Social media has become the number one news sources for many people. Anytime an important event, disaster, or whatever happens, most people turn to their social media sites to get the “facts.” Although social media has connected people worldwide with things such as hashtags, it has also been the cause to many news and PR disasters.
Last April, another #HashtagFail hit the web when Maragaret Thatcher, the former British Prim Minister, past away. The British website, Is Thatcher Dead Yet?, encouraged its visitors to react to the royal death by adding the hashtag #nowthatchersdead to their tweets on Twitter. The site meant for the hashtag to read: Now Thatchers Dead, however, due to its lack of spacing and/or capitalization, many tweeters misread the hashtag for saying: Now That Chers Dead.
Although Cher, an American singer/actress, is still alive, many fans were mourning her death via their Twitter pages. Twitter newsfeeds were filled with confused tweeters not knowing who they should actually be remembering.
Since this wasn’t really a mistake on either party’s side, no one needed to do any damage control, but it obviously wasn’t a win-win situation. Cher experienced a huge increase in publicity, so she had no reason to be upset over her fake death. On the other hand, the loved ones of Maragaret Thatcher thought that the hashtag fail was a disgrace to the former Prime Minister’s memory.
Although no one released a public apology or anything, this is an excellent example of how powerful social media can be, but like always, with great power comes great responsibility. By not thoroughly checking the things that we post to the web, we can easily say things that can be misinterpreted and cause mayhem,