Headlines can be really deceiving. Taking a situation that might be happening, changing it into a question and then using that as a headline typically suggests that this is true. Writers do this to grab attention and get more clicks. (just like I did).
However, this can bite us in the ass as a community as well. For example, a recent headline on 365gay.com reads Is Starbucks Anti-Gay? Based on this headline, I expected some big corporate scandal. Maybe an email that was leaked or internal memos that got posted. Maybe Starbucks fired people for going to gay pride parades while drinking their Iced Lattes.
Sadly, this was not the case. If you read the very disturbing story, it talks about a woman who sees one extremely bad situation involving one Starbucks store in one city. How anyone can take that one example and turn it into Starbucks being anti-gay is beyond me, but she did and so did 365gay. A company cannot be defined by one employee, or in this case, employees at one store. The headlines for this incident should have read “Anti-gay Manager at a NY Starbucks?” or “Employee Fired for Being Gay at NY Starbucks”.
In the end, I did a little research and discovered that Starbucks is looking into this situation, as they should be. Additionally, they are not giving out details about they are doing, which they shouldn’t do anyway. As a community, do we really want to be biting the corporate hands that help us? I mean, Starbucks does have a 100% rating with HRC. Does one mistake make Starbucks our enemy now? The cry for boycotting Target tells me yes, but if we keep cutting off our allies for singular mistakes, we are going to end up alone.
What do you think? Is this needy pandering for clicks getting out of control in the always-on world? Are we giving out the wrong information to people who just read headlines? Should Starbucks stop killing unicorns??