Dishonest media

We all know American media is generally garbage. Aside from Al Jazeera America and foreign broadcasts, TV news media in the US is utterly useless. But it somehow gets worse online. Take this (good version of a) story about a mistake DiGiorno made involving a hashtag on Twitter:

This is just another cautionary tale for any companies on Twitter. Always, always think before you tweet.

DiGiorno Pizza’s account got involved with a trending topic on Twitter last night, which is not out of the ordinary for companies trying to promote their brand online. Unfortnately, the Twitter campaign they decided to jump on was one dedicated to domestic abuse victims sharing their heartbreaking and inspiring stories using the #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft hashtags.

Obviously, the person operating the account did not know the story behind the hashtag or else they never would have sent out this now deleted tweet that read: “#WhyIStayed You Had Pizza.”

The DiGiorno people then went ahead and personally responded to as many critical tweets as they could. It was a simple mistake anyone could have made, and it’s hard to imagine anyone being reasonably angry with the company at this point. They’ve apologized profusely and made it quite clear that it was a genuine mistake – this wasn’t even a case of a rogue employee trying to make some sort of crass joke.

This good version of the story, surprisingly from E! Online, is titled “DiGiorno Mistakenly Used the Domestic Abuse Twitter Campaign #WhyIStayed to Promote Their Pizza”. Take a look at the headlines from garbage ‘news’ outlets* like HuffPo, Bustle, and an ABC affiliate out of Chicago:

DiGiorno Interrupts Serious Conversation About Domestic Violence To Sell Pizza (HuffPo)

DiGiorno Pizza’s #WhyIStayed Tweet Is Not How You Respond To Domestic Violence (Bustle)

DiGiorno under fire after using #WhyIStayed hashtag to sell pizzas during Ray Rice scandal (ABC affiliate)

Each of these outlets is either ignoring or embracing intention; it’s tough to tell. If they’re simply ignoring the intention of DiGiorno, then they’re being dishonest and bad journalists by not telling the whole story. One imagines the editors at these places hate the saying “It’s the thought that counts.” They would reply to such a phrase, “No! It isn’t the thought! What matters is that I was given an awesome gift for my birthday!” If, on the other hand, they’re embracing intention (and this is where my money is at), then not only are they being wildly irresponsible, they’re actually outright lying. What I mean is, these ‘news’ outlets are heavily implying that DiGiorno intentionally jumped onto a hashtag bandwagon about domestic violence due to some overt, deliberate callousness towards DV victims. Of course, DiGiorno absolutely did no such thing. Yet, in order to get people to click on their garbage sites and articles, they are trying to lead the reader into believing that DiGiorno is some sort of evil company willing to exploit a serious issue in order to sell their product.

*I’m not saying E! Online isn’t a garbage news outlet. I don’t know either way since I don’t read it; it was merely one of the first search results I found with an honest title.

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