An Influencer reminding me why I don’t like Influencers

This whole industry of Influencers that has popped up in the past 10 years (mostly the last five), it really grinds my gears. I’ve mentioned it a few times on my blog before (here and here and I guess here too).

People all over the world are using their good looks and charm to influence others into taking advantage of people, doing stupid things, or becoming a slave to a corporate entities who give little to no value for their actual products being promoted. I’m talking about you EVERY DETOX TEA ON THE MARKET and anyone who promotes them.

I hate the term Influencer because I’m of the belief that someone who actually uses their influence for good would never want to claim the title of ‘Influencer’. A true Influencer is not a clout chaser, they don’t need the title for validation. This internet breed of Influencer’s we’ve created ourselves (yes, we created them… gave them platforms and are the reason they’re sitting in multi-million dollar mansions wearing 50,000 dollar fur coats) are money hungry, vain and vapid.

As you can tell, I’m not a fan of the industry.

So, I was really unimpressed when I saw a video today of Jamie Zhu, an Australian ‘Influencer’ who posted a video to YouTube with the title ‘How to fly business class for FREE!’

Free, you say? I’d love to travel the world, though I’d never assume that I’d get business class tickets for free. Tell me more, Jamie Zhu. How exactly does this work?

The entire video breeds ‘I’m a smug asshole’ vibes throughout. Jamie goes to the airport Pharmacy, buys a ‘moon boot’ for ankle/foot injuries and wears it onto the plane to then put on a show about how his ankle boot doesn’t fit in the seat and exclaim that he needs a new seat because he has a broken ankle and can’t take the boot off.

Not only does he get upgraded to a first class seat, but he takes the fucking boot off his foot the moment he does. He continues on the video playing up the smug asshole persona throughout and, at the end of the video, walks off the plane without the moon boot as though nothing ever happened.

I’ve never heard of this dude before today, but apparently he’s quite popular in some circles. He has more than 700,000 YouTube subscribers, and this video has been watched more than 150,000 times. I have so many thoughts. Sooooooooooooooo many thoughts.

  1. I don’t buy it. I don’t think this is real. I think he bought and upgrade his seat and put on a show for the clout that he could get on YouTube with this video.
  2. Of the 150,000 people who’ve seen this video, how many of them do you think are naive enough to try this? Using your YouTube channel and influence to promote fraudulent behaviour is not just reprehensible it should be punishable. If nothing else, he should be blocked from flying with this airline anymore.
  3. If this video is real, I really hope someone from this airline has seen it and is considering (if they haven’t already) banning him from being able to fly with them.
  4. Using a disability, even a temporary one at that, is not something that people do to get free fucking stuff. Anyone who has a disability, temporary or permanent can attest. What was one here is insulting.
  5. This also poses a risk of really harming people who have legitimate disabilities because people will watch videos like this and stop believing them.
  6. Using a platform of 700,000 plus people to promote fraudulent behaviour and showcase what a smug asshole you are is a large part of the reason why Influencer culture is so toxic and why your industry is KILLING businesses small and large around the world.
  7. The fact that YouTube hasn’t demonetized this video is part of the reason why I have such issues with YouTube. This idiot is continuing to make ad revenue from people watching this video. Dear Youtube, SHUT THIS SHIT DOWN.

Honestly, I could rant on and on about this. And I probably shouldn’t have even linked his video in this post to start with, because he’s not worth the video getting more views. I get that.

If you do happen to see the video thanks to this post, please don’t be mean. I think more could be done if perhaps you could click to report it? Maybe if enough people report it to YouTube, they might demonetize it? Likely not, but a girl can dream. And, if you’re feeling really motivated, maybe you can share his video to Cathay Pacific. They have various Social Media Platforms which you can reach out to, and an email address on their website here. (Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see the Icons) If it is a legitimate video in which he scammed them for a first class seat, then they should see it. And, if enough people send it to them, perhaps it might make it to the right person who needs to watch it.

Thanks for reading my rant.

47 thoughts on “An Influencer reminding me why I don’t like Influencers

  1. Wow, that’s absolutely horrible. These “influencers” are such BS, it irks me.
    How does that guy still have subscribers after that? Just wow. That’s completely horrible what he did, regardless if real or fake.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I completely understand the outrage…he’s a class act…though I didn’t watch the video…coz I simply can’t handle people like him…they are popular for short period and the are gone for ever….I’m amazed so many people have subscribe his channel and have watched such a video…in my eyes, it’s a pure crime & YouTube is promoting it. Seriously they should open a scrutiny department before people upload such garbage….but apparently it’s all about money, I guess. Don’t give attention to people like him….they are unworthy and their so called popularity / visibility will eventually vanish. Thanks for sharing your thoughts though…I really admire your quality.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree. YouTube should be open to a lot more scrutiny for the things they allow on their platform… for the things they promote on their platform… for the things they allow advertisements to run on. I wonder how the advertisers would feel knowing they were in front of promoting said video.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a legitimate disability and it disgusts me that anyone would pretend for personal gains. I got a ticket upgrade once on a First Great Western train but it was quite by chance that a babbling group of witches got on board and refused to leave our seats (even had the audacity to ask my husband to help them with their luggage), not for a pretend ailment.

    True story for you, I broke my foot about two days before David Beckham broke his, which resulted in a chronic pain “pain site” for me. The difference? David got a moon boot, crutches and physiotherapy. I got sent on my way with four ibuprofen! It’s disgusting that money makes such a huge difference..

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I do think the medical treatments one receives has a lot to do with who you are in the States. In Canada it has a lot more to do with where you are. Some places there’s far more access to quality medical facilities and doctors than others. I’m not too sure what happened to David Beckham, but here you have to pay for boots and physio, even when prescribed by the doctor. Would they have been available to you with purchase? Just asking out of curiosity….

      Like

      1. Here in the UK it’s very subjective and depends on the extent of the injury I think. Unless David Beckham had a different kind of fracture (mine was a stress fracture), then there is nothing obvious for the differential treatment besides money, though I still recommended to a store and had to buy my own crutches. When I snapped a tendon in my wrist, I was given a glamorous beige wrist support for free. Unfortunately, with the state the NHS is in now, resources are sparce and so splints and aids are typically only reserved for those who really need them, though something may be advised and so purchasing them is as simple as visiting Ebay or Amazon. Physiotherapy is typically free though there is usually a long wait time and sessions are typically not more than about 5-6 sessions. More often, you are simply given a leaflet that outlines some exercises for you to do at home.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought of that too. In Canada those moon boots cost like $160. Don’t know how much they cost in Aus, but promoting taking advantage of people for free when there’s clearly a fee attached is rather stupid.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hahaha he should try that with an American airline!!!! No way he will be able to pull that off with us. Also, I HATE what Youtube has become. I cannot believe these degenerates are making 6-7 figures while simultaneously promoting irresponsible behavior. Shame on Youtube for allowing this on their platform.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hmmm ..not sure how you really feel about influencers V. Perhaps you should be more detailed lol.

    All joking aside what that guy did is disgusting and makes me angry. I saw my father in law for every step he took and he never took one damn handout AND he was a Vet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My only hope is that, when the YouTube influencer culture dies and all these people have to go find actual jobs, he has a really hard time finding a job because he’s all over the internet manipulating and lying to people. Is that harsh?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely emailed Cathay yesterday. I also emailed Grammarly to let them know their advertisements were being used on that video and that might not be the look for their brand that they want…

      Like

    1. That’s great. I think if the whole world weren’t influenced by this garbage then we’d probably be safe and he wouldn’t have 700,000 + subscribers. Sadly, there are a lot of people in this world who’ll watch his video and think it’s a great idea.

      Like

  6. I’m with you on this one sister!! I was intrigued by Ms. Jameela Jamil’s campaign called i_weigh which empowers people to think of themselves beyond a number on the scale. As a woman who has overcome an eating disorder, this spike to me and I joined in posting a no makeup selfie with adjectives that describe me. The response to not only mine but hundreds of other people who felt moved to join in and say f you to the influencers like Khloe Kardashian who make millions off shitty products that make you sick just for endorsement dollars, follows and likes. That industry is truly gross. It’s everything that’s wrong in the world of social media in my opinion.
    While bonding with others over Ms. Jamil’s outspoken campaign of truth in the media, editing, photoshopping and body image…I connected with an amazing woman in Australia and we became fast friends. I can say with 100% certainty that if not for her belief and gentle nudging that I start my blog, I wouldn’t be in this space today sharing my story.
    I share this to say there needs to be more truth. Less bullshit flooding our feeds. More real stories of struggle and triumph not consumerism nonsense of products that don’t work and can actually harm you. We decide this with our eyeballs and pocket books. You raise very insightful questions and I love your posts challenging these topics. You do a deeper dive into issues and I applaud you for it V! I always look forward to the next topic you will be discussing on here. Kudos my friend😊👏🙌💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen Jameela’s posts on Instagram and I actually really enjoy when she calls people out. I think, no matter how famous you are, you should always be held accountable… even if you’re a Kardashian.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ll admit, I do follow influencers but that comes secondary to what they actually do. They have FT jobs or have gained their following through making content in creative some way like writing a blog, music, or art. This kind of influencer gives such a horrible name to people who do make things and who are sharing actual tips and life experiences. This is not a tip. Also duck him for using disability as a cause.

    I did read an article about how YouTubers are quitting their FT gigs to focus on making videos, which is a nice luxury, but this won’t last forever. https://mashable.com/article/youtube-influencers-quit-jobs-brooke-miccio-natalie-barbu/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of those ‘I quit my job’ videos and I’m just like… here I am trying so hard to find full time work and they’re just like ‘meh, I don’t care’. It’s a real catch 22 for me. I’d take their job in a heartbeat and they just DGAF

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s how I feel. I wanted to quit being a barista so much and hearing people hating jobs I wanted to do with such disdain and ungratefulness makes me hyper aware of the privilege they have to get and keep a job like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post on something that’s definitely frustrating. I have a post coming out about bloggers not liking the term influencer. It bums me out that a word that could describe someone who genuinely wants to make a difference is tarnished by people with shitty intentions. I wish we could take the word back.

    Liked by 2 people

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