Skittles offers a cautionary tale on using social media in a radical way

Skittles is known for their unusual approach to advertising and media. I think they are quite inventive and noteworthy. However, as reported on Mashable.com, Skittles unusual approach with social media this week, while innovative and noteworthy, also, as a result of “Bad Jokes”, were forced to retreat from twitter to Facebook. (“Bad jokes” is Mashable’s term: as they say later, the comments were much worse than that.)

I thought this lesson had been generally learned from the previous bad experiences at Chevrolet and the Los Angeles Times, but apparently not. As Mashable says:

“It’s important to point out how nasty (insults, racial slurs) things can turn out when you give control of the content on your site to users, some of which can be completely anonymous.”

Anyone developing a social networking service like this needs to have a strategy for dealing with trolls and other antisocial behavoir on your site. Otherwise…well, you might end up with something similar happening.

Mashable.com has a good rundown of the story at the link above.

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