The ripple effect is a term used to describe a situation where communications are dropped into the social sphere and a momentum builds outwards exponentially.
In sociology, it can be observed how social interactions can affect situations not directly related to the first interaction.
You’d have to live in a cave to not be aware of how the “media” is piling on the BP disaster with blame being pointed everywhere. While there is no doubt the BP’s leadership was and is a sleep at the wheel, both before and after the spill, pointing fingers and spinning the media does not solve the problem, it makes it worse. Add the impact of “social media” to the spinning, disgust, anger and outrage over BP’s actions, or lack thereof, and you have a Tsunami of negative sentiment towards BP. This sentiment is destroying more value than the cost of the destruction caused by the oil spill.
Spinning Out of Control?
The ripple effects of nonstop negative sentiment towards BP are now reaching a wave. On YouTube making fun of BP’s handling of the disaster has roughly 1,000,000 views and growing. The @BPGlobalPR twitter account (not an official BP account) has over 150,000 followers and growing with nonstop satire making fun of BP. Everyday the main street media publishes stories and broadcast propagating negative sentiments towards BP. The President of the United States says he has his “foot on their neck and intends on kicking their ass”. So what does all this media create? Consider the rippling effects:
- BP’s stock price has dropped over 50% since the disaster. This drop and future cost, if not bankruptcy, will ripple through the global economy hurting over 18 million personal and institutional retirement accounts representing hundreds of billions of economic loss.
- The compensation to victims will reach billions of dollars and the supply chain of those affected grows daily. The supply of money for compensation is being choked by bureaucratic delays and politics as usual. Media everywhere highlights these delays.
- The clean up cost will reach billions of dollars and go on for years.
- The US Government has stopped all new off shore drilling causing more economic loss to other companies and the employees that work for them ($Billions).
- Foreign ships with innovative tools for cleaning up the spill are blocked from entering the gulf due to government policies dating back to the 1930’s.
- The cost of oil will likely go up causing consumer prices at the pump to go up affecting everyone….trillions over time.
Are They Getting What They Deserve? Then So Will We!
No one would deny BP’s total mismanagement of related risk of drilling in the gulf and the mismanagement of this disaster. No one would also deny our own governments mismanagement of the same issues. So blaming everyone and anyone isn’t creating remedy to the problem rather it is only making it worse due to the rippling effects of all related media.
We can prosecute BP CEO Tony Hayward and the entire company. In the end we are prosecuting innocent victims whose life and livelihood are tied to BP and this disaster. The innocent people are all of us so lets focus on solutions and not the consistent problems created by BP and our government.
The first solution would be a demand from we the people ordering BP and our government to simply get out-of-the-way and let the people solve the problems. What would be the next solution? Actions and innovation from the crowd without bureaucratic delay. The inertia and bureaucratic delays to solutions being suggested by the crowd is the current barrier to action and solutions.
Appropriate actions and innovation would turn the rippling effect of media into propagation of the “people’s” solution. Otherwise the current rippling effect will become a wave of destruction bigger than the current disaster.