I try to keep my Facebook account pretty private. I have friends with thousands of Facebook friends. Mine has fewer than 350 and they’re nearly all family or people I’ve known for many many years.
Last week I posted a status update:
UPS has apparently pulled all their ads from Fox News. Will have to see if this is the case. I don't like to see companies trying to push their ideology on others.
This was not about Glenn Beck but rather UPS had pulled all their ads from Fox News. Now, I confess I don’t watch a lot of TV. I like Special Report and America’s News Room on Fox and will Hardball on MSNBC on occasion but most of my news comes from the net these days.
But it annoyed me that UPS was boycotting all of Fox News so the next day I came to work and had them look into it. When it turned out that yea, they’re boycotting Fox I instructed fulfillment to use FedEx instead (it’s literally a check box just like using Amazon.com).
Unfortunately, I should have known better and before long, it ended up on GamePolitics.com except it had slowly morphed into support for Glenn Beck.
This of course then got it picked up everywhere with people taking the pros and cons of “such a move”. I would be the first to agree with the people who said “It’s not good business to publicize such things”. Except I didn’t. But of course, in the age of the Internet where anything can be recorded, video’d or in this case, copied and pasted, you end up in a gray area of what exactly is news and what isn’t.
Now, for most normal people, picking UPS or FedEx is like picking Little Caesars vs. Pizza Hutt (no offense to shipping companies or Pizza companies – before I start getting emails about that).
I wasn’t making a moral pronouncement on what UPS had done. I was simply annoyed by what they were doing and decided to pick a different shipper.
If people want to boycott my company as a result, that’s certainly their right. It's a free market.
UPS says they are not boycotting Fox and in fact has new ads up now.
I agree people shouldn't mix politics and business.
I don't think most people realize, especially those who are very active in online communities, how quickly what we write can be twisted when scrutinized. As someone who's had a company for nearly 20 years, it's only recently that we've apparently reached a level of notoriety that my semi-private Facebook comments could somehow be turned into a news story. Be that as it may, I'll adapt.
Had someone argue that boycotting our software is no different than us boycotting UPS (which we weren't that's the problem with a "news story" based on a one-liner from Facebook but I digress).
The idea behind a Boycott is that you are sacrificing the purchase of something you want in order to make a statement. If you're a wine drinker who likes French wine and decide to stop buying French wine in protest of something France did, that's a boycott.
On the other hand, choosing to go to the Shell station instead of the Mobile gas station when the price is exactly the same and they're right next to each other because Exxon/Mobile annoyed you involves no sacrifice on the person's part.
Picking UPS or Fed Ex as a shipper is a commodity decision that involves no sacrifice. If we label every purchase decision based on a preference as a boycott then nearly every consumer choice we make would be a boycott.
Or to put this into language that political zealots would understand: If you really dislike Fox News and are choosing not to watch it, you're not boycotting it. You're just not watching it because you don't like it.