This post has been buzzing around in my head for awhile, and something that happened yesterday has motivated me to put finger to keyboard.
Twitter is kind of freaking me out. I think that unless you use twitter, you don’t understand how…powerful it is. Its not just people tweeting what they had for breakfast (although that does go on).
Businesses, and people can thrive or die on Twitter. Dooce tweeted to her 1 million plus followers when her washing machine broke down and she had trouble getting it fixed, and Whirlpool was right on it. This probably has something to do with the number of followers she has though. I have a friend who was treated appallingly by a store in Northcote and wrote about what happened on twitter and facebook. Followers and friends wrote to the Northcote traders association who apologised and took the emails to the lady and spoke to her about her behaviour.
So businesses should be at least monitoring what is said about them on Twitter.
Other businesses like Crust Pizza run a ‘free pizza Friday’ competition, where you tweet in ‘I’m entering @crustpizza #CrustFreePizzaFriday on a Friday to win free pizzas. They tweet probably hourly throughout Friday morning, then at about 2pm announce the winner. By which time you’re craving pizza. Well, not really. But I’m sure that’s how its supposed to go on some level.
As I said, its quite powerful.
Yesterday when the man and I went to the supermarket to pick up dinner stuff I saw a young guy park in the disabled car park and run inside. We walked right past his car and I noticed it said ‘company fleet’ on it, and he had ‘p’ plates. There was no disabled sticker to be seen, and he seemed to be walking and running fine.
I took a photo of the number plate and the company fleet sticker and tweeted it, and mentioned the company. Didn’t even think about it. Just did it. Bam.
After checking replies I saw that someone said ‘sick of the moral police dobbing everyone in’. They whinged for a bit, and I realised they were talking about me. Then they unfollowed – I don’t have many followers so I do notice. I was pretty peed off, for a second. Then I remembered this person is pretty snarky in most of their tweets. They continued to whinge about me. So I unfollowed them and now I feel much better.
But. I know a LOT of people who use twitter to express this kind of outrage. A lot of people who read this blog even. Dodgy drivers, pizza deliveries, concreting mishaps, car stereo system issues – I could list more.
Is this wrong? Is there a line?
I’m not a law expert but there is slander and libel which I guess applies here. As Dooce has a million followers, Maytag/Whirlpool were galvanised into fixing her machine quickly, but they could have easily sued her instead.
In the ‘olden days’ if you were sufficiently outraged about something you’d write a letter, which only the company would see. But most likely you’d forget about it or wouldn’t have bothered. You might have told your friends about it. The company I’m talking about has a significant online presence, I have no doubt someone would have picked up my tweet.
I guess you just have to be careful on the internet, its a bit like being back in the playground. You should be careful about who you pick on.
What do you guys think? To dob or not to dob?