It’s finally happened – Bloggers Unveiled has come to an end.
Earlier this year an anonymous user created the Bloggers Unveiled Instagram account. They used the platform to call out what they perceived as wrong-doings by bloggers & influencers and the account quickly amassed followers keen to join in – over 220k in fact!
The account focused on bloggers and influencers who were using Photoshop and other editing apps to alter images of themselves without telling their followers, who were running competitions that hundreds entered only to give the prize to a friend, who were white labelling products they were selling but passing them off as their own and charging a premium for them. Basically, if there was something dodgy happening Bloggers Unveiled was going to let everyone know!
Did things go to far?
In the beginning I followed it myself. It was good to know who was being genuine and who wasn’t but after a couple of weeks I unfollowed. You see, things had become very nasty. The comments on every post were dominated by personal attacks on these bloggers and influencers. People were being told to go kill themselves, that they were worthless, that they were fat and ugly. The level of vitriol was unreal.
Make no mistake, I don’t think that conning your followers is okay in any way but I don’t think anyone deserves to have their lives or those of their loved ones threatened. Surely if you find that a blogger or influencer isn’t being truthful you should unfollow them, stop promoting them, refuse to buy their products, etc.
The Bloggers Unveiled account continued on for several months and speculation about who was behind continued too. Things took an odd turn when people who were being accused of being BU began receiving death threats too. EVERYONE IS RECEIVING DEATH THREATS….WHAT IS HAPPENING?!
Here’s where I think it gets interesting…
BU released a statement. They said “There has been an unwavering curiosity around who I am… There are a number of people in the media, as well as private individuals, being targeted. I’ve been contacted by friends and family members of someone this week who have voiced their concerns for the well-being of their friend, who is under suspicion for simply being at an event and doing their job.”
Surely at that point the person behind the account should have realised things had gone too far and shut it down?! But no…”I’m not saying I’m quitting- I won’t quit.”
A living hell
Over the weekend a woman called Ramona Treacy released a statement via The Irish Times to explain how her life had become a ‘living hell’ after people began accusing her of being BU. It has become so bad that gardai have launched a criminal investigation in to the matter.
Following this (and I suspect on advice from legal professionals looking into all of this), the Bloggers Unveiled account was finally deleted after showing the following statement.
All I’ve seen since are people lamenting the fact that the account is gone and people wondering where they’re going to get their gossip from now but I’m delighted that it’s gone. Maybe it did start with noble intentions but I really don’t believe it continued that way. It became a toxic place for people to be hateful and scathing towards others.
What happens next?
I fully believe that bloggers and influencers SHOULD be held accountable for the content they produce and post. They’ve become the face of modern advertising. I can’t help but wonder if the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland was more proactive would this whole situation have come about? The ASAI released new guidelines for bloggers and influencers months ago but so far only one complaint for misleading the public has been upheld and, as Bloggers Unveiled has shown, it’s a massive problem within the community.
So where do we go from here? Will copycat accounts be created? Will the ASAI make changes to their guidelines? Will bloggers and influencers face more regulations? Will we EVER find out who was behind Bloggers Unveiled?
Let me know your thoughts!