Over the past year, we began to see the true power the internet can have in confronting our existing power structure–and perpetuating conspiracy theories and organizing fringe groups. You no longer need to have deep pockets, a structured organization, or a seat at the table to have a voice.
Last year, people organized online and took to the streets to protest the killing of Black people. Last month, people organized online to storm the U.S. Capitol. And, last week, people organized online to stick it to Wall Street.
The internet has upended culture, politics—and now—the financial market.
It’s a matter of trust. People don’t trust government, law enforcement, politicians, financial institutions or companies anymore.
I worked for SeaWorld and those people did not know what hit them. They didn’t understand how a documentary could go viral, leading to the creation of millions of negative memes, turning the company into one of the most hated in America. They didn’t take the threat seriously, going an entire year without even addressing Blackfish. It wasn’t until we stepped in and advised them on how to re-establish their reputation and rebuild trust with their consumers that they were able to start moving past the negative press stemming from that single documentary.
The internet isn’t going anywhere, and an individual with a keyboard is just going to get more powerful. Keep playing by the old rules and you will end up on the wrong side of this historic shift in the way EVERY industry is run.