From Glass Houses to Oscar Red Carpet: Social Judgement

This post started eons ago with this Twitter is the Anti-Social Media story about the New England Patriot’s social media foibles, trying to game engagement and brand management with a ‘retweet’ campaign that – predictably – went really wrong really fast.

What is socially unacceptable behavior in public is social media acceptable behavior on Twitter.” DISAGREE – it is not ok, this kind of douchebaggery is why we block and unfriend.

The writer excused the failure to a lot of work, little time to do it – arguing that “Twitter failed the Patriots” and their stellar social media team. Disagree – the Patriot’s PR/SM team didn’t recognize the obvious risks of such an automated campaign or have a better plan to block the trolls.

Recently updated, Twitter’s harassment reporting tool is one step they’re making to improve the experience. There’s plenty more I’d suggest to cut back on troll hate and automated spam but it’s not the platform, it’s not social media – it’s how people use it.

Kangaroo Court of Negative Opinions.
While not everyone lives for these ‘public fail’ moments, I’ll agree with the writer that once there’s blood in the water the sharks start circling.

Instead of offering valid commentary and helpful critique, [some] people insult and call names; they offer baseless opinions, they bully.

Last year I read a compelling story about a Crappy Morning Commute on LinkedIn, and was disappointed at some of the commentary:

  • debates on seat sharing and social etiquette, size and weight.
  • opinions that she was fishing for compliments.
  • sexist ‘this belongs on Facebook little girl’ type comments.
  • general gibes on language, tone, counter attacks and much more.

Why? Why do some people behave so unsocially online? Even when not hiding behind an anonymous ID?

Part of it is human nature. We watch, we listen, we taste, we try and we either like or dislike. As a way of socializing, we share those opinions with others. Everyone else is talking about it on Facebook, dammit we must feel really strongly about how some celebrity changed their hairstyle! Damnit!

Part of it is the unrealistic Gerber Baby expectations – we dream of ‘perfect’ and judge anything less as a failure. So one off the cuff remark or one poorly thought out ‘joke’ becomes the snowflake the triggers the avalanche of Internet Rage, which the media keeps rolling for ratings and clicks.

Less Judging, Better Judgement.

ICYMI: TV commentator Giuliana Rancic made an insensitive comment during the Oscars, during the red carpet judge-fest [insert ‘irony’ joke here]. People were offended. Puppies cried. The Social Webs got its knickers in a twist. Words were typed. She offered a great apology (much better than so much lawyer-tested, PR corporate speak we see these days), which I think restored the Earth to its axis.

The point I’m attempting to make: people (and brands run by people) make mistakes, always and forever. Online and off, what’s needed is less judging, better judgement; instead of throwing stones, fix up our own glass houses. FWIW.

Photo credit: Always can work a Demotivator into a post. 

Want More? Keep Reading.