Brussels conference hears of disinformation campaign that almost put cosmetics company PlushBio out of business

This week at the Brussels Press Club journalists heard the story of Ioana Marinescu, a pharmacist, entrepreneur, and founder in 2016 of PlushBio Cosmetics. In 2020, Ioana Marinescu and PlushBio were the victims of a disinformation campaign that almost put the company out of business.

In April of that year a Facebook group was created, with social media "influencer" Nicoleta Dragne apparently alleging that ”PlushBio destroyed my face”.

The group was created around 9 girls who had "troubles” with PlushBio products. – Some 150 influencers stopped promoting the products, some allegedly having received threats.

We are talking about threats that were made to the founders, to the employees, to the influencers who were using our products. We even had a case at one point where the influencer was threatened for her child's life...

Sinziana Ecaterina, spokesperson for PlushBio.

Delegates at the conference heard that social media platforms are hot-beds of fake news. "Social order and democracy are under threat from fake news, that is a well-proven fact," said UK journalist Chris White, adding that some 3 billion people use social media. "I have heard that if you complain the platforms will take stuff down, but it's already spread to tens of thousands of people before it's taken down."

PlushBio spokesperson Sinziana Ecaterina, however, stated that attempts to communicate with Facebook over libellous postings had proved fruitless.

Andy Vermaut, journalist and online reputation manager, suggested that legislation is required to force social media platforms to respond more quickly when fake news is reported. He also introduced the concept of a 'digital identity card'' that would make it possible to identify the purveyors of fake news, libel, and slander.

In the first move of its kind, the UK government is currently working on a Online Safety Bill: "It will determine whether social media remains a wild west saloon or whether it becomes a more curated space... Tweets, blogs and videos would be reviewed and scanned for 'harmful' content," wrote James Forsyth in The Times (May 6th).

"For sure," Crisis Management Consultant Radu Turcescu said, "we need some protections from social media, because social media really can destroy a company and someone's life."

Footnote:

All relevant Romanian control institutions gave PlushBio an ok regarding their factory and products. No one had found anything wrong. After 2 years, no investigation bodies found any merit to the complaints, therefore no charges were formally brought against either the company or the founder. All PlushBio products conform to current Romanian laws and regulations.

https://www.plush-biocosmetics...


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