Friday, 5 Mar 2021

Kiwi social media influencers settle out of court after online stoush

Two social media influencers have settled out of court following a bitter online stoush over the online sale of gifted products from top fashion labels.

Makaia Carr hit out at Simone Anderson earlier this year after Anderson claimed money she earned from selling gifted clothing online had been donated to charity.

Anderson, who rose to fame in 2015 after losing 92kg and blogging about it, began Simone’s Second Hand Wardrobe around three years ago.

She sold clothing and accessories gifted to her by fashion labels trying to leverage sales from her celebrity endorsement.

Anderson claimed all of the proceeds went to charity, which was disputed by Carr.

Subsequent online posts from Carr resulted in her being served an order under the harmful Digital Communications Act on July 9.

The Instagram posts by Carr referenced comments made by Anderson about race in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I accept that Ms Anderson’s posts were well-intentioned and with the benefit of hindsight, I would have phrased my posts differently,” Carr said in a statement released to media tonight.

Carr said she was asked to look into Anderson’s charity claims after people contacted her about whether the donations were real.

The people who messaged Carr claimed they were deleted or banned from Anderson’s page after raising questions directly with her.

Carr said she contacted Anderson directly but did not get a response.

In May, Carr started to speak out about the matter on her Instagram account, asking Anderson to provide customers with receipts and proof of the charity donations.

“Honesty, integrity, and transparency by social media influencers are important to me as a
long-standing member of the influencer community,” she said.

Carr had also called out other social media influencers for accepting freebies during the country’s difficult economic period and encouraged them to “support local”.

In the statement, Carr said she had since seen 12 receipts which showed Anderson donated $22,000 to multiple charities between June 2 and October 1 this year.

“There were no donations made before 2 June 2020,” Carr said.

In June, the Herald reported the Commerce Commission had received a complaint about Anderson’s secondhand clothing page.

Anderson later shut down the Facebook page and a Trade Me account as the Advertising Standards Authority launched an investigation.

The authority’s investigation stemmed from a complaint about whether the content should be deemed advertising and if so whether the advertising was appropriately identified.

Four complaints about Anderson’s Instagram posts were later upheld.

In her statement, Carr said the Commerce Commission had decided it would not take any further action into the complaint against Anderson.

“In sum, Ms Anderson made charitable donations after I raised the donations issue online and the Commerce Commission received the complaint,” Carr said.

“I commend Ms Anderson for doing the right thing and making these donations to many amazing charities.”

In her own statement released tonight, Anderson said the case involved different social media posts by Carr that a court reviewed “and subsequently made interim orders preventing her from mentioning me online under the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015”.

However she and Carr had “reconciled” with the pair agreeing to settle out of court.

“I have a passion for helping the less fortunate and have worked alongside a number of charities in the past few years, utilising my large platform to reach a lot of people and generate donations and awareness for multiple charities.”

Anderson said she donated $22,000 to several charities, including The Kindness Collective, Child Cancer Foundation, Dementia Auckland, and others.

“Over the November/December period of 2019 I donated large collections of PR parcels and personal items on multiple occasions to The Kindness Collective. I also shared their story and great work a number of times on my social media to get the word out about them.

“I have continued to do this ever since, and have also worked with a number of brands to provide large amounts of items like kitchen utensils, general household items and nappies to assist the refuges and other work they do.”

Both the influencers hoped to move on from the stoush, wishing each other “the best”.

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