It was a big day yesterday on my blog and I saw the huge power of social media first hand.
Around lunchtime whilst talking in the office, I really thought that we had uncovered the fact that the RATM Christmas number one was a scam that had been funded by Sony to get sales for all their artists up. I didn’t like the manipulation it implied, so I started digging.
I put two and two together and made twelve.
There are so many coincidences that point towards it being a set up, I thought I would run with it and see what came out.
The most amazing thing was quite how fast the truth did come out.
I put the post up at 2pm and by late afternoon there were those who believed the story and those who violently opposed it. There were RATM fans who went to such lengths to defend their band that I was genuinely shocked.
And then the lady at the centre of the whole conspiracy theory came on to the site and put her side of the story. Later that day we spoke at length on the phone and I was reminded very simply of the human side to this. What started as a laugh for Jon and Tracy Morter became a beast that they simply couldn’t control.
There were hundreds and maybe thousands of people who just didn’t believe they could have done it for nothing (me included) and that is because social media channels and conspiracy theorists started to paint them as orchestrating gurus, pulling the strings for big business.
Social media has immense power. It has the power for social change and social good as well as massive media manipulation. But it also has the power to get things wrong and escalate things out of control.
Not all of the information on the Internet is correct, we all know that. Many coincidences are just that, coincidences.
For me, Jon and Tracy Morter are a slightly geeky, Internet obsessed couple who have been caught in the middle of a prank that grew beyond anything they could have imagined.
I’m sorry that I added to their woes, but very pleased with the fact that they have been able to come on here and have a voice that clears their name so conclusively.
That’s the real power of social media.