Hey folks! Hope your turkey day was a success!
So we’ve talked about the good, and we’ve talked about the bad and how to turn it into a positive. Now here’s a case study of the ugly. I found this article on Digg, that linked through to Ad Age, about this woman in Pennsylvania who gave birth and abandoned her baby in a sports bar’s toilet. As if this wasn’t ugly enough, Nancy Grace had reported the story, and provided on-screen the hashtag #ToiletBaby. This is definitely an example of when hashtagging can go wrong.
But the real question is, did it? Another article on Social News Daily claims that Nancy continued to use the hashtag on Twitter a total of nine times, which begs the question, did Nancy and her team know what they were doing when they sparked controversy over this poor baby’s death? And why, after many complaints from their viewers, did they continue to use the offensive hashtag?
So even though the hashtag itself was wrong on a lot of levels, was it intentional? Controversy can be the quickest and easiest way to get a boost of attention to your Twitter page, especially if you already have a high number of followers. With shows like Nancy Grace, whose whole premise is drama and controversy, can this help to drive more followers to her Twitter page and TV show? This case follows the motto “any publicity is good publicity”, and it seems the Nancy Grace team were willing to do anything to gain more media attention, even if it meant exploiting a child’s death.
The problem with this type of sensationalism (other than that it’s disgusting) is that it’s short-lived and it leaves a negative impression with your followers. This #ToiletBaby trend got Nancy Grace a lot of attention, but I’m sure as more and more of these things happen on her media outlets, less and less people will see her as a credible news source and will begin to lose interest in what she actually has to say.