Saturday, October 9, 2010


You're an organization called 10:10 in the UK. The idea is that we should reduce our carbon emissions by 10%, beginning in 2010. October 10 (of 2010, even more serendipitous) is a particularly significant date: you are asking people to make a real effort to reduce carbon emissions.

Less than a month before the big day, you release some ads called "No Pressure." The idea is that anyone who disagrees with the organization, even to the extent of questioning whether it is a good idea to reduce carbon emissions, will be killed. Some killings are portrayed in vivid detail--heads exploding, blood flying, etc., many of the victims children. I guess they were thinking this was so obviously extreme, so over the top, it would be seen as funny--like Swift's "Modest Proposal" or something. They got a pretty famous film director, Richard Curtis, to make the ads for them.

There has been a nasty backlash to the ads, and the ads have been pulled as much as possible from the Internet. Of course, some nasty people make sure the videos are posted faster than they can be pulled--four new sites for every one taken down, kind of thing. And there are parodies: a teacher advises a class to try out a few Moslem practices. If they're not willing: boom. A Hitler downfall parody: Hitler saying: how could anyone not find this funny? So staff at 10:10 are trying to get parodies taken off the web as well--again, hopeless.

Thursday night, October 7, the 10:10 website listed almost 95,000 "people on board." Friday morning it was down to 73,000. That's right: in the final countdown to the big day, their own website shows them losing about 25% of their popular support. This morning I notice they are over 100,000 "in 152 countries."

Of course, one reason they are losing "people on board" is that they have had to purge names that are not really helpful: dead people, and people who are well-known skeptics of global warming. Apparently they made the mistake of having so little security on their "people on board" feature, that anyone could appear: Karl Marx, Socrates, Gautama Buddha, you name it.

The staff seem on the young side, but it looks like they have no real feel for the internet, or how things can go viral, or public opinion, at all.

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