Safe to say this week has been a tough time to be the Atlantic Automotive Group based out of New Jersey.
In case you have missed the headlines this week, one of the top stories circulating throughout every major news network is one of a woman coerced into donating a kidney to her boss, only to be forced to come into work prematurely while recovering, and then fired shortly after for, reportedly, not doing her job up to the standards of the business.
Read more here: “Woman fired after donating kidney to boss.”
The woman was an employee of the Atlantic Automotive Group, a company whose name has been under fire since the story first broke on Monday. People have been hammering the AAG of New Jersey with obscenity-laced phone calls, emails, and letters, and have been absolutely destroying the “Atlantic Auto Group” Facebook page every hour for the past two days.
The only problem is, people are attacking the wrong website and Facebook page. The actual company, The Atlantic Automotive Group of Long Island, that operates under the name “NY Auto Giant,” has been relatively unscathed in this whole incident. On the “NY Auto Giant” Facebook page, the actual and official page of the AAG involved in the kidney incident, I could only count two posts on their page related to the incident. As compared to the Atlantic Automotive Group of New Jersey, which, at last check on Monday, the negative comments were too many to count.
Sadly, the Atlantic Auto Group of New Jersey are also the unfortunate owners of Atlanticautogroup.com. This has put the unfortunately-named group behind the bullseye when it comes to angry readers of the incident and their Googling habits. In fact, the calls and emails were so numerous that the group were forced to put a popup message on their site today explaining that the obscene and threatening emails and calls are not helping to resolve any situation, as they are not affiliated with the AAG of Long Island in any way, shape, or form.
This whole situation with mistaken identities highlights an issue in social media that can have both a positive, and a negative impact in our society. The fact is: social media is quickly replacing traditional news as people’s first source of receiving information, and this is because social media provides the opportunity for content, messages, and information to be circulated amongst a readership larger than any formal news base could ever provide, at a rate faster than any traditional outlet could ever produce. However, the downside to rapid circulation of content is that the various sources of, and speed of information social media provides, prevents fact-checking and editing from being properly done. We, as a people, have been trained by social media that content is king and that the first to produce it ultimately holds the crown.
And sometimes, the need for speed can come at the cost of verifying the content we are sharing.