The recent kerfuffle stirred up by “grass-roots” organization “One Million Moms” over retailer JC Penney for choosing openly gay Ellen DeGeneres as spokesperson seems to have done it’s job. New “Likes” on the organizations Facebook page have more or less ceased, anti-OMM pages such as “One Million Moms Against One Million Moms” have popped up, and the whole attempt at garnering publicity for their cause has pretty much permanently tarnished OMM’s image and painted it as the homophobic organization it is. They chose to pick an un-winnable fight, and have paid the price. Recently, their decision to drop their boycott was welcomed news, but was it too much too late?
The power of social media is a powerful thing. Used for good, it can elevate a business or a cause to the highest heights. Used in an opposite way, it can have an adverse effect on the cause it supposedly fighting for. Social media took down One Million Moms; one down, countless more to go. On the organizations Facebook page, their purpose is summed up this way:
“Here’s how the One Million Moms Campaign works. We inform you about a particular issue (TV network, sponsor, or station), giving you a link to a “take action” page on the website. You e-mail the responsible party. That’s it!”
Monica Cole isn’t throwing any mea culpas for her group’s biased opinion. On the contrary, they are claiming a boycott “victory” as “many of (our) members have vowed not to show at the retailer as long as DeGeneres remains affiliated with the company.” Assuming that her assessment is based on the 45,360 members from Facebook shouldn’t have too adverse an effect on JC Penney’s bottom line. Plus the OMM’s have vowed to press on with their crusade against…whatever they are crusading against this week.
The power of social media never ceases to amaze. And the OMM debacle is proof positive that its power can work both ways.