The Elle Darby Scandal & Why EVERY Blogger Should Care


The Elle Darby Scandal & Why EVERY Blogger Should Care

Buenos Dias~
Happy New Year & Best wishes to ya for 2018!

I know, I know. Where the HECK have I been these past months?! Gomenasai. My blog has been on hiatus for various reasons that will be covered in later posts. I had however intended for my first post of this year to be about my facebook recently hitting 5 MILLION VIEWS!
Yet, fate intervened in the form of my mentor, Elayna Fernadez ~aka~ The POSITIVE MOM quote retweeting a video posted by a vlogger named ELLE DARBY.

I was immediately drawn in by the video & the core message that it had to deliver to all us bloggers, vloggers & social media influencers. I knew then & there that this HAD to be my first blog post of the year, that NOW was the time to come out of hiatus. To ensure that this incident was covered by Alfonzowords & that emphasis is placed on Why EVERY Blogger should care.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the incident if you haven’t heard:

  • Elle Darby sent an email to the owner of the Charleville Lodge Hotel in Dublin 
  • The 22-year-old asked for a free stay in exchange for social media promotion 
  • Owner Paul Stenson poured scorn on the request and posted the email online 
  • Ms Darby responded with a YouTube video saying his actions led to her being bullied by online trolls 
So let’s start with the infamous Facebook post shall we:


This type of email/query has been an unwritten method that most influencers, especially the successful ones, have used. Whether it be to collaborate with brands, receive discounted offers or free merchandise as well as free vacations. I collaborate with dozens of different bloggers every single day & comment on many blog posts that are reviews about hotel stays or luxury vacation treatments.
Are they ALL freeloaders with no self respect & dignity?

Let me assuredly say that I have mad respect & love for all those in the service industry especially those in hospitality. This post isn’t about them but rather about the business & how social media influencing ties in. Here’s my thinking. ELLE has +80 000 subscribers on Youtube & +75 000 followers on Instagram. Her highest viewed video so far has +835 000 views! So if she were to post a review of her hotel stay & at the barest minimum, out of allllllll that following, the hotel gets 10 NEW Guests. Does that not mean a ten fold return on the investment of letting her stay there for “free”? Does that not in turn have a compound effect on increases & bonus cheques for said “staff & housekeepers”?

And Now for the video response from ELLE DARBY:


FIRSTLY I just have to say, MEGA CRAZY Love to Elle for somehow finding the courage to not only stand up for herself but also for the blogging & influencer community. Because after scrolling through the negative comments across the different social media platforms, I honestly am in AWE of her bravery & stature. It’s like a tsunami of hated all directed at her. Are we really going to let her face it ALL alone? Or can the vision of us all standing behind her in support & solidarity come to fruition? or is the hashtag #BloggersUnite all for show & nothing but a side ways glance?
Let’s tackle some of the common negative comments I’ve seen so far:
{in sarcasm} that no-one knew who/what Universal Orlando was before her
Everyone KNOWS what the Hilton is, everyone KNOWS that Disney World is, everyone even KNOWS what Two-Ply toilet papers is. But what Influences them to go there or go here? Or to to buy Two-Ply even…
It’s stimuli. It’s fascination. It’s a change in perspective.
The WHOLE reason I found out about this ELLE DARBY fiasco was because I follow my mentor online & anything she throws attention to is Worth my time & effort to view.

Get a Real Job, Live in the Real World:

A 100 years ago, YOUR “job” could’ve been looked down upon and not treated as a “Real” job. A 100 years from now, Influencing could be considered a normality while something else could be considered “not a real job”.
I, however do not consider Influencing & Blogging a “job”. I consider it a business of self employment. You are your own boss, you work your own hours, you pay your own expenses & salary. A real business with real potential & real rewards.

{in sarcastic disbelief} She outed/exposed herself by attaching her name to the post.

Ofcourse she did! That was the ENTIRE intention. Because prior to her even posting the video & Paul’s barely concealed screenshot, plenty of “trolls” as they were, found out her name & commented across all her social media about the video. So instead of shrinking back, she stepped forward and released the video with her response & reaction. It’s NOT the be all & end all of comebacks. Nor do I endorse everything she says. But she did it in the moment & said whatever she needed to in order to clear her heart & her mind of the negativity she’d received. There’s a beautiful nakedness to her honesty & that should be respected.

She’s spoiled & entitled & the whole blogging community is this way too

As stated above, most influencers do approach brands. Yes, we do get approached but sometimes the situation calls for specificity. In this scenario ELLE was planning on a romantic getaway for her & her bae during the Valentines Rush. Any ONE of our emails & query messages could be USED at ANY time by any troller to publicly ridicule & judge against. This is why I believe that Every Blogger needs to care about the incident.

If I didn’t do it justice here is an EPIC BADASS Tweet THREAD response to the Elle Darby uncalled for hatred & discrimination:
Tweet is by Riley J. Dennis

A similar incident happened to me now that I think back. Not nearly to this kind of level of outcry but similar none the less.
In the Spirit of ELLE, I’m going to be brave & “expose” the situational scenario that occurred.
Back when I first started blogging, I had attached to the bottom of my emails “donations are appreciated”, an innocent enough remark however one taken all too personally:

This was my polite & firm reply:

This is just to illustrate in my experience of the situational scenario & response but to also point out that this was NOT the general consensus. As stated, more often than naught, people were willing & even initiated to pay to be featured. For a variety of reasons, such as no influence base, no time to do the marketing or admin, humbly supporting their social media friends and so on. None of which are negative reasons but all understandable ones & somewhat even smart ones. Such as writers just being published who have full time day jobs. or Business owners & start ups who want to place focus where focus belongs, on their business & its sustainable growth.

I’d also like to point out, that whether or not my site remains a “free” site or a “blogspot” site, is my personal choice & preference & reflects nothing towards the “earnings” nor integrity of a blogger.
Futhermore, those people &/or businesses that were rude or arrogant towards me in the beginning have now been trying to get back in contact with me to do “social media influencing” for them. {fact not opinion}

Brilliant post by @sirenabergman !!! She covers every point of the @elledarby incident quite eloquently & at the same time Firmly stating Facts, not just opinions. I hope this serves to enlighten those that had negative things to say about our industry & elle herself.

Here is a video stating that Paul is a Hypocrite while providing proof that He, HIMSELF has stayed in places for free or received special treatment due to his “influence”.


Paul Also created a video in partnership with Jen Hatton Sketches
Where they proceed to illustrate all the very worse parts of Social Media Influencing & those that take advantage of backhanded methodology. i.e. buying followers or apparently being nonchalant at an event & still getting paid.

Again I feel like they have both been posting in a way that conveys this is GENERAL Influencer behavior especially in the context of the ELLE Darby Scandal. I also feel that this is NOT the General consensus nor commonly known behavior of a blogger. If you take the time to look you’ll the see the majority of Real & Tangible followers with Real & tangible interaction. Even if it’s each other commenting on each others work in support.

Influencer Marketing when used in the correct context, can be very lucrative & rewarding. And just like any job or business you love doing, you HAVE got to put in the effort, the passion & the work! Are you up with us all odd hours of the night writing our blog posts in advance? Are you there when we’re in sweltering heat with our cameras taking all kinds of angled pictures or DIY’ing an At-Home Photoshoot studio? Are you there when we spend hours & hours of collective replying & interacting with our following to ensure engagement on our social media? Are you there when we’re mostly seated at our desks for the entire day at times, creating content & providing admin for our clients? All the while still making time for family & other priorities at home?

That being said, we do lead somewhat charmed & exclusive lives.

  • We get to travel the world {without or without a review}
  • Eat the craziest & best foods {without or without a review}
  • Stay in the best hotels {without or without a review}
  • Drive the latest models in cars {without or without a review}
  • Brands send us “FREE” clothes &/or merchandise to test out {without or without a review}
  • Marketing departments want to collaborate with us to create a Social Media Campaign
  • We meet, interact & even befriend powerful figures in society. I.e Les Brown
  • We interview celebrities about their upcoming projects.
  • We’re invited to glamorous parties & exclusive screenings.

Nothing comes for “FREE”, everything is an exchange of energy input & output. Nor do we “Influence” anything and Everything that comes our way. We learn to Say No too just like any other business, we’re eclectic about who and what we support.

Louis Cole has over a million followers a piece on both youtube & twitter. He posted this Today!

Know Your WORTH!

You earned your blog/website, you earned your content, you earned your following, you earned your influence, you earned your exclusivity & you Most assuredly Earned the RIGHT to quote potential client’s in kind.
NO ONE, young or old, rich or poor, white or black, gay or straight, angry or calm, man or woman, christian or Buddhist, over weight or under weight, scientific or artistic, green eyed or brown eyed. NO ONE can ever take away your Worth. Only you Know it & only you control it.
I’ve come a long long way since the blog first started & a lot of my success is due to knowing & finally accepting my worth. I Still have a ways to go & I remain ever coachable towards there always being A Next Level to reach for. I will always be grateful & humble for what I have.

Lastly I’d just like to send MASSIVE MEGA TONS of Love & Positivity Elle’s way! Those comments can be so so draining even for the strongest of strong. You are a true ROCKSTAR & you have a forever fan in me. Thank you, Arigato & Gracias~

I’ll leave you with this quote:

My Mentor, Elayna Fernadez ~aka~ The POSITIVE MOM will also provide, what I’m sure will be a much more eloquently word & delivered account of this incident so be on the look out for that post.

 {Title & Link Here}

Truly sorry the post was so long today & I already love you if you’ve read this far. But any one who knows me will tell you I don’t work with word counts & rebel against limitations. The posts are, as they’ve always been, as long or as short as Needed.

🔥The Elle Darby Scandal & Why EVERY Blogger Should Care🔥 _ ⚠️☢️☣️POST: ⚠️☢️☣️ _ DEAR SOCIAL INFLUENCER, YOU SHOULD CARE BECAUSE THIS COULD LITERALLY HAPPENED TO YOU, TO ANY OF US. 🆘 Here’s a quick breakdown of the incident if you haven’t heard: ☯️ 🔘 @ElleDarby_ sent an email to the owner of the Charleville Lodge Hotel in Dublin 🔘 The 22-year-old asked for a free stay in exchange for social media promotion 🔘 Owner Paul Stenson poured scorn on the request and posted the email online 🔘 Ms Darby responded with a YouTube video saying his actions led to her being bullied by online trolls 💓 FIRSTLY I just have to say, MEGA CRAZY Love 🤗to Elle for somehow finding the courage to not only stand up for herself but also for the blogging & influencer community. 💔 Lastly I’d just like to send MASSIVE MEGA TONS of Love & Positivity⚡🎊 Elle’s way! Those comments can be so so draining even for the strongest of strong. You are a true ROCKSTAR & you have a forever fan in me. Thank you, Arigato & Gracias~ 💗 #amblogging #socialmedia #influencer #entrepreneur #ElleDarby #BloggersUnite @Shaunvlog vid included in post
A post shared by Enricoh Alfonzo (@alfonzowords) on Jan 19, 2018 at 9:22pm PST
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© Enricoh Alfonzo ~ Alfonzo Words

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~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres

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31 Responses

  1. I like how you said this! We work hard and should know our worth.

  2. Hi E welcome back! I have been quietly following the story and as a blogger myself I cannot take her side on this one but I would be able to reconsider as more light is being put on the situation.

    As my friend and fellow blogger you asked for my opinion, I kind of wanted to stay quiet as I really have no business making judgements on other people but seeing as I’ve been asked I’ll let my opinion at this stage be public (it can of course change)

    This whole story had taken the blogging industry by storm and there’s so much to learn from this. I am not going to go into all the many details but I think it’s really interesting how this whole situation played out.

    Here’s how I feel in a nutshell;

    The White Moose Cafte seems to have established themselves as a brand who roasts people to say the very least. They are Irish and maybe get Irish humor or understand their way of speaking I get them. before Elle came along if she had done her research she should have been aware of how this could have possibly went. She seemed way too shocked at how they handled this but judging from their tone in previous posts they are really brash and rude. I feel this is their brand, they turn controversy into publicity .

    Elle outed herself, some may believe she is brave? And she truly might be But I can’t see the bravery in her video. I watched it the whole thing.

    The internet is a bad place once something is out there sent privately or not it can be exposed. Of course Paul bashed her for a very innocent email and some can say he shouldn’t have but I don’t know. There’s so many arguments that one can have for both sides but I’ll stick with the white moose on this one just because they were true to their brand.

    From a personal perspective and a bloggger myself I had sent a mail asking for free stuff a few years back by the encouragement of another bigger blogger. It felt wrong but this is how the blogger industry works, if you don’t ask you won’t get?? I sent the mail and was politely rejected. Thankfully I was not roasted I’m not sure how my reaction would have been but I know I would have accepted their stance because I sure as hell am not entitled to anything someone else has worked hard for.

    Getting free stuff is awesome I scored a few free things in my time and to be really honest the brands I worked with implied that they wanted a good review of the product or show I attended. I tried my best to be true to me by promoting the brand but also slipping in some cons here and there but always keeping my tone positive towards the brand.

    Marketing and media are changing rapidly, people look to bloggers for opinions because some of of us seem real but to be really honest a lot of our bloggers are not being authentic.

    I don’t know where my blogging career will end up because when I did it full time I hated how the blogger industry worked. For now I am focused on getting my degree and pursuing a career in journalism because for me People don’t take blogging seriously and I cannot turn it into the career I want because of how complexed it is. Maybe my view will change but for now this is where I am.

  3. Can you ever.
    I get that people have their own opinions and point of view but really. Does it make him feel like a bigger n better person to put someone else down.
    All she did was offer a service and tried to make it something that both parties could benefit from and if he felt it unfair then all that was needed to say was no. Not a long winded judgy story about a person who he doesn't even know and is making assumptions about.

    People can be too quick to judge. And most don't put themselves in other people's shoes, if they did then the world would truly be a better place to live in

  4. I feel that blogging is taking the marketing world by storm and from that perspective I would like to share these points:

    – Its an innocent modern day barter system.
    – A good way to promote your company because in this day and age people don’t look at the pictures , they look at reviews.
    – What ever happened to corporate social responsibility?
    – Are we really going to set the world back with all this epicaricacy?

    I think that anyone who is willing to take risks and put themselves out there to get what they want are strong and brave.
    I really admire her drive and commitment. I could never blog. I take the proverbial hat out to her.
    Gosh have your’ll forgotten what it was to be so young.
    And yes! She is young.
    Who has really considered their actions at 22, at 22 you’re excited about opportunities you may get.
    And let’s not be hypocrites here, your’ll like free stuff, it’s your bonus, and it’s humbling when people acknowledge your efforts. Who your’ll fooling?

    My message to Elle Darby is don’t let ignorance effect your dreams. Keep your head high.
    Much ❤️

  5. Paul is an influenser – as he likes to throw around he has 90k people following him on snapchat alone and allows paid sponsorship, on his bog (not blog apparently), YouTube etc.. He is well known for these stunts, he has now banned bloggers, vegans, over 65s, gluten free people and breast feeding Mums from his establishment. This sort of press is his bread and butter and all anyone is doing by talking it is feeding his ego. He likes to roast people.

    Elle shouldn't have had to have dealt with the outcry, however a bit of research would have shown her quickly what sort of business they are.

  6. Wendy Polisi says:

    People just don't know how to show any respect anymore. To each his own is not said enough on the internet; but it isn't like it would do any good.

  7. You are perfectly right! I think that anyone must pay for the service that receives!

  8. I have watched the video. Influencer marketing is something very important and although the older generation might not get it, the younger does and they are this hotel's prospective clients! Even though Elle might have not paid for her stay, she would have still produced content in exchange for it. There is still payment. And exposing her to bullies like that is just childish and hypocritical in his situation

  9. This has garnered so much attention in the blogging and online world, and there is much to be learned from it on both sides! I honestly do not like the way the guy handled any of this at all. And I also have to say that I've been shocked at some of the comments I've read from non-bloggers and their opinion of bloggers.
    I think that many people just don't get it or understand all that is involved in the work bloggers do. I totally agree with you about how we should know our worth. I struggle with this constantly, and it shows in how I under-charge, but it is also my goal for this year to work on this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Those very young bloggers actually influence and teach young generation, new members of society, and new customers.
      Today most of people are lined behind the blogger: she is so innocent, she (and all bloggers) is so hardworking without night sleep etc., she is so famous, she is so young… Definitely, yes.
      But – it is just not professional to complain about your ordinary life issues in public vlog …. If she/he truly wants to be an influencer.
      Our beloved bloggers innocently have taken serious position and high responsibility – and they should think twice how to do this. As a modern journalists they are responsible for their word and actions. And – they should to learn how other businesses work, not to underestimate other people, to keep themselves safe, and to earn their money without tears. Lots of LOVE to Elle!

  10. Ron Leyba says:

    This really became the talk of the town for days now. I guess the blogger / social media influencer learned a lesson in here. It's now up to here how she will react to this.

  11. Know your worth. No matter what you do, someone will have something to say. Keep going.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Oh Gawd, she get turned down and goes and cries about it. The place posted the email and kept her anonymous. She freaks. Grow the fuck up. GTFO.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Also occurs to me that the hotel has generated THEIR own form of free publicity. By telling the snowflake to GTFO, they have sparked tons of press and perhaps their existing account base, you know, the ones that already go there and SPEND MONEY there are going "YES!!"

  14. Anonymous says:

    Can I point out that you said as an influencer you are self-employed and pay your own expenses. The hotel stay would therefore be exactly that – a business expense. If you want it to be respected as a proper job, don't expect freebies.

  15. i'm so proud of her. it's her youtube channel guys she can do whatever the hell she wants with it.

    I dunno why people acting like this Would NEVER happen to them. it like if you send your boss at work an email asking for a raise or promotion & he then sends it to the WHOLE company & says look at this fool… "whos gonna pay the rest of the staff if i give you an increase…." shit like that.

    y'all needta stop acting high and mighty

    and to answer a part of their rude response: who pays the staff during her stay? um, you do, the hotel. it's called having a marketing budget. you eat the cost of her stay and in return receive targeted advertising for your business. your staff still gets paid.

    if you think it's unfair that influencers get free shit sometimes well then honestly just tough shit lmao as long as businesses are willing to provide goods and services in return for advertising, influencers using their stuff has VALUE

  16. FIRSTLY im not hiding behind "anonymous" comments and posts

    Paul just really blew this whole thing out of proportion! i'm absolutely livid that he would do such a thing when he Himself is an influencer and a blogger but holds neither in high regard. I mean this guy is gay, he's already part of a group of people that have been discriminated against, talked down too & publically shamed. You'd think he'd have some sense of that when doing the same thing to someone else. talking down to her. insulting her career path, her dignity & her innocent query. I've read that email there was absolutely NOTHING wrong with it.
    I love your logic on his whole bit with the paying the staff and how influencer marketing ties into that.

  17. wait am i suppose to feel guilty now every time brands give me free stuff like the kingsman shaving cream i got? whats the diff in swapping that around & asking a brand for the same thing they just gave me for free?

    yes in HINDsight sure there are many lessons you can learn from this drama fest but i honestly believe this was such an innocent mistake. like giving an inappropriate answer on a test but instead of politely imparting wisdom the teacher turns around and makes an example in front of the entire class ensuring that you now have this permanent scar to bare? where's the empathy for that?

    what about the influencers that Have already received FREE accommodation from either approaching or being approached by brands. ARE they all now "freeloaders" and disrespectful to businesses everywhere or Just this woman?
    like ricokun said, nothing is Free. its all an exchange of energy input and output.

    the pitch might have most certainly been rushed and haphazardly placed together in a generic way to multiple hotels yes. But if you watch her videos she has her own unique spirit & way for influencing. Her own spin on videos & video reviews.

  18. hahahaha!!! love the sass here!!! exactly! its like anything else. some have perks others dont. NO NEED to get bitter about it. like if YOUR journey at blogging and influencing failed and you fell back to go get a degree or some qualification instead then GOood on ya! but that dont mean you gotta through shade at the people succeeding and rocking social media! if they get freebies from it and if they get perks dont be bitter about it. celebrate them!

    • Anonymous says:

      You're conflating receiving free things unsolicited with asking for free goods and services of significant value. Not being able to see how, why and to whom this is disrespectful will prevent you from achieving what you want to achieve. I think you should use this episode to reflect on your values.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well Nathaniel Gray let’s see how far those freebies are getting you in 10 years compared to those who got degrees and entered professions. Good luck ��

  19. Anonymous says:

    Real world bites back, sorry snowflake. Grow up.

  20. Missy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing Elle's story. I haven't heard about this yet, and now I want to visit her page and show my support.

    I'm disgusted by the hotel's response to her. A simple "Not interested" would have sufficed. I will never stay at that hotel – EVER.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Did you actually delete my comment pointing out your list of charmed and exclusive things bloggers receive that mere mortals do not being shallow and vain and that maybe you should take a look at your value system and who you are s a person of those are the things that are important to you?

    What about trying to make a difference in the world or donating time to charity or giving a shit about the environment? Oh wait, those things get in the way of the glamorous parties and eating the craziest best foods. Are you 12?

    Here’s a thought. Why don’t you use your power as a “social media influencer” to try and make a positive difference in the world? Rather than fooling yourself that you’re some hotshot living the high life.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Why and when a company refuse to cooperate with a blogger?

    Elle says like: people over 30 don’t understand what the Blog World can do andwhat it means at all! Actually, it is not the reason
    Some reasons here:
    1. If a Blogger does not have previous agreement with Company. Successful company choose their PR co-partners very carefully depending of their business profile and targets.
    Company's Marketing Plan obviously consider teamwork with bloggers today too. But they are chosen carefully. There is no way to give free accommodation/food/ jewelry/cosmetics to everyone who is trying his/her luck.

    2. If a Blogger has no respect to future co-partner, no preparation.

    Often, literally just from nowhere, companies receive a mail:

    /No name of person to whom it was sent. Usually it means same mail was sent to many companies/

    Im (wellknown) blogger ………. from ……… and I want write about your product/hotel/cosmetics etc.
    As a coincidence, I have a small baby/toddler/grandmother etc. Or: I want to explore your country/city……. Or: I prepare for my hubby’s birthday and want to make nice suprice for him etc. So I decided to get to know….., to buy maybe in future…, to visit ……, to stay in your hotel……..

    Please send me to try/samples…/ voucher / give me a free meal…/free accommodation…/ free ticket to… etc.
    For return I will write about your product in my blog ………………………..

    3. If there is Lack of work ethoc. No a company will work with you if you write nasty comments/articles:

    – Oh, yes, the shop YY sent me tons of their cosmetics, enough for whole year, but this is all crap for me… Yes, I promised to write about their products. But I did not promise to write positively. Don’t understand why they are upset?!

    – Um, I (the blogger) need a new lipstick/ trousers/ flight ticket to X …. Well, I will ask from the boutique XX, they sell this, definitely they can not refuse to me.

    Unfortunately, Bloggers are PR-people. And they have freedom to say their opinion in public, to use their word's power….
    But – freedom is responsibility first.

  23. Mira says:

    I feel that this is a very heated topic. And to be honest I have my opinions 'for' and 'against' both sides. Regardless of that, I think both of the parties got more "exposure" than either one of them expected.

  24. Vannessa says:

    This very unfair what has happened.Social Media Influencers work very hard through the night and day. They should be given respect for what they do.My only advise Let Haters Be and Go on doing the good work you do !!!Quote :"Throw me to the Wolves and I will Come Back the Leader of the Pack"

  25. Robert Smith says:

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