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Suzanne Moore in The Guardian, writing about the ‘growing culture of outrage‘:

If one’s default setting is now to be part of some anonymous but offended mob, somehow the hierarchy of outrage implodes into meaninglessness.

This reminded me of the response from Starbucks to being ‘slammed by customers angry about losing out on benefits under the new loyalty scheme My Rewards‘ last week:

“We appreciate that a small number of customers on social media are being very vocal, in our stores we’re seeing a positive movement towards the My Rewards scheme and record traffic on our site for people registering cards and opting in to offers.”1

From that Starbucks quote I glean two things:

  1. A maturing response to social media outrage. Not that long ago, brands would panic at a few negative tweets. Nowadays, they’re placing the whinging in context and assessing if it’s a storm in a teacup instead of responding in a knee-jerk fashion.2
  2. Social media outrage is defeating itself. When there is no reasonable scale of outrage, simply either ‘not offended’ or ‘apoplectic’, how do you discern what really needs sorting out? “The hierarchy of outrage implodes into meaninglessness.”
  1. Comma splice and awful corporate newspeak are as reported by Marketing Week. []
  2. I’m not saying by any stretch of the imagination that brands have got this right yet but they’re getting there. []