The Intersection of Public Lands, Social Media, and Call-Out Culture
Updated: Jan 14
***Published to the @PublicLandsHateYou Instagram account on 1/8/2020***
I’ve had mountains of thoughts on Leave No Trace Center’s (LNTC) take on “shaming”, influencers claiming they are being “bullied” after their harmful and often illegal behavior is called out, and the intersection of the two. Some things can’t be distilled down to a 2,200 character IG post, so I’ve written an article on the topic which I’ve posted to www.PublicLandsHateYou.com.
“The Intersection of Public Lands, Social Media, and Call-Out Culture” explores how influencers and Leave No Trace Center are incorrectly using the buzzwords “bullying” and “shaming” in response to legitimate call-outs. It gives examples of how call-outs have a positive impact when corporations and influencers are caught engaging in harmful behavior and refuse to respond to private constructive criticism. It questions how LNTC can be effective in combating harmful behavior on your public lands by educating 20 people at a time, when influencers are broadcasting incorrect information to their friends and followers by the thousands.
The bottom line is this. There will always be people that think they are above the law. People that no amount of education will reach. People that will ignore (or block) anyone that isn’t a “yes man or “yes woman”.
It doesn’t matter if it’s because these people are focused on $$$ rather than ethics, because they think they can do no wrong, or because they just don’t give a damn. These people are visiting our public lands every single day, and they are broadcasting their harmful behavior to thousands of people with every post, initiating a cascading effect of harmful behavior that traditional land conservation and protection organizations have not found a way to counteract.
Call-outs have a place in protecting our public lands. People who respond to nothing else make course corrections when they realize the vast majority of other public lands owners disagree with their behavior. Corporations change their social media vetting policies when they notice potential customers are unhappy with their brands. Law enforcement takes action when they see taxpayers are upset about people flouting the law.
It’s not glamorous. It’s doesn’t pay the bills. But it works.