I am a Starbucks fan, and I didn’t know any of the allegations being made … and ironically I think I would have never heard about this bad news stuff if it wasn’t for Starbucks social media campaign …
Starbucks idea was to allow the public to get involved in spreading the word via a Twitter hashtag. But, the public used the tools to spread a different word than the company was hoping for. Bloggasm tells it best
Those who posted the pictures to the microblogging site were to use predetermined hashtags that were listed in the contest rules.
Unfortunately for Starbucks, liberal activist and filmmaker Robert Greenwald, founder of Brave New Films, came across that Times article early Tuesday morning. Greenwald, who has directed films for major studios and launched Brave New Films a few years ago, had been working for months on shooting an anti-Starbucks video that debuted on YouTube that very day. The mini-documentary features interviews with several former and current Starbucks employees and makes the argument that the company — despite popular perception that it treats its employees well — has unfair labor practices and has aggressively fought off union organizing.
Any programmer will tell you to not entirely trust user generated input. Not everyone out there is your friend.
Perhaps this should be a warning that goes for Social Media also?