There was a time not that long ago when product recalls had to be shared via word of mouth, or maybe you were lucky enough to read about it in the local paper. However, it might seem like there are more product recalls and product liability lawsuits than ever before, but that’s not the case. The simple reality is that the digital era has made it easier to share this information, but that also means it’s easier to share the wrong information. From product liability attorneys blogging to reach clients to fear mongering on social media, how has the digital era impacted recalls?
For better or worse, product recall “information” (and misinformation) is widely available. Here’s how it’s changing the landscape:
1. It’s easier for concerned parties to share information
Depending on the product being recalled, consumer watchdog groups, law firms, local media outlets, and bloggers interested in particular industries are all doing their part to spread the news. For example, The Sudsbury Star recently covered the all-natural sex supplement recall in Canada, and it was a big media firestorm since sex sells. Product recalls are great for entertainment as well as information.
2. Social media makes sharing simple
It’s really easy to like a story, follow a blogger, or re-post on social media. It takes less than a second for anyone to play a role in sharing product recall information. However, when it comes to fact checking, people aren’t as on their game. Of CBS News’ list of the dangers of Facebook, re-posting without a second thought is one of them. You might be spreading wrong information, and otherwise opening yourself up to attention you don’t want.
3. Anyone can blog about it
Bloggers can have a lot of power, especially if they get to a certain status with thousands of followers. What is really an opinion can be stated as a fact, especially if they don’t get all the right information about a recall. It’s easy to scan the headlines for recalls and then right a fluff or op-ed pieces without all the facts. This isn’t just sloppy blogging, but also potentially defamation.
4. Mobile readiness means constant streaming
You’re on your mobile device while in line for coffee, dropping the kids off at school, and while brushing your teeth. People are hungry for information, and many of them just want the highlights. Scanning a product recall while walking to get the mail puts this information literally at your fingertips.