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Like it or not, it seems as though influencer culture is here to stay. For those who fall into the “not” category, all you can do is roll your eyes and remind yourself that the breezy, whimsical photos and stories posted to Instagram are not real life. Unless you happen to be a business owner, that is, in which case you can just delete influencers right out of your establishment.
And that’s precisely what one Taiwanese cafe decided to do. After getting fed up with these worshipers of the ‘gram running amok, Mittsume Desserts in Taipei, Taiwan decided to enact a very strict “no influencers” policy.
This week the cafe made it abundantly clear in an Instagram post that influencers were no longer welcome at Mittsume Desserts.
“Starting today, it is forbidden to take personal photos from the seat,” reads the post. “Please take photos on your own seat, please do not change your position to take pictures. Any online beauty is strictly prohibited.”
Apparently, the popular cafe was having issues with influencers actually interfering with the experience of other customers—and even bringing “props” such as books to boost their posts.
The new rules also include: “No standing on chairs for photo-taking, no photographing other customers or taking photos with other customers’ meals, no moving of shop furniture for photo-taking, and no outside food allowed.
When a business is forced to set rules like that, the “no influencers” policy seems … not that unreasonable?
In a follow-up post, Mittsume Desserts elaborated on the cafe’s new policies.
“We understand if you want to document a cake you ate today or a nice corner of the cafe; we will not interfere with that,” it reads. “But contemporary internet culture and the culture of social media tagging has seriously crossed the line between strangers and infringed on the balance between shop owners and customers. We will not remove our no-influencers policy. We are not restricting photo-taking, but just hope that everyone can stay in their seats and not disturb others.”
In addition to the new rules, Mittsume Desserts will no longer admit patrons under the age of 16 due to photography concerns. The cafe’s profile also specifies one drink per person and no groups of more than four people allowed at a time.
“Please respect the space and other people, this cafe reserves the right to refuse service,” it adds.
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Stacey Ritzen is a reporter and editor based in West Philadelphia with over 10 years' experience covering pop culture, web culture, entertainment, and news. You can follow her on Twitter @staceyritzen.