloggers who can start drama.
To subscribe, click this link: bit.ly/SubscribeLizzieRobinson
Plug over, have a good weekend everyone. I’ll be back with more bullshit next week.