Social Media Matters: Did online stunt cause deadly cruise mishap?

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Jan. 20, 2012
Metro section

Did online stunt cause deadly cruise mishap?

As reported in British newspaper The Telegraph on Jan. 16, the tragic sinking of the luxury cruise ship the Costa Concordia just off the island of Giglio in Italy looks like it was a stunt gone terribly wrong – a stunt that was foretold on Facebook.

According to the article, the ship’s captain steered the ship too close to rocks immediately off the coast of the island of Giglio in order for the ship’s head waiter, Antonello Tievolli, to wave to his family on shore. Just before the ship hit the rocks, Tievolli’s sister Patrizia posted this to Facebook: ‘In a short period of time the Concordia ship will pass very close. A big greeting to my brother who finally get to have a holiday on landing in Savona.’ According to The Telegraph article written by Nick Squires, Tievolli’s 82-year-old father Giuseppe admitted the ship neared the shore just so family could wave hello to Antonello.

Costa Concordia
Costa Concordia

‘Antonello called me earlier to say the ship would be passing by the island at around 9:30 and they would come and give us a whistle to say hello. It was something they often did. The ship obviously came too close. I don’t know if Antonello asked the captain to come near, but the responsibility is always and only the captain’s.’ The result of the stunt? Captain Francesco Schettino has been arrested and may be charged with shipwreck, abandoning ship and manslaughter. He faces up to 15 years in prison. About 30 people are currently unaccounted for out of the 4,000 passengers and crew on board. Six have been confirmed dead.

Facebook to break barrier: Odds are that you’ve heard Facebook has 750 million users, the most common widely used figure of late. This August, however, the social media behemoth is expected to register its one billionth user.

Yup, that’s ‘billionth,’ folks! If Facebook were a country, it would the third largest in the world behind China and India.

Facebook hoax alert:

Baby heart transplant Facebook hoax
Photo that accompanies one of the "sick baby" hoaxes going around on Facebook

Well, I saw the most ridiculous Facebook hoax ever earlier this week and it was actually shared by people who thought it was true. Apparently, when 10,000 people share a photo of a little girl needing a heart transplant, then the transplant will be free.

Yup, Facebook is holding a little girl’s life hostage and won’t pay for her life-or-death surgery unless 10,000 people share the link. Apparently, there’s a little boy, however, who only needs 100 shares before his surgery is free. Perhaps he’s cuter. And then there’s the baby with cancer who’ll receive three cents from Facebook with every share. Astonishingly, people continue to fall for this foolishness.

Great blog post to check out:

Dave Gallant
Dave Gallant

My good friend Dave Gallant recently posted a great article to his blog called 20 Awesome Resources to Help You Master Social Media. If you’re looking some good reading on social media, then check out Dave’s article by visiting his website.

Some of the articles he points you to are: What Is Social Media; How to Turn Complaints Into Compliments & Compliments Into Brand Advocates; 218 Ways to Make Your Online Marketing Rule in 2012; and The Art of Community Now. For the rest of this valuable list of great resources, you’ll have to visit Dave’s blog. You won’t regret it.

This week’s featured YouTube channels:

Each week, I suggest three YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current as of Jan. 16.

Charlie McDonnell
Charlie McDonnell

1) Charlieissoboredlike (265,754 subscribers): This is a companion channel to popular British YouTube star Charlie McDonnell’s Charlieissocoollike channel which has just more than 1.4 million subscribers. The ‘bored’ channel is the new home to shorter and sometimes nonsensical videos that aren’t appropriate for the more substantial and content-rich ‘coollike’ channel. Regardless, Charlie is so likeable that you can’t hold that against him – and his subscribers don’t seem to mind, either! Charlie is a full-time YouTuber and is roommates with Alex Day, another popular YouTube personality. (Most popular video: ‘I am very glad, because I’m finally returning back home (MichaelAranda)’ – 1,143,712 views.)

Alex Day
Alex Day

2) Alex Day (497,823 subscribers): Alex is another British YouTuber and good friend and roommate of the aforementioned Charlie McDonnell. Alex is a singer and posts a lot of his music and various rants. He’s a lot edgier than Charlie, so don’t expect the same pinch-your-cheeks-because-you’re-so-adorable personality. Alex swears, talks about sex and a lot of taboo things, while Charlie is just… so… well… nice. Still, Alex is likeable and entertaining and very sincere in his rants. (Most popular video: ‘LOST In 3 Minutes’ – 1,939,671 views.)


3) You Cannot Not Dance (25,251 subscribers): Johnee is an affable and prolific Australian vlogger. In likeability and cheerfulness, he definitely rates a 10. His videos are very creative and are focused on positive issues and good vibes. I would say he’s Australia’s version of Charlieissocoollike. Like many vloggers, he’s all over the map topics-wise (that’s not a criticism), and he’s responsive to viewers on Twitter, as well. It’s difficult not to finish one of Johnee’s videos without a smile on your face. (Most popular video: ‘How to successfully do a Tim Tam Slam’ – 123,004 views.)

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