The Twitter scandal involving SA Tourism Commission is still on the boil, still getting a run in weekend newspapers.
SATC paid certain “celebrities” to send a tweet about Kangaroo Island, as part of its multi-million dollar promotion of the island nationally.
The tweeting public has been outraged that tweets sent by celebrities might be paid endorsements and not their own, personal comment.
Master Chef’s Matt Moran was caught up in the scandal. In his defence, Moran had at least visited the island when he commented about what a great time he’d had here.
But whether a tweeting celebrity has been here is not at the core of the outrage.
Some people believe social media is somehow different to other media in this regard. They fail to scrutinise it in the same they would if it was in a newspaper or on television.
No one raises an eyebrow when Ricky pontificates about deodorant on television, Kim cashes in on handbags or Pat spruiks jocks.
We don’t know these people personally or if they use those products in their private lives and we don’t know or care if they are telling the truth about their faith in the product. We know they are getting paid because we understand how the medium works.
Do the people who are aghast at the Twitter saga really believe everything they read on social media, where anyone can say almost anything or pretend to be anyone; where there are no checks and balances, and the comments are as fleeting as birdsong?
A cynic might suggest that any publicity is good publicity and that the Twitter fiasco has simply generated more interest in Kangaroo Island.
The saddest part is not that a celebrity might have lied a little but that this sorry saga has cast a little cloud over an otherwise spectacularly successful marketing plan.
The “Let Yourself Go” campaign has been so successful in generating interest in visiting the island that it did not need to be tarnished by “seeded” Twitter conversations.