Mike Pearl

The 2014 US Airways Disaster: Anatomy of a Twitter Fail

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Author Mike PearlMike Pearl

It’s rare to witness a genuine apotheosis in real time, but yesterday, if you were on Twitter around noon Pacific time, you may have witnessed the Greatest Twitter Fail of All Time.

A few days ago, US Airways received this complaint from Twitter user @ElleRafter: “@USAirways Unhappy that 1787 sat for an hour on tarmac in CLT because overweight, resulting in over hour late arrival in PDX…” There was a brief, benign exchange. Then days later, in a routine follow-up US Airways tweeted the following (originally with an uncensored image):

Hypocrite Lobby: Why Corporations Are People Who Live In Glass Houses

Hobby Lobby Scratch

Written By:

Author Mike PearlMike Pearl

The average Jane Six-Pack out there would be rightly confused by the idea that Dow Chemical Co. is just as much of a person as she is. It makes a little more sense when you consider that “corporate personhood”-related Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United were decided by a bunch of lawyers, pretty much the furthest thing from a Jane Six-Pack — unless you mean a six-pack of Coke. Sure, corporations are people to a bunch of lawyers, because it’s the shortest possible contortion of logic that gets us to a point where we can grant corporations legal rights, describe their liability or lack thereof, and allow them to own things.

But when corporations assert that they believe things, corporate personhood gets sketchy. At best, corporations’ expressions of “belief” place them among the worst hypocrites out there, and at worst, their glaring inconsistencies threaten to break apart any notion of their personhood altogether.

Why Everyone Loses When You Run A Cash-Only Business

Cash Sign

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Author Mike PearlMike Pearl

To walk into a coffee shop and be told “We’re cash only,” is irksome for a number of reasons: the clerk tends to say it as though the company had been born that way or something. As though there’s an all-powerful god of payment forms, and we must do his bidding.

It’s not divine will. It’s a shortsighted business decision by often distrustful or resentful business owners. Contrary to popular belief, operating as a cash-only business is neither profitable for companies, nor beneficial for anyone in the grand scheme of things. (OK, a few companies can benefit but the way they go about it is not nice.) Here’s why it’s so bad, and what recourse you have, and in order to explain it all, I may have to bust a couple myths along the way.

How Horrible Could Aaron’s Be? Super Horrible

Aarons Scratch

Written By:

Author Mike PearlMike Pearl

When we last left off, Aaron’s had just offered a loan to a person who had explicitly detailed his problems with debt, lack of money, and lack of interest in paying for things. All through Grant’s phone call, phone operators were friendly and accommodating of the cheerful deadbeat offering to sign an Aaron’s contract.

“But they were friendly! How bad could they be, Savings? Why the campaign of negativity?”

Because, reader, it is never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever a good idea to shop at Aaron’s. If I couldn’t communicate that with my previous lengthy polemic, here’s a Buzzfeed-style listicle (I forgive you if you skimmed my intro, fellow millennials).

1. Aaron’s spied on consumers, as in “nudie pics and personal info” spying.

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Getty Images Thinks Giving Away Free Photos Will Make Them Tons of Money

Getty Images Scratch

Written By:

Author Mike PearlMike Pearl

If you’re a blogger, you know the value of putting an eye-catching image at the top of every post. Wait, let me rephrase that: Are you a blogger who doesn’t put an image at the top of every post? Stop it. Stop being so boring. The internet hates you. Now that Getty is giving millions of images away for free, you have no excuse to do that. Particularly not when they’re being this liberal with their terms of use, according to GeekWire (emphasis mine):

“[...]f the use promotes a company, product or service, the users will need to purchase a license. If not, they can use the embedded content so long as they are happy to use it in the embed frame and functionality.

The presence of ads on a site doesn’t automatically make use of an embedded image on that site a commercial use. Think about sites like CNN.com or any online newspapers or magazines which support editorial content with site ads. The key attribute in classifying use as commercial is whether the image is used to promote a business, goods or services, or to advertise something. If not, it is a non-commercial use. Likewise, corporate blogs would be treated as editorial/non-commercial unless the image is directly being used to sell or promote their products or services.”

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