In truth, the Amanda House and Yopro vs. Loblaw pile-on left the building just a few days after the issue first emerged. It fit a model I refer to as the Cascading Crisis Curve and Here It Goes Again effect. They describe a popularity curve that lasts longer than most online issues, driven by a delay in media pickup and the uncovering of additional plot points as the story unfolds. Both of those reinvigorate the story and cause a bump in online traffic. These are generally the exception in online activity. I’ve written about my This Too Shall Pass effect which is a side-effect of the ADD nature of the web.
News of a planned meeting between Galen Weston Jr. and Amanda House was made public on December 13. The meeting took place the next day and Loblaw issued a statement following the meeting. In short, Loblaw and Galen Weston Jr. handled the situation quickly and were effective in their communication even if they are restricted in what they can say. After all, the case is before the courts and was suddenly cast into the court of public opinion based on an unchecked emotional appeal. It was learned in the days following that there were cracks in Amanda’s version of events including her own business scruples.
The graph below shows three things:
- Galen Weston Jr. and Loblaw acted quickly and acted well to contain the issue.
- Weekends are still something of a brick wall for many public interest issues.
- Call it fatigue, ADD or just plain fickleness, as important as Amanda House’s (and her partner’s) finance and health problems were of grave concern to the public when they first saw the video, the public managed to carry on the following week. So did Loblaw.
Amanda House may have a lot to gain given her situation. However, one hopes for her sake that her version of events and the specifics of her business decisions and business dealings with Loblaw work out in her favour. Because the Internet loves a good pile-on, she also stands the most to lose. Woe is her if her story doesn’t stand up and makes its way back to social media.