The use of social media platform could be a double-edged sword. To the extent that it fosters business and social interactions which stimulates societal growth, it could lead to unintended awkward situations which could be embarrassing to individuals and organisations. In recent times, across the globe, media gaffes have also caused uproars and mixed reactions from different facets of the society because of the misapplications of phrases or postulations. In Nigeria, between 2017 and 2018, there were some controversies that raged, stemming from posts on online platforms. Below are brief instances.
In Nigeria, between 2017 and 2018, there were some controversies that raged, stemming from posts on online platforms….
The issue of mismanaging organisation handles is not limited to a region, it is a global occurrence which stakeholders in organizations need to give serious attention to.
Recently, some reputable organisations were seen to have been victims of mismanaging social media in Nigeria.
Despite the fact that the duo has taken the above subject matter to court for legal action, before the court order, both GTBank and Innoson Motors were trading words on social media. Meanwhile, Innoson Motors was busy feeding members of the public with its own side of information on court ruling via the social media.
The online battle started when Innoson circulated a press release on its social media platform that the Supreme Court has ruled in its favor for GTBank to pay sum of N14 billion to Innoson Motors within 14 days. Meanwhile, there was no such ruling. The apex court instead, asked both parties to return to Court of Appeal for further hearing on GT Bank’s appeal, slated to be heard on the 14th June, 2018.
GTBank in a countering statement on its social media stated, that it has come to its notice of the mischievous and malicious statements circulated in the news and social media by Innoson. GTBank in respect to the court order, debunked the said statement that says GTBank should pay its debtor customer. GTBank in its statement tagged Innoson Motors desperate, and mischievous elements. GTBank further admonished its audience to disregard Innoson’s statement completely.
As facts on the ground became clear, Innoson’s first move was to quickly delete its declaration on social media that the apex court has ordered GTBank to pay him N14 billion within 14 days.
Innoson later owned up that it erred on information concerning the recent judgment delivered by the Supreme Court between the company and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank). Admitting the error on the company’s official Twitter handle, @Innosonvehicles, the company blamed the “error” on the staff of the agency managing its social media accounts.
Similarly, Premium Times published a story titled Miyetti Allah, and Hasty Judgment written by Farooq Kperogi.
This was a publication sourced from a third party but published with the impression of direct reporting with which other local media fed from and as well published as a direct report. Even if the information in the publication were considered to be direct confessions from Miyetti Allah spokesman, there was supposed to be substantial proof from an information source, otherwise, credit or quote should have been given to the information source. News should not be a product of assumption or a third-party narration.
The Premium Times has taken the right step in sacking the reporter. However, the organization needs to review its lapses and set modalities of preventing such from happening again.
Another shocking reputational damage is that of Mr Ochereome Nnanna, the Chairman Editorial Board of Vanguard Newspaper, who clearly portrayed himself as an ethnic bigot, in a reaction to government’s recognition of the June 12 mandate of Late Chief MKO Abiola, GCFR. In a comment on Facebook, Mr Nnanna referred to the Yorubas as “Sophisticated Morons”
This would not have been a serious issue if an individual who is not a public figure had issued such a statement. But considering the sensitive position that Mr Ochereome Nnanna occupies, it raised a lot of concern in the public and as well, brought to question the integrity of the organisation he represents.
Mr Ochereome Nnanna might have issued such a statement out of rift emotions. Perhaps, he would not have posted it if he had given it a second thought bearing in mind the ripple effect of the post to the peace of the nation, the position he holds in the society and the organization he represents. However, it is the duty of Vanguard Newspaper management to review the matter and take appropriate action to save the image of the organisation.
On the foreign scene, in a similar manner, an American writer and TV producer Roseanne Barr, in her tweet, said that “Valerie Jarrett, a former aide to President Obama, was the “baby” of the “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.”
Critics say she’s attempted to blame her racist tweets on her handle, as a result of a sleeping pill she took while also blaming the sleeping aid medication (Ambien) for a series of racist tweets that resulted in the cancellation of her show “Roseanne” by ABC on Tuesdays. In another tweet, Barr tweeted, “guys I did something unforgivable so do not defend me. It was 2 in the morning and I was ambient tweeting.”
Roseanne in a bid to cover negative behavior, disclosed to her audience on twitter that the influence of the same drug had make her do lot of crazy things beyond a racist comment, such as breaking egg on the wall around 2:00am.
Ashleigh Koss, a spokeswoman for the North America region of Sanofi, the maker of Ambien, said in a written statement, “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”
“People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.” The tweet attracted 186K likes and 74.3K people talking about it.
Finally, managing an organisation’s brand and its social media goes together since social media is the current platform for communicating with a wider range of audience. It becomes imperative, therefore, that it is given serious attention. Before an individual or agency, is consulted to manage organization social media, certain qualities need to be considered aside content generating.