March 17, 2017 By FTI Consulting
It’s been a busy week at SXSW, with lots of inspiring keynotes being delivered and announcements being made, but one in particular caught our eye. Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, shared Reddit’s plans to move into more “traditional” platforms to attract new audiences. Reddit’s often viewed as a platform of low authority; however, it’s the 7th most visited website in America and the 20th in the world.
While not giving too much away, Alexis alluded to the company’s plans to partner with high quality TV channels to integrate Reddit chatter into top shows by having the message board in a split screen alongside live TV, enabling viewers to simultaneously enjoy their favourite shows while keeping up with the conversations of their Reddit peers. This is not the first we’ve seen of social media and live TV integration – a similar approach was launched by Twitter last year – but with such big news on the horizon for Reddit, brands may want to consider how they begin engaging with influencers on the platform.
Yesterday the McDonald’s corporate Twitter account posted a tweet labelling Donald Trump as a “disgusting excuse of a President”. The tweet was swiftly deleted and followed up with a post explaining the Twitter account had been “compromised”, but not before it was retweeted by thousands of Twitter users, sparking a host of memes – including an image of the President eating food from the restaurant chain, with the caption “#McDonalds just lost its best customer”. Other Twitter users took offence and began to call for a boycott, accusing the global fast food chain of lacking patriotism.
It’s not the first time a major company’s Twitter account has been hacked: Marvel, Netflix and the NFL have all been victims, and a breach on Wednesday plastered propaganda relating to Turkey’s diplomatic conflict with Germany and the Netherlands all over Twitter. The unauthorised tweets show that corporations with authoritative social media accounts can serve as prime targets for hackers who are chasing their 15 minutes of fame before the posts are detected. So make sure your accounts are secure and your social media managers know how to respond to a breach (see FTI Fortify).
This week saw top public policy executives from Google, Twitter and Facebook grilled by the House of Commons home affairs committee, being accused of ‘commercial prostitution’ by not enforcing their own published community standards. The social media companies defended their current monitoring arrangements but said they had to rely on their users on a “notify and take down” basis to tackle the problem of online hate. The tech companies’ sheer scale meant it was impossible for them to conduct proactive searches for such material although they were trying to develop technology, including artificial intelligence, that could improve their response to the problem.
However, this may prove not good enough for policy makers. Germany has already warned in a new proposal that it will impose large fines of up to €50 million and stricter regulations on social media companies if they spread fake news, hate speech or illegal content on their platforms. This latest Government reaction to the fear of online hoaxes may further push social networks into an age of increased responsibility and monitoring, and hints that social and traditional media are becoming increasingly equal in the eyes of the law and regulatory bodies.
It’s an oldie, but it’s resurfaced this week. This man raced a tube train and filmed the whole thing.
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