Newsbeat

YouTuber Elle Darby’s hotel blag turns into huge row

Elle Darby Image copyright Elle Darby

A British YouTuber says people have told her "to die" - just for asking if she could stay at a hotel for free.

Elle Darby, who's got 90,000 subscribers on the site, offered to make a video about her stay if she didn't have to pay.

But the owner of the Charleville Lodge in Dublin - Paul Stenson - shared Elle's email online, accusing her of not having "self-respect and dignity".

Newsbeat has approached Mr Stenson for comment, but he hasn't got back to us.

Image copyright Elle Darby
Image caption Elle also has 80,000 followers on Instagram

Speaking exclusively to Newsbeat, Elle says the backlash has exposed her to a "tidal wave of hate".

She says her original email was "a very normal thing to send if you work as a social media influencer".

She offered to vlog about her stay on her channel, "to bring traffic to [the] hotel and [encourage] others to book up".

But in a Facebook post that's been shared by thousands of people, the hotel owner asked: "If I let you stay here in return for a feature in your video, who is going to pay the staff who look after you?"

He posted a photo of Elle's email, but blanked out her name and contact details. She then revealed in a YouTube video that it was her.

Paul then announced that all vloggers were banned from the hotel - and accused Elle of getting her fans to leave him bad reviews, something she denies.

Image copyright Snapchat/WhiteMooseCafe
Image caption Some of Paul's response was posted on Snapchat, where he has a big following

"The sense of entitlement is just too strong in the blogging community," he wrote.

"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."

Elle says Paul's followers have since sent her threats.

"I've had people telling me to top myself, asking me to go play in traffic and die - just for literally doing my job. That email is something that every single blogger has sent out.

"People just are not taking responsibility for what they say online. I don't think it's easy to remember that when you send a tweet it is going to someone's profile who is a human with real emotions.

"For the service I was offering Paul, a lot of bloggers would've charged for that. Paul works in hotels, he will know this.

"Bloggers are sent to the Maldives and to Bali and all sorts of glamorous places and they don't just go for free - they are paid to go because they have such a large following. Social media is one of the biggest ways of marketing around right now."

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