Social media ‘influencers’ have become a huge industry, as more and more people spend their time on the likes of Instagram, YouTube and Facebook rather than ‘traditional’ media like newspapers and TV.

According to media branding agency MediaKix, the money being spent on influencers has shot up in recent years and is going to continue upwards. Back in 2015, the industry was worth about $500 million. By 2020, it’s expected to be worth between $5 billion and $10 billion.

With this much money splashing around, you’d think that influencers would be happy to stump up for their own holidays, wouldn’t you? This exchange between British Vlogger Elle Darby and Paul Stenson, owner of The Charleville Lodge Hotel and The White Moose Café in Dublin, might be the beginning of a backlash against entitled influencers and their habit of asking for freebies in exchange for ‘exposure.’

YouTuber Elle Darby sent this email to The Charleville Lodge Hotel, requesting free accommodation

Image credits: whitemoosecafe

Owner Paul Stenson, who also owns The White Moose Cafe, decided to post his reply on Facebook

Image credits: WhiteMooseCafe

Mr. Stenson’s sharp rebuke garnered a huge reaction online, with many people supporting his stance against an industry that we haven’t quite come to grips with yet. Many people see influencers as talentless freeloaders shamelessly hawking products with little more to offer than their looks, and this was reflected in the comments.

Unfortunately, some people took it way too far and Ms. Darby ended up on the receiving end of a torrent of disgusting abuse.

“My issue was not with the refusal of my request but with how he reacted,” she explained in an emotional YouTube video. “A very simple way to have gone about it would have just been a ‘no’ or for the email to be ignored instead of me having death threats and cancer wishes.”