How To Start A Social Media Disaster

Steve Fogg —  July 23, 2012 — 4 Comments


I came across a huge social media stuff-up that started a firestorm of very negative feedback on Facebook. I was stunned by what had happened. Backtracking a bit, it was being reported that a young girl tragically died in a farm accident last week and a news crew turned up very soon afterwards (including a helicopter) and the family said they were on the property filming the family while they were still grieving (My thoughts and prayers are with the grieving family).

If that wasn’t bad enough, the grief-stricken mum later posted her complaint on Seven Sydney news Facebook page and said this:


To make matters even worse Channel 7 Sydney news Facebook page removed the comment, inflaming the online vitriol towards them on their Facebook wall. (Channel 7 later apologised)

There is a simple, yet poignant lesson here for any organisation that has a Facebook page. Unless a comment breaks the law, don’t remove negative comments or complaints. Facebook is a two-way conversation, not a broadcast medium.

The other significant point here is this didn’t become a national story until the Facebook post was deleted. The social media stuff-up on the story became the tipping point to amplify it a national news story.

Social media has this incredible habit of amplifying genuine mistakes, errors and out-right stupidity. Have you seen any examples? Comment below.

*Update: A Facebook protest page has been set up.

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Related posts:

  1. 9 Tips I Wish I Knew Before I started Using Social Media For Church
  2. 10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Start Your Social Media Strategy
  3. How To Avoid A PR Disaster At Your Church: Part 4
  4. 21 Ways Your Church Can Leverage Social Media

4 responses to How To Start A Social Media Disaster

  1. No one likes to receive negative comments, but ignoring and deleting them is a huge no-no. Channel 7 could have saved a lot of face and actually showed their remorse by responding to the comment.

  2. Seriously, where was their PR person when all of this was happening? Interesting story, for sure. A lot to learn!

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