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.