Bleats

This Ice Cream Truck's Clapback At Influencers Is The Coldest Burn Ever

"We couldn’t care less about how many followers you have."

CVT Soft Serve in Los Angeles has taken to their social media accounts to reveal their new policy – if you ask for a free cone, you will pay double.

The ice cream company shared a photo of their co-founder Joe Nicchi holding a sign saying, “Influencers pay double.”

They captioned the snap, “We’ve decided to make this thing official with signage. We truly don’t care if you’re an Influencer, or how many followers you have.

“We will never give you a free ice cream in exchange for a post on your social media page. It’s literally a $4 item…well now it’s $8 for you. #InfluencersAreGross.”

And we totally agree with them. If you can’t afford a $4 ice cream cone, then don’t get one. Plus, CVT seems to be doing well enough on their own without having an influencer sharing a photo of their soft serve.

Another post was captioned, “We couldn’t care less about how many followers you have, and we’re super embarrassed for you when you tell us.”

Speaking with Newsweek, Nicchi said he was getting sick of people trying to get free ice cream so thought he’d make the policy official.

“LA is full of so-called ‘influencers’ with large followings that are actually fake because they most likely paid for likes and follows. Anyone can have a following if they want to pay for it. Google ‘social media bots.’

“The 2019 version of ‘Do you know who I am?’ is ‘I’m an influencer,’ but without the talent.”

The only time CVT Soft Serve has ever given away free ice cream was when the truck went viral in 2014 after offering free soft serve to Bill Murray as part of a special event. Murray accepted with Nicchi sharing this photo of him meeting his “idol”.

He added, “We cater for some pretty big A-list talent in Hollywood, and I have no interest in giving them free product. I have a family and plenty of bills to pay! My kids’ school doesn’t take celebrity photos as a form of tuition payment.”

Fans of CVT shared their support for the post, one wrote, “I hope this becomes a trend!” Another added, “Joe Nicchi for President, 2020!”

Someone else even joked they’d be willing to send Nicchi $4 in support, “I can’t buy ice cream from you because I’m in Philadelphia, but can I Venmo you $4 as a show of solidarity? #ifullysupportthis.”

The ice cream truck isn’t the only company to ban influencers. The White Moose Cafe, a hotel in Dublin, banned all social media influencers after YouTuber Elle Darby shared a video on her channel about being refused a free five-night stay at the hotel.

We said it once, we’ll say it again – if you can’t afford it, you can’t expect to receive it for free simply because of how many followers you have. Especially if it seems pretty obvious they’re bought followers.

BUT, a lesson to learn from all of this, is that if you’re Bill Murray you might just be an exception to the rules.

Social Media Has Been Blocked In Sri Lanka Following Attacks To Shut Down Conspiracy Theories

Unsurprisingly, people aren't happy.

The Sri Lankan government has blocked access to social media sites following the attacks that killed at least 207 people on Easter Sunday. The ban was imposed with the hope it will stop the spread of conspiracy theories that could lead to more violence.

Unsurprisingly, people aren’t happy about it and the ban has drawn criticism from those who are trying to connect with their loved ones. It also raises concerns about Sri Lankans not having access to timely information.

In a statement Udaya R Seneviratne, Secretary to the President, said the government had “taken steps to temporarily block all social media avenues until the investigations are concluded”.

Sri Lankan security personnel walk through debris following an explosion in St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, north of the capital Colombo, on April 21, 2019.

The eight explosions on churches and hotels injured over 450 people and are being reported as suicide bomb attacks.

According to The Guardian, Facebook said they’re “aware of the government’s statement regarding the temporary blocking of social media platforms”.

“Teams from across Facebook have been working to support first responders and law enforcement as well as to identify and remove content which violates our standards.”

The publication also reports that while Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and WhatsApp have been unavailable since 2pm local time, Twitter is still available.

Roshni Fernando, a resident of Columbo, told the Guardian she received unverified information before the social media block.

She said, “Prior to WhatsApp being shut down I was sent a document naming two suicide bombers.” The government has not yet named any of the attackers.

It’s not the first time the Sri Lankan government has shut down social media in the aftermath of violence. In March last year, they also banned the sites after an attack on a Buddhist temple in Abathanna triggered anti-Muslim riots in Kandy.

The Washington Post reports Sanjana Hattotuwa, a senior researcher at Centre for Policy Alternatives in Colombo who monitors social media for fake news, saw a significant amount of false reports following the bombings.

Mr Hattotuwa also revealed that there were many false reports of the death toll as well as on the rumoured perpetrators. Two stories that were being shared with unverified information included an Indian media reports attributing the attack to Muslim suicide bombers. As well as a tweet from a Sri Lankan minister about a report warning of an attack.

The government has arrested 13 unnamed people in relation to the attacks and, at this stage, no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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