Facebook as a Sentiment Barometer

Vaseline is under intense criticism for their Facebook app that enables a user to whiten/lighten their skin shade on their profile photos. While the application has been a roaring success, questions regarding the racist nature of the app have been raised.

While the actual debate rages on, it is worth stepping aside for a moment and giving a thought to user sentiments as expressed for a brand’s marketing efforts over different channels. While Vaseline and its contemporaries have been marketing these fairness inducing products for decades on traditional channels, I have not heard of racist allegations against them. However, when they attempted at using the power of a Facebook app to further their brand, they ran against a surge of sentiment outburst. I am not even suggesting or getting into a debate of whether they are right or wrong in having released the app that is at the center of debate. I am drawing attention to this vast difference in sentiment expression as expressed for ads in traditional channels versus newer channels.

Is this expression of sentiment happening due the ease with which the newer channels facilitate expression /sentiment sharing?
Is this also influenced by the ability to get immediate feedback from your trust circles of immediate friends, their friends, etc on what they think?


Is it because these newer platforms provide an immediate high of an ego boost by giving the ability to express one’s stand without dependency on externalities.

Do post your views…