The Unfortunate Ignorance Of The Weiner Media

by Jason Falls |
Anthony Weiner
Image via Wikipedia

The Anthony Weiner incident is baffling. But it forced the traditional media’s hand a bit this week on social media. The fact the Congressman used Twitter to post what most consider an inappropriate photo of himself intended for a female that wasn’t his wife made the media pay attention to social media’s favorite conversation place. Unfortunately, many media members not only confused the coverage, but potentially biased their audiences.

Three members of the media interviewed me this week for comments on the Weiner show. My general thoughts are that if you don’t understand that anything you post on social media platforms has the potential to be seen by anyone, well, you’ll soon be left holding your wiener. How a seemingly intelligent person … an elected official no less .. would A) Take a picture of his crotch; B) Send it to someone else; and C) Do it on a public platform, completely escapes me. It has the potential to be the dumb ass move of the century.

But two of the three media members who interviewed me asked a question phrased roughly like this:

“Why does social media make people do these things?”

The same reason newspapers make you ask the wrong questions. Social media had nothing … let me repeat … SOCIAL MEDIA HAD NOTHING TO DO with Anthony Weiner’s screw up. The blame for Anthony Weiner’s screw up lies in one place and one place only: Anthony Weiner. He could have texted the picture, emailed the picture, blown it up a Kinko’s and mailed it … the medium is not the culprit. The culprit is.

As with marketing, Twitter is not what makes people love your brand. Neither is Facebook or blogs. The messages you send. The value you provide. The connections you facilitate and the relationships you nurture … that’s what makes people love you.

The only tool to blame in the Anthony Weiner case is Anthony Weiner.

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About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).