A Little Schadenfreude on Social Media

A Little Schadenfreude on Social Media

Given the toxic environment on social media these days, there’s not much left to give us unmitigated pleasure.

But who doesn’t relish a bit of schadenfreude, particularly at the expense of large corporations? There’s nothing like a corporate screwup to put a smile on the face, and social media has elevated the complaint to an art form.

Ten years ago, if you cracked a tooth on a bone in your McChicken, you probably would have complained to the manager and gotten a free Big Mac from Ronald McDonald. But now, social media allows the wronged customer to take justice into his or her own hands – post a photo on Twitter or Facebook, accompanied by a pithy comment. If the wrong is of sufficient magnitude, your comment is pithy, or both, you could see your post go viral – and have the satisfaction of creating a PR nightmare for the company that wronged you.

If the high crimes and misdemeanors of a particular corporation interest you, go to the Twitter search bar and type in something like “@dominos + nasty” and watch the fun. Or just scroll through the messages for any major brand. There’s sure to be a treasure trove awaiting you. After all, venting your spleen on social media is a lot more satisfying than spending 30 minutes on hold with a call center in India to lodge a complaint.

And make no mistake. There are a lot of complaints. According to Twitter, there were about 5 million tweets per month aimed at major brands in 2015. Although it’s not clear how many of these comments are complaints, it is safe to assume that are significant number of them are expressing dissatisfaction – and often in ways embarrassing to the company. Given that companies use these same channels to disseminate their carefully cultivated brand images, the irony is rather delicious.

For more information, please read:
Social Media Offers a Massive Collection of Glorious Corporate Screwups | Newsweek

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