A Drunken Stupor


Most PR professionals would agree that the Rob Ford crack scandal is a crisis for Ford's communications team and Toronto City Council. What I find most interesting about the whole situation, however, is not the poor way in which Ford handled the media, but how his audiences are reacting to his statements and behaviour.

So how are Canadians handling the news that the man running Toronto smoked crack while in office?

They've taken to social media of course.


#RobFord has been trending for months — since the Toronto Star first broke this story. Then, early this week Ford admitted to the world that he did in fact use crack cocaine during a "drunken stupor". You can guess what started trending next. Twitter lit up and #drunkenstupor became an excuse for everything from failing to hand in homework to watching too many cat videos.


Since the story broke, countless Facebook pages, groups and communities in support of Rob Ford resigning from his position as Mayor of Toronto have popped up. Facebook users are sharing everything Rob Ford — from hard news articles to parody videos and blog posts.


Who would have thought the Internet's largest beauty and fashion photo-sharing site would be used to persuade people to join the campaign calling for Ford to step aside? Pinterest boards with titles like "The Ford Files"are populated with political comics, commentary and unflattering photos of the Mayor and shared with Pinterest users around the world.

What Now?

If we didn't already know how much the media landscape has changed in recent years, this case has made it quite clear. Content may still be king, but anyone can be the creator. From cell phone videos to blog posts, anyone with a cell phone and access to a computer can bring down a politician, celebrity, or any person in a position of authority — if given the opportunity.

According to a recent Globe and Mail article, the Internet has "introduced a new culture, a culture where anyone can publish anything about anybody, with the Internet acting as a giant, unfiltered, viral poster." 

Yep, that sounds about right.

Rob Ford = 0; Social Media= 1,000,000,000+


  1. It makes you wonder how much of this stuff happened before everyone was carrying mobile video cameras around all the time, doesn't it?

    1. Yes! Those who are in the spotlight need to be even more careful about they say and do, or be willing to face the consequences. "Personal time" hardly exists anymore for "regular" people, let alone politicians.


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