This Week in Bad PR

Welcome back everyone to our weekly installment of This Week in Bad Public Relations, or #TWBPR for short. The column you always want to read (we hope), but never be featured in.

This week we feature a faux pas on a grand scale.

By now we are all familiar with the dubious idea of “scrubbing” the internet of negative comments or “misinformation,” right?

At least one person isn’t, and she very well could be your next president of the United States.

You may remember our recent blog about UC Davis trying to delete images of one of their police officers pepper spraying students who were peacefully protesting. UC Davis only spent $175,000, a pittance compared to what a pro-Clinton super-PAC just spent -- a whopping $1 million.

I’ll say it again, a super-PAC of presumably well educated individuals decided it was a swell idea to spend $1 million to “combat misinformation” on Reddit and Facebook.

Just to help paint a picture, here are some better uses of $1 million:

 

  • Hire a dive team to finally determine if Spongebob is really down there

  • Buy 100,000 pant suits (they can’t be that expensive?)

  • Bet on the Cubs to win the World Series

Quite simply, the internet cannot be scrubbed of negative comments about an incredibly public figure. Reddit and Facebook are far too fast moving and cataloged to ever remove every disparaging remark.  

But it gets better. The money also went toward an effort to “combat misinformation” by employing hundreds of “trolls” to respond to negative comments. The internet hates trolls, especially Reddit and Facebook

In recent days, the trolls have managed to pull down several prominent pro-Bernie Sanders pages from Facebook with a coordinated attack. All at once, the trolls reported the pages to FB for containing pornography, a no-no according to FB.

None of this has stopped Clinton doubling down and defending the effort.

No matter how much you pay someone, the internet is not a dry-erase board.

So congrats, Hillary, you had the worst week in PR. Now, I hope one of those trolls you paid shows up!

  • Casey Whittington