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27th Mar 2018

Irish influencers are being called out for blogging while driving

Michael Lanigan

Well, they never said they were GOOD influencers.

For anybody who became hooked on the Instagram account @bullshitcallerouter; the anonymous account that gained fame for publicly criticising the dishonest and dodgy practice of Irish influencers, the news that the page was shut down likely felt like a loss.

There will always be too many influencers and far too few critics, but that’s how it goes.

Still, there is always one, and in this instance, the account policing the activity of influencers is @bloggersunveiled, which first appeared several days after ‘Aoibhinn,’ the administrator for @bullshitcallerouter, was said to have been hospitalised.

However, while @bullshitcallerouter frequently focussed on instances of influencers manipulating images and in one instance, the rigging of a competition so that their close friends could win the prize, @bloggersunveiled has been paying attention to genuinely harmful practices, specifically dangerous driving.

The page’s effort to draw attention to what is indisputably an illegal practice began when they shared a clip of everyone’s favourite moral commentator on all things unsavoury within the blogosphere; Paul Stenson of the White Moose Cafe.

In the clip, the owner of the controversial cafe was purported to be allegedly driving on a snow-covered road during Storm Emma.

It wasn’t long before Stenson fired back, writing:

“The worst that can happen during a red alert is human death. And that’s why we don’t drive during a red alert. But I see what you’re doing. You’re showing a video taken last night, where no warning was in place, and purporting that it was taken this evening when there is a warning in place. I presume this is a bid to get more followers for yourself.”

Proceeding to belittle the account for only having approximately 5,000 followers (as of 27 March they have 49,000), it wasn’t long before @bloggersunveiled came back onto him with footage of the cafe owner clearly driving while making a video.

It almost goes without saying that Stenson didn’t respond this time around.

Neither did this prove to be a singular event, as the @bloggersunveiled have found it to be a recurring issue among bloggers.

Another example came in the form of bodybuilder and Fulfil Nutrition brand ambassador Andy Maher, who told his Snapchat followers that there was no need to call him out for blogging while in the car, because he was in traffic…

…only to continue filming and talking as the car started moving again.

And another one. @andy_maher you have nearly 15k followers and should know better than this. He says he wasn’t driving at the start and then precedes to drive! The irony of him preaching about a health focused motivational speech while he records it from behind the wheel where he could have killed someone. Have I stepped into a parallel universe where this has suddenly become acceptable? These people are driving on the same roads as our families and are going to be responsible for killing someone yet. If you comment, please tag @rsaireland at the end of your comment. The page is public now so the more tags the better. I’m getting fed up with this crap and something needs to be done about it. There is NOTHING that important you have to tell us that can’t wait until you get home. #arrivealive

A post shared by Bloggers Unveiled (@bloggersunveiled) on

Then there was the beauty blogger who felt it apt to show the world her nails…

And the owner of a “creative hairdressing group” who wanted to demonstrate how to drive on a snowy motorway, while holding her phone…

Another one Snapping and driving! @red_velvet_hair_salon @rsaireland

A post shared by Bloggers Unveiled (@bloggersunveiled) on

Oh, and finally Denise McLean, the owner of an award-winning hair salon who decided while driving at 69km per hour (43 mph) that this was the moment to tell people she had bought a coffee and also that it was Tuesday.

The page has also posted a video of a make-up artist from the cosmetics company Inglot, which was since removed after it was reported.

However, a spokesperson for the company issued a statement online, saying they were “aware of a video of an Inglot make-up artist engaging in unacceptable behaviour, shared on social media, that would never be condoned by us, her employer.

“We take this matter very seriously and we are working with HR to take all of the appropriate steps to deal with this situation… [W]e are grateful that this was brought to our attention.”

Under Irish road safety regulations, drivers who are caught “accessing information” on mobile phones face a mandatory court appearance and a fine of up to €1,000 for a first offence, even if the device is in a hands-free kit.

A spokesperson for the Road Safety Authority commented on the issue, saying:

“Our message is simple. Don’t use a mobile phone – for any reason when you are behind the wheel of a car. This applies to situations while driving or when stopped in traffic. Social media influencers have an added responsibility, as people in positions to influence the behaviour of others, to set a good example and demonstrate the correct behaviour.”

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