Best Buy feels the backlash after Serial Tweet
December 12, 2014
December 12, 2014
Like so many Americans, I am a Serial addict. The podcast, created by a producer of NPR’s This American Life, details the 1999 murder of a suburban Baltimore girl. Her ex-boyfriend was convicted in her murder, but he insists he is innocent. Serial is the most downloaded podcast in history, has spawned podcasts about the podcast, active Reddit threads, and drew so many donations that it has been funded for a second season.
Fans of the show obsess on several points that may prove the ex-boyfriend’s innocence. One of them is whether or not a pay phone existed at a suburban Baltimore Best Buy in 1999. The poor social media managers of the Best Buy Twitter account have had to field snarky questions from Serial fans for months. Fans of the show are visiting the parking lot of the Best Buy to see the setting the plays a significant role in the story of the crime. It was beyond me why they didn’t reference the show in a post.
At long last, they finally made a joke about the show. Not everyone on the internet thought it was so funny or clever.
Yes, Serial is about a real-life tragedy that has irrevocably changed the lives of everyone affected by the murder. Yes, fans sometimes forget that this is a true crime story and not a work of fiction. But I viewed Best Buy’s tweet as a comment about the mania around the podcast, not a dig at the families who are still in pain 15 years after a crime. It gives a wink to conspiracy theorists invested in the story Serial tells.
Social media is all about trying new things and keeping up with online conversations. Was Best Buy too far out of line here? Share your thoughts in the comments.