The Arrogance of the “Citizen Journalists” & Amazon Fail
For the uninitiated, Amazon had tagged gay and lesbian (and others) books in such a way that they dropped off Amazon sales charts and searches. They were effectively tagged as porn is the even shorter version of the story. What ensued was quite the most vociferous backlash against Amazon (tagged globally as #amazonfail) who were forced to come out and explain their actions.
What amazed me though was just how many people jumped on the bandwagon â€“ not necessarily because they themselves had a book drop off the list, couldnâ€™t find a specific book they had been looking for or that they were genuinely offended. They were in it to â€œteachâ€ Amazon a lesson.
Before long, Tweets and blog posts were everywhere with nothing more than â€œamazon sucks #amazonfailâ€ etc. Do explain your thinking dear band-waggoner.
â€œHow DARE a company do that to books I had no interest in reading, knew existed or cared for before.â€
Clay articulated this blind momentum very nicely:
there can be an enormous premium put on finding rationales for continuing to feel aggrieved, should the initial rationale disappear.
My tweet sums my feelings up very well and something we should learn from if social media is to become a truly accepted medium â€“ and one which is respected rather than feared:
There is an arrogance that comes from some corners of the blogosphere thinking that as the owner of a moderately well-read online journal their entirely self-absorbed editorial agenda gives them the right to say what they want, when they want, however they want.
To some extent, the web is the tool that allows them to do so, but the BBC didnâ€™t earn its reputation by shouting its mouth off and jumping on bandwagons with no justification or good cause. There are 160-odd million blogs out there â€“ donâ€™t think you are as special as you think. You NEED readers as much as everyone else.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, if you hack me off, I will respond, maybe even in public, but only unless you really do offend and upset me (GMPTE for example!), but please people, can we have some discretion and standards before we unload our attacks?
UPDATE: I canâ€™t let this post go without making reference to The Donâ€™s post about this a year ago!