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The Owner Of The Cleveland Flea Is Facing Major Backlash After Posting On Facebook

Cleveland Flea
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Tanya Chen
Stephanie Sheldon



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   Negativity   64.00%
The New York Times
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Others simply didn't understand why she was curtly turning down things they said were genuine suggestions.In response to the barrage of accusations and Facebook fallout, Sheldon told BuzzFeed News she received "mostly good and helpful feedback," some that were "off-mark," and some she "felt like criticism for the sake of criticism."Last week, Sheldon posted to Facebook asking "what people would be excited to see at the markets when we return in 2021." (She previously announced that she's canceling the Cleveland Flea this year, saying it grew too fast and she wants to take a break to "dive into the bigger solution" of sustaining it.)Multiple people told BuzzFeed News they saw, screenshotted, and engaged with Sheldon's Facebook post at the time, adding that a handful of comments came in with "helpful" and "positive" suggestions, such as making the entry cost-free, subsidizing costs with joint business collaborations, and making the entry application process easier for small businesses.But they felt Sheldon was consistently shutting each comment down."When people responded in a respectful and thoughtful way, but with responses that Stephanie did not like or agree with, she responded with some very condescending and nasty comments," Crystal, a local food blogger who wished only to go by her first name, told BuzzFeed News."All of the initial customer and vendor suggestions that I personally saw were not written in a mean-spirited way. Keep your business opinions to yourself."In another Facebook post, Sheldon seemingly wrote lengthy "RULES OF ENGAGEMENTS" where she listed rules of conduct for how she wanted people to engage with her on the page.Points she emphasized included reminding people that "this is a BRAVE space" and a "space for talking about the fun aspects" and "not a space to poke holes in a small business doing good."Sheldon told BuzzFeed News in an email that she responded to comments "with more emotion than I should have, and [she] regret[s] that."She said the hostility came from people who don't work with her and who don't understand how her business is run, and therefore their opinions are "not substantiated.""The main actors who are pushing this narrative comprise of people who have never been Flea vendors, have not made it through our application process, are associated with a competing Cleveland market, or performed poorly at the Flea while the other businesses around them killed it," Sheldon said over email.

As said here by Tanya Chen