Food website that ‘fixed’ recipes by removing adverts taken down after backlash

Megan Baynes, PA
·3-min read

A website that allowed users to view online recipes without adverts or introductory blurbs from food bloggers has been taken down, following a backlash from content creators.

Recipeasly said it wanted to “fix online recipes” by removing adverts and “life stories”, however, it was taken down within hours after complaints and criticism on social media.

Food writer Kat Kinsman tweeted: “Wait, so you are just stealing content, eliminating context and creator revenue, and diminishing the labour that is the only way these recipes exist in the first place because you have decided the humans behind them are annoying?”

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Tom Redman, one of the creators of the platform, tweeted that it was being taken offline following the backlash.

He said: “We have nothing but respect and admiration for the time, money, effort and years that go into creating great recipes & websites. We don’t want to minimize your results for that hard work and we’ve built Recipeasly carefully to make sure this doesn’t happen.

“Clearly, how we’re marketing Recipeasly doesn’t demonstrate that respect at all. We missed the mark big time and I’m sorry.”

Critics said the website would take advertising revenue away from largely female creators and bloggers.

Jenna Farmer, 35, from Warwickshire, blogs about her experience with Crohn’s disease on her site A Balanced Belly.

She told the PA news agency: “The suggestion that we write these introductions to tell a story and the meaning behind the recipe and do that just to make money is really offensive.”

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She said the blurb was “really important” to her recipes, and worried what would happen if that was removed.

Mrs Farmer added: “Lots of us pour our heart and soul into recipes so if you’re a writer I think it’s natural to want to explain it.

“It’s worth noting lots of the time you get emails saying things like ‘is this suitable for x diet’ or ‘can I swap x for x’ so I’ve started to make my posts longer purely to anticipate these kinds of questions.

“That’s what worries me about this kind of site, because my recipes are so personal to gut health, I feel it’s important to explain the ingredients.”

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She said the other issue was the removal of ad content, as she currently earns approximately 1.5p per page view.

“We don’t make a lot of money, but it’s the time, and some people use professional equipment,” she said, citing hosting fees and web designs as other expenses.

“People are getting those recipes for free, and the small act of scrolling and seeing an ad is why they are getting all those recipes for free,” she said.

The Recipeasly website landing page now says: “Given the feedback, we are taking recipeasly.com down as we re-examine our impact. We commit to making changes where we have fallen short.”