The social media site is burning up with aggressive questions for SeaWorld, which the company invited by creating the hashtag #AskSeaWorld as part of their huge new ad campaign.
By Vicki Croke
Twitter is burning up with aggressive questions for SeaWorld, which the company invited by creating the hashtag #AskSeaWorld as part of its huge new ad campaign.
The effort to defend the theme park’s killer whale program seems to have backfired.
According to USA Today:
The campaign, which started March 23, includes TV and print ads. It invites the public to submit questions via Twitter about the company’s treatment of animals. It also features a website with videotaped interviews with veterinarians and trainers.
The company is posting friendly questions that have been submitted on their own website, such as “Why are zoos and aquariums important?” but on Twitter itself, the atmosphere is much different with a barrage of pointed and even hostile inquiries, such as “So it’s normal for a baby to be forcefully taken from it’s family & sent to a different country to live with abusive strangers?”
According to The Dodo, Sea World is curating the questions, leaving criticisms behind:
So far, the ones posted have been pretty tame; they include “How does SeaWorld care for their killer whales?” and “How long do killer whales live?”
But on Twitter, it’s another story. A quick glance at the hashtag will give a pretty good idea of how Twitter is responding to the campaign.
SeaWorld has been fighting to repair its image since the release of the hard-hitting and critically-acclaimed documentary “Blackfish,” in 2013, which explored issues of capturing killer whales, keeping them in captivity, and the training methods used by the company. In the wake of the release of that film, the company experienced drops in revenue and attendance. According to the Associated Press, “SeaWorld says it has spent $10 million on all its efforts at rehabilitating its reputation.” And, just yesterday, a book by former SeaWorld trainer, John Hargrove, “Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish,” was released.
According to USA Today:
The timing of the ad campaign and Hargrove’s book was coincidental, SeaWorld spokesman Fred Jacobs told USA TODAY Network in an e-mail.
Here are a few examples of the comments and questions on Twitter under the hashtag #AskSeaWorld:
Seaworld, if a stolen orca calf cries in a holding pool, but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? #AskSeaWorld
— Adina Pliskin (@Adinapliskin) March 26, 2015