In this post from Bob Garfield, we see two errors in social media usage: one is from a brand and another from an employee. Chrysler fired an employee who tweeted this: "I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to fucking drive." Despite a stated commitment to social media, Chrysler's action suggests it isn't committed to real dialogue or to the spontaneity of social media conversations. The employee made a mistake too - by not taking the added care to ensure that what he posted was what he wanted associated with his own digital footprint. As the saying goes, two wrongs don't make a right.
Just as SXSW was getting underway, Chrysler had cut ties to a social-media contractor after one of its employees hit send on the following tweet: "I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to fucking drive."
The junior employee behind the message, 28-year-old Scott Bartosiewicz, explained that he had meant to send it from his personal account, but clicked the wrong box on his Twitter deck. Perhaps that is why Chrysler, instead of stoning him to death, merely fired him.
"The company has invested greatly, not only financially, but philosophically ... in supporting Detroit and the U.S. auto industry," Chrysler spokesman Ed Garsten told the Associated Press, "and we simply couldn't tolerate any messaging -- whether or not there was an obscenity -- that was denigrating to Detroit."
Yeah, what an apostate that Bartosiewicz is. In a city wracked with unemployment, crime, poverty, corruption, racism and intractable urban decay, discussion of driving habits is a blasphemy that takes it too far. And an ad campaign that uses rapper Eminem to personify the city's raw grit could not possibly make room for a witty molecule of road rage.
That's why, whether in Austin or Motown, "Brand Journalism" is such an awful misnomer. I find it ironic that marketers are charged with conducting conversations and no one knows how to tell the fucking truth.
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