Social media firestorms are becoming pretty common lately. These firestorms are huge uproars against inappropriate comments shared on social media. Anything shared with the public on a social media site is visible to the entire world. The Internet has made the world a global village, whereas social media has invited everyone in the global village to live in the same house. Sharing a message with the different groups of contacts is like speaking to people in different rooms in a house. They know it the moment you send the message.
Social media is a double-edged sword which builds you castles of fame when used in the right way and destroys those castles in a matter of seconds when used in the wrong way. This makes it necessary for celebrities to be extremely careful about what they are sharing on social media sites. Failing to do so stirs up the wrath of all people who are offended and those who are in favor of those people. Though the concerned person apologizes, it sows bitterness, the fruits of which the sower has to reap. There are some social media firestorms that caused virtual unrest and taught important lessons in 2012.
Social Media Firestorms in 2012
Inappropriate Comments on the U.S. President
Marisha Agana, a Republican in Ohio’s 13th Congressional District compared the U.S. President to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong in a tweet early this month. It started a firestorm before even she could have realized the consequence. It not only affected her repute but also the party to which she belongs. The undesirable tweet made her apologize for what said but it triggered a series of comments condemning her. She would not have made the comment had she given a little thought on the consequences.
Papa John’s Pizza
This happened a few days after Ms. Marisha Agana’s firestorm. The CEO of Papa John’s Pizza commented on Obama care health insurance. It created a storm of comments on their Facebook page. The good part is that it brought to light the ways businesses get off without paying for the health insurance of their employees.
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Camp Ramah Canada
It is another example which revealed the discriminatory decisions of Camp Ramah. Camp Ramah has not gone much into the social waters but had to face serious criticisms against turning down Solomon, a blind child from joining the camp. As they had to appoint special staff to take care of Solomon’s needs, the camp didn’t want to have him as part of their camping program. His father found Camp Ramah’s Facebook page is the way to solve the problem. The supporters made Ron Polster, the director of the camp apologize for his unethical decision.
Another Facebook Post by a TV News Director
This issue centers around Jason Vincent, a TV news director. His Facebook update that contained racism and politically incorrect comments brought an angry mob to his Facebook page. The comment was truly offensive and the issue caught people’s attention though he removed it. It was not only his reputation but also his employer’s reputation that was at stake. He needn’t have resigned his job if he had thought twice about what he was communicating. Everything you do on social media is public and could create bitter results.
Companies and people need to let out every word they communicate only after careful consideration of what the results could be. Just thinking a little about the possible consequences will help them avoid such tirades.