Believe it or not, there is a purpose behind every hashtag used on Instagram or twitter (especially if an influencer is using it).
In 2017, a luxury music festival called the Fyre Festival or #Fyrefest gained popularity on Instagram. They simply used this to promote the event –
Many influencers promoted the event (of course they were paid for that), the campaign went ‘viral’ on social media and soon, the tickets (that were not cheap) were sold out.
Cut to now, the main entrepreneur behind #FyreFestival is in prison, there was a lawsuit for about $ 100 million (that’s like 700 crores INR, only), it was a nightmare for the attendees, the influencers apologised and there are two feature documentaries about the story.
So, there’s no need to go into further detail about what happened (because you can just watch the documentary or read one of the hundreds of stories written on this topic).
The whole scandal has revealed several ugly truths about the world we live in.
Today, we are interested in talking about the ugly truth of one single hashtag – #fyrefest. Just a random collection of buttons on your keyboard managed to entice people to spend thousands on a music fest that never happened. A hashtag for which most influencers were paid more than $ 20,000.
One supermodel even managed to get around $ 250,000 (that’s just like 1.7 crores INR).
Some even got villas in exchange for a promotion on Instagram. Keep in mind most attendees didn’t have food, water and had to struggle in tents after paying thousands on tickets and other fee.
Here are the facts about what happened –
There was a company who wanted to promote a smartphone app… they came up with an idea for a luxury music festival, they used an orange screen to spread the news…
People who have thousands or even millions of followers on Instagram, asked for money for tapping on their smartphone’s screens.
They didn’t care to check the background of the company or validate the story they were sharing with their followers.
They got the money, so they posted what the company wanted them to share. Followers followed… and here we all are, watching, reading, talking about what went wrong.