A while ago I wrote a blog post for this Pierless Music site entitled ‘A Social Media Policy’. You can read it here: http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/blog-posts/andy-gunton-2/a-social-media-policy/
In that post I listed 15 pointers/guidelines that I felt were important to follow if you’re a band, artist, or even a band member. Number 10 was ‘Don’t Engage In Slanging Matches’. Well, I’ve just come across a very good example of exactly why you should follow those guidelines.
I was recently pointed towards a very good and enlightening blog post. I’ve even borrowed the title of this post from that one. It concerns the rock band Alter Bridge and a, completely unnecessary, altercation they had with a photographer who had taken a photo of one of the band members at a gig.
The band then used this photo on their own website and elsewhere for commercial purposes. On hearing about this the photographer asked to be paid a nominal fee of $75 for the use of his work. The band refused and that really should have been the end of the matter, but it wasn’t.
For the full story and what happened next read the post here: http://www.uncountedcircles.com/2012/06/altercation-at-alter-bridge.html
As you can see, it all got rather ugly and even dragged in one of the band members.
In my opinion this can only have one effect and that is to make the band look very bad, in many ways. Even fans of the band thought that Alter Bridge were in the wrong with the public way that they had dealt with the issue, as you can see from that blog post.
This is precisely why bands, artists and even band members should not get involved with slanging matches with anyone, for whatever reason. It will never look good and will usually only come back to bite you on the bum, as it has here.
Deleting those unsavoury Facebook, Twitter or comment exchanges will not make the problem go away. As happened here it’s very easy to take a screen grab of any offending comments and many people do this nowadays as a kind of insurance policy.
The Internet and Social Media loves nothing more than a good scandal and news travels very fast there too. So remember that adage, ‘What goes on the Internet, stays on the Internet’ and maybe also read Number 3 of my list of pointers/guidelines, ‘Think Before you Post’.
Make sure you’re not the next band, or artist to fall into the same trap that Alter Bridge did. You’ll only live to regret it if you do.