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Why ABC reacted so swiftly to Roseanne’s racist tweet

The ConversationAnjana Susarla Associate Professor of Information Systems, Michigan State University: “ABC Entertainment, which produced the revamped version of “Roseanne,” is the latest company to learn the challenge of doing business in an age when citizen activism is amplified by social media. The network canceled the hit show after its star, Roseanne Barr, sent a racist tweet – since deleted – that prompted outrage and a potential ad boycott. Other networks have chosen to axe reruns of the original “Roseanne.” While ABC’s swift decision stunned observers, it suggests companies are learning from recent PR stumbles by the likes of United Airlines and Uber. Incidents that not so long ago would have been relatively isolated are inflaming public sentiment at a breathtaking pace, catching companies wrong-footed and significantly raising the stakes of such missteps. As my research into online social networks shows, these incidents illustrate the challenges for companies in dealing with the fallout of bad publicity as social media amplifies both the reach and range of responses available to concerned individuals… [h/t Pete Weiss]

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