John Perenack adds comment to Maclean’s Magazine’s coverage of the developing Jian Ghomeshi scandal and his use of online media to frame the story in the first 24 hours.
Social media, it seems, has not only accelerated the pace of our news cycle, it has polarized public opinion. There is no time for waffling or uncertainty in the digital age, only declarative 140-character statements. Even more important, it has driven the course of events in a way that all but circumvents the usual legal channels. No charges have been laid against Ghomeshi, and already, he is, in our eyes, either condemned or utterly blameless. “In the 24 hours after that post went up, [Ghomeshi] had a significant increase in the number of supporters on his Facebook page,” says John Perenack, a PR expert at Strategy Corp, a communications ﬁrm in Toronto. Within three days, his post alleging he had been unfairly accused and then fired had attracted some 100,000 likes. This reality, feminists argue, is hard proof for why victims of assault do not report allegations more readily.