The term “freedom of expression” has never had more importance and has never been more misused, or rather ill-used. With almost the entire world on social media 24/7, the Internet has become a global connector. Social media is perhaps now the most powerful weapon. Word it right and you might have created a movement for a worthy cause. Use it wrong and you will have a movement created against you.
So what happens when a mature brand, or perhaps a public figure, who for many years gathered a lot of respect in their field takes to social media with controversial statements? Whether they do it because they genuinely believe that their opinion is correct or if they did it to get some PR and marketing FOC, this one public figure probably down-marketed themselves. This blog does not look at whether or not Chitral Somapala, musician, was wrong in his opinions and voicing them. Instead, it looks at how online expression should be correctly done, with responsibility and valid proof to ensure the credibility of your statements and ultimately not hurt the feelings of others if it is a sensitive topic.
The above post started an entire social media revolution against Chitral among the young musicians of Sri Lanka. His opinion on the iconic artists Axl Rose and Slash may have been correct as per his perception. But the way in which he shared it online, with no evidence to back up his claims or no apparent respect for seniors in his own field got him a lot of negative feedback. The rant continued for many days with many young artists and fans speaking up against Chitral’s blatant disrespect to them, the country and also the music scene of Sri Lanka that Chitral said does not exist.
After the death of renowned artists Chris Cornell, the singer once again took to social media to offer his two cents which were once again not welcome, especially because he thought it was necessary to mention that in his opinion, the late Chris Cornell was not that great of a vocalist. Songs performed by Chris Cornell such as Black Hole Sun and Rusty Cage had helped millions across the world get through hard times, which is an undisputed fact in the current world of music.
Browsing through the timeline of Chitral Somapala, I could not help but notice that most of his posts are indeed controversial and for the same reason, it occurred to me that this could be his strategy for easy marketing. Is that what this is about? However, there are other views too, such as the blog that was done on medium.com shortly after the Axl Rose comment made by him.
Even though the following post had nothing to do with the aforementioned issue, this kind of controversial posts has led many people to feel that Chitral Somapala is a Sri Lankan who does not hesitate to insult his motherland and its people. This is very clear in the comments that follow his post.
Thought for the day; is any PR ACTUALLY good PR?