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'Things have taken a nasty turn': Bloggers Unveiled account shuts down

The account claimed to hold bloggers and social influencers accountable for misleading their followers.

Image: Ceimin Burke via TheJournal.ie

AN ANONYMOUS INSTAGRAM account which acted as an unofficial watchdog of the Irish blogger community has shut down as interest in the identity of its creator intensified.

Bloggers Unveiled billed itself as a page which highlights behaviour by bloggers but found itself and at the centre of a number of controversies.

The private account had accumulated over 222,000 followers with a mass of Irish users sending it their complaints about the questionable behaviour of influencers in the fashion and beauty industry.

In the last month, interest in who was behind Bloggers Unveiled intensified with things taking a “nasty” and “toxic” turn in the last few days.

As previously reported by DailyEdge.ie, the anonymous person behind the account posted yesterday to say that they no longer want a part in it as they “do not want someone’s blood” on their hands.

The page no longer exists on Instagram.

PastedImage-97615 Source: BloggersUnveiled/Instagram

“Rot in hell”

Over the weekend a Tullamore beautician called Ramona Treacy spoke to the Sunday Times about the harassment she received from people who believed she was the person behind the Bloggers Unveiled Instagram account.

Treacy said she had been living in fear since she began to receive messages that said “hope you rot in hell” and “may your ovaries rot from the inside out”.

Local gardaí have since launched a criminal investigation into the threats and harassment she received.

Watchdog?   

The account came to greater public attention recently when it criticised an Irish boutique for the cost and quality of its products.

Cari’s Closet, which sells women’s clothing in its store and online, also faced accusations in relation to where the items it sells were sourced.

In response to the negative comments, Cari’s Closet said in a statement:

Cari’s Closet wishes to acknowledge the recent claims online to the store.  We manufacturer [sic] our own clothes for sale in our stores and on our website in factories China and through wholesalers.

“All our clothes that we retail have Cari’s Closet labels on them.  We do not buy clothes for retail in our stores through any online websites.”

The company said it could not comment on any potential legal action.

Transparency 

Blogging has escalated over the last few years from a pastime into big business for those who team up with brands and businesses to promote their products.

These partnerships can mean the “influencers” are able to make thousands of euros every time they post.

Globally, brands have been able to capitalise on the power of influencers like big-name stars like Kendall Jenner, who reportedly gets paid between $125,000 – $300,000 per Instagram post. She has over 93 million Instagram followers.

Last year, the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland issued new guidelines for bloggers and online influencers which calls on them to declare marketing posts.

Under the guidelines by the ASAI, “where celebrities or influencers are sponsored by brands or paid directly to promote a product, it must be clear these posts are marketing communications”.

In order to ensure that this is the case, the ASAI encourages the use of clearly identifiable hashtags such as #Ad or #SP to signify an advertisement or a sponsored post.

For the first time last month, The ASAI upheld a complaint made in relation to an online influencer for a misleading image on Instagram.

The complaint was made in relation to a “filtered and photoshopped image” of blogger Rosie Connolly that was posted on Rimmel Ireland’s Facebook page and on Connolly’s Instagram page.

One-sided 

During its run, Bloggers Unveiled received its fair share of backlash for promoting bullying and being one-sided.

In April, the page claimed that some Irish bloggers were appearing to sell clothes that were advertised as the incorrect size and second-hand clothes that had been advertised as “never worn”.

Joanne Larby, the blogger behind The Makeup Fairy, was at the centre of the controversy and told the Irish Independent that she got an influx of negativity as a result of that post.

Larby said that she has not and never would rip anyone off.

Bloggers Unveiled may be gone but it has made people more sceptical when it comes to promoted posts and the business of being an “influencer”.

While people still don’t know who was behind the account, a T-shirt print shop in Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre in Dublin has found to cash in on the controversy.

IMG20180802162114 Source: Ceimin Burke via TheJournal.ie

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Adam Daly

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