A new & relentlessness  power has risen. Social activism. A force so great it can  even stop media giants in their tracks. What’s more, the people of the social space have recognized this power and now know how to use it.

Today it is common practice for brands to receive feedback publicly, what’s not so common is for reactive feedback to snowball even without the brand interacting with it. Social activism has enabled the masses to change the course of even mainstream media. A media revolution?

Today channel 9 received a wall post from a disgruntled viewer in relation to their London 2012 Olympic coverage:

Dear Channel 9 any chance you could possibly re think your approach to covering London 2012.
Maybe some volleyball, badminton, table tennis, archery etc in prime time’s instead of swimming, repeats of swimming, interviews of swimming, analysis of swimming, previews of swimming!

Give the other sports some exposure and recognition for what they have achieved and what they have accomplished!

Kind regards, the rest of Australia!

Within a few hours the post saw huge traction virality and quickly became liked by 1,000’s. Now, it has reached almost 140,000 (and growing) likes and almost 6,000 further comments from like-minded viewers. Just to recap,  this is one of the largest Free TV networks in Australia being slammed openly for its Olympic coverage. Mass social activism in full swing.

Channel 9 Australia Olympics 2012 Facebook Post

Channel 9 Australia Olympics 2012 Facebook Post

Some of the user comments are very interesting, many go on to talk about how this is “normal” from Channel 9 over the past few Olympics. Others complain of a pessimistic attitude from commentators. Either way, they are some important points of view from viewers.

I for one am astonished by the traction that this single comment received. A good friend of mine, Kevin Lo, has always been quite humble in the fact that: Anything you post has the potential to go viral. Simple as that.

So, what’s the learn for Channel 9?

It’s obvious that 140,000+ people aren’t happy, but why? In my opinion it all comes down to choices. The modern day masses want and expect to have a say in what they digest. Social media has given the #Number a voice. They want to be heard.

If they were given the choice of sport would they of complained? Maybe not. Pay TV viewers have choices. What I’m getting at is there was a potential opportunity here for the network to crowd source. A  vote maybe.

Imagine, the Olympics as voted for by Australia public on Social Media. Each day and everyday for 2 weeks. Channel 9 could of made a huge point of difference around this over Pay TV coverage. And with it would of came Free PR, Buzz & brand affinity. Hindsight is a wonderful thing after all.

From what I’ve seen, Channel 9 is yet to respond. For me, the only successful way to respond is via the product.  We hear you etc.

What do you think? Is Social Activism something you brands should fear? Do we have too much power now?