Question: What happens when a

Question: What happens when a #SocialMediaBlackout campaign actually becomes SA’s top trending topic?

No-one can work out if this is a win or a loss.

Question: What happens when a

It’s a very modern paradox for the 21st century: You focus a campaign trying to influence people to stay off social media… Only for your movement to contradict itself and become one of South Africa’s top trends.

Usually, this would be a PR coup for anyone trying to get their message to the masses, but by time users were aware of the campaign, they had already breached the terms of the 24-hour  boycott.

Read: #DataMustFall campaign plots a 24-hour social media boycott 

#SocialMediaBlackout is the offshoot of artist Ntsiki Mazwai’s #DataMustFall campaign, which argues that the poor are being priced out of access to the basic information and job opportunities that the internet provides. She called for all users to hit advertisers and businesses ‘in their pockets, where they will feel something’.

Their pockets, however, remained firmly lined.

Though it’s generated a lot of interest – ironically, through social media – Internet analyst Arthur Goldstuck has labelled the attempted campaign as ‘blunt and uninformed’.

His 54,000-strong following on Twitter saw him post a poll on the issue. Salt was rubbed in the wounds of the boycotters, as only 11% of voters from said they joining in.

Wait a second… How did the 11% even vote?

Goldstuck went on to say that these types of movements need to be prepared weeks in advance, rather than just days. His words of advice continued:

“Data has fallen for the rich, but it is still punitive for the poor. There needs to be a more nuanced understanding. The issue that needs to be addressed is that data has to fall for the poor. Ad hoc data must come down dramatically, blunt uninformed campaigns need to stop.”

There you have it. If you ever want to start an amazing campaign that trends, do everything in your power to stop it trending. Works every time.