Burger King Ad Encourages Cyberbullying

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True

Burger King's latest and most desperate attempt to regain it's once regal status as fast-food royalty is an offer to Facebook users that if they drop 10 of their online "friends," the chain will give them a free Whopper.

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And, as if it isn't bad enough to get dumped for a burger, how about this: the Facebook app also sends a message to the people you "unfriend" telling them that hey, you aren't worth as much as free food! Then it puts the dumpee's name into a news feed that runs on the site.

So far, more than 200,000 friends have been dumped in the name of flame-broiled beef. Those who have been culled from someone's friend list can strike back, as well. The Whopper Sacrifice website allows "the sacrificed" to send an "angry-gram" to the jerk who unfriended them.

I like fast-food as much as the next gal, but this ad campaign encourages cyberbullying. Facebook and other social-media websites already make it so much easier for users -- including your kids and their friends -- to be mean to each other. When I was a teenager, you had to actually be rude to someone's face to break up with them. Now, all it takes is a click of a button. Social media is bullying for cowards.

What happens if someone is unfriended and actually hurts himself, or the friend who dumped him? Who is the responsible party in that scenario? The responsible party would be the very same BK executives who decided to green-light those scary ads with The King. I get that the campaign is "edgy" and that it's all meant in fun, but it walks a very fine line between cool and cruel.

What do you think of the Burger King campaign?
It absolutely encourages bullying.124 (41.2%)
It's mean, but it's not bullying.75 (24.9%)
Get over yourselves -- it's funny!102 (33.9%)

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.