"Do you even own pants? Oh, wait. You do. I remember now." - Azriel
Question #89429 posted on 04/24/2017 3:08 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Question about consumer feedback. What's the best way to express companies/franchises/etc. displeasure in a product or decision? Tweeting with the hashtag or commenting on a tweet about it is more likely to make it seem popular than actual convey the opposite emotion. Same with fb comments/likes even if you choose the angry option. How do you make it clear to a company that you don't like what they're doing in a way that they'll actually see? Examples of things you might want to express consumer disappointment in include changing Tower of Terror to a GotG attraction, sequels to movies that you hated, Cap is a nazi, inappropriate material in kids shows, etc.

A:

Dear Reader,

As a self-employed person who self-markets to put food on the table, I can tell you I am terrified of bad reviews. I'm not big enough to get bad press, of course, but if I were, I'd be scared of that, too.

I think you're underestimating the power of Facebook and Twitter. United Airlines has faced real, financial blowback after their month of terrible PR. When a company has actually done wrong (or rather, when they can be perceived to have done wrong) they face consequences. Admittedly, the vast majority of Facebook and Twitter brigades I've seen calling for boycotts are based on really stupid premises. I believe these idiotic campaigns are making it look like the power of well-founded campaigns are diluted, but that's not the case. Real, widespread outrage—based on actions that a reasonable person would view as wrongdoing—hurt, and they hurt badly.

So if you wish to be injurious to a company, give them a bad Google review. Report them to the BBB (although that's becoming less credible as time moves on) and spread the word of their misdeeds. If you have a good case, the People's Court will hear you, and the company will feel the pain.

As for Cap being a Nazi, Marvel took a lot of heat for that, although I don't have any data on how much it hurt them financially. Since that's not "wrongdoing" in the strictest sense, you just need a bunch of people to agree with you, pretty much. Marvel did recently make a hilariously tone-deaf statement where they decided to call their target demographic bigots instead of addressing their pathetic storytelling, so we can see that companies don't always receive the message. But they will, eventually, adapt or die. That's capitalism, baby.

  ~Hobbes