The immense power of social media was displayed again this week in two impactful examples – one saved a little girl’s eyesight and the other brought down a powerful CEO.
Mozilla co-founder CEO Brendan Eich stepped down in the wake of an online boycott organized by OKCupid exposing Eich’s efforts to ban same-sex marriage in California. OKCupid protested by refusing to allow users to run the dating website with the Firefox browser. They ended the boycott upon Eich’s resignation. OKCupid spokesman said that its boycott brought tremendous awareness to equal rights for individuals and partnerships.
Wow. Agree or not, no one can deny the power one company had over another by organizing the online troops. Anyone who knows my speech about crisis communications knows that I am constantly warning about being prepared to react to online crises.
In another sphere, a mother who posted a photo of her three-year-old daughter on Facebook is grateful for serendipity – and social media – after a Facebook post prompted her to take her daughter to an ophthalmologist. A friend commented on the girl’s “glowing eye” in the photo, suggesting it could be a sign of disease – and indeed it was. She’s had surgery and doctors believe they caught the progression of her eye disease just in time to prevent total blindness in the eye.
If you ever wondered about the power of social media, look no further than these two examples.