Marie Claire UK by Jenny Proudfoot
It’s pretty shocking…
Unless you’re a social media phobe the chances are that you will have heard of Vero, with everyone who’s anyone seeming to have downloaded the app in the past few days.
Despite launching in 2015, the photo-sharing app hailed ‘the new Instagram’ only came onto our radar this week, going viral instantly and reaching number one on Apple UK’s App Store.
But given the fact that ‘Vero fever’ started just days ago, it is surprising to see how much of a backlash the app has already received, with a lot of unhappy users now deleting it from their phones.
But it’s not the technical glitches or the struggle to meet demand that is losing Vero fans, people are instead turning against the app because of its CEO, Ayman Hariri, and his controversial past.
Ayman Hariri is the billionaire son of assassinated Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, whose previous business reportedly committed multiple ethics violations.
After taking over the family’s billion-dollar construction firm, Saudi Oger, after his father’s death, Ayman was reportedly forced to shut down the company ($3.5 million in debt) last year due to mismanagement, leaving thousands of unpaid migrant workers without food, water or medical care.
According to Reuters, it got so bad that the Saudi Labour Minister Mufrej al-Haqbani told them in 2016 that he had threatened to take the company to court.
It’s hardly surprising therefore that people are deleting their Vero accounts, worried incase they are endorsing a platform built on ethics violations.
’So, Vero… on top of technical issues, I’m not hearing too many positive things about the founder, or his other business dealings either,’ tweeted user Cody Seelye. ‘Not cool for the platform claiming to be “True and Authentic”’, using the hashtag, #deletemyaccount, which has gone on to trend on Twitter.
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